Jeffrey Polet

Jeffrey Polet grew up in an immigrant household in the immigrant town of Holland MI. After twenty years of academic wandering he returned to Holland and now teaches political science at Hope College, where he also grudgingly serves as chair of the department, having unsuccessfully evaded all requests.

In the interim, he continues to nurture quirky beliefs: Division III basketball is both athletically and morally superior to Division I; the Hope/Calvin rivalry is the greatest in sports; the lecture is still the best form of classroom instruction; never buy a car with less than 100,000 miles on it; putts will still lip out in heaven; bears are the incarnation of evil; Athens actually has something to do with Jerusalem; and Tombstone is a cinematic classic.

His academic work has mirrored his peripatetic career. Originally trained at the Catholic University of America in German philosophy and hermeneutical theory, he has since gravitated to American Political Thought. He still occasionally writes about European thinkers such as Michel Foucault or the great Max Weber, but mostly is interested in the relationship between theological reflection and political formation in the American context. In the process of working on a book on John Marshall for The Johns Hopkins University Press, he became more sensitive to the ways in which centralized decision-making undid local communities and autonomy. He has also written on figures such as William James and the unjustly neglected Swedish novelist Paer Lagerkvist.

A knee injury and arthritis eliminated daily basketball playing, and he now spends his excess energy annoying his saintly wife and their three children, two of whom are off to college. Expressions of sympathy for the one who remains can be posted in the comments section. He doesn’t care too much for movies, but thinks opera is indeed the Gesamtkuntswerk, that the music of Gustav Mahler is as close as human beings get to expressing the ineffable, that God listens to Mozart in his spare time, and that Bach is history’s greatest genius.

FPR Conference Information

For anyone attending the conference: The nearest airport is Grand Rapids. We will work to arrange transportation to and from if needed.   Hotels in downtown Holland: The Haworth Inn The Marriott City Flats The conference is in the Maas...

Register for FPR Conference

We have a great slate of speakers and events. Full schedule will be posted soon. 9AM-5PM in the Maas Auditorium at Hope College (corner of 10th and Columbia). Click on this link to register.

FPR Conference: Please Register

Our annual conference will be in the Maas Conference Center on the campus of Hope College on September 30th. Charles Marohn will be our keynote speaker, but we will also feature Patrick Deneen, Jason Peters, Bill Kauffman, and others. Regis...

Podcast Recommendation – Crim and Potts

Chuck Marohn over at Strong Towns does some interesting podcasts, but none more so than a recent one with FPR regulars Elias Crim and Rebekah Grace Potts (somehow Susannah Black managed to photobomb it). Highly recommended, as it is a subst...

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Kauffman in West Michigan

Come hear Bill Kauffman speak at Hope College on Tuesday, April 18th at 4PM in the Fried-Hemenway auditorium, located within the Martha Miller Center (corner of 10th and Columbia). http://calendar.hope.edu/event/tocqueville_forum_on_being_a...

VoegelinView: Call for Papers

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Charles Taylor’s Front Porch Democracy

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Evangelicals and Monasteries

Jake Meador has a nice piece over at Mere Orthodoxy discussing the value of monasteries to any well-ordered community, and what evangelicals might learn from this. Monasteries, Protestantism, and the Joy of Indifference