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To the ears of ceaselessly busy and ambitious modern Westerners, it will come as a shock, and perhaps as an insult, to be told that human affairs are unserious. But this fundamental truth is exactly what James Schall, following Plato, has to teach us in this wise and witty book. Schall cites Charlie Brown, Aristotle, and Samuel Johnson with the same sobriety the sobriety that sees the truth in what is delightful and even amusing. Singing, dancing, playing, contemplating, and other useless human activities are not merely forms of escape from more important things politics, work, social activism, etc. but an indication of the very nature of the highest things themselves. On the Unseriousness of Human Affairs is an instructive volume whose countercultural message is of vital importance.
A collection of Fr. James Schall's recent essays, Political Philosophy and Revelation offers a learned, erudite, and coherent statement on the relationship between reason and revelation in the modern world. It addresses political philosophy in the context of an awareness of other humane and practical sciences, including history, literature, economics, theology, ethics and metaphysics. Today, revelation and reason are often thought to be in opposition to each other. This book looks at arguments and evidence for a more consistent reading of our experience and thought, one that would include the revelational contributions and the philosophy and politics it inspires. This is done in accord with the Catholic understanding of freedom and reason . To see these connections, Schall looks to the readings of Plato to illustrate how revelation addresses itself to reason. Political Philosophy and Revelation will prove to be an indispensable guide to the thinking and writing of Fr. Schall in the second decade of the twenty first century.
Augustine of Hippo is one of the most well-loved and most thoughtprovoking writers of the early church. He is also one of the most quotable. In this slim volume, some of the saint's memorable, pithy, controversial, and oYen feisty sayings are gathered in topics that range from war to peace; grief to happiness; vice to virtue; and from heaven to hell. He speaks-and speaks out-on things theological, such as sin and salvation, but also on the life of the mind-on books, education, teaching, and knowledge. This book is ideal for those who wish to read some of the wisest and most wonderful sayings of Augustine. It will help all those who wish to pepper a speech, or a sermon, or an essay with the wisdom of Saint Augustine. The book is a valuable resource, too, for anyone who wants tofind out Did Augustine really say that? and, if he did, in which of his voluminous writings it appeared. Drawn from the internationally acclaimed and successful series, the `Fathers of the Church,' The Quotable Augustine presents a wide-ranging sample of the writings of a towering figure of the early church.
A Student's Guide to Liberal Learningis an inviting conversation with a learned scholar about the content of an authentic liberal arts education. It surveys ideas and books central to the tradition of humanistic education that has fundamentally shaped our country and our civilization. This accessible volume argues for an order and integration of knowledge so that meaning might be restored to the haphazard approach to study currently dominating higher education. Freshly conveying the excitement of learning from the acknowledged masters of intellectual life, this guide is also an excellent blueprint for building one's own library of books that matter.
Teaching, Writing, Playing, Believing, Lecturing, Philosophizing, Singing, DancingEchoing philosophers such as Josef Pieper, Schall explains how the modern world has inverted the rational order of human affairs, devaluing the activities of leisure and placing an exaggerated emphasis on utilitarian concerns. Though he does not deny the importance of those necessary and prosaic activities that take up the bulk of our daily lives, Schall puts these pursuits in perspective by asking, what do we do when everything we have to do is done?Defending the importance of simply wasting time, losing ourselves in play, and Chesterton's claim that ';a thing worth doing is worth doing badly,' Schall contends that the joy that accompanies leisure, festivity, and conviviality gives us a glimpse of the eternal. Such activities also enable us to get beyond ourselvesindeed call us beyond ourselvesand are therefore essential if we are to rightly order our worldly concerns. For as Schall reminds us, neither man nor his projects are the highest things in the universe, and it is only by understanding this fact that man can attain to his true dignity.Citing Aristotle, Samuel Johnson, Charlie Brown, andNew Yorkercartoons with equal sobriety, Schall unfolds a defense of both Being and being, of the radical contingency and therefore goodness of existence itself.On the Unseriousness of Human Affairsis an instructive volume whose countercultural message is of vital importance.
InThe Life of the Mind, Georgetown University's James V. Schall takes up the task of reminding us that, as human beings, we naturally take a special delight and pleasure in simply knowing. Because we have not only bodies but also minds, we are built to know what is. In this volume, Schall, author ofOn the Unseriousness of Human Affairs(ISI Books), among many other volumes of philosophical and political reflection, discusses the various ways of approaching the delight of thinking and the way that this delight begins in seeing and hearing and even in making and walking. We must be attentive to and cultivate the needs of the mind, argues Schall, for it is through our intellect that all that is not ourselves is finally returned to us, allowing us to live in the light of truth.
In The Life of the Mind, Georgetown University's James V. Schall takes up the task of reminding us that, as human beings, we naturally take a special delight and pleasure in simply knowing. Because we have not only bodies but also minds, we are built to know what is. In this volume, Schall, author of On the Unseriousness of Human Affairs among many other volumes of philosophical and political reflection, discusses the various ways of approaching the delight of thinking and the way that this delight begins in seeing and hearing and even in making and walking. We must be attentive to and cultivate the needs of the mind, argues Schall, for it is through our intellect that all that is not ourselves is finally returned to us, allowing us to live in the light of truth.
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.
The engaging and inquiring mind of French philosopher Jacques Maritain reflected on subjects as varied as art and ethics, theology and psychology, and history and metaphysics. Maritain's work on the theoretical groundings of politics arose from his diverse studies. In this book, distinguished theologian and political scientist James V. Schall explores Maritain's political philosophy, demonstrating that Maritain understood society, state, and government in the tradition of Aristotle and Aquinas, of natural law and human rights and duties. Schall pays particular attention to the ways in which evil appears in political forms, and how this evil can be morally dealt with. Schall's study will be of great importance to students and scholars of political science, philosophy, and theology.