The distinction between political and religious concerns, though important to recognize, is not as great as is supposed by many--especially by modern secularists, who tend to compartmentalize religion when they think of it at all. For one thing, every person, no matter how oriented toward revelation, must live in the world, and cannot wholly escape political matters or the concerns of the social sciences. Moreover, because politics does not represent humankind's ultimate end, good political philosophy must point beyond itself, and the good state must point beyond itself. A point central to Schall, and in his view a key mark of Roman Catholic political philosophy, is this recognition that "the ultimate destiny of each human being, the political animal, is not located in politics" (p. 158). Following Eric Voegelin, Schall recognizes the rise of ideology, and then the exhaustion of ideology, as symptoms of modern society's failure to recognize this basic reality. In closing itself to revelation and rejecting metaphysics, politics becomes its own monstrous metaphysics. Paralleling the phenomenon of political modernity is modern philosophy's hubristic tendency to identify the wholeness of reality with what is knowable through philosophy's methods. We neglect the vital role of revelation at our peril. (A book review by William F. Byrne)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Roman Catholic Political Philosophy
This is a quote from a book review on James V. Schall's book Roman Catholic Political Philosophy.