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Carson Holloway (Ph.D. Northern Illinois University) is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a former William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Princeton University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.
WOL6 – Democracy, Tocqueville, and St. John Paul II – Reflections on the teachings of St. John Paul II w/ Dr. Carson Holloway – Discerning Hearts
Episode 6- “Democracy in America” by Alexis de Tocqueville is the focus of this episode. What is “democracy” and why did it work it in the American experience. There is much that is good and sound in the founding of “modern western democracy”, but what has happened in the view of “Evangelium Vitae” that has possible knocked it off track.
WOL5 – The “Declaration of Independence” – Reflections on the teachings of St. John Paul II w/ Dr. Carson Holloway – Discerning Hearts
Episode 5- The “Declaration of Independence” and American political philosophy and what it involves. What is the “natural law” and how it applies to political thought. There are principals of political “rights and wrongs” and these are the foundations for political practice (which are not always followed by the human person). What are the “self-evident” truths? What are “natural rights”? Why did this system of thought survive given the American experience compared to the results of the French revolution and its theories? Both might be “children” of the Enlightenment, but one was hostile to Christianity, the other embraced it.
WOL4 – David Hume, The Scottish Enlightenment and the Culture of Death – Reflections on the teachings of Pope John Paul II w/ Dr. Carson Holloway – Discerning Hearts
WOL4 – Episode 4 – The Scottish Enlightenment…what was it and why was it such an important movement to understand. The influence of David Hume – Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist. The flaw in Hume’s philosophy – that self-interest is stronger than sympathy, and if morality, according to Hume’s thinking, is derived from the passions, then ultimately self-interest is a greater worth and motivator than sympathy. This conflicts with the Christian understanding of the “Golden Rule” and fuels the Culture of Death…those in need become very vulnerable in the culture.
WOL3 – Hobbes, Locke and the Culture of Death – Reflections on the teachings of Pope John Paul II w/ Dr. Carson Holloway – Discerning Hearts
WOL3 – Episode 3 -The influence of Thomas Hobbes and his role as the father of modern-day liberalism. Absolute monarchy and the tyranny of “unlimited” government. The difference between Divine-right monarchy and Absolute monarchy, and the legitimacy thought behind “dictatorship”. How this affects ruling systems in history, and it’s influence on the “Culture of Death”. Who was John Locke? The Law of Nature and it’s obligations according to Locke’s thought. The fundamental rule to preserve oneself. Bl. John Paul’s response to that thought…to respect the moral law and give of oneself.
WOL2 – What is “Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life)” -The Way of Life – Reflections on the teachings of Pope John Paul II w/ Dr. Carson Holloway – Discerning Hearts
WOL2 – Episode 2 – What is “Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life)”? What does this have to do with Liberal Modernity? What is wrong with public culture we now have? What is the Culture of Death? Are there defects that go at the deepest foundational levels of our culture that have led to this behavior? Human dignity has to be recognized on all levels. Who was Thomas Hobbes, English philosopher and proponent of absolute government? His life and times? And what are the damaging effects of his thought on the value of the human person? What is Bl. John Paul’s response?
WOL1 What is “liberal modernity”? – The Way of Life – Reflections on the teachings of Pope John Paul II w/ Dr. Carson Holloway – Discerning Hearts
“We must find a way to discuss the human future intellectually. The universal moral law written on the human heart is precisely that kind of grammar which is needed if the world is to engage in this discussion of it’s future” Bl. Pope John Paull II
WOL1 – Episode 1 – What is “liberal modernity”? Maybe not so modern? The revolution in political philosophy…like the thought of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke…what is “good” and what are the problems. Why is it important to discern between “self-interest” and the dignity of each human person? Why is Bl. John Paul’s thought relevant to Western Liberalism? What is the “Culture of Death” and the climate of moral confusion?
The Way of Life, Carson Holloway examines the fundamental philosophers of modernity-from Hobbes to Toqueville-to suggest that John Paul II’s critique of modernity is intended not to reject, but to improve. Thus, claims Holloway, it is appropriate for liberal modernity to attend to the Pope’s thought, receiving it not as the attack of an enemy but as the criticism of a candid friend.
The passing of John Paul II provoked questions about the Pope, particularly in his relation to modernity. Was he opposed to the tenets of modernity, as some critics claimed? Or did he accommodate modernity in a way no Pope ever had, as his champions asserted? In The Way of Life, Carson Holloway examines the fundamental philosophers of modernity-from Hobbes to Toqueville to suggest that John Paul II’s critique of modernity is intended not to reject, but to improve. Thus, claims Holloway, it is appropriate for liberal modernity to attend to the Pope’s thought, receiving it not as the attack of an enemy but as the criticism of a candid friend.
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