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"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." - Erasmus

Following are some books that may be useful in the context of this discussion. Please note that I have not read them all, and the more expensive ones remain on my 'wish list'. I've chosen to display them based on their content and mentions by pertinent authors -- where possible I've displayed reviews and related articles.

Reference Works


Individual Works (Alphabetized By Author)

Frederic Bastiat
William T. Cavanaugh
Kenneth R. Craycraft
R. Bruce Douglass (ed.)
Ernest L. Fortin
Kenneth L. Grasso
Dr. Samuel Gregg
Romano Guardini
James A. Hutson
Robert Kraynak
Peter Augustine Lawler
D. Stephen Long
Alasdair MacIntyre
Jacques Maritain
Eugene McCarraher
Scott McDermott
John T. McGreevey
John Courtney Murray, S.J.
Richard J. Neuhaus
Michael Novak
Thomas R. Rourke
Tracy Rowland
James V. Schall, SJ
David Schindler
Thomas Storck
Brian Tierney
John E. Tropman
Joseph A. Varacalli
George Weigel
Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Reference Works
Pontifical Council for Justice & Peace
Compendium Of The Social Doctrine Of The Church
by Pontifical Council For Justice And Peace. USCCB (March 7, 2005).

The Church has a timeless, long-standing body of social doctrine that is known, lived, and shared by Catholics in many faith-filled ways. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, a unique, unprecedented document in the history of the Church, serves as a tool to inspire and guide the faithful who are faced with moral and pastoral challenges daily. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church is divided into five sections, an introduction, three parts, and a conclusion entitled For a Civilization of Love. The first part deals with the fundamental presuppositions of social doctrine-God's plan of love for humanity and society, the Church's mission and the nature of social doctrine, the human person and human rights, and the principles and values of social doctrine. The second part deals with the contents and classical themes of social doctrine- the family, human work, economic life, the political community, the international community, the environment and peace. The third part contains a series of recommendations for the use of social doctrine in the pastoral activity of the Church and in the life of Christians, above all, the laity. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church is a must-have resource for leaders of social ministry at the diocesan and parish level as well as those in religious education, school, and youth and young adult ministry.

Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy
by Michael L. Coulter (Author), Stephen M. Krason (Author), Richard S. Myers (Author), Joseph A. Varacalli (Author). The Scarecrow Press, Inc. (June 28, 2007)

With more than 800 topics from over 300 contributors, Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy is a comprehensive introduction to the Catholic vision of society, social relations, and the human being. It combines theoretical work on important topics and scholarly disciplines (e.g., economics, moral theology, natural law, philosophy, psychology); social science perspectives on a variety of topics (e.g., alcoholism and drug abuse, forgiveness and mercy, globalization); and treatment of practical policy implications that flow from applying the Catholic religious, moral, and intellectual tradition to contemporary issues (e.g., abortion, assisted suicide, immigration policy, school choice, torture). The book reflects a broad range of Catholic thought that is international in scope, but with an emphasis on the American situation. Its interdisciplinary approach offers insights from a variety of perspectives: theological, philosophical, historical, economical, sociological, political science, psychological, social services, and law. The work will appeal to individuals who want a clear and accurate introduction to Catholic social thought and a Catholic-informed social science and social policy. One certainly need not be a devotee and advocate for Catholic social thinking to find this encyclopedia of good use as a handy reference tool.


Building the Free Society: Democracy Capitalism and Catholic Social Teaching
edited by George Weigel, Robert Royal. Eerdmans Pub Co (October 1994).

Substantially revised and updated from an earlier edition, this book is a must for people who want to think through the connections between Christian faith and public life. The informative essays take in the full sweep of modern Catholic social thought, from Rerum Novarum through Centesimus Annus, and essayists include, in addition to the editors, such authorities as William Murphy, Thomas Kohler, Robert Sirico, and James Finn. [First Things]

Theology and the Political
Theology and the Political: The New Debate
by Creston Davis (Editor), John Milbank (Editor), Slavoj Zizek (Editor) . Duke University Press (April 2005)

The essays in Theology and the Political—written by some of the world’s foremost theologians, philosophers, and literary critics—analyze the ethics and consequences of human action. They explore the spiritual dimensions of ontology, considering the relationship between ontology and the political in light of the thought of figures ranging from Plato to Marx, Levinas to Derrida, and Augustine to Lacan. Together, the contributors challenge the belief that meaningful action is simply the successful assertion of will, that politics is ultimately reducible to “might makes right.” From a variety of perspectives, they suggest that grounding human action and politics in materialist critique offers revolutionary possibilities that transcend the nihilism inherent in both contemporary liberal democratic theory and neoconservative ideology.

Contributors. Anthony Baker, Daniel M. Bell Jr., Phillip Blond, Simon Critchley, Conor Cunningham, Creston Davis, William Desmond, Hent de Vries, Terry Eagleton, Rocco Gangle, Philip Goodchild, Karl Hefty, Eleanor Kaufman, Tom McCarthy, John Milbank, Antonio Negri, Catherine Pickstock, Patrick Aaron Riches, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Regina Mara Schwartz, Kenneth Surin, Graham Ward, Rowan Williams, Slavoj Zizek


Wealth, Poverty, and Human Destiny edited by David Schindler, Doug Bandow. ISI Books (August 1, 2003).

The rapid spread of the liberal market economy throughout the world poses a host of new and complex questions for the consideration of religious believers, as well as anyone concerned with the intersection of ethics and economics. Is the liberal market order, particularly as it affects the poor, fundamentally compatible with Christian moral and social teaching? Or is it in some ways in substantial tension with that tradition? In Wealth, Poverty, and Human Destiny, editors Doug Bandow and David L. Schindler bring together some of today's leading economists, theologians, and social critics -- including Wendell Berry, Michael Novak, Richard John Neuhaus, and Max Stackhouse -- to consider whether the triumph of capitalism is a cause for celebration or concern. The contributors' fresh, insightful examinations should provoke a healthy debate about the intertwined issues of the market, human freedom, the family, technology, and religion.


Review, by Richard C. Bayer. Journal of Markets & Morality Volume 7, Number 2. Fall 2004.
Review by Bob Cheeks. IntellectualConservative.com. March 15, 2004.
The Market, the Needy, and the Argument, by Megan Malony. Religion & Liberty Vol. 14, No. 1. Jan/Feb 2004.
Grayish Markets, by John William Coleman. Touchstone Magazine, 2004.

  • Cato Book Forum, discussion of the book featuring Doug Bandow, Cato Institute; David Schindler, John Paul II Institute; and contributors Michael Novak, American Enterprise Institute; and Daniel T. Griswold, Cato Institute. September 10, 2003.
Individual Works
Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)
The Law
by Frederic Bastiat. Foundation for Economic Education; 2nd edition (October, 1998).

The Law has been acclaimed for more than a century as the classic moral defense of individual liberty and limited government. Here is the timeless message of immutable principle – in the immortal words of one of history’s most courageous thinkers and brilliant writers.

Reviews / Relevant Links

Review by David W. Neuendorf. Circa. 1995.

Providence and Liberty
by Frederic Bastiat.

Review by Rev. Edmund A. Opitz. Religion & Liberty September and October 1991.
William T. Cavanaugh
Theopolitical Imagination: Discovering the Liturgy as a Political Act in an Age of Global Consumerism
by William T. Cavanaugh. T & T Clark, 2002.

