front cover of The Abandoned Generation
The Abandoned Generation
Gabriele Kuby
St. Augustine's Press, 2021
A broken family throws formidable stumbling blocks onto the path of life that a society as a whole must traverse. But the stones under the feet of the children in these situations are the most hurtful and most in need of redress. Gabriele Kuby answers the call and does so with an acute sense of responsibility. As a child of divorce and later divorcee, Kuby speaks to herself when she urges the men and women of her generation to consider how failing as spouses we fail as parents, and as such cause the most trouble for our children. 

Reading Kuby’s analysis of cultural, sociological and biological data, the danger is clear and present. Yet Kuby asserts that, generally, our plight goes unnoticed and is veiled from our eyes. We need to see children for who and what they really are to us, to the family, and society at large. In the words of Fulton Sheen, “Children play a redeemer role in the family. The represent the victory of love over the insatiable ego. They symbolize the defeat of selfishness and the triumph of giving love.” Tragically, children are increasingly less a part of Western culture. This leaves the family, in the best case scenario, an artifact, and in the worst case, a casualty. 

The topics addressed by Kuby cover towering influences in postmodern family life: Gender politics, the abortion mentality, daycare (“Socialism 2.0”), premature stress, rights of children, digital distractions, pornography, and divorce. A native German, Kuby’s work is, heartbreakingly, as relevant to American society as her own.  This European perspective drives home the urgent need to recognize our situation as global and embedded, and one that requires more than political mobilization of mainstream efforts and responses. What really is good and normal, and how to we realize it? Listen to the heartstrings that yearn for true knowledge of oneself, Kuby implores, of God, and how in the surprise of God’s mercy we are guided through life. Kuby backs up this invitation to personal conversion and betterment with hard data.

front cover of Africae Munus
Africae Munus
Ten Years Later
St. Augustine's Press, 2022
With great foresight and vision for the Church, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI carefully integrated theological, catechetical and pastoral themes in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Africae Munus. Maurice A. Agbaw-Ebai and Matthew Levering, in the introduction to this collection of reflections and studies focused on the Pope Emeritus’ themes, affirm the African continent’s status as a global center for the growth of the Catholic Church in the twenty-first century and the future of the international Catholic community.
     Building on the vitality and enthusiasm of the Church in Africa, it is important to lift their faith through scholarly research and academic reflections. We cannot fully appreciate the dedication, commitment and perseverance of the Catholic community throughout the African continent if we do not know the truth of their sufferings and persecution and understand their resilience in the light of faith. This collection, drawn from the halls of academia, provides an important contribution to the understanding and advancement of Catholic Africa, following the insights and enlightenment of Pope Emeritus Benedict. It is my hope that these essays will enrich your understanding and experience of the Catholic faith.

— From the Preface by Seán Patrick Cardinal O’Malley

front cover of An African Perspective on the Thought of Benedict XVI
An African Perspective on the Thought of Benedict XVI
St. Augustine's Press, 2023
Catholicism continues to experience an exponential growth in Africa. Going by the figures and the intensity of religious practice, Africa can unarguably be described as the new center of the Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular. With over 236 million Catholics, Africa considers itself as having come of age and capable of making its voice heard on matters pertaining to global Catholicism/Christianity. And if there is a contemporary theologian greatly loved and admired by African scholars, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI ranks premium on that list. His convening a second synod on Africa on the theme of justice, peace and reconciliation, further endeared him to the African theologians. This book is a testimony to the affection that the Church in Africa has for Benedict XVI. In effect, as Africa finds its voice on the stage of global Catholicism, the theology of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI provides a fruitful space for Africa's engagement with the wider Church. Benedict XVI described Africa as the spiritual lung of the world. This volume testifies to the vitality and healthiness of that lung, a must read for all interested in African Catholicism and its definite impact on global Christianity as a whole. 

front cover of After Pandemic, After Modernity
After Pandemic, After Modernity
The Relational Revolution
Giulio Maspero
St. Augustine's Press, 2022
The global pandemic has levied a heavy toll on humanity, but in its wake appears a great opportunity. Amidst what he calls a crisis of modernity, Giulio Maspero points to a phenomenon that can be seen in plain sight. "The absence of personal relationships highlighted by the health crisis exposes the consequences of the modern matrix, which, having lost its Christian element, now risks transforming itself into a digital matrix, substantially configuring itself as a technognosis."   

