The deepest moral justification for a capitalist system is not solely that, poor system that it is, it serves liberty better than any other known system; not even that is raises up the living standards of the poor higher than any other system has; nor that it better improves the state of human health and the balance between humans and the environment that either real existing socialism or the traditional Third World society has. All these things, however difficult for one (...) to admit, are empirically true. The true moral strength of capitalism, however, lies in its promotion of human creativity.New wealth can be created. Human beings themselves are the primary cause of the wealth of nations. Human creativity is nature''s primary resource. Removing the institutional repression that now stifles that creativity is the large task ahead of us. (shrink)
To be human is to humanize; a radically empirical aesthetic, by J. J. McDermott.--Dream and nightmare; the future as revolution, by R. C. Pollock.--William James and metaphysical risk, by P. M. Van Buren.--Knowing as a passionate and personal quest; C. S. Peirce, by D. B. Burrell.--The fox alone is death; Whitehead and speculative philosophy, by A. J. Reck.--A man and a city; George Herbert Mead in Chicago, by R. M. Barry.--Royce; analyst of religion as community, by J. Collins.--Human experience and (...) God; Brightman's personalistic theism, by D. Callahan.--William James and the phenomenology of religious experience, by J. M. Edie.--Pragmatism, religion, and experienceable difference, by R. W. Sleeper.--How is religious talk justifiable, by J. W. McClendon, Jr. (shrink)
Writing as a philosopher, not as a social scientist, the author takes a radically different approach to the study of criminality, asking not 'what are the causes of crime?' but 'what are the causes of virtue?' Novak concentrates on what builds character and why there is a serious lack of character in our culture and society today.
As one of the foremost contemporary public intellectuals and scholars of our time, Hamid Dabashi's interests and writings span subjects ranging from Islamic philosophy and political ideology to Iranian art and Persian literature; from Sufism and Orientalism to Iranian and world cinema and contemporary Arab and Muslim visual arts; and from postcolonial theory and globalization to imperialism and public affairs. There is a direct connection between his theoretical innovations and the angle of his public interventions on the urgent global issues (...) of the day. This book brings together some of his most important writings, especially those that offer new ways of understanding Islam, Iran, Islamist ideology, global art, and the condition of global modernity. The book shows the underlying conceptual themes that unify Dabashi's wide-ranging and brilliantly insightful corpus. Book jacket. (shrink)
Michael Novak's eyewitness report on the second and pivotal session of Vatican II in 1964 vividly inter weaves pageantry, politics, and theology. An unusually well-informed lay intellectual, who had earned a theological degree just before the Council, Novak applauded the purposes of Pope John XXIII and his successor Paul VI-"to throw open the windows of the church." In this report, he coined the classic description of the foes of the reforms at Vatican II as the party of "nonhistorical orthodoxy," emphasizing (...) the eternal and unchanging, neglecting history and contingency. The author recounts many moments of high drama-Pope Paul VI's opening speech, the vote on the collegiality of bishops, the plea of Cardinal Bea on behalf of the chapter on Jews, and Bishop De Smedt's defense of religious freedom. His colorful chapter on the American bishops in 1964 serves as a fascinating benchmark, as do his many insights into the new role of the laity. His final chapter is a moving tribute to the Open Church engaging the contemporary world, and his new introduction brings this report up to date. This work will be of compelling interest to those interested in the post-conciliar fall of Communism, under the great John Paul II-who took his name from his two predecessors at Vatican II. The winner of the million-dollar Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, Michael Novak is a theologian, author, and former U.S. ambassador. He currently holds the George Frederick Jewett Chair in Religion and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. where he is director of social and political studies. His writings have appeared in every major Western language, and in Chinese, Bengali, Korean, and Japanese. Also available from Transaction are his Catholic Social Thought and Liberal Institutions, The Experience of Nothingness, The Guns of Lattimer, Unmeltable Ethnics, Belief and Unbelief, and Choosing Presidents. (shrink)
This article originally appeared in The Commonweal (October 5, 1962): 31–3. Michael Novak, a graduate student at the time, met Marcel while he was at Harvard University to deliver the William James lectures in the fall of 1961. Those lectures were subsequently printed in the volume, The Existential Background ofHuman Dignity (1963). The article is reprinted here with the kind permission of Michael Novak and the Commonweal magazine.
As in the nineteenth century so in the twentieth, a number of laymen and women have appeared in the firmament of intellect and the arts to place the entire body of Christians in their debt. Of these, no one has been more influential in different spheres than Jacques Maritain. In political and social thought, no Christian has ever written a more profound defense of the democratic idea and its component parts, such as the dignity of the person; the sharp distinction (...) between society and the state; the role of practical wisdom; the common good; the transcendent anchoring of human rights; transcendent judgment upon societies; and the interplay of goodness and evil in human individuals and institutions. To read him is to be forced to look, through such distinctions, from many angles of vision at once. And all for the sake of unity: To distinguish in order to unite," is a most suitable motto for his life's work. Maritain focused on the real content of democracy understood as all those common experiences, ways of looking at things, forms of consciousness, habits, and convictions that entire peoples acquire slowly, underlining the importance of Christian renewal for the transcendent grounding of human dignity and human rights as "the soul of democracy.". (shrink)