August 26, 2014-Marian Center 6:30-8:00 PM
Early twenty-first century society is exhibiting all the danger signs of a terminal civilization. Tens of millions of unborn babies have died as the result of legally protected abortions. The West is also ravaged by an epidemic of divorce and the universal practice of contraception. These politically protected social practices have accelerated the depopulation of Western nations as well as the unraveling of the traditional family unit.
Christopher Ferrara, a renowned Catholic intellectual makes the case that the source of our problems can be traced to the European Enlightenment. Specifically, he points to the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke that created the theory of modern Liberty. Modern Liberty is defined as the unrestricted “pursuit of happiness.”Ferrara correctly states that the moral power and influence of the Catholic Church posed a significant threat to this worldview. To neutralize and marginalize the power of the Church, Hobbes and Locke within a generation of one another created the political concept of the separation of Church and state. Ferrara traces our current social, cultural and political chaos to this political theory when he writes “The fundamental problem with Liberty is its manifestation as the state without a soul and thus without a moral compass.”
The class on August 26 will use the political philosophy of Christopher Ferrara to explore the evolution of the modern theory of Liberty. Additionally I will compare and contrast the modern secular model of the “pursuit of happiness” with the traditional political philosophy of the Catholic Church.
Richard D. Fitzgerald O.P.