Obama’s “Right to Worship” Ushers in New State Religion

By |2017-07-31T23:48:19-05:00March 20th, 2014|Categories: Barack Obama, Christianity, Fr. James Schall, Religion, Thomas Jefferson|Tags: |

The constitutions or laws of many nations provide for what is called “religious liberty.” In practice, this liberty is under severe restrictions in numerous countries, if it exists at all. The fact is that no one can really talk about religious freedom without examining what the “religion” holds. Grace builds on nature but does not contradict [...]

On the Measure and Conservation of Human Things

By |2017-07-31T23:48:21-05:00October 28th, 2013|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Christianity, Fr. James Schall, Politics, Walker Percy|Tags: , |

For the truth of knowledge is measured by the knowable object. For it is because a thing is so or is not so that a statement is known to be true or false, and not the reverse.—Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Book 5,1.17, #1003 A people that were to honor falsehood, defamation, fraud, and [...]

On the Place of Augustine in Political Philosophy

By |2019-10-30T12:32:16-05:00August 28th, 2013|Categories: Christianity, Fr. James Schall, Literature, Political Philosophy, Political Science Reviewer, St. Augustine|

“Shall it (the happy life) be that of the philosophers, who put forward as the chief good, the good which is in ourselves? Is this the true good? Have they found the remedy for our ills? Is man’s pride cured by placing him on an equality with God?”— Pascal, Pensēes, #430. “Salvation, such as it shall [...]

On Leisure & Culture: Why Human Things Exist & Why They Are “Unimportant”

By |2017-07-31T23:48:28-05:00July 25th, 2013|Categories: Aristotle, Christianity, Classics, Culture, Fr. James Schall, Plato|Tags: |

Let me begin by citing two passages that graphically underscore the themes that I wish to consider here—the things of leisure and culture, of what is and its surprising origins. The first lines are from Gregory of Nazianzen, the great Eastern theologian: What benefactor has enabled you to look out upon the beauty of the [...]

On the Reading of Books

By |2017-07-31T23:48:29-05:00May 12th, 2013|Categories: Books, Christianity, Fr. James Schall|Tags: |

On Thursday, May 1, 1783, with “the young Mr. (Edmund) Burke” present, Samuel Johnson remarked: “It is strange that there should be so little reading in the world and so much writing. People in general do not willingly read if they can have anything else to amuse them.” The word “reading” here does not mean, say, [...]

Eric Voegelin on the Death of Plato

By |2020-08-12T16:26:09-05:00March 31st, 2013|Categories: Books, Christianity, Classics, Eric Voegelin, Fr. James Schall, Plato, Socrates|

Eric Voegelin was charmed by the death of Plato. Philosophy, Voegelin thought, had fled to the Academy—Plato’s Academy not ours—wherein poetry and the pleasure of music are received back no longer tainted by the polis using them for its own purposes. “But there is another sort of old age too: the tranquil and serene evening [...]

Humans Fully Living…Why I Love Books by James Schall

By |2016-02-12T15:28:28-06:00March 13th, 2013|Categories: Books, Christianity, Fr. James Schall, Robert M. Woods|

On the Unseriousness of Human Affairs: Teaching, Writing, Playing, Believing, Lecturing, Philosophizing, Singing, Dancing by James V. Schall Ever since God commanded His creation to rest, humans have managed to busy themselves to near oblivion. James Schall has long been recognized as one of the great masters of the essay. In his most recent collection of [...]

Conversations About the Highest Things

By |2016-02-12T15:28:30-06:00February 10th, 2013|Categories: Books, Christianity, Fr. James Schall, G.K. Chesterton|Tags: |

Schall on Chesterton by James V. Schall If G. K. Chesterton is persistently ignored by much of the contemporary intellectual world, he has, I think, no one to blame but himself. After all, he insisted he was nothing but a journalist who wrote for his time, and he did not give a hoot for posterity’s opinion [...]

Creatio Ex Nihilo: The Universe We Know In

By |2017-07-31T23:48:29-05:00January 1st, 2013|Categories: Christianity, Fr. James Schall, Philosophy|Tags: |

Socrates was fond of repeating the advice of the Oracle: “Know thyself.” He probably said, “Know thyself,” rather than, “Know the world,” because it is more difficult to know oneself than to know the world. Self-introspection yields not ourselves, but something approaching infinity beyond ourselves. The first thing we know about ourselves is that we [...]

The Right to Happiness

By |2019-12-26T11:25:10-06:00December 16th, 2012|Categories: Christianity, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Fr. James Schall, Happiness, Rights|Tags: |

An amusing citation from Margaret Thatcher reads: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” The socialists, however, were not the only ones who would run out of other people’s money. Democracies are quite capable of duplicating this feat.

 The question is this: What entitles us to acquire other [...]

The Desires of Man

By |2017-07-31T23:48:31-05:00October 8th, 2012|Categories: Christianity, Constitution, Education, Fr. James Schall, Liberal Learning, Virtue|Tags: , |

At the beginning of each academic year, we talk of a desire to learn. We think we have developed institutions that facilitate this learning. True, we question the cost of a university education. Many students end with significant debts; jobs are often scarce. Many do not actually learn much in college, especially about the important [...]

Mr. Shakespeare’s Plays: G.K Chesterton on Shakespeare

By |2017-07-31T23:48:31-05:00May 8th, 2012|Categories: Christianity, Fr. James Schall, William Shakespeare|Tags: |

Under the listings of Shakespeare, the Internet abounds in essays, reviews, texts, and comments, almost anything one can imagine about his works and about works explaining his works. My Viking Edition of Shakespeare comes to 1,471 pages. I suspect that at least that number of pages of new materials about Shakespeare appears almost every month. [...]

My Favorite Liberal Arts Professor: James Schall

By |2016-07-26T15:26:59-05:00January 25th, 2012|Categories: Books, Christianity, Fr. James Schall, Liberal Learning, Robert M. Woods|

What prompted this blog is that not long ago, a professor I have tremendous respect for stated in an interview that there are few, if any great essayist alive and writing today. If I understood him correctly, I disagree. If I misunderstood him, I apologize. In either case, I wanted to write a blog (not [...]

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