4 lessons we learned from Cornel West and Robert George

An excerpt from an article I wrote with my friend and colleague, Alex Ward for ERLC.com.

Recently, the two of us had the privilege to attend an event hosted by the Trinity Forum featuring a fascinating conversation between Cornel West and Robert George. The theme of the evening was “Deep Friendship Across Deep Differences.” If you know anything about these two men, you know that they are about as different as two people can be. They sit at opposite ends of the political spectrum and, in deeply significant ways, the ideological spectrum as well. For his part, West, who is African-American, is a well known progressive intellectual. George, on the other hand, who is Caucasian, is among the most prominent academic defenders of social conservatism. 

In her introduction, Cherie Harder, president of the Trinity Forum, described the two men as “an ideological odd-couple.” And in our tribal age, their considerable differences should mark them out as enemies, with the divide seeming unbridgeable. But for many years now, West and George have maintained a vibrant friendship that serves as a model of what it looks like to share deep and meaningful relationships with people unlike oneself. Their conversation touched on so many topics that it would be impossible for us to set forth all that was covered. But as we sat there, in awe of what was on display, we were able to capture several key ideas from their talk that were worth sharing.