A critique of modern Western civilization, including contemporary concerns of consumerism, capitalism, globalization, and poverty, from the perspective of a believing Catholic. Responding to Enlightenment and Postmodernist views of the social and economic realities of our time, Cavanaugh engages with contemporary concerns--consumerism, late capitalism, globalization, poverty--in a way reminiscent of Rowan Williams (Lost Icons), Nicholas Boyle (Who Are We Now?) and Michel de Certeau. "Consumption of the Eucharist," he argues, "consumes one into the narrative of the pilgrim City of God, whose reach extends beyond the global to embrace all times and places." He develops the theme of the Eucharist as the basis for Christian resistance to the violent disciplines of state, civil society and globalization.


Review by David w. Fagerberg. Theology Today January 2004.
Torture & Eucharist
by William T. Cavanaugh. Blackwell Publishers (December, 1998).

[From the Publishers]: In this engrossing analysis, Cavanaugh contends that the Eucharist is the Church's response to the use of torture as a social discipline. The author develops a theology of the political which presents torture as one instance of a larger confrontation of powers over bodies, both individual and social. He argues that a Christian practice of the political is embodied in Jesus' own torture at the hands of the powers of this world. The analysis of torture therefore is situated within wider discussions in the fields of ecclesiology and the state, social ethics and human rights, and sacramental theology. The book focuses on the experience of Chile and the Catholic Church there, before and during the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, 1973-1990. Cavanaugh has first-hand experience of working with the Church in Chile, and his interviews with ecclesiastical officials and grassroots Church workers speak directly to the reader. The book uses this example to examine the theoretical bases of twentieth-century "social catholicism" and its inability to resist the disciplines of the state, in contrast to a truer Christian practice of the political in the Eucharist. The book as a whole ties eucharistic theology to concrete eucharistic practice, showing that the Eucharist is not a 2symbol" but a real cathartic summary of the practices by which God forms people into the Body of Christ, producing a sense of communion stronger than that of any nation state.

Contents - Publisher's Website.


Review by Sandra M. Levy. Anglican Theological Review Summer 2001.
Review by Walter Brueggemann. Theology Today October 2000.
"Briefly Noted" First Things (August/September 1999): 74-79.
Kenneth R. Craycraft

The American Myth of Religious Freedom
by Kenneth R. Craycraft. Spence Publishing Company (May 1, 1999).


A Catholic Against Religious Liberty by Todd Flanders. Outlook Winter 2000.
Review, by Matthew Anger. Seattle Catholic New 2 Feb. 2004.
Review by Marc D. Guerra. Journal of Markets & Morality Volume 3, Number 1. Spring 2000.
Review, by Daniel P. Moloney. First Things 101 (March 2000). [Response from the author / reply by Daniel P. Moloney].
A Wall of Containment? , by Gerald J. Russello. Touchstone November/December, 1999.

R. Bruce Douglass, et al.
Catholicism and Liberalism : Contributions to American Public Policy, by R. Bruce Douglass (Editor), David Hollenbach (Editor). Publisher: Cambridge University Press; New Ed edition (April 18, 2002).

The thrust of the learned papers gathered here, in the words of the editors, is to demonstrate "how liberalism has been transforming Catholicism once again through the last half of our own century and how Catholicism might in turn contribute to a transformed liberal theory and practice." Douglass, a Georgetown University associate professor of government, and Hollenbach, a Boston College professor of theology, assemble a diverse collection of essays by such distinguished contributors as Peter Steinfels, Philip Gleason, David Tracy and Mary C. Segers which explore philosophical, theological and political issues through the prisms of both Catholicism and liberal secularism. A joint project of Woodstock Theological Center and the department of government of Georgetown University, this scholarly collation provides a needed historical perspective on a once adversarial relationship and could open venues for enlightenment and interaction. -- Publisher's Weekly


The Convergence of the Twain, by Kenneth L. Grasso. First Things 52 (April 1995):51-54.
On Catholic Communitarianism, by Dominic A. Aquila. Religion & Liberty [Acton Institute] May/June 1995.
Amintore Fanfani

Capitalism, Protestantism, and Catholicism
by Amintore Fanfani. IHS Press; (February 2003)

Description (Amazon.com): This classic work is a philosophical, historical, and religious look at the relationship between Catholic and Protestant religious doctrine and both the historical and ideological growth of capitalism. Starting with a definition of capitalism, Fanfani examines how that definition squares with Catholic and Protestant teaching. He then looks at the historical development of the capitalistic mindset or mentality, and examines the growth of the mindset historically in light of both the Protestant and Catholic doctrine on economic life.

An excerpt from the Publisher's Preface courtesy of IHS Press.


Review by Dr. Peter Chojowski. The Angelus [SSPX] July 2003 Volume XXVI, Number 7.

Fr. Ernest L. Fortin

Volume Two of "Ernest Fortin: Collected Essays": Classical Christianity and the Political Order
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (July, 1996)

In Volume Two of "Ernest Fortin: Collected Essays", Fortin deals with the relationship between religion and civil society in a Christian context: that of an essentially nonpolitical but by no means entirely otherwordly religion, many of whose teachings were thought to be fundamentally at odds with the duties of citizenship. Sections focus upon Augustine and Aquinas, on Christianity and politics; natural law, natural rights, and social justice; and Leo Strauss and the revival of classical political philosophy. Fortin's treatment of these and related themes betrays a keen awareness of one of the significant intellectual events of our time: the recovery of political philosophy as a legitimate academic discipline.

Volume Three of "Ernest Fortin: Collected Essays": Human Rights, Virtue and the Common Good
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (January, 1997)

Volume Three of "Ernest Fortin: Collected Essays" discusses the current state of Christianity--especially twentieth-century Catholic Christianity--and the problems with which it has had to wrestle in the midst of rapid scientific progress, profound social change, and growing moral anarchy. In this volume, Fortin discusses such topics as Christianity and the liberal democratic ethos; Christianity, science, and the arts; Ancients and Moderns; papal social thought; virtue and liberalism; pagan and Christian virtue; and the American Catholic church and politics.


Challenging the Modern [A review of Ernest L. Fortin: Collected Essays, edited by J. Brian Benestad]. First Things 78 (December 1997): 56-59.
Kenneth L. Grasso

Catholicism, Liberalism, and Communitarianism
edited by Kenneth L. Grasso, Gerard V. Bradley and Robert P. Hunt. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1995.

Dr. Samuel Gregg
On Ordered Liberty: A Treatise on the Free Society
by Dr. Samuel Gregg. Lexington Books (August 28, 2003).

On Ordered Liberty goes beyond the liberal and conservative divide, asking its readers to think about the proper ends of human choice and actions in a free society. Beginning with the insights of Alexis de Tocqueville and some natural law sources, author Samuel Gregg suggests that integral law must be distinguished from most contemporary visions of freedom. This requires, he believes, a complete repudiation of utilitarian ideas as incompatable with human nature and further analysis of the basic but often neglected-question: what is man?


Review, by Daniel J. Mahoney, Assumption College. Journal of Markets & Morality Vol. 7, No. 2. Fall 2004.
Challenging the Modern World: Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II and the Development of Catholic Social Teaching
by Dr. Samuel Gregg.

