Review of Political Theory for Mortals: Shades of Justice, Images of Death


Daring to go where plenty of mortals have gone before him, John Seery sets out to explore death. The resulting volume, more episodic than sustained, is brash, even feverishly energetic, as though Seery is desperately cheery about his chosen topic. This book is by turns witty and irritating, its interesting conjectures and lines of argument intimately mixed up with what this stodgy reader saw as frivolous posturing. It\u27s easy to lampoon Seery\u27s prose style; in fact, all one needs to do is quote it. Socrates, we learn, is a blowhard buffoon, or at least readers might reasonably see him that way (45). Scripture, Seery complains, seems maddeningly inscrutable on adjudicating the $64,000 question, namely whether Jesus\u27s kingship is more \u27human\u27 (and thus worldly) than \u27divine\u27 (and thus otherworldly) ( 87). It\u27s also easy to lampoon his self-indulgence or wonder about Californian pedagogy: I sometimes point out to my students that they have never seen or observed infinity though they have been led to believe in this invisible concept (146)

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University of Michigan School of Law

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