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141. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 15
Gary D. Glenn The Culture of Death and Political Tyranny
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This is an attempt to understand why Carson Holloway’s book, The Gospel of Life: John Paul II and the Challenge of Liberal Modernity, so strongly emphasizes that the culture of death is tyranny. Since Aristotle, tyranny has been a political idea. John Paul’s thought focuses on culture not politics. But Holloway interprets him as saying that the culture of death is political tyranny. I had trouble grasping how that might be, especially since the ancients, and Aristotle in particular,did not regard abortion and infanticide (the central characteristics of what John Paul calls the culture of death) as tyrannical, or even as ordinarily unjust. One result of my grappling with this problem was that I came to see that Holloway’s argument was more right than not. Another result was that I came to understand that the culture of death is a new form of tyranny, one that is specifically the product of modern liberal political philosophy. A third result was that I had to ask, andgained insight into answering, how liberal modernity makes it so difficult to see the culture of death, to which it gives rise, as a political tyranny.
142. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 15
Kenneth L. Grasso John Paul II on Modernity, Freedom, and the Metaphysics of the Person
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Beginning by praising Carson Holloway’s The Way of Life: John Paul II and the Challenge of Liberal Modernity for both contributing to our understanding of John Paul’s posture toward modernity and bringing his thought into conversation with the thought of some of the intellectual architects of liberal modernity, my essayproceeds to identify several subjects I wish Holloway had explored further, including the positive aspects of John Paul’s appraisal of liberal modernity and the engagement with modern thought that looms so large in his pre-papal philosophical writings. It then explores John Paul’s account of the achievements issuing from the modern quest for freedom, and the connection between the crisis that has engulfed this quest and the understanding of human freedom that informs contemporary culture. Against this backdrop, it examines John Paul’s efforts to address this crisis by articulating an anthropology that will assimilate the legitimateinsights of modern philosophies of freedom and consciousness into the broader framework provided by the philosophy of being as that philosophy has been understood within the Christian metaphysical tradition; and how the understanding of freedom that emerges from this anthropology differs from that which dominates contemporary culture. Far from being an adversary of the modern quest for freedom, John Paul believes that this quest is ultimately rooted in the revolution in human self-understanding wrought by Christianity, and seeks to articulate the intellectual foundation necessary to bring it to a successful conclusion.
143. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 15
Philip Harold Robert Nisbet’s Visible and Invisible Communities
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Communitarian Robert Nisbet’s most famous book, The Quest for Community, falls short of what it intends to prove. Nisbet misinterprets Tocqueville on the nature of individualism and fails to comprehend the nature of the modern state. Most importantly, he never asks whether the local communities which he takes to be so valuable could themselves ever be oppressive. The failure to inquire into the nature and substance of justice allows Nisbet to emphasize the evils ofcentralization while suppressing any possible benefits. Such an unbalanced argument ignores true subsidiarity and in the end renders itself incoherent.
144. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 15
Clement Anthony Mulloy The Impact of the West on World History: The Contrasting Methods and Views of Jared Diamond and Christopher Dawson
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This article explores the viewpoints of two world historians, Jared Diamond and Christopher Dawson. Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, has a scientific view of the past. Dawson, a prominent Catholic metahistorian, sees God’s Providence in history. Their differing historical perspectives highlight three issues: the relationship between history and science, the role of religion in society, and the significance of the individual in history. In examining these issues, Diamond and Dawson present contrasting interpretations of the rise of the West in world history. On this basis, finally, the two project deeply contrasting views of the future.
145. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 15
Carson Holloway A Response
146. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 15
Father Peter Mettler, MSF Not Looking Away, Not Playing it Down: Why Homosexuality is a Concrete Hindrance for Ordination
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In view of the social normalization of homosexuality and the painful awakening to the reality that a not-negligible percentage of priests, especially in the Western world, is homosexually oriented, the question of why this orientation is irreconcilable with ordination has become more urgent. The decisive arguments are theological and have to do with the prospective priest’s full manhood. These arguments are in harmony with modern psychological insights into (male) homosexuality as a personality defect that blocks the person’s growing to mature manhood. It is argued that only after having demonstrably overcomehomosexual tendencies should a candidate be admitted to the seminary.
147. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
James Likoudis Vladimir Soloviev (“The Russian Newman”) on Christian Politics and Ecumenism
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Regarded as the greatest of Russian philosophers, Vladimir Soloviev (1853-1900) was praised by Pope John Paul II for establishing “a fruitful relationship between philosophy and the word of God.” As the Christian philosopher of Godmanhood and critic of naturalism and atheistic humanism, he saw the urgency of ending the tragic schism between Russian Orthodoxy and Rome. His ecclesiological masterpiece, Russia and the Universal Church was an unequivocal profession of faith in the Catholic doctrine of the Roman primacy. French Jesuit Michel d’Herbigny’s seminal book Vladimir Soloviev: a Russian Newmaninfluenced many writers who similarly saw certain resemblances between two of the pioneers of nineteenth-century ecumenical thought, Soloviev and the Blessed John Henry Newman. Soloviev’s theocratic theology of politics and development of the social gospel remain of particular interest to students of Catholic social doctrine.
148. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Michael Novak Holding These Truths Today
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This essay explores “the metaphysics of American ideas” and the strengths and weaknesses of Murray’s argument in We Hold These Truths. The philosophical principles that animate the American founding, it argues, presuppose a particular understanding of the structure of being whose roots are biblical in inspiration. Murray’s account, it continues, calls our attention to the many links between the American founding and the Catholic tradition, suggests ways in which Catholic thought can give us a deeper understanding of the “truths” informing the Founding, and illuminates the gulf between contemporary America’s secular “superculture” and the many cultures of local America. Expressing some concerns about the conceptions of reason, nature, and grace that inform Murray’s thought, and of Murray’s engagement with the thought of the American founders, it concludes by attempting to extend We Hold These Truths’ argument by identifying three truths, over and above those identified by Murray, that are essential to a proper understanding of the American democratic experiment.
149. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Michael J. Ruszala The Metaphysics of Caritas in Veritate: Augustinian Theology and Social Thought as an Interpretive Key
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An aspect particularly striking about Caritas in Veritate among social encyclicals is its emphasis from the beginning on Augustinian-based metaphysics. This paper considers Pope Benedict’s metaphysical starting point as a key contribution to social doctrine in times marked by the concrete embodiment of globalization, to which the postmodern mind has responded with increased secularism and religious indifferentism. Pope Benedict is seeking to guide globalization by man’s rediscovery of himself via a metaphysics open to faith. Such a metaphysics reveals man’s essentially relational character, intimatingthe unity in diversity of the Trinity, by whose power in charity lies the only lasting hope of human progress and development: not merely the peace of the earthly city but the city of God in its heavenly fulfillment. Broad as it is deep, Caritas in Veritate applies its metaphysics to social virtue in action in a variety of social concerns relevant to our contemporary world and society.
150. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Stephen M. Krason Neither Left nor Right but Catholic: Catholic Social Teaching: Not Lined Up with Either Economic Liberalism or Statism
151. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Jane Adolphe New Challenges for Catholic-Inspired NGOs in light of Caritas in Veritate
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The non-governmental organization (NGO) is perceived not only as a disseminator of information, monitor of human rights or provider of services but also as a shaper of national, regional, and international policy. Many members of the lay faithful, working with others from various Christian denominations, have established NGOs to monitor and to promote the rights of the unborn, the natural family, and many other topics of common interest. These NGOs lobby at the national, regional, and international levels. This paper discusses the role of the Catholic-inspired NGO on the international level with reference to the thought of Pope Benedict XVI in his encyclical, Caritas in veritate.
152. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Joseph A. Varacalli Explaining and Communicating Clearly the Church’s Pro-Life Positions: One Educational Goal of the N.C.C. Center for Catholic Studies
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This article was prepared as a presentation for the Long Island Coalition for Life, Joseph Barry Chapter of the Knights of Columbus, Hicksville, New York, Monday, April 27, 2009.
153. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Stephen M. Krason Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic: Responding to the New Aggressive Anti-Catholicism
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This article, which inaugurated SCSS president Stephen M. Krason’s monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) online column, “Neither Left Nor Right but Catholic” (in September 2010), takes note of an important address given by Archbishop Charles Chaput in Europe in which he foresees increasing repression by an arch-secularist political and cultural elite against Catholics and the Church when they try to bring the Church’s message to society. This represents a deeply disturbing narrowing of the meaning of religious liberty to mere freedom of worship.
154. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
John Larrivee Caritas in Veritate: Learning Lessons about Truth, Religion, and Civil Society from the Economic Experiments of the Twentieth Century
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Caritas in Veritate emphasizes authentic development as growth in virtue and love for each other and for God. Civil society, especially religion and the family, set upon a foundation of truth about man and what is good for him, is critical. In the last century, debates about the economic and political mix were driven by theories which, because they overemphasized the impact of economic factors (especially capitalism) on individuals and society, often saw religion and civil society asirrelevant. The failure of the alternative economic arrangements demonstrates the error of those theories and testifies to the importance of truth, religion, and civil society to authentic human flourishing. Excessive criticism of capitalism hinders learning this lesson by keeping the focus on economic factors rather than moving to the more central issues of truth and civil society.
155. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Thaddeus J. Kozinski Whose Love? Which Truth? A Postmodern Encyclical
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The most remarkable characteristic of Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate is its theologically robust mode of discourse: a pervasive and unapologetically Trinitarian and Christological, substantive argument, based in a robust theological anthropology of person and society as gift, and a peculiarly Platonic and Augustinian rhetorical mode of discourse. Caritas reveals the implicit, hidden, and faulty theological and philosophical commitments of secular reason—which, when used as a medium for the Gospel, can too easily taint the true doctrine the Church attempts to convey with it—proclaiming instead a radically orthodox diagnosis of and prescription for a disenchanted, love-and-truth starved—yet Enlightenment-weary—postmodern world.
156. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Romanus Cessario, OP Seek Out the Harmonies Between Faith and Reason
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The following is a transcript of a lecture by Dominican Father Romanus Cessario, delivered May 25, 2010, at the commencement exercises of the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, held at the Crypt Chapel in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Father Cessario highlights the work of the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, on whose faculty serve several SCSS members, including its president, Gladys Sweeney. It was originally published by ZENIT, July 12, 2010 (zenit.org), and the CSSR gratefully acknowledges ZENIT’s permission to reprint (edited and formatted for the CSSR).
157. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Rupert J. Ederer After Caritas In Veritate?
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This article provides a summary of the thought of the major economic thinkers of the past two centuries, especially tracing the development of economic liberalism. It notes the resurgence of that perspective in the current era (what is called “neoliberalism”). It points to the flaws in economic liberalism and contrasts the modern social teaching of the Church in the encyclicals to it and to its purported nemesis, Marxism. It notes Pope Benedict XVI’s acknowledgment of the influence of the early German Catholic social thinkers, such as Bishop Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler, on that teaching.
158. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
David George Mullan The Dialectics of Protestantism in Nineteenth-Century France
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The nineteenth century brought challenges that undermined the unity of French Reformed Protestantism. Evangelicals held to the great doctrines of Luther and Calvin, while liberals preferred a looser connection with the past and emphasized the libertarian character of the Reformation rather than its formal doctrinal content. Protestantism was deeply rooted in dialectical forms of thinking and expression, most obviously between assumptions of biblical truth and Roman Catholic idolatry and superstition. That same dialectic, supported by contemporary philosophies, would be turned inward as liberals sought to claim theReformation as grounds for their freedom from traditional theological constraints while accusing evangelicals of a Catholic-like dogmatism.
159. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Gary D. Glenn Murray After Fifty Years: Five Themes
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This essay explicates five themes from We Hold These Truths. Specifically, it seeks to: (1) compare Murray’s treatment of contemporary America’s loss of a public philosophy to similar arguments made by important non-Catholic journalists and political theorists in his day; (2) bring Murray’s account of the Christian roots of the liberal tradition into conversation with the view that the liberal tradition is specifically modern; (3) explore the significance of Murray’s famous interpretation of the religion clauses of the First Amendment as entirely practical “articles of peace”; (4) critically engage Murray’s account of the thought of the founders and explore the motivations underlying this account; and (5) relate Murray’s account of the natural law theory undergirding the American democratic experiment to the political theory informing the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln’s re-founding of the American regime.
160. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Joseph A. Varacalli Sociology of Religion: Contemporary Developments—An Exploratory Critique from a Catholic Sociological Sensibility
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This review essay provides an exploratory critique of one prominent contemporary sociology of religion textbook from the perspective of a Catholic sociological sensibility. It is written with the projection that the critique could eventually be expanded into a more systematic and exhaustive review of other major textbooks in the field. The textbook is analyzed in light of eight fundamental questions.