Samuel Gregg provides an insightful, cogent, and thorough analysis of the issues surrounding developments in Catholic social teaching during the pontificate of John Paul II. He compares the treatment in John Paul's social encyclicals of three topics-industrial relations, capitalism, and the relations between developed and developing countries-with the handling of these matters in the social teachings of the Second Vatican Council and Paul VI. Through the application of a comparative exegetical approach to the relevant texts, it becomes apparent that John Paul's development of the teaching derives from several sources. Within this analysis, Gregg considers a more specific and less widely examined issue: the extent to which the development in Catholic social thought has been influenced by the writings of Karol Wojtyla before he became pope in 1978. In addition to revealing an openness to certain modern philosophical insights and expressing a range of views about the modern world, these writings elaborate a distinctive anthropology of man as the conscious subject of moral acts. -- Publisher


Review by Gregory R. Beabout. Professor of Philosophy Saint Louis University. Journal of Markets & Morality Volume 4, Number 2. Fall 2001.
"Book Review: Challenging the Modern World", by Francis T. Hannafey. Theological Studies; Dec2000, Vol. 61 Issue 4, p797.
Romano Guardini
The End of the Modern World
by Romano Guardini. Forward by Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus. ISI Books (April, 2001).

An extended inquiry into the nature of the modern age, as well as an historical, philosophical, and theological analysis of modernity's prospects in the next millennium. This expanded edition includes the original text of The End of the Modern World, as well as the entirety of its explicit sequel, Power and Responsibility. Guardini analyzes modern man's conception of himself in the world, and examines the nature and use of power. It is the principle of individual responsibility that weaves both works into a seamless, comprehensive, and compelling moral statement. Guardini tirelessly argues that human beings are responsible moral agents, possessed of free will and answerable to God and their fellow man.
James H. Hutson
The Founders on Religion : A Book of Quotations
by James H. Hutson. Princeton University Press (October 3, 2005).

[From the Publisher]: What did the founders of America think about religion? Until now, there has been no reliable and impartial compendium of the founders' own remarks on religious matters that clearly answers the question. This book fills that gap. A collection of quotations on everything from the relationship between church and state to the status of women, it is the most comprehensive and trustworthy resource available on this timely topic.

The book calls to the witness stand all the usual suspects - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams - as well as many lesser known but highly influential luminaries, among them Continental Congress president Elias Boudinot, Declaration of Independence signer Charles Carroll, and John Dickinson, "the Pennsylvania Farmer." It also gives voice to two founding "mothers," Abigail Adams and Martha Washington.

This compilation lays out the founders' positions on more than seventy topics, including the afterlife, the death of loved ones, divorce, the raising of children, the reliability of biblical texts, and the nature of Islam and Judaism." Partisans of various stripes have long invoked quotations from the founding fathers to lend credence to their own views on religion and politics. This book, by contrast, is the first of its genre to be grounded in the careful examination of original documents by a professional historian. Conveniently arranged alphabetically by topic, it provides multiple viewpoints and accurate quotations.

Robert Kraynak

Christian Faith and Modern Democracy: God & Politics in the Fallen World
by Robert Kraynak. University of Notre Dame Press (September 2001)

Description (Amazon.com): Do Christianity and modern liberal democracy share a common moral vision, or are they opposed and even hostile to each other? In "Christian Faith and Modern Democracy", Robert Kraynak challenges the commonly accepted view that Christianity is inherently compatible with modern democratic society. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Kraynak argues that there is no necessary connection between Christianity and any form of government and that, in many important respects, Christianity is weakened by its close alliance with contemporary versions of democracy and human rights.


Review, by Douglas A. Ollivant. Markets & Morality Volume 6, Number 1 Spring 2003.
Review BrothersJudd.com. Feb. 11, 2002.
Ordered Liberty under God, a review of Christian Faith and Modern Democracy, by Douglas C. Minson. The Intercolleciate Review Volume 38, Number 1 — Fall 2002. [.pdf format]
Review by Ken Masugi. Religion & Liberty. Nov-Dec 2001. The Acton Institute.
Governing by God, by Fr. Robert F. Drinan. America Vol. 185 No. 21, December 24, 2001.
Review by Damon Linker. First Things 117 (November 2001): 56-61.
Monarchy, Anyone?, by Patrick J. Deneen. Commonweal, Oct 26, 2001.

Christian Faith and Modern Democracy - A Symposium - Catholic Social Science Review Volume IX (2004) - [NOTE: all articles in Adobe .pdf format]:

Peter Augustine Lawler
Stuck with Virtue
by Peter Augustine Lawler. Intercollegiate Studies Institute (October 1, 2005).

[From the Publishers:] Cloning, gene therapy, stem-cell harvesting—are we on the path to a Huxley-like Brave New World? Not really, argues political philosopher and Kass Commission member Peter Augustine Lawler in Stuck with Virtue: The American Individual and Our Biotechnological Future, even as he admits that we will likely become more obsessive and anxious and will be subjected to new forms of tyranny. Rather, he contends, human nature is such that the biotechnological world to come, despite the best efforts of its proponents, will still fail to make it possible to feel good without being good. It will be harder, Lawler warns, to be virtuous in the future, because we will be more detached than ever from the natural sources of happiness. But we may take some solace in the fact that virtue will still be the best way to live well with what we really know.

With irony and wit, Lawler delivers the good news about the future of the American individual: We’re going to remain free, because the modern effort to make increasingly individualistic human beings at home with themselves and their environments through technological progress cannot succeed. That is the truth and promise, concludes Lawler, of a genuinely postmodern conservatism.

Aliens in America: The Strange Truth About Our Souls
by Peter Augustine Lawler. ISI Books (July 1, 2002).

Beginning with a consideration of David Brooks's popular and influential characterization of modern Americans as "bourgeois bohemians," Lawler paints a picture that is not altogether hopeful. If Brooks and other contemporary social commentators are correct, our elites care about little more than their own psychological and physical comfort. Though they at times still realize that simply being affluent, tolerant, and democratic consumers is not entirely satisfying, their laissez-faire libertarianism leads them to consent to the "alien extermination program" being carried out—for ostensibly humanitarian reasons—under the aegis of biotechnological science.

In understated and often ironic prose, Lawler shows how the soft tyranny of the utopian biotechnological project is the logical outcome of, and is supported by, various strands of modern thought, including atheistic scientism, liberal pragmatism, Lockean individualism, and the cult of therapeutic democracy. He demonstrates how, in different ways, the ideas popularized by thinkers lilke Francis Fukayama, Carl Sagan, and Richard Rorty are intended to make us forget that a truly human life is necessarily limited, that we can only live well by accepting the misery, sense of homelessness, and alienation that accompany life as much as do joy and love.

With help from Alexis de Tocqueville and Walker Percy, Lawler offers a defense of the common experience of ordinary men and women in all its harsh ambiguity. Our instinctual opposition to attempts to transform us through chemicals, technology, language, or the machinery of the state is not, as some liberal communitarians think, rooted in a fearful attempt to escape the world, but in a positive affirmation of this world's fundamental goodness and the love, both human and divine, to be found within it. Our souls are not yet lost. But they will be if we refuse to acknowledge that, in this world at least, we are destined to be aliens.


To Tell The Truth, by Damon Linker. First Things 127 (November 2002): 45-49.
Postmodernism Rightly Understood
by Peter Augustine Lawer. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (August, 1999).

