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 : Provides biographical information on more than 270 individuals important to the religious community, having dedicated their lives to religious teaching in various forms, such as evangelism, founding schools and debating the relationship between church and state.
Description : "The subjects explored - feminism, race, immigration, church and state, and national unity - remain topical in our own time. Brownson argued that the American republic's unique charter was to reconcile liberty with law and thus set an example for the world. This volume is made especially timely by the ongoing revival of his thought in American political discourse."--BOOK JACKET.