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Integralism and the Common Good (Volume 2)

Integralism and the Common Good (Volume 2)

Selected Essays from The Josias Volume 2: The Two Powers

Edited by P. Edmund Waldstein

400 pp

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About the Book

If the Catholic Church can look with indifference on various political forms, it is not true conversely that political communities can look with indifference on various forms of “religion.” Like any part of creation, political life—established and willed by God for the sake of the temporal common good—has been wounded and is in need of healing by the grace of God, in whom all things subsist and to whom they are to be directed. The Church is no threat to temporal authorities but the bearer of a message of hope that they can become more fully themselves: she calls on them to recognize the truth about man that his Creator has written into his heart and the truth that has become man in the Word made flesh. Being both from God, the two powers—the temporal power of earthly rulers and the spiritual power of the Apostles and their successors—are meant to enter into an ordered relation, each having its own proper concern but capable of flourishing only in harmonious cooperation. This second volume of selected essays from The Josias is largely concerned with expounding the social duties of man toward the true religion: in short, the meaning of the Social Kingship of Christ. It pursues the implications of the Church’s demand for freedom of action (libertas ecclesiae) against the false principle of the separation of Church and state, and deftly responds to objections raised against this vision of “integralism.”

This first volume of essays treats the main questions of practical philosophy: the principles of human action and the common goods of natural human communities, ranging from the smallest and most fundamental (the household) to the greatest and most encompassing (the political community). The second volume will be devoted to the relations of those natural communities to the supernatural Kingdom established by Christ.


“The good, the common good, the highest good—these and other concepts have once more come to permeate political discourse in the West. While this is a salutary development, there is also much confusion in the air over what they really mean. No more: This lucid and learned anthology is a fantastic one-stop primer for the perplexed layman.”


author of From Fire, by Water and The Unbroken Thread


“While the world, in its flight from reality, rushes headlong into moral and political disorder, an extraordinary renaissance of Catholic social and political thought has also been taking place. Innocuous phrases like ‘common good conservativism’ and ‘Catholic integralism’ now have a frisson about them, even enlivening geopolitical disputes about right order. In this extraordinary set of essays, we have some of the first fruits of a renaissance essential to the recovery of our sanity.”


Catholic University of America

About the Author

EDMUND WALDSTEIN, O.Cist. is a monk of the Cistercian Abbey of Stift Heiligenkreuz in Austria, lecturer in moral theology at the Abbey’s theological college, and Director of the János-Brenner-Haus. Born in Italy and raised in the United States and Austria, he studied at Thomas Aquinas College in California, the Hochschule Benedikt XVI in Heiligenkreuz, and the University of Vienna, where he was promoted Doctor of Theology in 2019. His research has focused on eudemonism, the common good, Catholic integralism, and theological readings of literary fiction.

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