New Books

The Other Solzhenitsyn
Other Solzhenitsyn, The

This book above all explores philosophical, political, and moral themes in Solzhenitsyn’s two masterworks, The Gulag Archipelago and The Red Wheel, as well as in his great European novel In the First Circle. We see Solzhenitsyn as analyst of revolution, defender of the moral law, phenomenologist of ideological despotism, and advocate of “resisting evil with force.”

Plato's Bedroom
Plato's Bedroom

Plato’s Bedroom is a book for people who want to be better at falling in love and being in love, with all the ecstasies and dangers erotic life can bring. It is also an inviting book for readers who are intellectually playful and up for a challenge, written with verve, and full of stories thoughtful persons will find to be mirrors of their own erotic selves. Drawing on Greek myth, Plato, Shakespeare, and a wide range of modern literature and movies, the book gets Aphrodite talking with the young lovers in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and lets us listen in on Woody Allen arguing with Othello. The author’s account of how we seek, fear, avoid, and sometimes destroy love, is astonishingly fresh and engaging.

Platonic Productions
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?

 

 

 

Principalities and Powers
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.

 

The Sacred Monster of Thomism
Sacred Monster of Thomism, The

The Sacred Monster of Thomism (the epithet comes from François Mauriac) is the first full-length study of the life and thought of the most influential Dominican theologian in the first half of the twentieth century, and the scourge of liberal theologians everywhere.

Sacred Transgressions
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.

Seeing Things Politically
Seeing Things Politically

These autobiographical and philosophical essays, in the form of expertly probing interviews, provide a superb introduction to the work of one of the most significant contemporary political philosophers and a marvelously readable perspective on the French intellectual and political arenas from the 1970s to the present.

Socrates Meets Freud
Socrates Meets Freud

Probably no single thinker since Jesus has influenced the thoughts and lives of more people living in the Western world today than Sigmund Freud. Even agnostics like William Barrett, in Irrational Man, and atheists like Nietzsche, agree that the single most radical change in the last thousand years of Western civilization has been the decline of religion. And the four most influential critics of religion have certainly been Nietzsche, Marx, Darwin, and Freud. Of the four, Freud is by far the most popular.

Socrates Meets Kierkegaard
Socrates Meets Kierkegaard

No philosopher since Augustine had more strings to his bow than Søren Kierkegaard. He wrote from many points of view, in many literary styles, about many topics (not all of them traditional philosophical topics). He should have written novels or plays, for he turned himself into a different character every time he wrote a new book. Is there a philosopher who has ever exceeded the quantity, quality and variety of his output in such a short time?

Spiritual Exercises
Spiritual Exercises

The subject matter is, of course, very controversial. Has St. Ignatius anything to say for modern Christians? Jesuits the world over maintain that he has, others suggest that his writing is totally confined to a particular, and unfortunate, period of Church history. Karl Rahner has been compelled to write with a force and simplicity we do not usually associate with him. Here is a compelling series of meditations which take us out of the stodgy surroundings of so much Christian spirituality, and certainly one of Rahner’s greatest works.

The Story of Western Philosophy
Story of Western Philosophy, The

This book was born of the paperback boom, and it is meant as an aid in the interpretation of the history of Western philosophy. It is designed especially for use in a course in the history of philosophy, but I hope that it may also prove useful for other purposes, such as an historical introduction to philosophy or a comprehensive review of the history of philosophy or just as a help to the general reader trying to make some sense out of the history of Western philosophy. Opening of the Preface

The Woman Who Was Poor
The Woman Who Was Poor

Written in the 1890s, this novel has had an immeasurable effect on all European Catholic writing since. It is an extraordinary book, powerful in the manner of dos Passos, yet spiritual in the manner of the Bible.

It is the story of a woman abysmally poor, brutally treated and also exploited by her parents, living in the gutters of Paris, yet retaining the spiritual outlook and the purity of a saint. We are spared no brutality, yet there are scenes of the most tender beauty.

Tradition as Challenge
Tradition as Challenge

For Pieper, the study of tradition is anything but antiquarian. He begins with a consideration of tradition in a changing world and is well aware of the need to confront the all-too-common perception that “tradition” is nowadays irrelevant. On the basis of his profound knowledge of the Western philosophical tradition from Plato and Aristotle through Augustine, Boethius, Thomas Aquinas, and Descartes, to modern Existentialism and Marxism, Pieper is able to highlight the values established – and challenged – down through the centuries...

True Love
True Love

From Plato and Aristotle and on to the present, many great philosophers have dealt with the nature of love, which is the most central and profound act of the person. Particularly the philosophy of the twentieth century excelled in this regard, most often inspired by the methods of essential (eidetic) analysis developed and practiced by phenomenology, particularly by realist phenomenology as represented by Max Scheler, by Dietrich von Hildebrand, whose masterwork, The Nature of Love (St. Augustine’s Press, 2009), was recently published in an excellent English translation, and by Karol Wojtyìa in his profound analysis of love in Love and Responsibility and in Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body (1987 in Italian, 2006 in a recent translation).

What Does "Academic" Mean?
What Does "Academic" Mean?

What Does “Academic” Mean? focuses, in two essays, on the prospects of contemporary universities. The term “academic” is traced back to Plato’s Academy in a grove in Athens. The Academy is isolated, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Western universities founded in the Middle Ages show continuity, via Byzantium, with Plato’s Academy. Not surprisingly, the Oxford Dictionary quoted by Pieper defines “academic” as “Not leading to a decision; unpractical.”