The days when America’s leading intellectuals contained a strong cadre of serious Christians are over. There is no Thomas Merton in our day; no Reinhold Niebuhr, Walker Percy or Flannery O’Connor.It would help if Sullivan could explain who America's leading public intellectuals are. It's possible that the lack of Christian standout intellectuals is partly because there are few standout intellectuals generally. Intellectual culture is more fragmented than it used to be.
Beyond that, there are leading Christian intellectuals. Here are some of whom Sullivan might have heard who are formidable and accomplished minds and don't live in any particular religious ghetto: Marilynne Robinson (called by Sullivan's paper "world's best writer of prose"), comedian Stephen Colbert, Gary Wills, Kathleen Norris, and Tim Keller.