Without Trinitarian framework ancient and new idols emerge, as the Covid-19 tragedies have shown. Yet post-pandemic must be a moment of clarity and realism, as we can see how necessary it is that humanity place itself in relation to something beyond. The post-modern journey, however, must be in the spirit of Christian humanism or else any so-called progress will no longer be unable to speak authentically of our humanity. That is to say, the relational dimension of human life will be erased right along with the other ills that plague our earth. 

front cover of The Age of Nightmare
The Age of Nightmare
The Gothic and British Culture, 1750–1900
Jeremy Black
St. Augustine's Press, 2022
Historian Jeremy Black is comprehensive, as ever, but in his treatment of the British Gothic novel his greatest service is the preservation of the detail––namely, the human impetus behind art that is often undervalued. Gothic novelists were purposeful, thoughtful, and engaged questions and feelings that ultimately shaped a century of culture. Black notes that the Gothic novel is also very much about "morality and deploying history accordingly." The true interest of the Gothic novel is more remarkable than it is grisly: the featured darkness and macabre are not meant to usurp heroism and purity, but will fall hard under the over-ruling hand of Providence and certainty of retribution. 

Black's understanding of the Gothic writer is a remarkable contribution to the legacy of British literature and the novel at large. Once again, in Black thoroughness meets fidelity and the reader is overcome with his own insights into the period on the merit of Black's efforts. 

In The Weight of Words Series, Black is devoted to the preservation of the memory of British literary genius, and in so doing he is carving out a niche for himself. As in the Gothic novel where landscapes give quarter to influences that seem to interact with the human fates that freely wander in, reading Black is an experience of suddenly finding oneself in possession of an education, and his allure takes a cue from the horrific Gothic tempt. 

front cover of American Multiculturalism and the Anti-Discrimination Regime
American Multiculturalism and the Anti-Discrimination Regime
The Challenge to Liberal Pluralism
Thomas F. Powers
St. Augustine's Press, 2023
Wokeness, cancel culture, identity politics, political correctness, multiculturalism—terms unsettling but also somehow inescapable. Thomas F. Powers shows how these are all one thing, elements of one broad political phenomenon—the anti-discrimination regime—–that has since 1964 been working to challenge and undermine America’s defining liberal democratic tradition (the tradition of the Declaration and the Constitution). The many deep lines of tension between the old and the new, presented here with arresting clarity, allow us to grasp the new order in its distinctiveness. Novel imperatives to regulate private life (behavior, speech, thought) begin to come to sight in the new order’s many laws and institutions. Attentive to the crucial role of law, the main focus of this book is nevertheless on the ideas, especially the moral ideals, thrust upon us by the new regime. This study examines theorists of multicultural education (non-postmodernist and postmodernist) who, without hesitation, set forth a new civic education and a new form of democratic pluralism for America. When a country has a new civic education, a new pluralism, and a new morality, these are signs of fundamental change not to be ignored. The book culminates in a direct critical examination of the new logic of group politics and the new morality of the anti-discrimination regime. In embarking on this new chapter of democratic life, do we know what we are doing?

front cover of America's Spiritual Capital
America's Spiritual Capital
Nicholas N. Capaldi
St. Augustine's Press, 2012

