“the very essence of our republic and our reason are being overturned in the public order”

It is interesting that Ameriʞa Magazine would feature something by or about Fr. James Schall, SJ.   Perhaps this is Jesuit solidarity?  Fr. Schall, a political philosopher, is retiring from his long and distinguished teaching career at Georgetown. Fr. Z kudos to him.

Ameriʞa interviewed Fr. Schall in advance of the release of his new book, a collection of essays entitled The Classical Moment: Selected Essays on Knowledge and Its Pleasures.  (Alas!  No Kindle version yet!)

The final paragraph of the interview caught my eye.

We live in a time in which the very essence of our republic and our reason are being overturned in the public order. They are replaced by the voluntarism of which Pope Benedict spoke so clearly. All turmoil in the public order begins in the hearts and minds of the dons, clerical and academic. My last thoughts are those of Chesterton concluding Heretics in 1905, that in the end, the only ones left to uphold reason in the modern world will be the believers. We are seeing this happen before our very eyes, but few notice because few want to know.

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  1. Supertradmum says:

    I have read Fr. Schall’s books for years and used them in teaching. He is an inspiration. I also heard one talk in person by him years ago. God bless him in his retirement and new projects.

    Like the Pope Emeritus, Schall is a champion of faith and reason, the hallmarks of the Catholic Church.

  2. Lisa Graas says:

    I wrote something today about public order, except that I used the term “rule of law.”


    Note to self: Read more from Fr. Schall.

  3. Rachel K says:

    How very true. And only the true believers, not those who practice external religiosity.

  4. Mike says:

    I heard Fr. Schall speak not too long ago, and he mentioned the book “The Litugical Consummation of Philosophy”, by an Anglican whose name escapes right now. In that volume, however, he paraphrased, approvingly, the author as saying one of the most contemplative moments possible occurs in the “Tridentine Mass.”

    I felt like high-fiving my friend next to me!

  5. Mike says:

    Now, now; let’s not be so down on the Society (although after four years as an undergraduate on the Company roller coaster in the early 1980s, I might be expected to be the first to say otherwise).

    This weekend I heard a Jesuit Father from Fordham lecture for over an hour without once rolling his eyes, or apparently causing anyone in the audience to want to. This was the kind of Jesuit dreaded, not by students of my generation for his waywardness, but by those of previous generations for his rigor. I could have listened to him all afternoon.

    And several times over the past 12 months I have been privileged to assist at the Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass offered by a Jesuit who seems to enjoy it.

    Orthodoxy happens.

  6. Woody says:


    That book is by the Anglican professor Catherine Pickstock, one of the “radical orthodoxy” group, as here.

    Archbishop Javier Francisco Martinez, of Granada, Spain, quotes the leader of that group, John Milbank, in the must-read piece “Beyond Secular Reason”, to be found here.

  7. acardnal says:

    Here is a video of Fr. James V. Schall’s, S.J. last lecture at Georgetown.


  8. Sonshine135 says:

    In 1787, when Benjamin Franklin was asked what type of government had the United States created; he stated, “A republic, if you can keep it.” The truth is quickly becoming clear. We cannot keep it. We are falling under a dictatorship of moral relativism. The 2008 elections proved decisively that Americans are uneducated and easily swayed by fluffy rhetoric and promises. Overall they have very little idea of how wealth is created, how this country was founded, or what true moral responsibility looks like. They confuse true freedom with being able to smoke and drink whatever they want, yet they complain about how children are impacted by abuses and accidents related to such behaviors. They believe that the government doesn’t belong in the bedroom, but they want the government to provide birth control free of charge so they can have relations with whomever they want, when they want. They want to avoid responsibility for the natural product of that type of relationship, so they want the government to provide coverage so they can abort at will. Otherwise, they have the child and then create the next generation of immoral, uneducated serfs.

    I would not say it is the “believers” that will uphold reason. The devil believes. The “c”atholics believe. It is the “practitioners” of the one true faith that will uphold reason. The only question- Are there enough people left to listen to reason?

  9. acardnal says:

    Remember the Regensburg Lecture by his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI that caused all the international uproar? The great Fr. Schall addressed it HERE

  10. Reconverted Idiot says:

    Woody, Mike: Thank God for John Millbank. His “debate” with Zizek – The Monstrosity of Christ. Paradox or Dialectic was instrumental in my turn from “Freudo-communism” to the Catholic Faith. Literally, I finished his chapter — having skipped it on the first two reads of the book — and got on my knees.

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