The Publishing Preacher
The Life of Richard John Neuhaus
by Ian Hunter
One man in his time plays many parts, Shakespeare tells us, and of few men is this saying more apt than of Richard John Neuhaus, the subject of a fascinating biography by Randy Boyagoda, a professor of American Studies at Ryerson University (Richard John Neuhaus: A Life in the Public Square, Random House, 2015).
Neuhaus was a Lutheran pastor, a civil rights activist, a Roman Catholic priest, an intellectual, critic, and educator, a confidant of two presidents and two popes, and the founding editor of the influential magazine First Things, which, under his guidance, was distinguished by substance and style. One purpose undergirded all Neuhaus's frenetic and diverse activities: his biographer tells us he wanted above all to do "something beautiful for God."
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Ian Hunter is Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario. He is the author of biographies of Robert Burns, Hesketh Pearson, and Malcolm Muggeridge.
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