He lamented Americans’ lack of moral consensus about the common good. But unlike his critics, Novak would not impose his vision of it from the top down.
In light of Liberty Fund’s republication of Jacques Maritain’s Scholasticism and Politics, I discuss with Russell Hittinger Maritain’s defense of liberty from his perspective of integral humanism. The idea forms the core of the text, which also provides a method for imagining an innovative response to soft-despotism.
According to Liberty Fund’s description, the book is a
a collection of nine lectures Maritain delivered at the University of Chicago in 1938. While the lectures address a variety of diverse topics, they explore three broad topics: 1) the nature of modern culture, its relationship to Christianity, and the origins of the crisis which has engulfed it; 2) the true nature and authentic foundations of human freedom and dignity and the threats posed to them by the various materialist and naturalistic philosophies that dominate the modern cultural scene; and 3) the principles that provide the authentic foundation of a social order in accord with human dignity.