New Books

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.

The Praise of 'Sons of Bitches'
Praise of 'Sons of Bitches', The

This book tries to return to the first obligation of the Christian, that of worshipping God. It argues that contemporary Christian thought and practice, insofar as they are moved away from the center, usually in the name of social action or ecology, have changed the essential meaning and purpose of human life in the Christian tradition.

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?

Protestant Nation
Protestant Nation

Alain Besançon’s studies, over decades, on Russia, France, Islam, and art have convinced him that “that nothing is comprehensible if one neglects the religious choices that determine a historical destiny.” His aim is to comprehend the most powerful nation on the earth, and he was convinced that Protestantism was the key to America.

Rules of the Game in Social Relationships
Rules of the Game in Social Relationships

Pieper set about defining three types of social interaction and describing how they function. 1. The community is an intimate grouping based on mutual affirmation of its members what they share in common. The family is an example. 2. Society is the sphere we enter on leaving the intimate circle in which we live. Here, tact, etiquette and contract come into play for the protection of one another’s privacy. 3. Organization is the sphere dominated by usefulness of the individual.

So Ancient and So New
So Ancient and So New

The study of any masterpiece can change one’s life, but the Confessions of St. Augustine, like Plato’s Republic or Dante’s Commedia, has the almost uncanny power to enact in the reader what it describes. Plato’s book reconfigures the city of the soul by freeing it from enslavement to the tyrannical passions and making it answerable to reason in its pursuit of the good. For Augustine, who shares many of the same ends, the pursuit of the good is not the rectification of philosophical reason, but (as it was for Dante) an intensely personal and consuming love: the encounter with the living God. Oddly, it may seem, that encounter comes for Augustine through the act of reading. Unlike Plato, who depicts the process of reasoning toward the truth, Augustine finds the truth revealed in another, immeasurably greater book that cannot be read in its true sense without the help of its author.

Socrates' Children - Ancient
Socrates' Children - Ancient Philosophers

Kreeft focuses on the “big ideas” that have influenced present people and present times, and includes relevant biographical data, proportionate to its importance for each thinker. Moreover, the aim of the work is to stimulate philosophizing, controversy, and argument. It uses ordinary language and logic, not jargon and symbolic logic, and it is commonsensical (like Aristotle) and existential in the sense that it sees philosophy as something to be lived and experienced in life. Philosophy, after all, is not about philosophy but reality . . . about wisdom, life and death, good and evil, and God.

Socrates' Children – Contemporary
Socrates' Children - Contemporary

Kreeft focuses on the “big ideas” that have influenced present people and present times, and includes relevant biographical data, proportionate to its importance for each thinker. Moreover, the aim of the work is to stimulate philosophizing, controversy, and argument. It uses ordinary language and logic, not jargon and symbolic logic, and it is commonsensical (like Aristotle) and existential in the sense that it sees philosophy as something to be lived and experienced in life. Philosophy, after all, is not about philosophy but reality . . . about wisdom, life and death, good and evil, and God.

Socrates' Children - Medieval
Socrates' Children - Medieval

This is the second of a four-volume history of philosophy. Kreeft seeks to be simple and direct and clear. But it is not dumbed down and patronizing. It will stretch the reader, but it is meant for beginners, not just scholars. It can be used for college classes or do-it-yourselfers. It emphasizes surprises; remember, “philosophy begins in wonder.” And it includes visual aids: charts, cartoons, line drawings, and drawings of each philosopher.

Socrates' Children - Modern
Socrates' Children - Modern

This is the third of a four-volume history of philosophy . . . on ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary philosophy. After the fourth volume is produced in paper, a one-volume clothbound edition, containing all four paperbound editions, will be published.

A Socratic Introduction to Plato's Republic
Socratic Introduction to Plato's Republic, A

This book is designed for three classes of people:

(1) Beginners who want an introduction to philosophy;

(2) Those who have already had an introduction to philosophy and who would like to see it in action now applied to a great book written by a great philosophy, but who have never read Plato’s Republic, the most famous and influential philosophy book ever written;

(3) Those who have read Plato’s Republic before but did not understand its deepest significance.

Southwell's Sphere
Southwell's Sphere

Once feared by Queen Elizabeth I and admired by William Shakespeare, Robert Southwell, s.j. (1561–1595), clings today to a thinning canonical presence in English literature among a sphere of other writers incongruously called the metaphysical poets. Southwell’s Sphere lifts this sixteenth century Jesuit priest and prolific writer from the obscurity in which he too often resides and places him instead at the center of a sphere of English poets upon whom his life and works exerted an observable influence.

The Seven Last Words of Our Lord Upon the Cross
The Seven Last Words of Our Lord Upon the Cross

Servant of God Mother Catherine Abrikosov created this meditation on the seven last words of Christ as Lenten instruction for the Sisters of her Community. As Anna Ivanovna Abrikosova, together with her husband, later to be Father, Vladimir Abrikosov, she was a convert to Catholicism, at the behest of Pope St. Pius X entering specifically the Eastern Rite. She died in 1936, of cancer, in the basement of a prison in Moscow. Her cause for beatification has been introduced by the Moscow Catholic diocese.

Theology and the Cartesian Doctrine of Freedom
Theology and the Cartesian Doctrine of Freedom

Theology and the Cartesian Doctrine of Freedom, now for the first time available in English, was Étienne Gilson’s doctoral thesis and part of a larger project to show the medieval roots of Descartes at a time when the very existence of medieval philosophy was often ignored.

The Timelessness of Proust
Timelessness of Proust, The

Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu—In Search of Lost Time—is one of the most important and influential novels of the modern era. In recent decades, Proust has enjoyed a new surge of critical attention, as well as a sustained growth in readership—well beyond that of other prose masters of twentieth century modernism such as Joyce, Woolf, Kafka, and Beckett. The MLA Bibliography presently lists over 3,000 citations to scholarly works devoted to Proust’s novel, and if one Googles “Proust,” the number of hits exceeds 2,000,000.

Traditional Truth, Poetry, Sacrament
Traditional Truth, Poetry, Sacrament

Pieper collects his contributions to radio programs and to a number of journals and periodicals. The book also includes a selection of notes and comments. The contributions fall into two main groups: the period which encompasses the immediate pre-war period as well as the war period itself, and the post-war period up to 1953.The reader becomes witness, first, to Pieper’s problems with the National Socialist regime and, second, to his problems with the ensuing challenges to religious life as it is exposed to increasing secularization.

Unquiet Americans
Unquiet Americans

Before the Second Vatican Council, America’s Catholics operated largely as a coherent voting bloc, usually in connection with the Democratic Party. Their episcopal leaders generally spoke for Catholics in political matters; at least, where America’s bishops asserted themselves in public affairs there was little audible dissent from the faithful.

 

What Does It Mean to Be a Christian?
What Does It Mean to Be a Christian?

This book presents a correspondence between two friends who disagree about how to answer the question, “What does it mean to be a Christian?” Crosby argues that Christians understand themselves as hearing a definitive word of revelation spoken by God and intended for all human beings. But Betty sees Christianity as one of several options, usually the preferred way for those born in the faith, but no more unique or special than Hinduism or Buddhism.