Roman Catholic Political Philosophy
by James V. Schall, S.J.

(Lanham: Lexington Books, 2004)

Book review: from Homiletic and Pastoral Review (March 2005)

In Roman Catholic Political Philosophy, James V. Schall examines the non-contradictory relationship between Roman Catholicism and political philosophy, between revelation and reason. It is his contention that political philosophy, the primary focus of the book, asks certain questions about human purpose and destiny that it cannot, by itself, answer. Revelation is the natural complement to these important questions about God, human being, and the world. Schall manages to avoid polemicism or triumphalism as he shows how revelation and political philosophy contribute to the fuller understanding and appreciation of each other.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: Why is Political Philosophy Different?

Chapter Two: On the Paradoxical Place of Political Philosophy in the Structure of Reality

Chapter Three: The Philosopher's Study of Political Things

Chapter Four: The Role of Christian Philosophy in Politics

Chapter Five: On How Revelation Addresses Itself to Politics

Chapter Six: The Relation of Political Philosophy to Metaphysics and Theology

Chapter Seven: From Curiosity to Pride: On the Experience of Our Own Existence

Chapter Eight: Modernity: What Is It?

Chapter Nine: Revelation, Political Philosophy, and Morality

Chapter Ten: Worship and Political Philosophy

Chapter Eleven: Roman Catholic Political Philosophy


Thirty-three Summary and Concluding Maxims, Principles, and Aphorisms Concerning Roman Catholic Political Philosophy


Nota bene: The online chapters here are the original versions of the chapters as published in various journals. The chapters as finally published in the complete book have been thoroughly revised and updated for publication as part of the book-length argument. Please consult the book if you wish to cite the argument of the book rather than that of the journal articles.

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Read the book reviews of Roman Catholic Political Philosophy
by Robert Reilly
by Christopher S. Morrissey
by Tracey Rowland

Read more online essays by James V. Schall from his Web site at (and a few more essays are also available here)

Read a magisterial synthesis of Catholic social teaching at (also available as a free PDF book)