Neuhaus, who died in early 2009, moved along the theological continuum during his life from liberal Protestant to conservative Catholic. Along the way, the Catholic priest who was editor-in-chief of the journal First Things never shied from controversy and continually offered provocative theological insights on the nature of American religion and politics.
In some ways, his last book picks up where his early book, The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America, left off. In this sometimes repetitious but always challenging look at American Christianity, Neuhaus argues that Christians live in exile in a foreign land, for they always live with the hope of returning to the Kingdom of God.
Neuhaus maps out the territory in which Christians find themselves, shaped by the liberal irony-and its shortcomings-of the late philosopher Richard Rorty as well as by the many shallow spiritualities of the self proffered by New Age religions. The final pages of this book poignantly afford a glimpse of Neuhaus's own embrace of hope as he made his final journey toward the New Jerusalem.