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part i. symposium: tocqueville, catholicism, and limited democratic government
1. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Steven J. Brust Introduction
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2. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Gary D. Glenn Tocqueville's "Democratic Despotism" and Pope Benedict's "Dictatorship of Relativism"
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The thought of these philosophic thinkers structures this study. Both perceive an affinity between democracy and “unlimited government.” Tocqueville’s thought sometimes reflects Catholic sensibilities and themes. Benedict’s thought reflects Catholic orthodoxy. Both thinkers, separated by 170 years, emphasize respectively “despotism” and “dictatorship,” which they think democracy is open to, endangered by, and tends towards. While Tocqueville sees the danger as “democracy,” and Benedict sees it as “relativism,” they are describing the same phenomenon. “Democratic despotism” results from attenuating the “habits of restraint” undergirding democracy; and the “dictatorship” embodies the despotism in our time.
3. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Kenneth L. Grasso Catholicism and “the Great Political Problem of Our Time”: Tocqueville, Vatican II, and the Problem of Limited Government in the Age of Democracy
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This essay compares the reflections of Tocqueville and the Second Vatican Council on the perils of modern civilization as they relate to the question of limited government. While their analyses diverge in some respects, both Tocqueville and the Council are concerned about the proclivity of the modern state to absorb all of human life and see this political danger as the expression of a deeper crisis prompted by the secularization of Western culture. Convinced that this threat cannot be addressed at the political level alone, both conclude that the principle of limited government cannot be successfully institutionalized absent a far-reaching religious renewal. In Tocqueville’s famous formulation, “despotism can do without faith, but not liberty.”
4. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Daniel Mahoney Christianity, Democracy, Socialism: Tocqueville’s Defense of a Limited Public Charity in Politics
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This article analyzes Alexis de Tocqueville’s eloquent and noble 1848 “Speech on the Right to Work.” The speech provides Tocqueville’s most powerful and sustained critique of socialism. Socialism is taken to task for its “energetic, continuous , immoderate appeal to the material passions of men,” for its “continuous” attack on the “very principles of private property,” and for its scorn for individual reason and initiative. Tocqueville argues that democracy and socialism are at their heart “contradictory things.” But at the same time, Tocqueville affirms a Christian and democratic obligation for government to provide “public charity” for the poor. For all his concerns about tutelary despotism and the socialist subversion of democracy, he did not oppose the welfare state per se, at least in a modest form. The article shows that Tocqueville’s “Christian democratic” vision provides a principled, humane, and morally serious alternative to both libertarianism and collectivism.
5. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
L. Joseph Hebert Response to Gary Glenn and Kenneth Grasso: Tocqueville, Catholicism, and the Art of Being Free
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This paper discusses the erosion of the conditions of American civic education and engagement described by Tocqueville, the connection between Tocqueville’s understanding of democracy and the teachings of the Catholic Church, and the contribution of both civic and religious decline to the threat of democratic despotism as discussed by Gary Glenn and Kenneth Grasso in their symposium papers. It concludes by asking what students of Tocqueville and of Catholic social doctrine can learn from one another about questions of God, human nature, and the proper influence of the social state on our understanding of moral and political duties and rights.
6. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Adam Seagrave Response to Daniel Mahoney: Is Tocqueville’s “Middle Way” Adequate?
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This response to Daniel Mahoney’s symposium paper raises the question of whether Tocqueville’s “middle way” between libertarianism and socialism is ultimately tenable, due to the tendency of people under democratic regimes to pursue equality more passionately than they defend liberty.
part ii. articles
7. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Mark Gonnella Authentic Sexual Freedom: John Paul II’s Personalism as a Response to Humanistic Psychology
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The inadequacy of secular humanistic understandings of human sexuality has been demonstrated in the contemporary dissatisfaction with the superficiality of sexual activity and romantic relationships. The limitations of the secular psychology that gave rise to the debased contemporary view of sexuality—exemplified in the work of Carl Rogers—can be overcome by applying the fuller personalist anthropology of Pope John Paul II. This application is made by examining the topics of man’s relationship with God, subjectivity versus subjectivism, the source and character of morality, the nature of freedom, and the nature of marriage.
8. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
David A. Gilbert The Novena to St. Boniface of Tarsus: A Pastoral Program for Addressing Sexual Addiction in Colonial Mexico
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During the eighteenth century a priest in Mexico City wrote a novena to the once renowned St. Boniface of Tarsus to assist Christians trapped in sexual immorality. This saint was chosen in particular because of the sinful life that preceded his spectacular repentance and martyrdom. Unfortunately, the decline in devotion to St. Boniface has been accompanied by a misinterpretation of the novena by some modern readers who see it as focused exclusively on homosexuality. While the Mexican priest took a hard line against the sexual sins of his day, his novena reflects psychological insight and pastoral sensitivity that are consistent with contemporary approaches to addiction and therefore remain quite relevant.
9. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Edward J. O'Boyle Freedom of Economic Initiative, Intermediary Groups, and a Personalist Economy
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This article is concerned with four questions. How are decisions made in economic affairs? What role does freedom play in a market economy? How important is freedom in a market economy? How best to preserve freedom of economic initiative? Based on responses to those questions, we argue that a personalist economy with its reliance on intermediary groups and preservation of economic freedom represents an alternative to the individualism of capitalism and the collectivism of socialism. The evidence presented breaks the stereotype of private group decision-making as collusive and demonstrates that a personalist economy is a functioning reality in the United States.
10. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Jeffrey S. Burwell, S.J. An Educational Crisis in the Land of Jesus: Unprecedented Challenges Facing Catholic Schools in East Jerusalem and the West Bank
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The New Evangelization presumes that Catholic schools play a valuable role in spreading the gospel and transmitting the faith. For the first time in their collective history, demographic changes have nevertheless made it difficult for Catholic schools in East Jerusalem and the West Bank to do this. Using a mixed-method study with data obtained from fourteen institutions, this study determined that the mandate of these schools is affected by challenges related to their Catholic identity and financial stability. With limited resources at their disposal, administrators of these institutions are in a precarious situation. Without strong leadership and support from the international community, the future of Catholic education in the region is uncertain.
11. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Brian Jones Aristotelian Political Philosophy, the Wise Many, and Catholic Social Teaching
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In order for individual Catholics to be able to properly comprehend, articulate, and prudentially apply certain foundational components of Catholic social teaching, they need to have a sound grasp of classical political philosophy, particularly as it has come to us through Aristotle. Aristotle’s political thought helps to provide a strong foundation for understanding man’s life as a political animal while simultaneously acknowledging that man’s ultimate destiny is apolitical. Specifically, the convergence of Aristotle’s thought and Catholic social teaching can be seen in, but is not limited to, the following areas: the goodness of political society and authority, choice of regime, and the transpolitical character of the faith. These points of Aristotelian political philosophy, often misunderstood in light of modern liberalism, can assist Catholics in bearing public witness to the essential relationship between faith and political life, since the goodness of political life must be aligned with the truth of who man is, something that both Aristotle and Catholic social teaching rightly affirm.
12. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Gary J. Scott Is There a Moral School of Economics?: The Profundity and Practicality of Benedict XVI's Economic Logos
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Pope Benedict XVI’s social encyclical Caritas in Veritate offers insight into the relationship between theology and economics, between moral principles and economic policy. This article highlights potential obstacles to the reception of the emeritus pope’s arguments, identifies the encyclical’s principal lesson in one key sentence, and argues that there are compelling reasons for scholars and policymakers to consider and even appropriate Benedict’s substantial teaching on the enduring social question.
13. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Joseph A. Varacalli The Future of the American Experiment and of the Tea Party Movement from the Perspective of Catholic Social Thought and Catholic Sociology
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This review essay provides a critique, from a Catholic social thought and Catholic sociological perspective, of two important books that offer divergent interpretations of the direction of American civilization and of the significance of the Tea Party movement/philosophy. Specifically devoted to a critique of the Tea Party movement, by Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson (Oxford University Press, 2012), is written from a secular progressive sociological perspective that assumes the inevitability and desirability of an advanced welfare state. While not specifically devoted to analyzing the Tea Party movement, by Samuel Gregg (The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2013), quite consciously constructs a public philosophy articulating and defending a democratic capitalist worldview that is compatible, as a prudential application, with an authentic Catholic perspective that builds on the work of Catholic theologian Michael Novak (e.g., [Simon & Schuster, 1982] and [Harper & Row, 1984]). Vis-à-vis the Skocpol and Williamson volume, the Gregg volume is more sympathetic to the Tea Party movement, especially with its non-libertarian component. Other volumes are mentioned and incorporated in the review essay insofar as they deal with various cognitive and normative analyses of the present general direction of American civilization and of the Tea Party alternative.
part iii. book reviews
14. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Bryan R. Cross Gregory R. Beabout, The Character of the Manager: From Office Executive to Wise Steward
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15. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Joseph F. Wysocki A Second Look at First Things: A Case for Conservative Politics; The Hadley Arkes Festschrift, ed. Francis J. Beckwith, Robert P. George, and Susan McWilliams
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16. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
S. M. Wesley Charles Camosy, For Love of Animals: Christian Ethics, Consistent Action
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17. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Anne Hendershott Mary Eberstadt, How the West Really Lost God
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18. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Joshua Schulz Christopher Kaczor, A Defense of Dignity: Creating Life, Destroying Life, and Protecting the Rights of Conscience
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19. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
James Likoudis Child Abuse, Family Rights, and the Child Protective System: A Critical Analysis from Law, Ethics, and Catholic Social Teaching, ed. Stephen M. Krason
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20. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Christopher White Gilbert Meilaender, Bioethics: A Primer for Christians (3rd ed.), and Elio Sgreccia, Personalist Bioethics: Foundations and Applications
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