This interview with Alan Jacobs is full of all the things I love to think about!
The new book has an “Interlude,” in which you point to “other pilgrims, other paths,” and one of the figures is Dorothy Day, an icon of the 20th-century Christian left. Recently, a lot of people have noted, even in the mainstream press, that we’re now seeing a resurgence of the “religious left.” Do you consider this resurgence — as seen, for example, in the movement spearheaded by theReverend Dr. William Barber and the launch of the MLK-inspired Poor People’s Campaign — as a positive development?
This kind of activist Christian left, it seems to me, is something that’s been sorely missing, especially in the African-American community, and so to see some kind of resurgence of it is really exciting.
Here’s an interesting connection to my book. I’ve got a chapter in my book called “Demons,” about “demonic” activity. Or if you don’t want to say “demonic” activity, you can call it the activity of what St. Paul calls the “principalities and powers.” It’s interesting, Foucault is a kindred spirit — the “principalities and powers” is a kind of Foucauldian argument, right? In the sense that it is power — and what Weil would call force — disseminated through social and political structures.
There’s a Bostonian named Rev. Eugene Rivers, who wrote a piece that came out a few weeks ago, where he says that that’s the only way in which you can properly understand white supremacy — that white supremacy is a power, disseminated through society, in the way that sin is, for Paul, a power.