May 3, 2018
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v2.1 Reference

Leo Strauss and His Catholic Readers

This book looks at the work and influence of Leo Strauss in a variety of ways that will be of interest to readers of political philosophy. It will be of particular interest to Catholics and scholars of other religious traditions. Strauss had a great deal of interaction with his contemporary Catholic scholars, and many of his students or their students teach or have taught at Catholic colleges and universities in America. Leo Strauss and His Catholic Readers brings together work by scholars from two continents, some of whom knew Strauss, one of whom was his student at the University of Chicago. The first section of essays considers Catholic responses to Strauss's project of recovering Classical natural right as against modern individual rights. Some of the authors suggest that his approach can be a fruitful corrective to an uncritical reception of modern ideas. Nevertheless, most point out that the Catholic cannot accept all of Strauss's project. The second section deals with areas of overlap between Strauss and Catholics. Some of the chapters explore encounters with his contemporary scholars while others turn to more current concerns. The final section approaches the theological-political question itself, a question central to both Strauss's work and that of the Catholic intellectual tradition. This section of the book considers the relationship of Strauss's work to Christianity and Christian commitments at a broader level. Because Christianity does not have an explicit political doctrine, Christians have found themselves as rulers, subjects, and citizens in a variety of political regimes. Leo Strauss's return to Platonic political philosophy can provide a useful lens through which his Catholic readers can assess what it means for there to be a best regime.


"A serious, learned, and courageous confrontation with the most radical critique of Catholic synthesis, which deepens and quickens Catholic self-understanding, a bold exercise in clarity and probity. –"—Pierre Manent, author of Metamorphoses of the City

"A rich collection of deeply thoughtful and thought- provoking inquiries into a fraught topic that has been previously inadequately explored but that is crucial for understanding the influence and significance of Leo Strauss. –"—Thomas L. Pangle, University of Texas at Austin

"Sheds much light on Catholic thought's reception of the philosophic inquiries of Leo Strauss, as it carefully explores the welcome contributions as well as the significant challenges that his work addresses to Catholic treatments of law and politics and their relation to faith. The authors are not Catholic Straussians but Catholic scholars seriously engaged with Strauss. For a long time Strauss has been a source for Catholic thinkers who are critical of historicism and who seek to articulate the crisis of modernity. As these essays show, Strauss also provokes Catholics to place more stress on the question of the best regime (moderating traditional emphasis on universal law), to consider anew the contrast between pre-modern and modern natural right and natural law (as recent Catholic teaching has mostly followed the modern tradition), and to reflect on the relation between Platonic claims for the philosophic life as the highest human possibility and biblical injunctions to charity and justice. The volume . . . will be read eagerly by both Catholic and non-Catholic readers interested in Strauss."—Richard Velkley, author of Heidegger, Strauss and the Premises of Philosophy: On Original Forgetting

9780813230436 : leo-strauss-and-his-catholic-readers-vaughan
360 Pages
$75.00 USD

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