Praxis Circle interviews recognized thought leaders to gain insight concerning worldview and related issues.

Opinions expressed are those of each Contributor and not those of the Praxis Circle organization. Our Contributors together explore many worldviews and narratives, and we regard Contributor commentary primarily as launching points for personal thinking and group discussion.

All Contributor comments are for the purposes of examining worldviews themselves and we believe our Contributors’ opinions—no matter how dissimilar from yours—will help you examine and build your own worldview. The Profiles of several expert Contributors may shock or even offend you. Praxis Circle endorses no Contributor comments except in formal and clearly labeled opinions.

While most of our Contributors are “gentle persons,” again, some of their comments may shock or even offend you. If so, we have done our job! The reason for this is that many worldviews conflict (even violently). As a result, if Praxis Circle is doing its job in providing objective presentation, you will find points of view that are quite contrary to your own—perhaps even 180 degrees in the other direction.

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Our worldviews grow and expand when we respectfully hear all perspectives out. Mull over the comments made by our Contributors with sufficient time to reap the benefits.

Each Praxis Contributor improves a focused effort to explore and build worldviews.

Eben Alexander III, M.D.

Dr. Eben Alexander is a best-selling author and former academic neurosurgeon who had a “near-death experience” (NDE) in 2008, spending a week in a coma. Praxis Circle interviewed Dr. Alexander because of his outstanding medical and academic achievements, the unique perspective he offers from his NDE experience changing from a materialist to an idealist, and his unusually broad and deep knowledge of science, philosophy, and the history of human spiritual experiences. It’s impossible to incur a greater shift in worldview than Dr. Alexander, moving between radical extremes.

James A. Bacon

James Bacon is the founder and publisher of Bacon’s Rebellion, Virginia’s leading politically, non-aligned publication for news, opinions, and analysis about state, regional, and local public policy. The publication is dedicated to reinventing Virginia for the 21st Century. Its focus is on building more prosperous, livable, and sustainable communities.

Samuel Baron

Samuel H. Baron (1921-2017) was a Professor Emeritus of Russian history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He focused his research career on the Russian Revolution of 1917 and Western influences on Muscovite Russia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He was interviewed because he was an expert in Marxism’s influence on Russian and Soviet history particularly, and European generally, and because he was a naturalist social democrat and great friend of Praxis Circle team going back to the 1970’s.

Anne R. Bradley

Dr. Anne Bradley is the George and Sally Mayer Fellow for Economic Education and Vice President of Academic Affairs at The Fund for American Studies. Born and raised in Alexandria, VA, Dr. Bradley graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Economics from James Madison University. After several years out of academia, she returned to George Mason University, where she earned both her M.S. (2002) and her Ph.D. (2006) in Economics. She was interviewed as the co-editor of the outstanding book Counting the Cost: Christian Perspectives on Capitalism (2017) mentioned below—to some extent an update and translation on Michael Novak’s The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism (1982).

David Brat

Dr. David Brat was the representative from the 7th congressional district of Virginia to the U.S. House of Representatives from 2014 until 2018. Winning the primary in an historic upset over the then-House majority leader, Brat became the only Ph.D. economist serving in Congress at the time. Brat is currently the dean of the Liberty University School of Business in Lynchburg, VA. He was interviewed because of his extensive knowledge of Western worldviews, an uncommon attribute among politicians, and a relationship developed while he steered the Moral Foundations of Capitalism program at Randolph-Macon College, mentioned below.

Roscoe Brumback

Roscoe Brumback lives in Montrose, MI, and was raised in Kilmarnock, VA, a small town in eastern Virginia’s Northern Neck. He is married and a father to four adult sons and one adult daughter. He was interviewed because of his broad life experiences in Virginia, in the Navy, and in the automotive industry, which exposed him to people of all classes and races, and because of his distinctive honesty, good humor, and wit.

Julia Burns

Julia W. Burns was a psychiatrist who specialized in child and adolescent psychiatry, particularly physical and sexual abuse and trauma, having practiced in Virginia, North Carolina, and New York. Dr. Burns performed medical mission work in El Salvador, South Africa, and Botswana during her career. She also painted, blogged, and wrote poetry. Mother of three, she often wrote about her experiences as a psychiatrist, mother, and cancer patient.

Victoria Cobb

Victoria Cobb is the President of The Family Foundation of Virginia, the Commonwealth’s oldest and largest pro-family organization. Originally from Pennsylvania, Cobb graduated from the University of Richmond with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Leadership Studies. During her time as an intern at The Family Foundation of Virginia, she fell in love with advocating for Virginia families, eventually becoming the organization’s youngest president in 2004. Cobb is regularly in demand in the media as a speaker and commentator.

Allen Corey

Allen Corey grew up in Chattanooga, TN, where he lives today, and graduated from the Baylor School there in 1974. He then graduated from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in 1978 and Vanderbilt University Law School in 1981. Mr. Corey was interviewed because of his broad knowledge of business and law and his distinctive approach to certain “worldview” issues.