[From the publisher:] Postmodernism Rightly Understood is a dramatic return to realism--a poetic attempt to attain a true understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the postmodern predicament. Prominent political theorist Peter Augustine Lawler reflects on the flaws of postmodern thought, the futility of pragmatism, and the spiritual emptiness of existentialism. Lawler examines postmodernism by interpreting the writings of five respected and best selling American authors--Francis Fukuyama, Richard Rorty, Allan Bloom, Walker Percy, and Christopher Lasch. Lawler explains why the alternatives available in our time are either a "soulless niceness," which Fukuyama, Rorty, and Bloom described as the result of modern success, or a postmodern moral responsibility that accompanies love in the ruins, as articulated by Percy and Lasch. This is a fresh and compelling look at the crisis of the human soul and intellect accompanied by the onset of postmodernity.


Review Homiletic & Pastoral Review May 2000.
D. Stephen Long
Divine Economy: Theology and the Market
by D. Stephen Long. Routledge (June, 2000).


Review by Daniel Rush Finn. Christian Century March 27, 2002.
Review by Paul Oslington. Journal of Markets & Morality Volume 4, Number 1. Spring 2001.
Alasdair Macintyre
Whose Justice? Which Rationality?
Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1988.

Is there any cause or war worth risking one's life for? How can we determine which actions are vices and which virtues? MacIntyre, professor of philosophy at Vanderbilt University, unravels these and other such questions by linking the concept of justice to what he calls practical rationality. He rejects the grab-what-you-can, utilitarian yardstick adopted by moral relativists. Instead, he argues that four wholly different, incompatible ideas of justiceput forth by Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas and Humehave helped shape our modern individualistic world. In his unorthodox view, each person seeks the good through an ongoing dialogue with one of these traditions or within Jewish, non-Western or other historical traditions. This weighty sequel to After Virtue (1981) is certain to stir debate. - Publisher's Weekly


    Review by Dr. Muhammad Legenhausen. al Tawhid Islamic Journal, vol. 14 No. 2 Qum, The Islamic Republic of Iran.
    Recoiling from Reason by Martha C. Nussbaum. New York Review of Books Volume 36, Number 19 December 7, 1989.
After Virtue
Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981.

Morality, according to Alasdair MacIntyre, is not what it used to be. In the Aristotelian tradition of ancient Greece and medieval Europe, morality enabled the transformation from untutored human nature as it happened to be to human nature as it could be if it realized its telos (fundamental goal). Eventually, belief in Aristotelian teleology waned, leaving the idea of imperfect human nature in conflict with the perfectionist aims of morality. The conflict dooms to failure any attempt to justify the claims of morality, whether based on emotion, such as Hume's was, or on reason, as in the case of Kant. The result is that moral discourse and practice in the contemporary world is hollow: although the language and appearance of morality remains, the substance is no longer there. Disagreements on moral matters appeal to incommensurable values and so are interminable; the only use of moral language is manipulative.

The claims presented in After Virtue are certainly audacious, but the historical erudition and philosophical acuity behind MacIntyre's powerful critique of modern moral philosophy cannot be disregarded. Moreover, independently of its principal claims, the book, first published in 1981, helped to stimulate philosophical work on the virtues, to reinvigorate traditionalist and communitarian thought, and to provoke valuable discussion in the history of moral philosophy. It was so widely discussed that MacIntyre added another chapter to the second edition in order to reply to his critics. After Virtue continues to deserve attention from philosophers, historians, and anyone interested in moral philosophy and its history. -- Glenn Branch


Jacques Maritain (1882-1973)

Christianity, Democracy, And The American Ideal: A Jacques Maritain Reader
by James P. Kelly III. Sophia Institute Press (January 2005)

From the Publisher: Some Americans claim we should exclude Christian values from the public square. On the contrary, argues philosopher Jacques Maritain, good Christians make good citizens. They live by gospel values: honesty, integrity, and compassion. They obey the law. They resist the selfishness that unbelief and materialism breed. And they subordinate their own interests to the common good.< No wonder, says Maritain, that American democracy -- which arose from a Christian people -- has served so well and lasted so long.

Here Maritain shows that in a society unleavened by religious ideals, an enduring democracy can never take root. And once a religious people abandons its faith, even the greatest democracy must wither and die. Untethered from transcendent values, democracy becomes little more than a struggle to be won by the most powerful and the ruthless. The hour is late. Too long have we stood by while politicians promise never to let their religious beliefs influence their political judgments. Too long has a false understanding of democracy cowed us into laying aside our Christian values when we vote.

As Maritain demonstrates in these lucid pages, Christians are vital to democracy. Good Christians make good citizens, and good citizens make strong democracies. If America and her ideals are to endure, says Maritain, Christians and their values must not be excluded from public discourse, but eagerly welcomed into it.

Man and the State
by Jacques Maritain. Catholic University of America Press (February, 1998). [Reprint]

"Of time-transcending value, this book is probably the most succinct and clearest statement of Thomistic political theory available to the English-language reader. Written during his exile from war-torn Europe, Man and the State is the fruit of Maritain's considerable learning as well as his reflections on his positive American experience and on the failure of regimes he closely encountered on the Continent."-Jude P. Dougherty, The Catholic University of America

"The lectures that were the basis for Man and the State were delivered at the University of Chicago at a time when Maritain was still in the first enthusiasm of his participation in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He devotes particular attention to the concept of rights, since, historically, rights theories were fashioned to supplant the natural law theory to which Maritain as a Thomist gives his allegiance. Maritain provides an ingenious and profound theory as to how natural law and natural rights can be complementary. For this reason alone it remains a fundamental contribution to political philosophy, but it is filled with other gems as well. Was Maritain too optimistic in his appraisal of modernity? Or have we unjustly lost the optimism that was his? Man and the State is an invitation to rethink the way we pose the basic questions of political philosophy."-Ralph McInerny, Jacques Maritain Center, University of Notre Dame

Reassessing the Liberal State: Reading Maritain's 'Man and the State'
Ed. by Timothy Fuller & Russell Hittinger. Catholic University of America Press (July, 2001).

This collection of essays revisits Jacques Maritain's book, Man and the State -- the University of Chicago Walgreen lectures of 1949 -- and critically engages its greatest themes and arguments: the character of the modern state and its relation to the body politic, the state's functions and claims, the basis of authority, the foundation of human rights and natural law, structural pluralism, Church and State relations, national sovereignty, and the prospects for world government. The contributors address whether Maritain has successfully accomplished his project of engaging modernity from the perspective of a 20th century disciple of Thomas Aquinas; whether his reformulations and revisions of the modern state are philosophically sound and prudent; and whether his developments of Aristotle and Aquinas are faithful to the sources.

Contributors: J. Budziszewski, Joseph M. DeTorre, Gregory Doolan, Desmond FitzGerald, Timothy Fuller, John R. Goodreau, Catherine Green, William Haggerty, James G. Hanink, Jeanne M. Heffernan, John P. Hittinger, Russell Hittinger, Richard Lemp, V. Bradley Lewis, Nicholas C. Lund-Molfese, John G. Trapani, Jr., Deborah Wallace, Henk E. S. Woldring, and Michael Woodward.

The Person and the Common Good
by Jacques Maritain. University of Notre Dame Press (June, 1966).
Jacques Maritain and the Moral Foundation of Democracy
by John Di Joseph. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (May, 1996).

In this book, John DiJoseph probes the philosophical presuppositions that undergird Jacques Maritain's political theory, particularly his theory that democracy and Christianity are inexorably linked. Maritain's theory of democracy is particularly relevant today with the ascendancy of what Maritain called bourgeois liberal democracy in the United States and Western Europe; a type of democracy that Maritain thought would lead to the eventual demise of Western culture. In opposition to the bourgeois liberal democracy, Maritain posited a personalist democracy with a uniquely Christain soul. DiJoseph traces the historical and philosophical development of Maritain's debt to Henri Bergson and Alexis De Tocqueville and Maritain's break with classical Christian and Catholic political thought. The book will not only appeal to scholars of history and political science but also to those concerned with the current debate over the philosophical basis of democracy and the cultural decline of the West.
Scott McDermott
Charles Carroll of Carrollton Faithful Revolutionary
by Scott McDermott. Scepter Pubs (January 1, 2001).

Meet Charles Carroll of Carrollton: "A Roman Catholic but an ardent patriot."

So said John Adams about the great Founding Father who originated the Electoral College, signed the Declaration of Independence, and fought tirelessly for religious liberty for Catholics in America. Charles Carroll is little-known today, but author Scott McDermott is determined to change that. In this illuminating biography, he paints a vivid picture of Carroll's tumultuous life that shows why this forgotten Founder is a heroic Catholic example is needed now more than ever.

McDermott uses Carroll's letters and other personal papers to bring you a well-rounded portrait of this complex and fascinating man. He also details the political and social currents that Carroll confronted during his long career. This book is a gripping introduction to a forgotten hero and a key contribution to the ongoing debate about the place of religion in public life.


    Review by Timothy J. Quain. Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN. (CatholicBooksReview.org).

See also:

    How Charles Carroll Influenced U.S. Founding Fathers - Part I | Part II. Interview w. Scott McDermott. Zenit News Service. Nov. 1-2, 2005.
Eugene McCarraher
Christian Critics:
by Eugene McCarraher. Cornell University Press (April 27, 2000).

Over the course of the twentieth century, liberal Christian intellectuals--both Protestant and Catholic--created a body of theological reflection on the rise and triumph of corporate capitalism. Unlike their secular counterparts on the left, they drew on religion to make sense of the emerging world of professional expertise, industrial technology, and therapeutic selfhood. Christian Critics explores their social thought and cultural criticism and examines the sometimes unexpected ways that these Christian leaders perceived the nation and its people.

Offering portraits of a diverse selection of critics--including Walter Rauschenbusch, Reinhold Niebuhr, H. Richard Niebuhr, Dorothy Day, Paul Tillich, Thomas Merton, Martin Luther King, Jr., Daniel Berrigan, Michael Novak, Mary Daly, and Garry Wills--Eugene McCarraher argues that together they left a contradictory legacy. While all supported movements for the rights of labor, racial minorities, and women, some endorsed the military-industrial order that established the professional-managerial class as a dominant national force, while others favored a decentralized political economy of worker self-management. At the same time, McCarraher recasts the debate over the "therapeutic ethic" by tracing a shift, not from religion to therapy, but from religious to secular conceptions of selfhood. His book returns theology to its crucial place in the history of twentieth-century American intellectual life and suggests its importance to the future of the American Left.

John T. McGreevey

Catholicism and American Freedom
by John T. McGreevey. W. W. Norton & Company (May, 2003)

The interplay between the American Catholic Church and the United States has long been a source of tension for both church and state. McGreevy, an associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame, examines the relationship between the two, beginning with the Eliot School Rebellion in Boston in 1859 and extending into the present day, when questions about abortion and human life dominate the church's engagement with American political life. The author begins by exploring efforts by some Catholics to counter the Protestant brand of Christianity being taught in the nation's public schools in the antebellum period, pointing out the sharp division that existed between Protestants and Catholics in the 19th century. He also discusses how Catholics dealt with slavery, then presents the church's stands on behalf of human life, most notably concerning abortion, a debate preceded and affected by an earlier battle over birth control. McGreevy's final chapter combines a discussion of the proposed "consistent life ethic" linking abortion, poverty, the arms race and the death penalty with a sparse treatment of the church's recent sexual abuse crisis. The author sees the scandal as further evidence of a fragile institution trying to distinguish "permanent truths from contingent applications." -- Publisher's Weekly


Catholic + American = ?, by Allen Guelzo. Christianity Today March/April 2004.
Catholics, Protestants, and the Meanings of Freedom, by Richard J. Neuhaus. First Things 135 (August/September 2003).
A Church Aloof or Engaged?, by Thomas Murphy, S.J. America Vol. 189, No. 2. July 21, 2003.
Catholicism and American Freedom: "The Odd Couple", by Neil Coughlan. Commonweal May 9, 2003 / Volume CXXX, Number 9.

John Courtney Murray, S.J. (1904-1967)

We Hold These Truths: Catholic Reflections on the American Proposition
by John Courtney Murray

Lining up fairly evenly pro and con, sixteen essayists evaluate "the Murray project" and its effort to provide a Catholic legitimation for the American constitutional order. Writers familiar to FT readers include Robert George, James Hitchcock, and Gerard Bradley. The last suggestively argues that dominant notions of "religious freedom" in our political culture have been shaped by Protestant individualism rather than by ecclesial Christianity, with the result of playing into the hands of secularist delusions about the autonomous self. [First Things: "Briefly Noted"].


John Courtney Murray and the American Civil Conversation
edited by Robert P. Hunt and Kenneth L. Grasso. Eerdmans, 1994.


A Contested Legacy, by James Finn. First Things 30 (February 1993): 54-57.
Review by Neal Fuller. Religion and Liberty March and April 1994.

Richard J. Neuhaus
Catholic Matters: Confusion, Controversy, And the Splendor of Truth
by Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus. Perseus Books Group (March 31, 2006).

One of American's leading theologians explains why Catholicism is more vital and important to the cultural and political life of Americans than ever before Millions of people journeyed to Rome in April 2005 to say farewell to Pope John Paul II. As televisions beamed these images into American homes, it became undeniably clear that Catholic matters really matter, and not only to Catholics.

In Catholic Matters, Father Neuhaus addresses the many controversies that have marked recent decades of American Catholicism: the battles over the meaning of the Second Vatican Council, the "destabilizing" of the liturgy, the declining number of priests, and the sexual abuse scandals. Looking beyond these troubles to "the splendor of truth" by which the Church is constituted, he proposes a vibrant, forward-thinking way of being Catholic in America.

Drawing on his personal encounters with the late John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, Father Neuhaus describes their hope for a springtime of world evangelization, Christian unity, and Catholic renewal. Catholic Matters shows a vibrant Church--one strengthened and unified by hardship-that is on the cusp of a great revival in her spiritual vitality and an even greater contribution to our common life.

The End of Democracy. Spence Publishing Company, 1997.

A one-stop opportunity to assess in the round a durable dispute on the political right, set off by a symposium in last November's edition of First Things. The journal featured a symposium devoted to the issues of whether America's judiciary has usurped the democratic political process and what could or should be done about it. The collection (whose contributors included the heavyweight likes of Hadley Arkes, Robert H. Bork, Charles Colson, and Robert P. George) touched off an immediate furor that has yet to abate among conservative intellectuals and their principal journals (such as the American Spectator, the Weekly Standard, and Commentary). This volume encompasses all of the original articles, several of which assert that citizens repelled by the activist excesses of ultraliberal courts that purportedly find hitherto unsuspected rights in the US Constitution would be justified in considering civil disobedience or outright resistance to their government. There is also a representative sample of the impassioned responses these essays evoked (inter alia, from William J. Bennett, Midge Decter, Gertrude Himmelfarb, William Kristol, and Norman Podhoretz). Finally, there is a longish last word entitled ``The Anatomy of a Controversy'' from Richard John Neuhaus, the Catholic priest who serves as editor in chief of First Things. Although American Tories share common concerns about bedrock matters like abortion, death (assisted suicide, euthanasia), and marriage (among homosexuals), the magazine's compilation suggests that they're a diverse and fractious lot given to spirited argument on ends versus means as well as the socioeconomic and moral or religious underpinnings of their political faith. In short, an instructive and ready reference to the debate on judicial restraint being conducted by the right wing of the domestic electorate--without benefit of coverage by the mainstream press. -- Kirkus Reviews

Appointment in Rome: The Church in America Awakening
by Richard J. Neuhaus. December 1998


Brief Review, by William Murchison. National Review. April 19, 1999.
Review, by Gary Maceoin. National Catholic Reporter Feb. 26, 1999.

The Naked Public Square: Religion & Democracy in America
by Richard J. Neuhaus. May 1996.


The Naked Public Square Now. Twenty years after its publication, various authors (Stanley Hauerwaus, Harvey Cox, Jeane Bethke Elshtain, et al.) reflect on the influence of the book and contemporary problems raised by its argument, with a response by Father Neuhaus. First Things 147 (November 2004): 11-27.

Doing Well & Doing Good: The Challenge to the Christian Capitalist
by Richard J. Neuhaus. October 1992

The Catholic Moment: The Paradox of the Church in the Postmodern World
by Richard J. Neuhaus. May 1987.

Reviews & Related Articles

The Persistence of the Catholic Moment, by Richard J. Neuhaus. First Things 130 (February 2003): 26-30.

Michael Novak
Washington's God
by Michael and Jana Novak. Basic Books (March 6, 2006).

Washington has long been viewed as the patron saint of secular government, but in Washington's God, Michael Novak and his daughter, Jana, reveal that it was Washington's strong faith in divine Providence that gave meaning and force to his monumental life. Narrowly escaping a British trap during the Battle of Brooklyn, Washington didn't credit his survival to courage or tactical expertise; he blamed himself for marching his men into certain doom and marveled at the Providence that delivered them. Throughout his career, Washington held fast to the conviction that America's liberty was dependent on our faithfulness to God's will and our trust in Providence.

Washington's God, shows Washington not only as a man of resource, strength, and virtue, but also as a man with deeply held religious values. This new presentation of Washington-as a man whose religion guided his governance-will bring him into today's debates about the role of faith in government and will challenge everything we thought we knew about the inner life of the father of our country.


On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding
by Michael Novak. Encounter Books (April 2003)

Description (Amazon.com): "In one key respect, the way the story of the United States has been told for the past one hundred years is wrong," writes Michael Novak. "To read most philosophers and historians of the American polity today is to learn that America is an historical embodiment of secular philosophy, the Enlightenment." Nothing could be further from the truth, says Novak, who sets out to demonstrate just how important religious faith was to the founders.


Founding Faith, by Lucas E. Morel. Religion & Liberty July-August 2002. The Acton Institute.
A Republic on the Rise, With Powerful Minds and Earnest Prayers, by Lee Bockhorn. The Wall Street Journal. February 4, 2002
The Eagle's Flight. Review by Charles R. Kesler. National Review. April 8, 2002.
One nation, including God, by Wilson Carey McWilliams. CommonWeal. Feb. 22, 2002. Review by Robert Phillips. Catholic Social Scientist Review Vol. VII, 2002. [.pdf format]

On Cultivating Liberty: Reflections on Moral Ecology
by Michael Noval. Rowman & Littlefield (May, 1999).

On Cultivating Liberty brings together Novak's essays on moral ecology:' the ethos that must be cultivated and preserved if liberal democratic societies are to survive. Novak argues in defense of a free and virtuous society by examining the family, welfare reform, free markets, self-government, and the American Founding, and includes a series of remarkable intellectual studies on figures ranging from Jacques Maritain to St. Thomas Aquinas. Compiled by Brian C. Anderson (Novak's then-assistant, now editor of the Manhattan Institute's City Journal) with a biographical essay and overview of Novak's literary career.

The Catholic Ethic & The Spirit of Capitalism
by Michael Novak. Free Press (February 1993)


The Novak Achievement, by Richard J. Neuhaus. First Things 36 (October 1993).
- "Capitalism with soul?" by E.J. Dionne, Jr. Commonweal, 5/21/93, Vol. 120 Issue 10, p9.
- "Blessing capitalism", by Paul Johnson. Commentary, May 93, Vol. 95 Issue 5, p33.
- "Economic analysis and the spirit of democratic capitalism", by John P. Tiemstra. Cross Currents , Winter '93, Vol. 43 Issue 4, p545, 5p.

The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
by Michael Novak. (Madison Books (June 1991).


Review, by Shirley Robin Letwin. National Review, April 12, 1993.
Michael Novak's Portrait of Democratic Capitalism, by Edward W. Younkins. Markets & Morality. Vol. 2, No. 9 Spring 1999.
This Hemisphere of Liberty: A Philosophy of the Americas
by Michael Novak. Aei Pr (November, 1990).

To call attention to the distinctive complex of mental tendencies that speaks to the Latin American condition, in this book Michael Novak coins the phrase "the Catholic Whig tradition." Lord Acton called Thomas Aquinas the first Whig. The ancient Whig pedigree, far older than the now defunct British and American parties of that name, includes Bellarmine, Alexis de Tocqueville, Acton himself, Jacques Maritain, Yves R. Simon, and others. Catholic Whigs, like Progressives, believe in the dignity of the human person, in human liberty, in institutional reform, in gradual progress. But they also have a deep respect for language, law, liturgy, custom, habit, and tradition that marks them, simultaneously, as conservatives. With the conservatives, the Catholic Whigs have an awareness of the force of cultural habit and the role of passion and sin in human affairs. With the liberals, they give central importance to human liberty, especially the slow building of institutions of liberty. The Catholic Whigs see liberty as ordered liberty -- not the liberty to do what one wishes, but the liberty to do what one ought. Working within this horizon, this book shows how institutions of liberty may be built in this hemisphere (and the other). The liberation of Latin America, especially its economic liberation, has not yet been accomplished. In the precapitalist mode, Latin American economies are characterized by markets, private property, and profits. These do not, contrary to Marx, suffice to constitute a capitalist system. Latin America offers few legal or cultural supports for the essential mark of the capitalist economy: enterprise, innovation, creativity. Only from the dynamic energy of moral striving (through ideas, habits, and institutions) can a political economy take life. Economies work better when human persons are given institutional support to become creators of wealth, not merely dependents on government. Development means empowering the poor to incorporate their own businesses, to own their own land, to improve their education and skills, and to exercise their God-given right to personal economic initiative. - [Summary by Michael Novak - www.michaelnovak.net]


