Christianity, Democracy, and the American Ideal

A Jacques Maritain Reader

$12.95

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Some Americans claim we should exclude Christian values from the public square. On the contrary, argues philosopher Jacques Maritain, good Christians make good citizens.

They live by gospel values: honesty, integrity, and compassion. They obey the law. They resist the selfishness that unbelief and materialism breed. And they subordinate their own interests to the common good.

No wonder, says Maritain, that American democracy — which arose from a Christian people — has served so well and lasted so long.

Here Maritain shows that in a society unleavened by religious ideals, an enduring democracy can never take root. And once a religious people abandons its faith, even the greatest democracy must wither and die. Untethered from transcendent values, democracy becomes little more than a struggle to be won by the most powerful and the ruthless.

The hour is late. Too long have we stood by while politicians promise never to let their religious beliefs influence their political judgments. Too long has a false understanding of democracy cowed us into laying aside our Christian values when we vote.

As Maritain demonstrates in these lucid pages, Christians are vital to democracy. Good Christians make good citizens, and good citizens make strong democracies. If America and her ideals are to endure, says Maritain, Christians and their values must not be excluded from public discourse, but eagerly welcomed into it.

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"Here is sound philosophical support for cooperation between the government and faith-based groups."

Jim Towey
President of Ave Maria University
  • Pages: 160
  • Format(s): Paperback, eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-933184-01-2
  • Product Code: 019
  • Availability: Out of Stock
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Jacques Maritain, the Philosopher who Speaks to our Troubled Times
This book presents a good selection of texts from Jacques Maritain. It was inspiring and informative. Hopefully, those new to Maritain will be motivated by this work to avidly pursue years of learning from one of the 20th century's greatest Thomist philosophers.
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What a wonderful little book filled with the most dazzling gems of wisdom! Each of the Maritain quotes amounts to a wonderful motto to live the faith by. This book would be very useful as a stimulus for daily mediation. It really does provide for the most wonderful food for thought. I highly recommend this book!
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A Superb Introduction to the Thought of Maritain
Thoughtful Catholics and other Christians should acquaint or re-acquaint themselves with the ideas of Maritain; this very affordable book offers that opportunity. James Kelly provides a laudatory service by making these ideas readily available and giving them a useful framework and context. The public square benefits from civil discourse about these and other important issues. Catholics and other Christians need to participate in these public conversations with intelligence, integrity, and charity. Kelly and Maritain provide an admirable model for that enterprise.
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An excellent 'Starter Course' on Jacques Maritain
Kelley has skillfully arranged the work such that one quickly picks up connections from one chapter to another, and is moved to carefully ponder what Maritain is saying in one passage before moving along to the next.
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