Mary Eberstadt

Mary Tedeschi Eberstadt is an editor and author who focuses on a wide range of issues concerning politics, Christianity, the family, and female roles in Western society. She currently holds the Panula Chair in Christian Culture at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Faith & Reason Institute.

Nicholas Eberstadt

Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt holds the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute. As a political economist, he focuses his research primarily on demography, poverty, social well-being, and international development.

Bart D. Ehrman

Dr. Bart Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A magna cum laude graduate of Wheaton College (1978), he earned both his M.Div. (1981) and his Ph.D. (1985), again magna cum laude, at Princeton Seminary. Dr. Ehrman is an expert on the New Testament and the history of Early Christianity. Praxis Circle interviewed Dr. Ehrman because of his global reputation as a scholar of Christianity, having followed him closely since first publishing.

James “Jay” L. Ford

Dr. Jay Ford is Professor of East Asian Religions and former Chair of the Department for the Study of Religions at Wake Forest University. He is the author of Jokei and Buddhist Devotion in Early Medieval Japan and The Divine Quest – East and West: A Comparative Study of Ultimate Realities. Dr. Ford is currently working on a social history of Mahayana Buddhism. Praxis Circle interviewed Dr. Ford because of his knowledge, expertise, and experience with Eastern religions, including Buddhism and Hinduism, and with Christianity, and his ability to speak with authority when comparing Eastern and Western worldviews and their differing concepts of ultimate reality.

Robert George

Dr. Robert P. George is the sixth McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. The New York Times once called him “the most influential conservative Christian thinker” in the United States.

Os Guinness

Os Guinness is a British author and social critic who focuses on Western civilization and literature, cultural issues, the interrelations of worldviews globally, and the importance of the U.S. Constitution to the global public square. He was interviewed because of his ideas concerning freedom, the public square, and America.

James Hall

James Hall is the the former head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Richmond, whose academic interests include 20th Century Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Epistemology, and Logical Empiricism. He was interviewed because of his engaging perspectives and communication skills concerning the philosophy of religion, particularly the Abrahamic monotheisms.

Frank Hill

Frank Hill has worked on and off and around Capitol Hill for 22 years and currently resides in Raleigh, NC. He was interviewed because of his long theoretical and practical experience as an observer and participant in national, state, and local politics, and his connections to and knowledge of university and secondary schools.

Khizr Khan

Khizr Khan is an attorney with KM Khan Law and was recently commissioned by President Biden to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. He was born in Pakistan, where he grew up as the oldest of ten children and graduated from the University of Punjab with an LL.B.

May-Lily Lee

Six-time regional Emmy award-winner May-Lily Lee has been called “Virginia’s Storyteller” for her more than two decades of distinctive work in Virginia Public Broadcasting. She began her path in journalism by graduating at age 19 from the University of Maryland, where she earned a scholarship as a Maryland Distinguished Scholar. She is a prominent figure in the fields of television and radio, particularly in the state of Virginia. Ms. Lee is not only one of the Praxis Circle’s Contributors, but also our video presenter and Profiles editor. Praxis Circle interviewed Ms. Lee because of her vast personal experience in exploring human interest stories and events, her engaging personality, and her relation to Praxis Circle since inception.

Heather Mac Donald

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and a New York Times bestselling author. During her distinguished career as an investigative journalist, she has addressed issues vital to all Americans. Praxis Circle interviewed Ms. Mac Donald because she is dedicated to telling the truth, when applying an exceptional analytical ability. Of course, America needs this now more than ever.

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie’s newspaper career spanned nearly half a century. In 1965, he joined The Richmond News Leader. Four years later he became the Editor of its Editorial Pages — a position he continued to hold (until his 2007 retirement) with the Richmond Times-Dispatch following its 1992 merger with The News Leader. Mackenzie served in Richmond as editorial-page editor of its two dailies for a record total of 38 years; he wrote his twice-weekly nationally syndicated column for 30 years — from 1981 until 2011. During the course of his career as an editor and columnist, Mackenzie wrote more than 22,000 editorials and columns. In a 1982 page-one profile, The Washington Post termed him one of the nation’s most consequential editors. Praxis interviewed him for his perspective on Western Civilization and his insights regarding shifts in American culture, values, politics, and the press.

Charles Mathewes

Dr. Charles Mathewes is the Carolyn M. Barbour Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia (UVA). He was trained in Christian theology, modern philosophical ethics, and philosophy of religion, and, as a professor, he extended his interests into the history of Christian thought, contemporary theology and ethics, religion as it influences society, culture, and politics, and comparative religion and religious ethics. Praxis Circle interviewed Dr. Mathewes because of his expertise in Christian worldview, particularly the major influence of St. Augustine on Western thought, and his demonstrated command of the theory and history of evil, a critical consideration of every worldview.

