Steven D. Smith

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The growing divide between contemporary law and culture and Christianity forces Christians both in general and in the academy to confront difficult choices. The difficulty of those choices was manifest in the most recent presidential election. In this situation, some Christians take an aggressive or triumphalist stance; others are more inclined to a retreatist approach sometimes labeled “the Benedict Option.” What the right response is poses both prudential and theological questions about which Christians disagree, and about which confident answers are elusive. In this context, Professor Bob Cochran’s distinguished career exemplifies a path of humility in which the Christian citizen and scholar attempts to practice virtues of faith and charity, pursuing a Christian vocation in a way that is neither triumphalist nor defeatist, in the spirit of the beloved Christian hymn “Lead, Kindly Light.”