Professor Jack Sammons has been a widely celebrated teacher, community activist, and distinguished member of the bar. He is also a prolific scholar; perhaps the most prolific scholar the Mercer University School of Law has ever seen. My interest in the body of Jack's work, and hence my focus here, is on what I consider to be the core of his scholarly agenda. I would like to caution that this is my reading of Jack's work as a corpus. I am not entirely sure that Jack would agree with this reading (especially later on when I will make some connections to philosophical positions I am not sure he would necessarily endorse), but I hope this will be perceived as a friendly interpretation. It is certainly meant in that vein.
How would we characterize the corpus of Jack Sammons' work? What kind of scholar is he? Is he a philosopher of religion? Is he a legal theorist? Is he a rhetorician? He is all of these things and more, of course. I will not focus on any of these domains in what follows, however. Instead, I want to make the claim that Jack is at base an ethicist. The one patent theme I see running throughout his work is his the ethical engagement of those embedded in discursive communities: art, law, philosophy, politics, and religion. Jack has written about all these areas, of course, but the common thread-on my reading-is ethics. Virtually all of his work relates to moral reasoning by those operating within one or more of these communities. To borrow a phrase from our mutual friend Linda Berger, Jack's scholarly work is ethics "all the way down."
David T. Ritchie, The Discursive Ethics of Jack Sammons, 66 Mercer L. Rev. 447 (2015).