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Ted Smith | Scriptural Politics of Democracy: Divine Violence and the Higher Law
From the abolitionist John Brown to the pro-life activist Paul Hill, Americans have a long history of appealing to a "higher law" to justify violent political action. Appeals to the higher law are often cast as inherently violent and as threats to the deliberation necessary for democracy. But in this lecture Smith argues for an understanding of the higher law that can loosen the hold of dominant forms of violence and make possible a deeper democratic deliberation.
Ted Smith teaches at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Before moving to Emory he taught at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, where he also served as director of the Program in Theology and Practice. Smith is the author of The New Measures: A Theological History of Democratic Practice and more than two dozen essays on political theology, religion in the United States, and preaching and worship.