- Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome
James V. Schall, S.J. is unquestionably one of the wisest Catholic political thinkers of our time. For more than forty years, Fr. Schall has been an unabashed practitioner of what he does not hesitate to call Roman Catholic political philosophy. A prolific writer and renowned teacher at Georgetown University, Fr. Schall has helped to educate two generations of Catholic thinkers. The present volume brings together seventeen essays by noted scholars in honor of Fr. Schall. It is a testimony to Fr. Schall’s erudition and influence that the authors of these essays did not have the privilege of directly studying under him. Rather, they are the indirect but grateful beneficiaries of “Another Sort of Learning,” one that Fr. Schall tirelessly defends and practices.
- John of St. Thomas (Poinsot) on Sacred Science
This volume offers an English translation of John of St. Thomas’s Cursus theologicus I, question I, disputation 2. In this particular text, the Dominican master raises questions concerning the scientific status and nature of theology. At issue, here, are a number of factors: namely, Christianity’s continual coming to terms with the “Third Entry” of Aristotelian thought into Western Christian intellectual culture – specifically the Aristotelian notion of ‘science’ and sacra doctrina’s satisfaction of those requirements – the Thomistic-commentary tradition, and the larger backdrop of the Iberian Peninsula’s flourishing “Second Scholasticism.”
- Jokes, Life after Death, and God
Jokes, Life after Death, and God has two main tasks: to try to understand exactly what a joke is, and to see whether there are any connections between jokes, on the one hand, and life after death and God, on the other hand. But it pursues other tasks as well, tasks of an ancillary sort.
- Judging Hope
This work studies hope as a phenomenon that both reveals and belongs to our status of being human. To understand that status, we must understand what it means to hope, which profoundly surpasses both psychological wish or desire and the “merely religious” belief in salvation. The author looks at hope in all its concrete manifestation: He examines works of art, some of which depict hope in unflattering terms as delusional, while others see it as dangerous and elusive; he examines the work of Kant, who saw hope as among the three interests of reason itself (the others being cognition and morality); he examines false hope as that which confuses intensity of desire for a specific boon as an actual cause of the boon; he points to the metaphors of hope (light and darkness as congruents of revealing/concealing; or the two forms of light itself: illumination, or hope for, versus radiation, or hope in (to trust).
- Juliusz Slowacki’s Agamemnon’s Tomb
The importance of Juliusz Slowacki (1809–1849) as Poland’s second greatest Romantic poet, after Adam Mickiewicz (1798–1856), is a platitude. Yet, in the English-speaking world, Slowacki receives little more than honorable mention even among students of Slavic literature. The intention of the authors of Agamemnon’s Tomb: A Polish Oresteia is to focus on Slowacki’s use of Antiquity in his most famous lyric, Agamemnon’s Tomb, written in 1839.
- The Loss and Recovery of Truth
That the United States is currently in the midst of a serious crisis, even an ideological civil war, which is part of the general and prolonged crisis of Western civilization is obvious to any thoughtful observer. One of the most perceptive observers of the development of this crisis was Gerhart Niemeyer. As a fugitive from Nazi Germany, a devout Christian, and a political theorist who had mastered the philosophical tradition and the Communist worldview, he was particularly well equipped to discern the ways in which the various modern ideologies insidiously erode the substance of truth and order in contemporary society and to seek remedies in the return to the ontological and spiritual roots of order in the Western tradition.
- The Meaning of Conservatism
This is a major contribution to political thought from conservatism’s greatest contemporary proponent. Originally published in Britain in 1980 and revised in 1984, this edition – the first ever in the United States – is a major rewriting of the work. Scruton’s idea of conservatism – what in America we tend to call “paleo-conservatism” – might well shock the sensibilities of those American conservatives” who view it as little more than the workings of the free market. Conservatism, says Scruton, is neither automatic hostility toward the state nor the desire to limit the state’s obligations toward the citizen.
- On the God of the Christians
On the God of the Christians tries to explain how Christians conceive of the God whom they worship. No proof for His existence is offered, but simply a description of the Christian image of God.
- Persian Letters
“Jokes in a serious work are acceptable on the condition that they hide a profound sense beneath a trivial form. It is in this way that Montesquieu, in his novel, Persian Letters, has written one of the most philosophical books of the eighteenth century.” – Alexis de Tocqueville
- The Philosopher’s Enigma
In The Philosopher’s Enigma, Richard Watson explains to believers in temperate and readable prose why he and many others are not believers. His discussion is based on strict Augustinianism, the foundation of seriously argued Christianity. God is hidden – that is, the concept of God is unintelligible – as discussed at length by Leszek Kolakowski in his Religion If There Is No God (St. Augustine’s Press) – in the sense that there are no known rational arguments for God’s existence. Moreover, Augustine argues that finite human beings cannot understand God’s infinite perfections.
- Platonic Productions
Platonic Productions presents Prof. Stanley Rosen’s Etienne Gilson Lectures, delivered at the Institut Catholique de Paris and now available in English for first time. His lectures bring Heidegger and Plato into a conversation around a basic philosophical question: Does the acquisition of truth resemble discovery or production?
- The Politics of Morality
Here are seven readable biographical sketches of important people who influenced the times in which they lived by bringing their faith to bear on social issues. In writing about them the author incorporates biography, theology, and politics into a coherent whole portrait of the subjects. Present day journals like First Things, National Review, and Christianity Today began as an extension of the personalities of the people profiled in this book, whose interests guided faithful believers in the midst of changing and turbulent times.
