New Books

The Anchors in the Heavens
Anchors in the Heavens, The

What Brague offers us here is not a narrative of decline, not a Jeremiad, not a nostalgic lament for the thought-world of a bygone era, but a sympathetic outline of some of the major tensions in the philosophical underpinnings of the modernity that we all inhabit. As such, it forms a part of his ongoing effort take modernity “more seriously than it takes itself”, to expose its hidden foundations, and to push it to its logical conclusions. In so doing, he hopes to help clarify where it is that we are going as a species, and to ensure that wherever it is, there is room for us humans in it.

Aquinas's Neoplatonism in the Summa Theologiae on God
Aquinas's Neoplatonism in the Summa Theologiae on God

This book rises out of Dr. Wayne Hankey’s 2015 Aquinas Lecture at the University of Dallas. It explains the Neoplatonic structure and doctrine of St. Thomas’s treatment of God in the Summa theologiae with the aim of showing that his doctrine of being is at root both Trinitarian and incarnational.

At a Breezy Time of Day
At a Breezy Time of Day

As the title of this collection intimates, we begin with the very first interview in the Garden of Eden. We touch many places and issues. The interview always has somewhere even in its written form the touch of the human voice. The one who interviews invites us to speak, to tell us what we hold, why we hold it. Interviews are themselves part of that engagement in conversation that defines our kind in its search for a full knowledge of what is.

A Basic Christian Theology
Basic Christian Theology, A

A. J. Conyers was an evangelical, Baptist theologian who helped found Truett Seminary at Baylor University. Conyers’s theology drank deeply from the wells of the Christian tradition. In this volume, he provides what he found to be the most basic elements of Christian theology and demonstrates a methodology that is biblically informed, traditionally grounded, and contextually aware. This revised edition makes this excellent work available again, with some modified study questions, additional unpublished material from Conyers’s archives, and helpful reflection and tributes from two of Conyers’s best students—Brian Brewer and Brad Green—who carry on his legacy.

Christianity and Philosophical Culture in the Fifth Century
Christianity and Philosophical Culture in the Fifth Century

The spirituality and immortality of the soul might seem to be an essential Christian doctrine, but in fact many early Christian writers held that the soul is material and that immortality is a gift. As Ernest Fortin’s study of Claudianus Mamertus (d. 475), a priest of Vienne in Gaul, and his De Statu Animae, On the State of the Soul (ca. 470) shows, St. Augustine did not settle the question. De Statu Animae is the only explicitly philosophical work in the West that we possess between Augustine (354–430) and Boethius. It responds to a defense of the corporeality of the soul by Bishop Faustus of Reii, modern Riez. Like many early Christian writers, Faustus held that God alone is spirit, so that the human soul is material, immortality is a gift, and Platonic dialogues or neo-Platonic textbooks of philosophy are the product of unhealthy curiosity.

Comprehensive Judgment and Absolute Selflessness
Comprehensive Judgment and Absolute Selflessness

Histories and biographies of Winston Churchill frequently mention his friends. Some comment on their importance but few explain their significance. Indeed, he rarely spoke of his friendships. However, his concern for friends and for friendship always seems to hover above, or in the background, of his statecraft and in his thinking about statecraft and politics. This book brings friendship into focus as a central component of Churchill’s understanding of politics and statesmanship.

The Concept of Social Justice
Concept of Social Justice, The

Readers will come away from this book with a deeper understanding of the origins of social justice, a sensitivity to the frequent abuses of the term, and a recognition of the forms in which it can be a valuable part of today’s political discourse.

The Concept, Time, and Discourse
Concept, Time, and Discourse, The

Alexandre Kojève (1902–1968) is most widely known in America for his provocative assertion that history is at its end, that is, its completion. In the “practical” sense, this means that the process of historical development can at last be seen (if from a distance) as the realization of the Marxist “universal and homogeneous state.” However, Kojève claimed as well that the history of philosophical thinking had also reached its goal in the transformation of philosophy, as the “love of wisdom” (or the unsatisfied quest for comprehensive knowledge), into that very Wisdom itself and had done so in the most essential respects in the philosophy of Hegel.

Consciousness and Politics
Consciousness and Politics

Consciousness and Politics deals with some of the same texts discussed in two earlier books on Voegelin, Eric Voegelin and the Foundations of Modern Political Science (1999) and Beginning the Quest: Law and Politics in the Early Work of Eric Voegelin (2009). Given the appearance of so many useful discussions, especially by scholars who wrote the introductions to the several volumes of the Collected Works of Eric Voegelin that have appeared over the past decade or so, certain revisions in detail should come as no surprise. That is how science, even political science, improves.

Don't Worry about Socrates
Don't Worry about Socrates

This book exemplifies Pieper’s skills as a communicator. Despite his concentration on the depths—which, beneath the stormy surface level of life, he is constantly able to plumb—Pieper is able to stage his profoundest thoughts. Here, in a clear and appealing Pieper reenacts the central meanings of three of Plato’s most famous dialogues, all touching on the central purpose of life: how do we gain by giving, what is love and how do we show it, what is the purpose of our action and where do we find full happiness?

