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1. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Msgr. Robert J. Batule From the Editor
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part i. symposium
2. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Kenneth L. Grasso Symposium: Patrick Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed and the Crisis of American Democracy: Introduction
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3. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Thomas F. X. Varacalli In Defense of Catholic Fusionism
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Patrick Deneen’s criticisms of liberalism are both penetrating and persuasive. Yet, Deneen does not adequately address liberalism’s strongest arguments. Deneen’s concept of “liberalism” is problematic because it minimizes the significant distinctions between classical liberalism and progressivism. Certain principles of classical liberalism, such as the free market and an increased awareness of human beings as rights-bearing individuals, are compatible with the Catholic faith. Progressivism, on the other hand, is not. Progressivism’s moral failings are far worse than those associated with classical liberalism. Although classical liberalism is itself flawed, it remains viable to the extent that it may be integrated with core Christian teachings.
4. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Paul R. DeHart Why Why Liberalism Failed Fails as an Account of the American Order
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In Why Liberalism Failed, Patrick Deneen contends that the American founding is fundamentally Hobbesian and that the Constitution is the application of the Hobbesian revolution concerning liberty and anthropology. I contend that Deneen fundamentally mischaracterizes the American founding. The founders and framers affirmed the necessity of consent for political authority and obligation. But they also situated the necessity of consent in the context of a morally and metaphysically realist natural law, maintained that an objective good of the whole constitutes the final end of political association, and described liberty as subjection to the law of nature and the government of God. To be determined by one’s base passions was to be a slave. Moreover, their constitutional thought and the institutional design of the constitutions they built rejected Hobbes’s theory of sovereign power and the metaphysical ground on which it rests.
5. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Steven J. Brust It's About Liberty
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While there are legitimate concerns about the sweeping character of Deneen’s indictment of liberalism’s anthropology and political theory and its impact on American society—in particular, his tendency to make the story of creation and instantiation of liberalism simpler than it actually is, to reduce the Constitution to a simple expression of liberal political philosophy, and not be specific about the actual accomplishments of liberalism—his overarching argument about liberalism and its trajectory is ultimately convincing, as is his critique of its understanding of liberty. The historical experience of American Catholics and the thought of two of its leading thinkers—Orestes Brownson and John Courtney Murray—support Deneen’s argument that a false understanding of liberty has been part of our American culture and provide guidance as to how a true understanding might be articulated and instantiated.
6. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Kenneth L. Grasso Getting Liberalism Right
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Patrick Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed offers a compelling critique of liberalism that casts considerable light on many of our current discontents. Nevertheless, its argument is vitiated by certain shortcomings, namely, a failure to recognize the role of other traditions in inspiring and shaping liberal democracy, and to do justice to the achievements, history, and complexities of the liberal intellectual tradition. Likewise, its account of liberalism fails to address that tradition’s defining philosophical commitments, commitments that determine the limits and possibilities of its political theorizing and explain its historical trajectory toward an ever-deeper individualism. It will not be possible to escape the intellectual prison of Enlightenment Liberalism’s moral emotivism and hyper-individualism until we have transcended the impoverished metaphysics from which they issue.
part ii. articles
7. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
J. Marianne Siegmund Pope John XXIII’s Mater et Magistra: The Encyclical and the Notion of the Common Good
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In Pope Saint John XXIII’s Encyclical Mater et Magistra (May 15, 1961), the Holy Father sought to apply the Church’s social doctrine to numerous situations of the times, among them the issue of the common good. This paper first anchors the encyclical within the larger frame of world history at the time in which it was written, and then offers a brief overview of Mater et Magistra. In light of two specific themes in the encyclical, the individual person and socialization, a final remark highlights the notion of the common good.
8. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Michael Bissex The Objectivity of Ethics: A Response to J. L. Mackie's Error Theory
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In 1977, the atheist philosopher J. L. Mackie published the book Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong. In it, he notably argued that objective ethical standards simply do not exist. He acknowledges that the existence of God would undermine moral skepticism, but assumes an atheistic position, and therefore concludes that objective morality is an intellectual incoherence. The debate, therefore, does not hinge on the existence of God, but rather on whether or not ethics are an objective reality without referring to God as their basis. From the standpoint of Catholic social teaching, the objectivity of ethics is a reality that should be defended over and against the claims of moral skepticism that Mackie argues are valid. In fact, the existence of objective ethics not only provides a defense of the system of Catholic social teaching, but illustrates its value to those who may be skeptical of its claims. With this defense of objective ethics as the goal, this paper claims that Mackie’s argument fails due to his deficient epistemological approach. Assuming the proper epistemic sense, natural law theory is a functional system of objective ethical truth, drawn out through a Thomistic understanding of the human pursuit of what is good.
9. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Ronald J. Rychlak Communist Disinformation: The Assault on a Pope and Catholic Leaders in Eastern Europe
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The Cold War was an intelligence war, waged by the Soviets with a powerful weapon called disinformation. Soviets used this weapon to strike against Western values, heroes, and institutions. They aggressively used it to spread atheism into the highly Catholic nations over which they had gained control in World War II. Catholic prelates, including Cardinals Wyszyński of Poland, Mindszenty of Hungary, and Stepinac of Croatia, were among the earliest targets. Eventually, even the wartime pontiff, Pius XII, was falsely portrayed. Whereas the false depictions, created for political reasons, do harm to truth, the Church, and mankind, faith in the Church’s teachings has been a source of great strength for many who have been subjected to disinformation. In a world where Christianity is often under assault, those who can distinguish between truth and falsehoods told for political advantage must serve as beacons of light and reflections of the good that can come from pursuing the truth while remaining faithful to the Church.
10. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Adam L. Tate Forgotten Nineteenth-Century American Literature of Religious Conversion: The Case of J. V. Huntington
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The article examines the vision of Catholicism in the fiction of J. V. Huntington, an Episcopal clergyman who converted to Catholicism in 1849 through the influence of the Oxford Movement. Huntington wrote several Catholic novels during the 1850s that won him contemporary recognition. His view of Catholicism was very different than either the republican Catholicism that emerged from the Maryland Tradition or the ethnic Catholicism of nineteenth-century urban ghettos, an indication that the views of converts, like other Catholics sitting outside of the mainstream of modern scholarly models, complicate significantly the story of American Catholicism.
11. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Grazia Mangano Ragazzi St. Catherine of Siena: Discretion/Prudence as the Foundation of True Freedom
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In this article, the author shows how Catherine of Siena, a mystic who lived in Italy for thirty-three years in the second part of the fourteenth century, known for ecstasies and revelations, put discretion (and prudence, its synonym), the leading virtue in the moral life, at the core of her spirituality, thus becoming a real lover of the truth and a teacher of true freedom. The article contains bibliographical references for the reader’s further study of the writings (Dialogue, Letters, and Prayers) linked to this formidable figure, who was canonized in 1461 and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1970. Catherine’s teaching, firmly anchored in what the Church and her great Doctors have always taught, remains to this day a rich treasure for spiritual growth.
12. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Frederick D. Boley Towards a Rigorous Basis for a Natural Law Theory of Integration
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Fr. Bernard Lonergan (1904-1984) proposed that human desire can prove the existence of God. The structure of human thought implies a Final Answer to the set of all questions, which can only be what everyone calls “God”—but what implications does this fact have for human happiness, and for counseling? This paper argues that counseling must have, as its ultimate aim, helping people to know Goodness, Beauty, and Truth, which is God. The fact that we can observe the facts about human cognition means that Catholic Christian counselors can ethically and effectively work with people from any faith tradition.
13. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
James Berquist The Universal Good and the Hierarchy of Goods in the Natural Law
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The New Natural Law (NNL) tradition holds that ‘good’ in the first precept of natural law—Good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided—is an indeterminate good, and that it is universal precisely because it is indeterminate in its account. Based upon this, they further argue that there is no hierarchy amongst per se goods. Following Thomas Aquinas’s work on natural law and the good, I argue that the first good of practical reason is God himself, and that there is a hierarchy of per se goods from the perspective of practical reason. The central distinction I make is that the NNL tradition’s ‘good’ is only universal in its predication, whereas the good that moves practical reason has to have causal universality.
14. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
John Moran The Holes of an Ordinary Life: Tolstoy’s Pauline Revision
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Many modern readers of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina view Anna’s passionate and scandalous romance with Vronsky as tragically heroic insofar as she desires nothing more than true love at any cost. These readers tend to view the story of Levin’s faith journey as inconsequential. This paper argues that such a reading is counter to Tolstoy’s intended message. Tolstoy intended to write a novel about the challenges of Christian faith in nineteenth century Russia. In doing so, he rewrote Paul’s Letter to the Romans in a manner consistent with his own emphasis upon the importance of the natural life—a life which embraces the natural cycle of birth and death and avoids the artificiality of urban, cosmopolitan life.
15. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Eric Wearne Parent and Administrator Perceptions of Hybrid Homeschools
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This article reports the results of a series of interviews with “hybrid homeschool” parents and administrators. “Hybrid homeschools” are entities which generally operate as formal schools two to three days per week, with teachers, enrolled students, and brick and mortar buildings. The balance of the week, students learn as homeschoolers. Previous research into hybrid homeschools has consisted mainly of electronic surveys asking families why they choose this schooling model, what they value in education for their children, and demographic questions. The purpose of this study is to build on these surveys by conducting longer-form qualitative interviews with hybrid homeschool parents, teachers, and administrators. This study reports the results of a series of semi-structured interviews conducted with seven participants from four schools in two states over the course of the 2017–2018 school year. The results of these interviews support some of the broad suggestions made in previous electronic survey results, while also adding to what parents value in these schools, and why they choose them.
part iii. book reviews
16. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Jerome C. Foss Patrick J. Deneen, Why Liberalism Failed
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17. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
D. Brian Scarnecchia Obianuju Ekocha, Target Africa: Ideological Neocolonialism in the Twenty-First Century
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18. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Adam L. Tate Maura Jane Farrelly, Anti-Catholicism in America, 1620-1860
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19. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Kevin H. Govern George P. Fletcher and Richard V. Meyer, editors, Law and The Bible, Volume One: A Collective Genesis
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20. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 24
Richard S. Myers Stefanus Hendrianto, S.J., editor, Priests, Lawyers, and Scholars: Essays in Honor of Robert J. Araujo, S J.
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