- Principalities and Powers
This book is a “You Are There” approach to a portion of the Second World War, specifically the decisive years of 1942–1943. While referencing the events which are part of well-recorded history, Fr. Rutler gives a monthly commentary on them, drawn from letters, newspapers, and journals. This information might well have been lost, especially as most of these documents are rare and, having been printed on rationed paper, are deteriorating.
- A Reading Guide to Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy
The European Enlightenment is a period that contributed concepts that continue to be authoritative in philosophical conversation, and defined the criteria for what is important in the endeavors of human thought even in our own day. Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy presents the questions that are responsible for a departure from Scholasticism and the dawn of modern philosophy. To understand Continental Philosophy, and the history that precedes the analytical tradition, one cannot overlook Descartes’ precedent.
- Remembering Belloc
Hilaire Belloc was a man of many parts. Half English, half French, with an American wife, Belloc was a man who thought and traveled widely. He was the best essayist in the English language. His historical studies covered much of European history. He wrote a book on America, another on Paris, another on the Servile State. He sailed his boat The Nona around England and into the Island of Patmos. He walked to Rome and, with his four companions, through Sussex. While he did so, he thought, reflected, laughed, wondered. He was a born Catholic. He saw the depths of European civilization in its classical and Christian heritage, as well as in their being lost.
- Restoring Nature
The concept of nature has drawn criticism from many quarters, including the natural sciences, ethics, metaphysics and theology. In these essays, distinguished thomistic philosophers and theologians seek to recover nature for their disciplines. The volume contains extensive treatment of nature’s much disputed role in ethics, as well as its importance for the philosophy of science (including biology), philosophical anthropology, metaphysics, the philosophy of art, theology and other areas.
- Right or Wrong
In What Happened to Notre Dame? (St. Augustine’s Press, 2009), Charles E. Rice, Professor Emeritus at Notre Dame Law School, traced that university’s loss of Catholic identity to the Land O’Lakes Declaration of 1967 in which Notre Dame and other “Catholic” universities declared their independence from the Church. In fact they substituted for the positive guidance of the Magisterium a counterfeit orthodoxy of political correctness, money, and secular prestige. This book, Right or Wrong, is a compilation of columns Professor Rice wrote for the campus newspaper, The Observer, from 1970 through 2010. Those bi-weekly columns are concise, readable, and practical. They offered the students an access to the authentic teachings of the Church that they might not otherwise get in the politically correct “Catholic” university of Land O’Lakes. Those columns present those teachings, not as abstractions, but as practical guides to real-life issues. Drawing upon his wide experience in constitutional law, jurisprudence, tort, and other areas, Professor Rice tells it like it is on a wide range of issues, including abortion, euthanasia, contraception, homosexuality, pornography, clergy sex abuse, feminism, marriage, bioethics, the death penalty, just war principles, the War on Terror, “Catholic” politicians, etc., etc. He describes Land O’Lakes as a “suicide pact” that has made “Catholic” universities subservient to government, corporate donors, foundations, and the secular educational establishment. Professor Rice, however, goes beyond criticism. He offers a very practical way for Notre Dame to recover its Catholic identity. And he urges that we pray, especially through the intercession of Notre Dame, Our Lady, for her University and for our country.
- The River War
Originally published in two volumes in 1899, The River War has been out of print in its original, unabridged version since it was shortened to one volume in 1902. Only 3,000 copies were printed, and the first edition costs thousands of dollars today. The original version abounded in colorful stories about Churchill, controversial judgments on his contemporaries (especially his commanding officer, Lord Kitchener), and thoughts on Islamic fundamentalism and British imperialism. Because they were left out of every subsequent edition, they are all but unknown today, even to scholars. The 1899 edition was illustrated with drawings, photogravures, and colored maps that disappeared with the 1902 abridgment.
- Sacred Transgressions
This detailed commentary on the action and argument of Sophocles’ Antigone is meant to be a reflection on and response to Hegel’s interpretation in the Phenomenology (VI.A.a-b). It thus moves within the principles Hegel discovers in the play but reinserts them into the play as they show themselves across the eccentricities of its plot. Wherever plot and principles do not match, there is a glimmer of the argument: Haemon speaks up for the city and Tiresias for the divine law but neither for Antigone. The guard who reports the burial and presents Antigone to Creon is as important as Antigone or Creon for understanding Antigone. The Chorus too in their inconsistent thoughtfulness have to be taken into account, and in particular how their understanding of the canniness of man reveals Antigone in their very failure to count her as a sign of man’s uncanniness: She who is below the horizon of their awareness is at the heart of their speech. Megareus, the older son of Creon, who sacrificed his life for the city, looms as large as Eurydice, whose suicide has nothing in common with Antigone’s. She is “all-mother”; Antigone is anti-generation.
Savrola is Winston Churchill’s first major literary effort and his only full-length work of fiction. Published in 1900, the novel’s subtitle, A Tale of the Revolution in Laurania, reflects the story’s modern political focus. Laurania, a long-established republic, is subjected to the autocratic rule of President Antonio Molara, a former general who has become known as the Dictator. Savrola, the man of the multitude, leads the democratic effort to restore the political liberties of the people. When the register of eligible electors is mutilated and the popular franchise compromised, a riot breaks out and the stage is set for a fight to the death between Molara and Savrola over who will rule Laurania. General Molara enlists the assistance of his beautiful wife, Lucille, to undermine Savrola’s influence with the people. But Lucille falls in love with Savrola, who is equally moved by the beauty and charm of the First Lady. As is indicated by the last chapter’s title, “Life’s Compensations,” all ends well in Laurania. After the violent troubles of the revolution, Molara is dead, Lucille and Savrola are united, and the Mediterranean republic returns to peace and prosperity.