In an interview with Nathan Schneider, historian of ideas Mark Lilla explains how he ended up writing a book about political theology, what blogging on The Immanent Frame did for the book, and why he’s reading very selectively these days.
How did you find your Immanent Frame experience? I enjoyed having people well known in the field responding quickly to what I wrote. What was also good is that they knew I’d get to respond to them as well. They had to develop what they thought were their strongest arguments and not make ad hominem attacks.
Was the discussion productive? Very productive, especially the exchanges with José Casanova. I saw him in Washington after our exchanges, and both of us were saying, “Isn’t it great we could do this?” He had misunderstood just what the book was about, and I had misunderstood what he was driving at. Blogging about it led to a quick, mutual clarification. A little bit of that happened with Chuck Taylor as well.
Read a transcript of the interview.