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Roman Catholic Political Philosophy Hardcover – May 3, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0739107454 ISBN-10: 0739107453

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Lexington Books (May 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739107453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739107454
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,262,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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, Augustine Chair in Distinguished Scholarship, Assumption College)

Together with Pope John PaulII's Fides et Ratio, Father Schall eloquently reminds us that the city in which we live is limited and can never fulfil our transcendent destiny. (The British Columbian Catholic)

This book, written by the preeminent Catholic political philosopher in North America, is a brilliant inquiry into the nature and limits of political philosophy. (Fellowship Of Catholic Scholars)

Roman Catholic Political Philosophy is thus both simple and dense - simple in its startling clarity, dense in its richness of meaning, a work of great metaphysical integrity. One need not be a Catholic, much less a Christian, to grasp the importance of Roman Catholic Political Philosophy. (Claremont Review of Books)

The author holds that political philosophy is especially an area where faith and reason have, and will continue to, come together very clearly. This book is an excellent illustration of how these two ways of knowing can collaborate in an academic discipline, but also of what happens when they separate as in our own times. (The Review of Politics)

One of this book's greatest strengths is its effective synthesis of elements of Strauss with elements of Catholic and related thought....Schall's message is an important one....He is a much needed corrective to a de-sanctified world and its fragmented pursuit of knowledge. (H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online)

About the Author

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

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Transcendental Thomist on November 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Despite a title that suggests the sort of textbook many students read and forget, this slender paperback is really just an enjoyable series of philosophical reflections on the intersection of faith and reason, demonstrating how a Catholic belief in divine revelation can humanize political philosophy by humbling its temporal focus in the context of more eternal concerns. Father James Schall SJ, who was for many years a Jesuit political philosopher at Georgetown University, is a master essayist in the French style of Michel de Montaigne. In other words, he offers widely read insights in a remarkably light style, demonstrating why he was a popular and beloved teacher at Georgetown until his retirement in December 2012. Here he employs his trademark mixture of deep classical learning and warm concern for contemporary student concerns, mingling Aristotle and Plato with pop culture references to the "Peanuts" comic strip.

Unlike many Schall books, this text is not a loose series of essays built around complex conceptual topics like order or reason, but is a more tightly focused attempt to prove the Catholic case that political philosophy needs religion (and vice versa) for both to truly flourish. In contemporary political philosophy, Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin get a good workout here, being the clear favorites of Schall among recent thinkers. But this is the rare sort of political philosophy book that pushes no particular ideology or agenda, despite its apparently sectarian title. Rather, it gently presents a positive view of the Catholic intellectual tradition's relationship with politics, without in any way being itself a political or one-sided tract.
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