While i appreciate these serious, thoughtful responses to my book from Roger Gottlieb and Kim Chernin, I do not quite see myself reflected in their respective descriptions of the role of spirit (Gottlieb), or the role of hope (Chernin). My claim is that these are not abstract ideas that I attribute to human reality, but that they are concretely revealed by that human reality if we will but embrace “another way of seeing” that makes the presence of both spirit and hope visible in that human reality.

The central idea of my book is that human beings are not actually “individuals” in the liberal sense of our existing in separate spheres as disconnected monads, but are rather inherently united by a social bond, a “fraternity” as the present pope calls it, that seeks to make itself manifest in the world through the experience of...

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