The Myth of Romantic Love and Other Essays

Overview

Written by noted Catholic philosopher Michael Novak, the selections in The Myth of Romantic Love and Other Essays highlight the arc of his intellectual career. Collectively demonstrating the fundamental unity of Novak’s work, the sixteen essays in this book span a broad range of political, economic, and social topics.

The selections offer clarity of thinking for the sake of concrete ends. For example, "The Myth of Romantic Love," the chapter from which the title of this work is ...

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The Myth of Romantic Love and Other Essays

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Overview

Written by noted Catholic philosopher Michael Novak, the selections in The Myth of Romantic Love and Other Essays highlight the arc of his intellectual career. Collectively demonstrating the fundamental unity of Novak’s work, the sixteen essays in this book span a broad range of political, economic, and social topics.

The selections offer clarity of thinking for the sake of concrete ends. For example, "The Myth of Romantic Love," the chapter from which the title of this work is drawn, sharply distinguishes the "love" that popular culture portrays from the true Christian vision of love. And "The Family out of Favor" argues, "if things go well with the family, life is worth living; when the family falters, life falls apart." Thus, true Christian love manifest in marriage and family life is a greater resource for civilized society than any other institution.

Although this collection shows that Novak’s viewpoints did evolve over time, he remains a thinker that is clearly rooted in the ancient and medieval Catholic tradition. From his discussions of gender relations, to economics, culture, and politics, his perspective honors the primacy of man and his immediate experience, and thereby ultimately glorifies the Creator. Novak’s writing will infuriate some readers, and inspire many others—but both comrades-in-arms and intellectual opponents will find the clarity and intensity of his writings undeniable.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The provocative title of this wonderful collection of essays should not obscure the absolute centrality of love in Michael Novak’s philosophical outlook. For while romantic infatuation evaporates as hormones retreat, true love requires that ‘we spend a lifetime being instructed in its secrets.’ We humans were chosen, as ‘God wished to show what he is made of, to let us look behind the veil at the Love that moves the sun and all the stars.’ In God’s Image—which is Love itself—were we created. For Novak, love is ‘to will the good of the other as other’—certainly not as what benefits us, nor as we imagine it to be: no one is to be treated as a means, only as an end. Novak’s elegant prose and simple yet profound insights lead naturally to a defense of individual freedom and democratic capitalism that is fully backed by empirical facts but is ultimately based upon deeply moral principles which cannot fail to inspire the receptive reader.” —Juliana Geran Pilon, Ph.D., Director, Center for Culture and Security, The Institute of World Politics
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412847797
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/7/2013
  • Pages: 260
  • Sales rank: 1,024,960
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Novak is George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. He has twice been the US ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission and is a member of the National Endowment for Democracy board. He is the author of over two dozen books and numerous scholarly articles which have appeared in First Things, The Weekly Standard, and National Review Online.

Elizabeth Shaw has a doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of America and is Michael Novak’s research assistant. Her work has appeared in First Things.

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Table of Contents

Editor’s Introduction Male and Female He Made Them 1. The Myth of Romantic Love 2. What Marriage Is 3. The Family out of Favor 4. Women, Ordination, and Angels Caritas, Capitalism, and Human Flourishing 5. The Love that Moves the Sun 6. The Rise of the Unmeltable Ethnics 7. Why Latin America Is Poor 8. An Apology for Democratic Capitalism The Transcendent Roots of Culture 9. A Reckoning 10. O Europe! 11. Beauty Is Truth 12. Truth and Liberty Coming down to Earth 13. Building a New Party 14. The Volatile Counterculture 15. The Rich, the Poor, and the Reagan Administration 16. Poverty Down, Inequality Up? Index

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