Ecumenical Jihad
Ecumenical Jihad

Juxtaposing “ecumenism” and “jihad,” two words that many would consider strange and at odds with one another, Peter Kreeft argues that we need to change our current categories and alignments. We need to realize that we are at war and that the sides have changed radically. Documenting the spiritual and moral decay that has taken hold of modern society, Kreeft issues a wake-up call to all God-fearing Christians, Jews, and Muslims to unite together in a “religious war” against the common enemy of godless secular humanism, materialism, and immorality.

Exercises in the Elements
Exercises in the Elements

This title, which at first sight seems curious, shows Pieper’s philosophical work as rooted in the basics. He takes his inspiration from Plato – and his Socrates – and Thomas Aquinas. With them, he is interested in philosophy as pure theory, the theoretical being precisely the non-practical. The philosophizer wants to know what all existence is fundamentally about, what “reality” “really” means. With Plato, Pieper eschews the use of language to convince an audience of anything which is not the truth. If Plato was opposed to the sophists – among them the politicians – Pieper is likewise opposed to discourse that leads to the “use” of philosophy to bolster a totalitarian regime or any political or economic system.

 

Gospel of Happiness, The
Gospel of Happiness, The

Just as Aristotelian metaphysics provided a new basis for the natural theology of Aquinas’s time, so too, positive psychology provides a basis for a natural moral theology in our own time. This book marshals the empirically verifiable findings of positive psychology that show the wisdom of the Christian tradition. Christian warnings about the dangers of greed, coveting a neighbor’s goods (social comparison), and pride find an empirical verification. Likewise, positive psychology vindicates the wisdom of Christian teaching on the importance of forgiveness, of gratitude, of humility, and of serving one’s neighbor. Moreover, positive psychology also can be a service to Christian believers by helping them in their struggles with willpower, by providing new motivations for prayer, and by helping them identify their signature strengths. Finally, this book argues, in a variety of ways, that it is folly to think that even the best of psychology can serve as a replacement for Christianity.

A Guide to Eric Voegelin's Political Reality
Guide to Eric Voegelin's Political Reality, A

Eric Voegelin is widely considered one of the most insightful political scientists of the twentieth century, but is sadly not as well known as other contemporaries like Leo Strauss or Hannah Arendt. This is in large part due to the difficulty of the topics he chose to study and the complex nature of the material produced. While there are other books that discuss his biography and academic/philosophical ideas, none combine these ideas with a practical means of actually utilizing Voegelin’s philosophy to define and analyze political reality. This book uniquely applys Voegelin’s ideas to real-world political problems and in its utilization of common language, making Voegelin’s extraordinary achievements much more accessible to a broader audience than any other previous work.

 

How to Read Descartes's Meditations
How to Read Descartes's <em> Meditations </em>

How to Read Descartes's Meditations consists of seven independent studies of Descartes's Meditations. The discussion in each chapter is organized around one problem which either has never or very seldom been explored in Cartesian scholarship. For example, in the study of the Letter to the Sorbonne, Janowski centers his discussion around the decree of the Lateran Council, showing the unorthodox character of Descartes's conception of the soul. Further, in his chapter devoted to the notoriously difficult proof for the existence of God in the Third Meditation, Janowski shows that to understand properly Descartes's explicitly Scholastic proof is to read it as a reformulation of Duns Scotus's own proof. And in the final chapter on the Sixth Meditation, the author shows that Modern (Cartesian) Man – the man whose soul is no longer the Scholastic anima but blood that animates his bones, veins, and muscles - germinated in the writings of Francis Bacon, a predecessor never properly acknowledged by Descartes.

The Invisible Threshold
Invisible Threshold, The

These new plays of Marcel’s, here translated into English for the first time, will appeal to all who are interested in the role of grace in everyday life, in the influence of culture on belief, the relationship between faith and reason, the choice of faith in a secular world, and the struggle between inauthentic and authentic existence. Marcel raises profound questions about these and related topics, but does not offer final answers. In his plays, he leaves that to us.

John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill

In addition to “On Liberty” and “On Representative Government,” this new selection of Mill’s writings includes, among others, a number of less known of his writings, such as: “Civilization,” “Perfectibility,” “The Negro Question,” “On Education,” “On Aristocracy,” “On Marriage,” “On Free Press,” “Socialism,” Mill’s review of Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” his letters to Tocqueville, and several other writings.

Juliusz Slowacki's Agamemnon's Tomb
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.

Maladies of Modernity
Maladies of Modernity

This work explores the complex relationship between science and politics. More specifically, it focuses on the problem of scientism. Scientism is a deformation of science, which unnecessarily restricts the scope of scientific inquiry by placing a dogmatic faith in the method of the natural sciences. Its adherents call for nothing less than a complete transformation of society. Science becomes the idol that can magically cure the perpetual maladies of modern society and of human nature itself. Whitney demonstrates that scientism is intellectually impoverishing and politically dangerous.

The Mass
Mass, The

Charles Journet, the great Swiss theologian and cardinal of the Church, first wrote this work on the Mass over 40 years ago; yet his ever-ancient-ever-new insights into the sacrificial nature of the Mass are most needed today, when this aspect of the sacrament is so often misunderstood or neglected.