Roman Catholic Political Philosophy

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9780739107454: Roman Catholic Political Philosophy
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In Roman Catholic Political Philosophy author James V. Schall tries to demonstrate that Roman Catholicism and political philosophy―-revelation and reason―are not contradictory. It is his contention that political philosophy, the primary focus of the book, asks certain questions about human purpose and destiny that it cannot, by itself, answer. Revelation is the natural complement to these important questions about God, human being, and the world. Schall manages to avoid polemicism or triumphalism as he shows that revelation and political thought contribute to a fuller understanding of each other.

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About the Author:

James V. Schall is Professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University.

Review:

Fr. Schall's meditations on the profoundest themes of western civilization are essential reading for anyone interested in its fate ― regardless of their religious convictions or lack thereof. And it would be a rare creature who would not beforced to re-examine the depths and dimensions of his soul to take account of Fr. Schall's powerful argumentation. His book is especially welcome at a time the west faces yet another challenge from radical Islam and its own continuing deterioration from its own nihilism within. (Ken Masugi, Claremont Institute)

James Schall is one of the giants of contemporary Catholic thought. This volume is essential reading not just for Catholics but for anyone interested in the nature of political philosophy as a tradition of inquiry and the vitally important question of the relationship of faith and reason. (Kenneth Grasso, Texas State University - San Marcos)

Here in large part is what makes Schall unique; his best friends in politics, philosophy, literature, history, and theology make his interpretation of reality sole occupant of the field. With their help he undertakes in these pages the central task of Catholic political philosophy-to spell out the true enlightenment of which Chesterton was a herald in the way he courageously faced, loudly proclaimed, and galantly challenged all the errors that ever were. (Gilbert Magazine)

A lively and spirited defense of Roman Catholic political philosophy that exemplifies what it describes. James Schall understands the presumption against any attempt to link the worlds of faith and reason. He shows that the most powerful argument for convergence arises from the side of reason itself. Political philosophy is most true to itself when it preserves its openness to revelation. (David Walsh, Catholic University of America)

Tertullian asked: "What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?" James V. Schall goes one step further and asks: "What have Athens and Jerusalem to do with Rome?" Serious and playful, witty and wise, Roman Catholic Political Philosophy is essential reading for anyone exploring the question of reason and revelation and how it relates to the nature of political things. (William P. Haggerty, Gannon University)

Roman Catholic Political Philosophy will provide rewarding reading to any student, professor, or lay reader who is interested in the relationship between religion and philosophy, especially as this has developed within the Catholic tradition. (Review of Metaphysics)

This book is a magisterial summation of Fr. Schall's lifelong reflections on political philosophy in relation to the Catholic tradition. Readers will be impressed by the constructive dialogue he establishes between Reason and Revelation in relation to understanding the nature of politics. His command of the classic works, both ancient and modern, and his knowledge of contemporary political theorists, both Catholic and non-Catholic, is equal to any. (Timothy Fuller, Colorado College)

Despite various qualms and trepidations, philosophy has been rediscoving revelation for some time. Political philosophers dig in their heels, though, and Schall shows why this is misguided. By accepting revelation, reason actually becomes more reasonable; revelation makes the intellectual life more intellectual. Of course philosophy is not theology and cannot "prove" the truths of revelation, but it denies itself if it does not take the possibility of revelation seriously. This is a searching, reflective book in the spirit of Fides et Ratio, an essay to be meditated, not merely read. (Jay Budziszewski, University of Texas, Austin)

Fr. Schall argues that the purpose of Roman Catholic political philosophy is to inquire about the relation of politics to the teaching of Revelation, as preserved and interpreted in the Catholic Church. In carry out this philosophical inquiry he ackowledges his debt to Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin, but then argues that political philosophy direct people's attention to the highest things and, therefore, points to metaphysics and Revelation. Fr. Schall is at his best in making the case that Revelation not only helps the non-philosopher, but also the philosopher as well. In fact, he argues in his fine book that philosophy, if true to itself, will be open to Revelation. (Brian Benestad, University of Scranton)

This wise and learned essay is a truly original contribution to our understanding of the relationship between political philosophy and the revelational traditions of the West. Schall brilliantly demonstrates that political philosophy is prone to degenerate into mere skepticism or even inhuman ideology when it arbitrarily closes itself off from the account of human nature and the whole of things that is provided by "Roman Catholic political philosophy." Schall's erudition is staggering and his judgment "Catholic" in the most capacious sense of that term. (Daniel J. Mahoney, Assumption College)

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