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Catholic Ideas and Catholic Realities

For the last fifty years, from the Second Vatican Council onward, it made sense to speak of an American Catholicism fully reconciled to liberal democracy. On the fringes there were still some noteworthy anti-liberal and radical Catholic periodicals and writers, but the mainstream was defined by the . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters

Religious Freedom Matthew Schmitz is right that we should focus less on the need for a universal tolerance and more on what sort of vision of the good life ought to be pursued among the tolerated (“Limits of Religious Freedom,” March). But my reason for believing this is near opposite to . . . . Continue Reading »

Confucian Integralism

In May 1989, protestors in Tiananmen Square erected a plaster statue of the Goddess Democracy. For almost a week, it faced off against the giant portrait of Chairman Mao that hangs from the Gate of Heavenly Peace. The juxtaposition seemed to sum up the choice facing China: communist rule or liberal . . . . Continue Reading »

For and Against Integralism

Modernity does not just refer to the time in which we happen to live, the era that follows the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Those who first recognized themselves as modern defined themselves self-consciously over against the ages that preceded them, though few probably grasped in its fullness . . . . Continue Reading »

Fierce Loyalties

In the last fifty years, most writing about modern Catholicism has treated Vatican II as the great watershed. According to the standard narrative, the Church before the Council was wedded to a stultifying scholasticism and sunk in soul-crushing authoritarianism. After the Council, a new spirit . . . . Continue Reading »

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