A Catholic Whiggism for Latin America, by Richard J. Neuhaus. Washington Post Book World. Jan 6, 1991. [Future of Freedom Foundation]
Review, by Richard M. Ebeling, May 1991. Freedom Daily The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Manifesto of Hope by John Fonte. National Review December 31, 2004.
Review by Jeffrey A. Tucker. The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty October 1991. The Foundation for Economic Education.
Free Persons and the Common Good, by Michael Novak. Madison Books (January 1988)

[From the author:] This work seeks to bridge the gap between liberalism and the Catholic notion of the "common good" by showing that the liberal tradition includes a vision of the common good, a vision both historically original and crucial to its defense of the human person. Too often, the liberal tradition is discussed wholly in terms of the individual, the rational economic agent, self-interest, and something like the utilitarian calculus. On the other side, too often the classical view of the common good is presented as though it did not respect the freedom of the human person, the rights of the individual, and the unique properties of the many different spheres through which the common good is cumulatively realized. Yet the liberal tradition has in fact greatly expanded and enriched the concept of the common good. And the Catholic tradition - through its distinctive concepts of the person, will, self-deception, virtue, practical wisdom, "the dark night of the soul," and insight itself - has thickened and enriched our under-standing of the individual. On matters of institutional realism, the liberal tradition has made discoveries that the Catholic tradition sorely needs; reciprocally, regarding certain philosophical-theological conceptions, the Catholic tradition has achieved some insights (e.g., into the nature of the human person, the human community, and mediating institutions) in which many in the liberal intellectual tradition are now expressing interest. The two traditions need each other, each being weaker where the other is stronger.

Thomas R. Rourke
A Conscience as Large as the World: Yves R. Simon Versus the Catholic Neoconservatives
by Thomas R. Rourke. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Nov. 1996.

Among the most influential and controversial developments in twentieth-century American social thought has been the rise of the Catholic neoconservatives, particularly Michael Novak, Richard John Neuhaus, and George Weigel. This important book presents a systematic critique of Catholic neoconservatism using the work of Yves Simon as a theoretical and practical lens of analysis. Rourke demonstrates how Simon, whose works represent the Aristotelian-Thomistic roots of Catholic social thought, and the Catholic neoconservatives address many of the same issues, including democratic government, freedom, practical wisdom, wealth, work, culture, and virtue. Rourke argues, however, that the neoconservative approach to these concepts lacks essential elements of the Thomist tradition, fails to overcome the inadequacies of liberalism and therefore is an inadequate expression of Catholic social thought for our time.


Neo-Conservatism: New Insights into Catholic Social Teaching, or just Old Liberalism in new Garments?, a critical assessment by Russell Sparkes.
Review by Nicholas Lund-Molfese. Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Newsletter Vol. 21, No. 4. Fall 1998. pp. 65-67. [.pdf format].
"Briefly Noted". First Things (November 1997).
"A challenge to liberalism," by Jeanne Heffernan. Review of Politics, Vol. 60 Issue 1. Winter 1998. p193.
A Challenge to Neoconservatives, by David J. Petersen. Catholic World News. December 27, 2001.

See Also:

"Michael Novak and Yves R. Simon on the common good and capitalism," by Thomas R. Rourke. Review of Politics, Vol. 58 Issue 2. Spring 1996. p229, 30p.
"A 'Catholic Whig' Replies," by Michael Novak. Review of Politics Vol. 58 Issue 2, p259, 6p.
"Response to A 'Catholic Whig'", by Thomas R. Rourke. Review of Politics Vol. 58 Issue 2, Spring 1996. p265, 3p.
Tracey Rowland
Culture and the Thomist Tradition: After Vatican II
by Tracey Rowland. Routledge; 1 edition (April 1, 2003)

Thomist's influence upon the development of Catholicism is difficult to overestimate - but how secure is its grip on the challenges that face contemprary society? Culture and the Thomist Tradition Rexamines the crisis of Thomism today as thrown into relief by Vatican II, the 21st ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church. Following the Church's declarations on culture in the document Gaudium et spes - the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World - it was widely presumed that a mandate hade been given for transposing ecclesiastical culture into the idioms of modernity. But, says Tracey Rowland, such an understanding is not only based on a facile reading of the Conciliar documents, but is flawed by Thomism's own failure to demonstrate a workable theology of culture that might guide the Church through such transpositions.


Review by Daniel McInerney. Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly Vol. 28, No. 1. Spring 2005.
The Culture We Evangelize, by Bernhard Blankenhorn, O.P. O Lumen No. 1 - Publication of the Students of the Western Dominican Province.
Review by Fr Peter Joseph STD. AD2000 Vol 16 No 5 (June 2003), p. 17.
Review, by Douglas A. Ollivant. First Things 143 (May 2004): 47-49.
Whig vs. Augustianian Thomists, by Jeremy Beer The New Pantagruel Volume One, Issue Two. Spring 2004.
Fr. James V. Schall
Roman Catholic Political Philosophy
by Fr. James V. Schall. Lexington Books (May, 2004)

In Roman Catholic Political Philosophy author James V. Schall tries to demonstrate that Roman Catholicism and political philosophy---revelation and reason--are not contradictory. It is his contention that political philosophy, the primary focus of the book, asks certain questions about human purpose and destiny that it cannot, by itself, answer. Revelation is the natural complement to these important questions about God, human being, and the world. Schall manages to avoid polemicism or triumphalism as he shows that revelation and political thought contribute to a fuller understanding of each other.

Interview: Fr. James V. Schall on Political Philosophy with Ken Masugi. The Claremont Institute. December 23, 2003.


David Schindler
Heart of the World, Center of the Church: Communio Ecclesiology, Liberalism, and Liberation
by David Schindler. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; (October 1996)


"Balthasar's Feast", by Michael Sean Winters. The New Republic Vol. 221 Issue 9. August 30, 1999.
"Belief and the Public Square", by Dermot Quinn. Modern Age Vol. 40, Issue 4. Fall 1998.
An Integrated Catholic Worldview, by Mitchell Kalpakgian, Ph.D. Homiletic & Pastoral Review. March 1998.
The Liberalism of John Paul II. First Things 73 (May 1997): 16-21.
"Shindler's Complaint", by Richard John Neuhaus. First Things 74, June-July 1997.
Missing Person, by Joseph A. Komonchak. Commonweal Sept. 12, 1997.
Review by Christophe Potworowski. Concordia University. The Thomist 1997.

Balthasar's Legacy: A Sketch of David L. Schindler's Heart of the World, Center of the Church, by Stephen Joel Garver.

Thomas Storck
The Catholic Milieu
by Thomas Storck. (Christendom Press, Nov. 2004).

Is Catholicism purely an interior set of convictions? In this provocative study, Thomas Storck suggests that a specifically Catholic culture can arise within a secular and pluralistic society. That culture will both challenge and nourish the surrounding society only if Christian truth is incarnated in the manners, customs, and traditions of the community.
Brian Tierney
The Idea of Natural Rights: Studies on Natural Rights, Natural Law, and Church Law 1150 - 1625
by Brian Tierney. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Reprint edition (July, 1997).

