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Justice is an integral theme in Augustine’s political theology, and justice is directly correlated and contingent upon his theology of love.  True justice, for Augustine, begins with the love of God (and thereby extending to love of others since the love of others is the ultimate expression of love of God; the two commandments that embody the whole of the…

A controversial novel when it was first published, Saul Bellow’s Mr. Sammler’s Planet (1970) remains worth revisiting, even though the social and political conflicts of the 1960s have transformed themselves into an acceptable bobo ethos. With the inauguration of a new president, who was brought into office on the campaign message of hope and change, Bellow’s novel serves as a…
Dostoevsky

Early reception of The Brothers Karamazov ranged from praise to condemnation, with most of the criticism and debate focused on Book V’s The Tale of the Grand Inquisitor.  Both liberal atheists and conservative believers upbraided Dostoevsky for his alleged identification with the Inquisitor’s position against God; while a minority of critics, such as Vladimir Soloviev, applauded Dostoevsky’s exploration and defense…

The importance of place is often neglected by liberal theorists, with the assumption that liberal ideas are understood and articulated in the same manner from one society to another.[i] But as much as ideas shape a society’s culture and politics so do culture and politics shape ideas. In this article, I want to explore these relationships of politics, culture, and…

A Philosophical History of Love. Wayne Cristaudo. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers 2012.
 
Tina Turner once asked us, “What’s love got to do with it?”  Wayne Cristaudo’s A Philosophical History of Love provides the best answer to that question that this reviewer has ever rear or heard.  This thoughtful, thought-provoking, and scholarly work challenges us to take the fullness of love seriously, to…

Readers of Dostoevsky’s political novels recognize well that he is engaged in pitched battle against the West for the spiritual direction of Russia and his Russian brethren. He regards Russia as the last bastion of hope in the fight against secularism, materialism, rationalism, and individualism. That Russia is moving in the direction of the West is nothing less than a…

Love and Objectivity in Virtue Ethics: Aristotle, Lonergan, and Nussbaum on Emotions and Moral Insight. Robert J. Fitterer. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008.

 
Reviewing books on Bernard Lonergan is no small undertaking. The North American is famous for his panoramic understanding of the history of mathematics, economics, science, and Western philosophy. Writing on Lonergan requires a persistent attention to…

Professor Glenn Moots concludes his review on the critical note that my study of Lincoln’s usage of Christian charity will be valued only by readers who need an introduction “to important questions already considered.” In turn, he predicts that my book will not be “an enduring study of Lincoln or his political religion.” I assume that Professor Moots confidently makes…

Lincoln and the Politics of Christian Love. Grant N. Havers. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2009.
 
The central argument of Professor Havers’s new book is that a politics of Christian love, rightly understood, precludes American chosenness or exceptionalism. There can be no “democratic universalism,” Havers argues, apart from this ethic of charity. It becomes clear in the opening pages of…

They said, some men are too ignorant, and vicious, to share in government. Possibly so, said we; and, by your system, you would always keep them ignorant and vicious.

-Abraham Lincoln, "Fragments on Slavery," July 1, 1854


 
A Crisis of the People
Lincoln's trust in the judgment of the American people presupposed a stern condition: "We, the People" must act charitably.…