It is with sadness that I have just read that Richard John Neuhaus died on Thursday the 8th of January at age 72. There are various obituaries here
For those New Zealand readers who won’t know. Neuhaus was a Lutheran turned Catholic priest who wrote and commented extensively on issues of religion and public life. His book The Naked Public Square was an important work challenging the modern liberal notion that religion should be privatised and not be utilised in public debate. Neuhaus was was a long time civil rights activist who marched in the civil rights movement, against Vietnam, and became a leading intellectual in the Neo Conservative movement. The journal he edited First Things brought together Jewish, Catholic and Protestant scholars with a conservative bent and produced some of the some of the most thoughtful and insightful commentary on issues related to religion and public life that I have read.
Neuhaus and his excellent and often sarcastically witty columns will be missed.