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Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization

Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization
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Finalist for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute Conservative Book of the Year award.

The genius of Western civilization is its unique synthesis of reason and faith. But today that synthesis is under attack—from the East by radical Islam (faith without reason) and from within the West itself by aggressive secularism (reason without faith). The stakes are incalculably high.

The naïve and increasingly common assumption that reason and faith are incompatible is simply at odds with the facts of history. The revelation in the Hebrew Scriptures of a reasonable Creator imbued Judaism and Christianity with a conviction that the world is intelligible, leading to the flowering of reason and the invention of science in the West. It was no accident that the Enlightenment took place in the culture formed by the Jewish and Christian faiths.

We can all see that faith without reason is benighted at best, fanatical and violent at worst. But too many forget that reason, stripped of faith, is subject to its own pathologies. A supposedly autonomous reason easily sinks into fanaticism, stifling dissent as bigoted and irrational and devouring the humane civilization fostered by the integration of reason and faith. The blood-soaked history of the twentieth century attests to the totalitarian forces unleashed by corrupted reason.

But Samuel Gregg does more than lament the intellectual and spiritual ruin caused by the divorce of reason and faith. He shows that each of these foundational principles corrects the other’s excesses and enhances our comprehension of the truth in a continuous renewal of civilization. By recovering this balance, we can avoid a suicidal winner-take-all conflict between reason and faith and a future that will respect neither.

Reviews and More

National Review, The Bookmonger Podcast

The American Conservative: Bookshelf for the Week of July 15

The Stream: Why the West is in Crisis and What Can Be Done

The Way of Beauty: Book Review

New Liturgical Movement: Book Review

Daily Caller: New Book Emphasizes The Importance of Faith and Reason for Western Civilization

Catholic World Report: "Without Logos, the West is over." A conversation with Dr. Samuel Gregg.

The Washington Free Beacon: Reason Without Faith is Dead

The Imaginative Conservative

Father Dwight Longenecker: The Ancient Novelty of Christianity

Law and Religion Forum: Gregg on Reason and Faith

The James Wilson Institute: An Interview with Dr. Samuel Gregg

The Stream: New Book Emphasizes the Importance of Faith and Reason for Civilization

Conflits: L’Occident rejette la raison. Entretien avec Samuel Gregg. Razón, fe y la supervivencia de la civilización

Additional Book Info

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Regnery Publishing
Year Published