Reasonable Pleasures

The Strange Coherences of Catholicism

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The fact of pleasure is obvious to us, but its relation to reason is less understood. We are beings who laugh and run, sing and dance, but we too seldom reflect on why we do these things. Above all, we are beings who think and who want to know whether our lives make sense.

In this thought-provoking study of the relationship between our reason and our experience of pleasure, popular professor and author Fr. James Schall shows how reason, religion and pleasure are not in conflict with one another. Religion has to do with how man relates to God. Catholicism is not so much a religion as a revelation. It records and recalls how God relates to man.

The popular mood of our time is that neither religion nor revelation has much to do with real life. Yet when we look at things as having meaning and order, they fit together in surprising ways. This coherence should bring us joy, and teach us how reason, religion and pleasure can work together for our benefit. Schall shows us in this book why we have many reasons to think that our lives make sense, that our pleasures can be reasonable, and our reason itself is a pleasure.

Fr. James V. Schall, S.J.

James V. Schall, S. J., was a popular and highly regarded Professor of Political Philosophy for many years at Georgetown University until his retirement in 2012. His previous books include Another Sort of LearningIdylls and RamblesThe Life of the MindReasonable Pleasures, and The Order of Things.

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