Professor Smith is principally interested in the intersection of politics, religion, and science, especially in early modern political philosophy.
His publications include examinations of the ideas of Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes.
POLI 206 Introduction to Western Political Theory
POLI 371 Early Modern Political Philosophy
POLI 373 Late Modern Political Philosophy
POLI 401 The American Political Tradition
POLI 415 Modern Political Theory and Religion
POLI 425 Foundations of Liberalism
POLI 625 Policy Discourse of Biotechnology
POLI 632/804 Seminar in Political Theory
POLI 685P/814C Happiness
- "Harvey Mansfield: Teaching Not Differently, But Further Than the Parties." In Teaching in an Age of Ideology. Edited by John von Heyking and Lee Trepanier (Lexington Books, 2012), 217-43.
- “Forgiving Those Not Trespassing Against Us: Hobbes and the Establishment of the Nonsectarian State Church.” In Civil Religion in Political Thought: Its Perennial Questions and Enduring Relevance in North America. Edited by Ronald Weed and John von Heyking (Catholic University of America Press, 2010), 93-120.
- “Amoral Dilemmas and the Temptation to Tyranny in A Simple Plan.” In Damned If You Do: Dilemmas of Action in Literature and Popular Culture. Edited by Margaret Hrezo and John Michael Parrish (Lexington Books, 2010), 189-209.
- “Being Altogether Bad, Becoming Altogether Good.” In The Arts of Rule: Essays in Honor of Harvey Mansfield. Edited by Sharon R. Krause and Mary Ann McGrail (Lexington Books, 2009), 167-84.
“Hobbes on Getting By with Little Help from Friends.” In Friendship and Politics: Essays in Political Thought. Edited by John von Heyking and Richard Avramenko (University of Notre Dame Press, 2008), 214-47.
“On the Fourth Law of Nature.” Hobbes Studies 16 (2003): 84-94.
“Religion and the Imaginary Republic.” Review essay. Society 41.3 (March/April 2004): 75-79.
“...we are to regard it as morally certain, that in proportion as the doctrines make their way into the creed of the government, and the acquiescence of the public, every power that can be deduced from them, will be deduced and exercised sooner or later by those who have an interest in doing so.”
--James Madison, Helvidius No. 4 (14 september 1793)