At 6.30pm on 22nd November, join an expert panel as they discuss The Politics of Virtue by John Milbank and Adrian Pabst: the fullest account so far of the post-liberal alternative in Western politics.
Contemporary politics is dominated by a liberal creed that champions ‘negative liberty’ and individual happiness. This creed undergirds positions on both the right and the left – free-market capitalism, state bureaucracy and individualism in social life. The triumph of liberalism has had the effect of subordinating human association and the common good to narrow self-interest and short-term utility. By contrast, post-liberalism promotes individual fulfilment and mutual flourishing based on shared goals that have more substantive content than the formal abstractions of liberal law and contract, and yet are also adaptable to different cultural and local traditions. In this important book, John Milbank and Adrian Pabst apply this analysis to the economy, politics, culture, and international affairs. In each case, having diagnosed the crisis of liberalism, they propose post-liberal alternatives, notably new concepts and fresh policy ideas. They demonstrate that, amid the current crisis, post-liberalism is a programme that could define a new politics of virtue and the common good.
Prof. John Milbank is Emeritus Professor of Religion, Politics and Ethics at the University of Nottingham. Dr Adrian Pabst  is Reader in Politics at the University of Kent. They will be joined in conversation by Dr Jonathan Chaplin , Director of Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics and Dr Simone Kotva , Junior Research Fellow, Emmanuel College, Nick Rengger  of St Andrews University and Marc Stears  of the New Economics Foundation. The evening will be chaired by Lord Glasman , Labour Life Peer and Director of the Common Good Foundation.
Tickets for this event are priced at £4 in advance or £6 on the door. They can be purchased through this page, by calling 01223 463200 or in person in Heffers bookshop. Please note tickets are transferable but non-refundable.
DATE AND TIME
Tue 22 November 2016
18:30 – 20:00 GMT
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20 Trinity Street
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Reviews of The Politics of Virtue: Post-Liberalism and the Human Future:
‘Amidst the rising chorus of voices calling for the renewal of grassroots democracy, Milbank and Pabst sound a distinctive “blue” note. The languages of individual virtue and public honor, they urge, must be redeployed to meet human needs for belonging and embeddedness while revitalizing citizen participation in government. It is possible, they argue, to draw on the very energies that feed attacks on big government and fuel populism to cultivate instead a politics of hope that joins patriotism with international solidarity. Given the political impasses we face today, their astute proposal merits a wide hearing.’ — Jennifer A. Herdt, Gilbert L. Stark Professor of Christian Ethics, Yale Divinity School
‘This is a vital contribution within an emerging literature and emboldened public conversation around what constitutes the common good. Drawing on ancient traditions it is full of philosophical insight and concrete, practical political suggestion. It challenges the most basic assumptions of liberalism; it is quietly devastating.’ — Jon Cruddas, MP
‘To the dilemmas of late modernity, Milbank and Pabst propose a vision of social, political, and economic order that is at once classical and Christian, but neither reactionary nor emptily nostalgic; a politics of virtue, and of a cultural commitment to the pedagogy of the good, theirs is a brilliant and original imagining of a genuine Christian socialism sustained not by the technocratic bureaucracy of the modern state, but by the deepest wellsprings of human spiritual community.’ — David Bentley Hart, Visiting Professor, Providence College
‘With a characteristic mix of bravura argumentation and telling detail, Milbank and Pabst mount a powerful critique of what they call the ‘metacrisis’ of liberalism across five areas, politics, economics, democracy, culture and international relations, and in each case offer equally powerful alternatives, rooted in much older traditions. Superbly written, bracingly argued and with a reach and range that is genuinely impressive, this book is bound to have a powerful impact in many different academic fields and indeed in the world beyond the academy as well.’ — Nicholas Rengger, Professor of Political Theory and International Relations, University of St Andrews
‘Perhaps what is most shocking – and most thrilling – about this book is that the authors fully expect their proposals to be taken seriously! The Politics of Virtue is a masterpiece which, with a single stroke, both rebukes the cowardice and effete impracticality of so many armchair political theologians, and shows up the resigned nihilism of those political theorists who believe that liberalism is the only game in town.’ — Scott Stephens, Editor of the Religion & Ethics website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
‘A brilliant analysis of the triumph of economic and social liberalism and the miseries these have engendered, especially to the poorest of us. And the first signs of a clear path out of this mess, towards a politics rooted in tradition, history and social obligation. The best political book of the last five years.’ — Rod Liddle, journalist and writer
‘The Politics of Virtue is going to be a vital contribution to that issue [what kind of thing humanity might and should be], as well as a crucial intervention in current political debate. It will infuriate as many as it will delight; but it is a monumental and un-ignorable diagnosis of a critical moment in our culture.’ — Rowan Williams, New Statesman
‘I am in deep sympathy with Milbank’s and Pabst’s understanding and critique of liberalism and I have sympathy with some of their proposed alternatives […] I am particularly drawn to their understanding of the ethics of virtue which they argue depends on the presumption that our lives have a purpose and meaning that is not just our arbitrary will.’ — Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law, Duke University, on the ABC Religion & Ethics website