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Kenneth R. Craycraft, Jr., is chairman of the theology department at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas.
Recently named Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago, Jean Bethke Elshtain has a keen eye that sees through the haze of fashionable ideologies.
In response to the charge of obsession with a "single issue," pro-life activists contend that the abortion debate is really paradigmatic. As Joseph Sobran suggested several years ago, "The debate about abortion is really the kind of debate America shies away from: a debate about what man is, and what society should be."
Few names are more notorious in the contemporary academic and culture wars than that of Stanley Fish. Among conservatives, he is mockingly dismissed as the representative of all that is evil in the modern university: a man for whom texts mean whatever the reader wants them to mean and who is hell-bent on destroying the canon of Western literature—and thus Western civilization itself.
It is fitting that the most confused and confusing legal tradition in America today is First Amendment case law regarding religious liberty.
This book is a collection of largely reprinted material (with revisions in some cases) and a couple of original essays. Its nine chapters cover (according to section titles) "the Catholic human rights revolution," "peace and economy, again," and "the life of the mind."
In 1960 John Courtney Murray, S.J., warned of the possibility that America was slipping into a new barbarism. In his best known work, We Hold These Truths, Father Murray said that barbarism "threatens when men cease to talk together according to reasonable laws."
"The first thing to understand is that we are all practical atheists," Stanley Hauerwas once declared in a phone conversation. "So when we ask, 'Why does a good God allow bad things to happen to good people?' what we really mean is, 'Why doesn't modern medicine cure cancer?'"
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