Imagine my surprise and delight at finding a Christmas present within the pages of the Dec. 7 issue in the form of the moderated dialogue between Professors Robert P. George and Cornel West *80. Robby George is a treasure whom his colleagues on the faculty are coming (reluctantly in many cases) to appreciate more and more. A self-described “out of the closet” moral and political conservative, he has proven time and again the value to Princeton students of being exposed to this worldview in an environment of rigorous scholarship and intellectual integrity. Dr. West, about whom I once wrote unflatteringly in this letters column, has won me over. I freely admit I read him wrongly back then, and he has shot to near the top of the list of people with whom I would love to share dinner and dialogue (precisely because there is much on which we would disagree).
Professor George says that his West-George seminar room is an “unsafe space,” where “all beliefs — including our most cherished, even identity-forming beliefs” are scrutinized. Each of these intellectual giants is quite open in proclaiming his Christian faith. It seems that either would gladly place his religious beliefs on the table for scrutiny. One wonders if either the current or the immediate past occupant of the corner office in Nassau Hall (neither of whom, as I understand it, professes any religious faith) would be willing to do the same. That is a debate that I would pay money to hear.