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Evan C. Rosa on Achieving Disagreement

Interview with Gabe Lyons, "A Curious Confidence", in The Table: The Journal of the Biola University Center for Christian Thought, Issue 4, Spring 2015. ()

“Achieving disagreement.” That’s a curious phrase. Is disagreement really something to achieve? It’s intriguing because it implies you can’t safely assume that all ideological conflict counts as legitimate disagreement. And it’s provocative because it seems to suggest that disagreement is something to seek after, to embrace. We don’t always achieve disagreement. We often fail. When we don’t truly understand the other — if we can’t articulate their view charitably — we fail genuinely to disagree. So what’s the difference between really, actually disagreeing—entering into a shared conversation—as opposed to a competition of monologues?