Deirdre McCloskey

Dr. Deirdre McCloskey is currently the Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois – Chicago, Emerita, where she has worked since 2000. Before that, she was a tenured associate professor at the University of Chicago in history and economics. Between her years at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois – Chicago, Dr. McCloskey was a professor of history and economics at the University of Iowa.

Ashley McGuire

Ashley McGuire is a Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association and the author of Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female. Praxis Circle interviewed Mrs. McGuire because of her noted success at a young age as a journalist and author, her position as a leader in rethinking feminism, her skillful articulation of the Catholic faith and Christian orthodoxy as a lay person, and her dedication to interpreting Christian morality in harmony with biological truth.

Ladelle McWhorter

Ladelle McWhorter is the James Thomas Professor in Philosophy and a Professor of Environmental Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. Her areas of expertise include 20th Century French and German Philosophy, Queer Theory, and Political Theory. Dr. McWhorter has been a prolific author for over twenty years, writing books, articles, papers, and book chapters. She was interviewed because of her outstanding reputation as a professor, writer, and philosopher and her expertise in ethics, postmodernism, and poststructuralism.

The Rev. John E. Miller

John Miller, a native of Richmond, VA, is the retired Rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, where he served for 38 years in the vocations of minister to youth, Assistant Rector, and Rector. He’s a graduate of Washington & Lee University (1970); subsequently, he earned both a Master of Divinity (1974) and a master of Theology (1977) from Union Theological Seminary (Richmond, VA). In 1982 Dr. Miller graduated with the Doctor of Philosophy degree from Union Seminary. While at Union Seminary he was also awarded three graduate fellowships and was selected as a teaching fellow. Dr. Miller was interviewed because of his extensive knowledge of Christian history and theology, in general, and because of his known, life-long fascination with the Christian doctrine of grace, in particular.

Karen Newell

Karen Newell is the co-founder of Sacred Acoustics and co-author with Dr. Eben Alexander, also a Praxis Circle Expert Contributor, of Living in a Mindful Universe. In Salem, Oregon where she spent much of her youth, Ms. Newell developed a deep appreciation for the natural world. This developed into a lifelong interest in spirituality, ancient culture, sacred sites, and ancient mystery schools. Praxis Circle interviewed Ms. Newell because of her knowledge and mastery of spiritual, meditative, and mindfulness theory and practice.

Michael Novak

Michael Novak (1933- 2017) was an American Catholic philosopher, theologian, author, and diplomat who reflected primarily on the foundation Christianity provides for American and Western society. He was interviewed because of his critical views concerning democratic capitalism and his role in the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

R. R. Reno

Dr. R. R. Reno is the editor of First Things magazine, one of America’s most influential religious journals. He was formerly the professor of theology and ethics at Creighton University and is the author of several books. Praxis Circle interviewed Dr. Reno because he consistently offers an informed, imaginative, and insightful view of American politics from a Christian point of view. His analysis of the fundamental trends in American society and an America divided are telling about the future, with an eye toward possible solutions.

Roger Scruton

Sir Roger Scruton was an internationally-recognized British philosopher, author, and professor. Knighted in 2016, Scruton published over fifty nonfiction and fiction books. His extensive nonfiction work involves almost every topic imaginable from history to wine, but centers on Western analytical philosophy, political philosophy, and aesthetics (art, music, architecture). In fiction, he wrote several creative works, including novels, short stories, poems, and three libretti, two he set to music.

Hank Sipe

Hank Sipe, principal at Sipe Law Firm in Rock Hill, SC, is a graduate of Woodberry Forest School (1974) in Orange, VA, and the University of Virginia (1979), where he was a member of the Eli Banana Ribbon Society, the oldest (1878) service and social organization still existing at UVA. Mr. Sipe is married and the father of a son and daughter. He was interviewed because of his broad knowledge of business and tax law, and because of his entertaining life experiences, sharp mind, and skilled commentary.

Rodney Stark

Rodney Stark is a sociologist and author who focuses on the history of Christianity and religion, the current state of religions worldwide, and the broad history of Western civilization. He was interviewed because of his broad knowledge of sociology as it applies to religion and his fresh and often-controversial views concerning the West.

Hugh Whelchel

Hugh Whelchel was recently the Executive Director of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (IFWE) but has since transitioned into the role of Senior Fellow at IFWE due to a long battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. He graduated from the University of Florida and received his MA in religion from the Reformed Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. Hugh is also currently attending the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Jonathan Wight

Jonathan Wight is Professor of Economics and International Studies at the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Wight grew up in Africa and Latin America, where he was “struck by poverty everywhere, inequality, and injustice,” which eventually led to his interest in economics as a field of study. He was interviewed because of his influential writing concerning various theories on ethics, the relation between ethics and economics, and his focus on Enlightenment thought, particularly Adam Smith.

Walter Williams

Walter Williams was a professor, economist, and journalist who focused on American politics, economics, history, and other topics often concerning race and gender. He was interviewed because of his thoughtful and always entertaining views concerning American history, politics, economics, ethics, family, and race.