Description : Orestes Augustus Brownson (1803-1876) was a philosopher, essayist, and minister whose broad-ranging ideas both reflected and influenced the social and religious mores of his day. This superb biography by Patrick Carey provides a thorough, incisive account of Brownson's shifting intellectual and religious life within the context of American cultural history. Based on a close reading of Brownson's diary notebooks, letters, essays, and books, this biography chronicles the course of Brownson's eventful life, particularly his restless search for a balance between freedom and communion in his relations with God, nature, and the human community. Yet Carey's work is more than an excellent account of one man's development; it also portrays the face of an important period in American religious history. What is more, 200 years after Brownson's birth, America is marked by the same pressing social and religious issues that he himself addressed: religious pluralism, changing religious identifications, culture wars, military conflicts, and challenges to national peace and security. Carey's book shows how Brownson's values and ideas transcend his own time period and resonate helpfully with our own.
Description : Born in Vermont while Thomas Jefferson was president, and dying in Detroit while Rutherford B. Hayes was president, Orestes Brownson knew practicially everybody and wrote about practically everything in the nineteenth century. Called by some a "Marxist before Marx," he travelled from various forms of radicalism and religion to political conservatism and religious orthodoxy. His socialist roots made him a formidable adversary to Marxist thought in his maturity. In his first principles, Brownson came to stand at the opposite pole from Ralph Waldo Emerson; among his friends was John C. Calhoun. He set himself against both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, arguing that authority and liberty both are necessary for a commonwealth. Brownson maintained that pure democracy and social equality are death to civilization and liberty; that the moral principles taught by the Church deny the rectitude of leveling egalitarianism; and that those who would preserve the justice and freedom of the American Republic must resist the degradation of the democratic dogma. With force and penetrating intellect, Brownson reminded Americans that they must respect the wisdom of traditional values. By calling for restraints on American materialism and individualism, he did not make himself popular in his time. But as Russell Kirk makes clear in his new introduction, Brownson's ideas ' have had continuing influence, just as his thought has reentered American political discourse. Publication of his essays as part of the Library of Conservative Thought is particularly timely.
Description : This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work. As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.
Description : This collection of thirteen original essays by Orestes Augustus Brownson (1803-1876), a major political and philosophical figure in the American Catholic intellectual tradition, presents his developed political theory in which he devotes central attention to connecting Catholicism to American politics. These writings, which date from 1856 to 1874, cover not only his conversion to Catholicism after experimenting with a variety of religious and political beliefs but also slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the era of Jacksonian democracy, and a host of social, political, and economic issues. During this time, Brownson became one of the nation's leading thinkers and critics. Although faced with a dominant Protestant culture, Brownson argued for a political and social culture influenced by his deeply held Catholic faith. He defended Catholicism from the common charge that it was incompatible with American constitutionalism and, in fact, argued that it was the only spiritually viable foundation for American politics. He defended the political theory and institutions of the American framers, applauding their realistic view of human nature and the importance of both virtue in political leaders and checks and restraints in their constitutional structures. He opposed the rising influence of populist democracy by explaining its flawed assumptions about human nature and the possibilities of politics. Michael P. Federici's well-written introduction situates these essays within a coherent theme and explains how these essays are especially relevant to contemporary debates about populism, race, American exceptionalism, and the relationship between religion and politics. The book will interest students and scholars of American political thought, as well as those with an interest in religion and politics.