New Books

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.

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, 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?

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.

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.

Moderately Modern
Moderately Modern

Moderately Modern wears its thesis on its sleeve. Modern men and women, those thoroughly imbued with modernity’s ideas, hopes, and projects, need to moderate themselves. They need to rein themselves in, they need to think and act beyond their comfort zone. Implicit in this claim, of course, is a slew of topics, claims, and an argument. What is modernity? What’s lacking in it? Where should its adherents look outside and beyond it? What would they find? And what would a conjunction of a chastened modernity and a newly respected outside look like? It would be difficult to find someone more equipped to raise and pursue these questions than Rémi Brague.

The Mystery of Death and Beyond
Mystery of Death and Beyond, The

The purpose of this little book is to answer certain questions that many people have about the nature of death. Most people feel that there is something wrong about death. We all want to live a happy life and we do not want to die. Life is experienced as something very good and we want to preserve it. But the reality is that man is by nature mortal, which means that he is destined to die sooner or later. The fact is that we begin to die the moment we are conceived in our mother’s womb.

Nature's Virtue
Nature's Virtue

Virtue is not what it used to be. It has lost its good name. If virtue were a television show, it would garner low ratings and promptly be cancelled. If virtue were running for president, it would fare poorly in the Iowa caucuses and would drop out of the race after a weak showing in the New Hampshire primary. Virtue has a bad name, both because people no longer use the term and because it is associated with repression of desires. Today, it not considered healthy to keep inner urges at bay for very long. Virtue comes off looking like a relic of a quaint, narrow-minded, uptight age. Virtue does not support self-esteem since it is difficult to master the passions.

On the Principles of Taxing Beer
On the Principles of Taxing Beer

What is real and what is noble, as well as what is deranged and wrong, can often be stated briefly. Nietzsche was famous for his succinct aphorisms and epigrams. Aquinas in one of his responses could manage to state clearly what he held to be true. Ultimately, all of our thought needs to be so refined and concentrated that we can see the point. So these are “brief” essays and they are largely of a philosophical “hue.” They touch on things worth thinking about. Indeed, often they consider things we really need to think about if our lives are to make sense.

Paths to Salvation
Paths to Salvation

In this work Klaus Vondung explores the various forms in which the elevation of politics into the sphere of religion was expressed in the Third Reich: in the faith of committed National Socialists, in the party’s cult events which celebrated the “community of the people” as a “community of faith” and the Fuhrer as “savior”, and in the persecution of the Jews that was ‘justified’ in religious terms by demonizing Jews as the “evil enemies of humanity” responsible for the world’s ills.

The Platonic Tradition
Platonic Tradition, The

The Platonic tradition in Western philosophy is not just one of many equally central traditions. It is so much THE central one that the very existence and survival of Western civilization depends on it. It is like the Confucian tradition in Chinese culture, or the monotheistic tradition in religion, or the human rights tradition in politics.

The Politics of Culture and Other Essays
Politics of Culture and Other Essays, The

This work brings together Scruton's best essays from many sources, arranging them thematically. The book has four sections: Language and Art, Writers in Context, Architecture, and Culture and Anarchy. Though the essays are diverse, certain themes are developed in particular and then in general ways, and there are several important essays on writers and critics, that contribute to the reappraisal of their work – among them Dante, Andre Breton, Graham Greene, James Joyce, Sylvia Plath, Jacques Lacan, and Yukio Mishima.

The Politics of Truth and Other Untimely Essays
Politics of Truth and Other Untimely Essays, The

A fascinating collection of studies, The Politics of Truth and Other Untimely Essays explores the historical and theoretical underpinnings of personal liberty and free government and provides a trenchant analysis of the crisis of civic consciousness endangering both of them today. The book addresses a range of issues in contemporary political philosophy and constitutional theory. These are seen to be all the more urgent in importance because of the surging aspirations for liberty in the wake of the collapses we see throughout the Middle East, Africa, and other areas, and the withdrawal from leadership in America and Europe.

Pre-Modern Philosophy Defended
Pre-Modern Philosophy Defended

“Pre-modern philosophy” means the line of reflection that started with Plato andvAristotle, passed through Augustine and Boethius, and reached its acme in Aquinas, Scotus, and Suarez. The whole line was harshly judged by Descartes, then mocked by the empiricsts of the 18th Century. Why, then, did Pope Leo XII make a determined effort to revive it? And, more importantly, why was the revival a stunning success by the middle of the 20th Century?