“This book is a brave counter to both anti-intellectualism and intellectual élitism, and would be worth buying simply for the opening and closing chapters, where the essentials of the argument are clearly articulated. Nevertheless, those who wish to overhear the author coming to his conclusions in conversation with the likes of Plato, Hegel, Leo Strauss, Alexandre Kojève, Coleridge, and Girard will find the intervening chapters intellectually demanding, but also consistently enlightening.” Church Times
What is the true calling of the intellectual? In this provocative new book, Andrew Shanks presents a distinctive fresh answer. The Other Calling is a systematic riposte both to the elitism of philosophy in the heritage of Plato, and to the typical individualism of Plato's philosophic opponents. Here, instead, intellectual integrity is identified with a form of priesthood. Recalling how, once, all intellectuals were, as a matter of course, also priests, Shanks argues for a new, religiously multicultural 'priesthood of all thinkers'. The argument -- developed first in philosophical terms, then in relation to Christian theology -- is about the most basic moral purposes of both disciplines. It negotiates a strategic partnership between the two, as complementary contributions to this 'priestly' ethos. The Other Calling is a strikingly original approach to the moral and political aspects of theology's relationship with philosophy, and displays all the erudition that we have come to expect from Andrew Shanks.