The Dean of Grace Cathedral, the Episcopalian cathedral of San Francisco, is Alan Jones, the author of several books. I've read The Soul's Journey, Exploring the Spiritual life with Dante as Guide, which was just terrific! Also - I own, but have not (yet) read Passion for Pilgrimage, Notes for the Journey Home and Reimagining Christiainity, Reconnect Your Spirit without Disconnecting Your Mind.
Jones is erudite, religion and able to write. And he interviewed Gary Wills - a historian at Northwestern University whose many books delve into American history and religion. He is also a frequent and excellent contributer to The New York Review of Books, most recently writing about Ghiberti's doors, "The Gates of Paridise" from Florence, now on exhibit at the Met. He covers the history, the competition, the religious meaning of the images, the art. To read, click here. (It might be restricted to registered subscribers, but some of NYRB articles are not).
Gary Wills has a new book out, Head and Heart: American Christianities. I wrote about it on October 8th and highlighted a radio interview done on NPR. There's also a book excerpt at that link.
And so Wills and Jones talked about American Christianity. Two smart guys talking about an important subject given how religion is being used in politics by the Republicans. They show how uninformed so much civil discourse is (especially when it invokes the religiousness of our Founding Fathers). And Gary Wills explains the apparent mystery of a social conservative's endorsement of nasty Rudy Guiliani. Pat Roberson, and his ilk, believe that we are fighting the devil (in Iraq and the Middle East) and fighting the devil is more important than anything else. And Guilani seems, to them, to be the best person to lead that fight.
To watch the whole program, click here.
To watch a five minute answer to Was America Founded on Christianity, from Wills' talk at Politics and Prose, watch this: