Discussions and Arguments on Various Subjects

Gracewing, 2004 - 490 sivua

"This is an excellent work that will lay just claim to being a major treatment of the most significant themes in the work of Leo Strauss. Sorensen's persuasive and original linking of Strauss's critical study of Machiavelli with Strauss on reason/revelation illuminates a new dimension of the philosopher's thought." --Walter Nicgorski, University of Notre Dame

Leo Strauss has perhaps been more cited--and alternately vilified or revered--in the last ten years than during the productive years of his scholarly life. He has been blamed (or credited) for providing the intellectual underpinnings of a generation of neoconservatives in political philosophy and foreign policy. But though he may be cast as a conservative thinker who critiques modernity, to interpret him exclusively in this light is to reduce him in ways that his self-definition, as a political theorist open to both religion and philosophy, does not justify. Kim A. Sorensen clearly lays out the debate surrounding Strauss by reviewing his published work and legacy since his death in 1973. He then turns to a key distinction in Strauss's thought--between revelation and reason, or religion and philosophy--and maintains that Strauss used their mutual opposition to modernity as a central theme in his oeuvre. For Sorensen, Strauss considered revelation and reason both as fundamentally different worldviews and as alternate ways of understanding the good life. Sorensen explores Strauss's views on the revelation/reason distinction through a close examination of the final chapter in Strauss's Thoughts on Machiavelli. Here Strauss weighs Machiavelli's critique of religion in general and Christianity in particular, and Machiavelli's departure from the classical tradition of political philosophy dating from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. For Strauss, the "crisis of our time" has its point of origin in Machiavelli's rejection of both biblical and classical morality as guides to the efficacy of political virtue. For Strauss, Sorensen claims, a recovery of the ancient virtues of classical political philosophy is essential. Sorensen also shows that while Strauss is accepting of reason, he is also open to revelation. In the end, he is a philosopher both of Athens and of Jerusalem.

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Introduction James Tolhurst 2004

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English clergyman John Henry Newman was born on February 21, 1801. He was educated at Trinity College, University of Oxford. He was the leader of the Oxford movement and cardinal after his conversion to the Roman Catholic Church. In 1822, he received an Oriel College fellowship, which was then the highest distinction of Oxford scholarship, and was appointed a tutor at Oriel. Two years later, he became vicar of St. Mary's, the Anglican church of the University of Oxford, and exerted influence on the religious thought through his sermons. When Newman resigned his tutorship in 1832, he made a tour of the Mediterranean region and wrote the hymn "Lead Kindly Light." He was also one of the chief contributors to "Tracts for the Times" (1833-1841), writing 29 papers including "Tract 90", which terminated the series. The final tract was met with opposition because of its claim that the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England are aimed primarily at the abuses of Roman Catholicism. Newman retired from Oxford in 1842 to the village of Littlemore. He spent three years in seclusion and resigned his post as vicar of St. Mary's on October 9, 1845. During this time, he wrote a retraction of his criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church and after writing his "Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine," he became a Roman Catholic. The following year, he went to Rome and was ordained a priest and entered the Congregation of the Oratory. The remainder of Newman's life was spent in the house of the Oratory that he established near Birmingham. He also served as rector of a Roman Catholic university that the bishops of Ireland were trying to establish in Dublin from 1854-1858. While there, he delivered a series of lectures that were later published as "The Idea of a University Defined" (1873), which says the function of a university is the training of the mind instead of the giving of practical information. In 1864, Newman published "Apologia pro Vita Sua (Apology for His Life)" in response to the charge that Roman Catholicism was indifferent to the truth. It is an account of his spiritual development and regarded as both a religious autobiography and English prose. Newman also wrote "An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent" (1870), and the novels "Loss and Gain" (1848), Callista" (1856) and "The Dream of Gerontius" (1865). Newman was elected an honorary fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, in 1877 and was made cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879. He died on August 11, 1890.

James Tolhurst, a former priest of the Southwark archdiocese, is the Series Editor of the Millennium Edition. He lives in Chislehurst, Kent.

Gerard Tracey was archivist of the Birmingham Oratory. He died suddenly in January 2003, at the age of 48, while preparing the notes for this book. James Tolhurst, a former priest of the Southwark archdiocese, is the series editor of the Millennium Edition.

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