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  • Josh Lewis

120 – Why Associations Matter with Luke Sheahan


In 1953 sociologist Robert Nisbet published his most famous work The Quest for Community, arguing for the necessity of association to the human experience and the harm inflicted upon communities when they are deprived of their function. Traditional conservatism has long upheld Nisbet’s teachings as a reminder that we are not purely material beings with strictly economic interests. Josh welcomes Luke Sheahan to this episode to discuss his efforts to pick up where Nisbet left off in fighting for the viability and flourishing of human associations, how the courts have gotten off-kilter in rulings regarding our freedom to associate, and why associations matter to each and every one of us.


About Luke Sheahan

From Luke’s website: Luke Sheahan is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Duquesne University and a Non-Resident Scholar at the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society (PRRUCS) at the University of Pennsylvania. He researches the intersection of First Amendment rights and political theory. Sheahan’s scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in The Political Science Reviewer, Humanitas, Anamnesis, and The Journal of Value Inquiry and he has lectured widely on religious liberty, freedom of speech, and freedom of association. He is author of Why Associations Matter: The Case for First Amendment Pluralism. He is writing a second book tentatively titled “Pluralism and Toleration: Difference, Justice, and the Social Group.”


From 2018-2019, Sheahan was Associate Director and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Freedom Project at Wellesley College and from 2016-2018, Sheahan was a Postdoctoral Associate and Research Fellow in the Department of Political Science at Duke University. He received a PhD and MA in political theory from the Catholic University of America and a B.S. in political science from the Honors College at Oregon State University. He is a five-time recipient of the Humane Studies Fellowship from the Institute for Humane Studies, a 2014 recipient of the Richard M. Weaver Fellowship from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), and a 2018 recipient of the Leonard P. Liggio Memorial Fellowship.


In July of this year the Russell Kirk Center announced the appointment of Dr. Luke C. Sheahan as the fifth editor in the history of The University Bookman, originally established by none other than Russell Kirk, seeking to redeem the time by identifying and discussing those books that diagnose the modern age and support the renewal of culture and the common good.


You can follow Luke on Twitter @lsheahan


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