front cover of Anchors in the Heavens
Anchors in the Heavens
The Metaphysical Infrastructure of Human Life
Rémi Brague
St. Augustine's Press, 2017
Imagine you suddenly find yourself in the control room of a vast technological apparatus, sometime in the future, where you are told that science has satisfied all the needs of all living humans. Furthermore, you learn, the next generation of the species will not be produced in the usual way, but instead by this machine, provided only that somebody push a little red button. The catch: you have to give a reason for pushing it. You hesitate: what do you say?
     Our own world is more like this scenario than we at first may be inclined to admit, not least in the fact that, mutatis mutandis, we seem to be struggling to come up with a good answer. The problem, says Rémi Brague, is fundamentally a metaphysical one. Now, mention of ‘metaphysics’ in decent society these days is likely to elicit a smile or an unimpressed shrug. If there is a shelf with that label on it in your typical bookstore you are as likely to find guides to crystals, chakras, or hemp care there as you are treatises by Aristotle, Aquinas, or Kant. And, in spite of the ongoing revival of academic interest in metaphysics, it remains a rather specialist domain, a marginal sub-discipline in departments of philosophy, be they analytical or continental in cast. If you should take it too seriously, you’ll lose your bearings in the real world, and you’ll go adrift in some ethereal sea of dreams.
     It is, in a word, irrelevant – right?
     Wrong, Brague writes. Sustained reflection on the nature of being, undertaken in the hope that something can indeed be said about it, was for millennia considered to be among the most important of intellectual pursuits, and not without reason. With his characteristic combination of erudition and wit, Brague takes us on a sweeping tour of the discipline’s varying fortunes, from its early Athenian practitioners through its Jewish, Muslim, and Christian heirs, to the chorus of critics who in the last few centuries succeeded in putting an end to its dominance.
     But the questions that metaphysics was asking, Brague shows, did not disappear with its demise, and so, whether implicitly or explicitly, metaphysics itself has resisted relegation to the history books. For the nature of being, and especially our relationship to it, has continued to haunt its triumphant critics. One quintessentially metaphysical claim above all, as Brague suggests, seems to have horrified them: the doctrine that all that is, insofar as it is, is good. And yet, in rejecting the “convertibility” of the “transcendentals” of being and goodness, critics of the old metaphysics – Voltaire, Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Carnap, and Levinas among them – in their own ways offered metaphysical counter-claims, even as they turned increasingly anthropological in their interests.
     They also raised the stakes. For, whether the denial of the goodness of being can legitimately be attributed some causal responsibility for a world in which our species could rapidly and deliberately ensure its own extinction, this is the world we live in, and that denial does form the basis of the intellectual background from which we tend to begin our speculations. If we need to be able to articulate reasons for our project not to end, then we also need to rethink the rejection that we have come to take for granted.
     What Brague offers us here is not a narrative of decline, not a Jeremiad, not a nostalgic lament for the thought-world of a bygone era, but a sympathetic outline of some of the major tensions in the philosophical underpinnings of the modernity that we all inhabit. As such, it forms a part of his ongoing effort take modernity “more seriously than it takes itself”, to expose its hidden foundations, and to push it to its logical conclusions. In so doing, he hopes to help clarify where it is that we are going as a species, and to ensure that wherever it is, there is room for us humans in it.

front cover of The Ancient City
The Ancient City
Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges
St. Augustine's Press, 2022
The importance of engaging the problems of contemporary political theory has brought us to an unprecedented reliance on the historical commentary already provided by giants like Alexis de Tocqueville and Edmund Burke. Among these is also the less often noted Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges and his landmark work, The Ancient City

Fustel de Coulanges plunged deep into the world and language of the ancient Greeks and Romans. His presentation of religion as a factor in civilization equates to a vision of how and why the ancient city-state died. This is a non-partisan and spiritually unmotivated work of political-philosophical merit, in which from a perspective of Cartesian doubt Coulanges strips away layers of cultural façade until the most foundational and hidden stratospheres of Greek and Roman institutions are laid bare. 

The Ancient City places ancient Greek and Roman cities in relation to each other, and the daily life in both are illustrated in detail. Morality and custom are rendered as living and breathing entities, and the dynamics of social life are displayed in a way that the tragic influence of Christianity is rendered obvious, yet not heartbreaking. 

This new translation is an essential component to a well-rounded understanding of where the notion of the city and political ordering come from, the role of religion in politics, the development of law, and its reliance on custom and the eternal fabric of the family. 

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Aquinas on Crime
Charles P. Nemeth
St. Augustine's Press, 2008

Not much escapes the intellect and imagination of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas. Whether it be love, children, education, moral reasoning, happiness or the proper dispositions for human existence, St. Thomas seems an expert in all of it. Crime and criminal conduct are no exceptions to this general tendency with him. Not only does he have much to say about it, what he relates is perpetually fresh and surely the bedrock of what is now taken for granted. In this short treatise, the focus targets St. Thomas’s criminal codification – his law of crimes.

Indeed the magnanimity of his crimes code is a subject matter not yet treated in any detail in the scholarly literature. While parts and pieces are covered in many quarters, the literature has yet to develop a systematic, codified examination of Thomistic criminal law. The essence of the endeavor is threefold: first, how does St. Thomas factor the nature of the human person into the concept of criminal culpability and personal responsibility; second, what types of criminal conduct does St. Thomas specifically delineate and define; and lastly, what is Thomas’s view of mitigation and defense, as well as the corresponding punishment meted out for criminal conduct? This short commentary zeroes in on Thomistic Criminal Law – a project which will illuminate the root, the heritage and the foundation of modern criminal codification.


front cover of Aquinas’s Neoplatonism in the Summa Theologiae on God
Aquinas’s Neoplatonism in the Summa Theologiae on God
A Short Introduction
Wayne J. Hankey
St. Augustine's Press, 2016

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Aristotle On Poetics
Seth Benardete
St. Augustine's Press, 2002

Aristotle's much-translated On Poetics is the earliest and arguably the best treatment that we possess of tragedy as a literary form. Seth Benardete and Michael Davis have translated it anew with a view to rendering Aristotle’s text into English as precisely as possible. A literal translation has long been needed, for in order to excavate the argument of On Poetics one has to attend not simply to what is said on the surface but also to the various puzzles, questions, and peculiarities that emerge only on the level of how Aristotle says what he says and thereby leads one to revise and deepen one’s initial understanding of the intent of the argument. As On Poetics is about how tragedy ought to be composed, it should not be surprising that it turns out to be a rather artful piece of literature in its own right.

Benardete and Davis supplement their edition of On Poetics with extensive notes and appendices. They explain nuances of the original that elude translation, and they provide translations of passages found elsewhere in Aristotle’s works as well as in those of other ancient authors that prove useful in thinking through the argument of On Poetics both in terms of its treatment of tragedy and in terms of its broader concerns. By following the connections Aristotle plots between On Poetics and his other works, readers will be in a position to appreciate the centrality of this little book for his thought on the whole.

In an introduction that sketches the overall interpretation of On Poetics presented in his The Poetry of Philosophy (St. Augustine’s Press, 1999), Davis argues that, while On Poetics is certainly about tragedy, it has a further concern extending beyond poetry to the very structure of the human soul in its relation to what is, and that Aristotle reveals in the form of his argument the true character of human action.


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Art and Imagination
A Study in the Philosophy of Mind
Roger Scruton
St. Augustine's Press, 2015
This book presents a theory of aesthetic judgment and appreciation in the spirit of modern empiricism. There are three parts: the first deals with questions of philosophical logic, the second with questions in the philosophy of mind, and the third with questions in the philosophy of art. Thus the argument advances from a theory of aesthetic judgment (and in particularly of “aesthetic description”) to a theory of aesthetic appreciation, and thence to an account of the nature and value of art. 
       Scruton examines and rejects various attempts made by recent philosophers to demarcate the realm of aesthetic judgment. He argues that the logic of aesthetic judgment does not suffice to distinguish what is “aesthetic” from what is not, for aesthetic judgments must be explained in terms of the conditions for their acceptance rather than the conditions for their truth. These “acceptance conditions” can be understood only if we first know what is meant by aesthetic experience. This theory attempts to show how aesthetic experience can be regarded as autonomous, even though it is intimately connected with ordinary experience, and is indeed dependent on ordinary experience for its full description.

front cover of At a Breezy Time of Day
At a Breezy Time of Day
Selected Schall Interviews on Just about Everything
James V. Schall
St. Augustine's Press, 2016
We have books that contain collected essays, verse, and humor. What we see less often are books that contain collected interviews on various topics. Interviews have a certain outside discipline about them. The one interviewed responds to a question someone else asks of him. Often the questions are unexpected, sometimes annoying. Answers have a freshness to them. They can be more personal, frank. 
            The responses in At a Breezy Time of Day are occasioned when someone writes or phones with a request for an interview. There may be a common theme but often side questions come up. We are curious about what someone has to say –  about sports, about God, about Plato, about education, about books, about just about anything. Usually central questions occur. The same question can be answered in different ways. We often have more to say on a given topic than we do say on our first being asked about it.
            These interviews appeared in various on-line and printed sources. Having them collected in one text makes the interview form itself seem more substantial. Interviews too often seem to be passing, ephemeral things, but often we want to hold on to them. There is something more existential about them. Yet there is also something more lightsome about them also. The truth of things seems more bearable when it is spoken, when it has a human voice. 
So, as the title of this collection intimates, we begin with the very first interview in the Garden of Eden. We touch many places and issues. The interview always has somewhere even in its written form the touch of the human voice. The one who interviews invites us to speak, to tell us what we hold, why we hold it. Interviews are themselves part of that engagement in conversation that defines our kind in its search for a full knowledge of what is
We know that when we have said the last word, much remains to be said. We can rejoice both in what we know, and in what we know that we do not know. I believe it was Socrates who, in an earlier form of interview at the end of The Apology, alerted us to be aware of what we know and to await the many other interviews that we hope to carry on with so many others of our kind in the Isles of the Blessed.

front cover of Averroes' Middle Commentaries on Aristotles Categories and De Interpretatione
Averroes' Middle Commentaries on Aristotles Categories and De Interpretatione
St. Augustine's Press, 1998

front cover of Averroes' Middle Commentary on Aristotle's Poetics
Averroes' Middle Commentary on Aristotle's Poetics
St. Augustine's Press, 1999

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