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The Modern Age Hardcover – December 5, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Book Description

At its beginning, every age has been “modern.” We speak of “pre-” and “post-” modern ages. We are likewise tempted to identify what is most up-to-date with what is true. But to be up-to-date is to be out-of-date. If we find what is really true in any age, it will be true in all ages. This proposition is central to this book. Moreover, what is true will appear in different guises, as will what is false. The “modern age” had often considered itself relativist, or secular, or skeptical. It strove to divest itself of its theological and metaphysical backgrounds, only to find that the central themes from this tradition recur again and again, most often under political or even scientific forms.
     This book proposes to “see” these classical and revelational roots within their modern forms. But we also find the proposition that what exists is only what we make. We find no “truth” but that of our own confection. When we find only our own “truth,” however, we do not really find or know ourselves. We do not cause what it is to be ourselves in the first place. The central truth that the “modern age” does not acknowledge is that its own existence along with that of the world itself is first a gift. When we see the “modern age” in this light we can again rediscover what we really are. Hopefully, we can choose and rejoice in what we are intended to be in any age as the gift of being is something that transcends all ages even while dwelling within them.

About the Author

James V. Schall is Professor of Government at Georgetown University.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: St. Augustines Press; 1st (first) edition edition (December 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587315106
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587315107
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This panoptic view of modernity is sobering. The most clear-headed aspect of Fr. Schall's new book, as with his other works, is that it is grounded in reality. Modernity screeches at us today in `ideology' and has a disorienting effect on those brave enough to enter the caves of higher education, not to mention the masses subjected to compulsory public education. Add to this the 24/7 assault on our humanity the mass media inflict with hysterical sound bites of socialistic propaganda completely disconnected from any kind of relevant definition of what it is to be "human". The new values propelled by progressive/scientistic ideology propagated by today's "teachers" at the behest of the likes of Hegel, Marx, Freud, Dewey et al. have catapulted us into an unprecedented age of horror. We are left as C.S. Lewis described in Abolition of Man "We castrate and then bid the geldings to be fruitful."

In reflecting on History Fr. Schall makes the point "If what we think is "past" did not actually happen or was different from what took place, we are dealing with ideology, not reality". (p.1) Fr. Schall has a clarity of mind just right for calling things what they are. He is able to restore order to ideas that have been distorted by modern thinking. In his essay "The Brighter side of Hell" he notes the modern "concerted efforts" to eliminate hell altogether. He explains that "Forgiveness in theory becomes not sacramental, but sociological." He brings the reality of eternal punishment back to the forefront and urges us to put things back into their proper order.
He does not work alone, but in communion with the Church Fathers, Saints, Popes and greatest thinkers and philosophers in Western History. As usual, he has a book list Schall's Twenty Books on Understanding The Modern Age.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book helped me to better understand why our American culture seems to be accelerating into unreasonableness and enjoyment of that which is most vulgar. Schall gives us an overwhelming argument on how we have lost our way as children of God. His insight into politics is eye opening. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fr. Schall is a wonderful teacher and essayist. He rightly teaches Truth is Truth in any age and time.

All Schall books are well-written, teach, and are worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
James Schall simply rocks... I've been following his stuff for ever and always buy the things that he writes. Always insightful and helpful.
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