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 Professor of Political Philosophy from 1977 to 2012 at Georgetown University, where he received his Ph.D. in Political Th eory in 1960. Three times he was granted the Award for Faculty Excellence by the senior class at Georgetown’s College of Arts and Sciences. He wrote hundreds of essays and columns and more than thirty books, including On Islam, The Order of Things, and Another Sort of Learning from Ignatius Press.

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