Breaking with commmon notions on the origins of natural rights in the secular philosophy of the Enlightenment, Tierney's history demonstrates that the notion of rights can be traced as far back as the thirteenth century.

"The popes of our age, who have embraced so enthusiastically the idea of natural rights, after their predecessors condemned it for many years as an irreligious, Enlightenment abberation, have been returning, unwittingly perhaps, to a tradition rooted in the Christian jurisprudence and philosophy of the Middle Ages." [-- Brian Tierney, Conclusion]


Review, by Fred Karlson. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Mar 2002.

See also:

The Idea of Natural Rights-Origins and Persistence", by Brian Tierney. Northwestern University Journal of International Human Rights Vol. 2 (April 2004).
John E. Tropman
The Catholic Ethic and the Spirit of Community
by John E. Tropman. Georgetown University Press (April 1, 2002).


Subsidy or Subsidiarity?, by Gerald J. Russello. Crisis Magazine September 2, 2002.
The Catholic Ethic Made Politically Correct, by Thomas Storck. New Oxford Review December 2003.
The Catholic Ethic in American Society: An Exploration of Values
by John E. Tropman. Jossey-Bass; 1st ed edition (September 1, 1995)

Tropman (social policy and nonprofit management, Univ. of Michigan Sch. of Social Work) investigates the existence of a Catholic ethic, parallel and distinct from Max Weber's well-known Protestant ethic. While the latter emphasizes work, wealth, and individual achievement, its Catholic counterpart is based traditionally and theologically on sharing, regardless of worthiness. Tropman studies the critical distinction historically and through official Catholic teachings; he focuses on attitudes toward work and money, mercy, family, community, charity, and perception of self and society. Despite some slips (John VI for Paul VI and Catholic Encyclopedia for New Catholic Encyclopedia), Tropman's work adds significantly to the small body of literature on the subject. (See also Michael Novak's The Catholic Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, LJ 2/1/93.) -- Library Journal

Joseph A. Varacalli
The Catholic Experience in America
by Joseph A. Varacalli. Greenwood Press (December 30, 2005).

This volume in the American Religious Experience series chronicles the history and present situation of the Catholic Church and the American Catholic subculture in the United States. Catholics have had a long history in America, and they have often had conflicting demands--should they remain loyal to the authority of the pope in Rome, or should they become more accommodating to American culture and society? The Catholic Experience in America combines historical, sociological, philosophical, and theological and religious scholarship to provide the reader with an overview of the general trends of American Catholic history, without over-simplifying the complex nature of that history.
Bright Promise, Failed Community: Catholics and the American Public Order
by Joseph A. Varacalli. Lexington Books (January 2000)

In "Bright Promise, Failed Community", respected Catholic sociologist Joseph Varacalli describes how and why Catholic America has essentially failed to shape the American Republic in any significant way. American society has never experienced a "Catholic moment" --the closest it came was during the immediate post-World War II era--nor is it now close to approximating one. Varacalli identifies as the cause of the current situation the "failed community" of Catholic America: an ineffective and dissent-ridden set of organizational arrangements that has not succeeded in adequately communicating the social doctrine of the Church to Catholic Americans or to the key idea-generating sectors of American life. The "bright promise" of Catholic America lies in the long and still developing tradition of social Catholicism. With a revitalized, orthodox, sophisticated community to serve as the carrier of Catholic social doctrine, Varacalli sees trends of thought that would propose viable alternatives to philosophies and ideologies that currently dominate the American public sphere-ones that would thus have a formidable impact on American society.


In Search of a "Catholic Moment" in U.S. History, by Mary Ann Kreitzer. The Truth Vol. 8 No. 4 Winter 2003/2004.
Review by Ken Whitehead. L'Osservatore Romano, (June 26-28, 2000).
The Self-Inflicted Wounds of American Catholicism, review by James Likoudis. Catholics United for the Faith. St. Catherine Review Sept./Oct. 2000.
Review by James Bemis. CatholicExchange.com. July 4, 2002.
The Church That Failed, by Mark Brumley. Catholic Faith March/April 2001.
Briefly Noted, First Things 104 (June/July 2000): 76-79.
George Weigel
Soul of the World: Notes on the Future of Public Catholicism
by George Weigel. Eerdmans Pub Co (March 1996).

Soul of the World is George Weigel's exploration of the theological roots of the Catholic Church's public witness, especially as that witness is exemplified by Pope John Paul II, whose pontificate has left a decisive imprint on the lives of nations and peoples around the world.

The Church is not one political actor or option among many, Weigel argues. The Church's distinctive social witness must always be grounded in its basic confession, that "Jesus Christ is Lord." That creed, in turn, helps create the social space in which democratic pluralism and the politics of consent can take root. Drawing on the great social encyclicals of John Paul II, Weigel shows how Christian orthodoxy, not an accomodation to the spirit of the age, provides the most secure foundation for building a free and virtuous society.

Freedom and its Discontents: Catholicism Confronts Modernity
by George Weigel. Ethics & Public Policy Center, 1991.

How can an authoritative church avoid authoritarianism? How can a church committed to a dialogue with modern science and the humanities still hold itself accountable to an ancient religious tradition? How can a hierarchied church defend religious freedom and support the democratic revolution in world politics? George Weigel's exploration of these issues of the modern Catholic debate over freedom touches concerns far beyond Catholic circles.
Catholicism and the Renewal of American Democracy
by George Weigel. Paulist Pr (May 1, 1989)

During the last twenty years, American Catholics have been locked in a Fierce Struggle to shape not only the inner life of their church but the stance their church will take on civic and political questions.In the book George Weigel takes us to the center of that struggle, where the Left and the Right are rallying around their standards,.One side, he believes, is yielding to a Jacobin temptation of descriptive radicalism which obscures the authoritative message of the gospel.The other side is retreating to a disgruntled, world-denying posture, longing for the restoration of a bygone and largely mythical age.

Distinct from these extreme positions, Weigel proposes a middle position suggested by the pioneering work of John Courtney Murray.He calls for a new language of moral discourse grounded in a reviving appreciation of natural law.Such a middle way, he believes, would help to create a "civil public square" where confessional sloganeering is replaced by a respectful discourse.

By way of illustration, Weigel discusses some of the most urgent issues of our day, including abortion, church-state relationships, and the debate over Third-World development.He analyzes the debates over these issues and points out ways to move beyond the present impasses that exist between opposing sides.

Tranquillitas Ordinis: The Present Failure and Future Promise of American Catholic Thought on War and Peace
by George Weigel. Oxford University Press, 1987.


Review by Charles J. Leonard. Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly Newsletter Vol. 10, No. 4. Sept. 1987. ("deserves to be on the same shelf as John Courtney Murray's We Hold These Truths")
Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
The Church and the Market : A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy
by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. Lexington Books (March 2005)


The Church Confronts Modernity: Catholic Intellectuals and the Progressive Era
By Thomas E. Woods, Jr. Columbia University Press (May 12, 2004).


Review by Kenneth Baker, S.J. Homiletic & Pastoral Review March 2005.
Restore All Things in Thomas? Christianity Today: Books & Culture Nov/Dec 2004.
Review by Walter M. Hudson. Seattle Catholic November 2004.
Review First Things 149 (Jan. 2005).
The Catholic Church & Progressivism, by Paul Gottfried. The American Conservative September 27, 2004.