Three brief points in response to PEG, with thanks for his continued efforts to converse in good faith:
First, insofar as I have failed to pay sufficiently close attention to the ways PEG uses non-Catholic authors in developing his own thought, I am sorry and will earnestly try to do better.
Second, his comparison between his ongoing New Distributism project and my biography of the prayer book is not really germane, because the latter is a history and every history is necessarily particular. Moreover, someone who is not an Anglican could have written that book, and maybe done it better than I did. By contrast, the attempt to articulate a New Distributism is a work of constructive public theology, which can only be done from within a religious tradition, and, further, necessarily raises the question of how broadly one defines that tradition. So: apples and cucumbers. But that leads me to the third and most important point:
PEG writes, “A ”distinctively [Mere-]Christian theology of economics” sounds like a lovely, useful and important thing. That is simply not what I’m interested in doing.” That’s an excellent and perfectly fair answer. I just wish — and this is really the only and entire point I was making in my post that kicked all this off — I just wish that so many of my Catholic friends, and other Catholic thinkers I respect, didn’t have exactly this point of view. I keep saying, “Hey, if we serious Christians work and think together we may be able to make great progress on this intellectual issue or this practical political problem,” and almost always they say to me in return, though perhaps not quite as straightforwardly as PEG says it here, “That is simply not what I’m interested in doing.”