Coming Home? The Imminent Immanent City

43 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2017  

Steven Douglas Smith

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: 2017


This essay, given as the third of three lectures comprising the Charles E. Test Lectures at the Madison program at Princeton in May 2017, concludes the project of defending T. S. Eliot s suggestion that the future of Western societies will be determined by a contest between Christianity and modern paganism. Accepting for purposes of discussion the claim that the pagan city has succeeded in displacing the Christian city, the essay asks whether this development is something to celebrate or to lament. The question is considered both with respect to the prospects for community and with respect to the question of human flourishing or a meaningful life.

Keywords: Modern paganism, Christianity, Pagan city, Christian city, Pagan

JEL Classification: A00, A10, K10

Suggested Citation

Smith, Steven Douglas, Coming Home? The Imminent Immanent City (2017). San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 17-291. Available at SSRN: or

Steven Douglas Smith (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
619-260-7969 (Phone)
619-260-2492 (Fax)

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