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The Order of Things [Paperback]

By S.J. James V. Schall (Author)
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Item description for The Order of Things by S.J. James V. Schall...

Father James Schall, the well-known author and professor of philosophy at Georgetown University, inquires about the various orders found in the cosmos, the human mind, the human body, the city, and he seeks to reflect upon the unity of these orders. In a world in which the presence of reason and order are denied - presumably in the name of science - in favor of chance explanations of why things are as they are, it is surprising to find that, in the various realms open to the human intellect, we find a persistent order revealed. At first sight, it may seem that this reality can be explained by chance occurrence, but after a point, there is a growing sense that behind things there is, in fact, an order. This order can be traced in the many areas that are open to the human mind. As Aquinas has noted, the order within the cosmos points to an order outside of it, since the cosmos cannot be the cause of its own internal order. Philosophers have long inquired about the curious fact that the order of things implies not a mere relationship of one thing to another, but a hint that the universe is created with a certain superabundance. Why is the universe, and the things within it, not only ordered but, ordered with a sense of beauty? Not only is there an order in things, but also the human mind seems attuned to this order as something it delights in discovering. This relationship implies that there is some correspondence between mind and reality. What is the relationship between the mind and reality? The Order of Things explores this question. Relying on common sense and the experience available to everyone, Schall concludes that it requires more credulity to disbelieve in order than to experience it. Finally, Schall explores the fundamental cause of order, what it is like? Having looked at the order of the created universe, it is not surprising that the revelation of the Godhead is itself ordered in terms of an inner relationship of Persons. "Here is a book about everything, the subject which just happens to be the most neglected in our narrow-minded, short-sighted world. Fr. Schall takes on heaven and hell and everything in between. And his clear-thinking sparkles in his clear-writing. A painless and praiseworthy way to sweep out any confusion and muddled ideas that may be lurking in your head." - Dale Ahlquist, Author, Common Sense 101: Lessons from G .K. Chesterton "Father James V. Schall is one of the few renaissance men still among us. His knowledg

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ignatius Press
Pages   275
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.96" Width: 5.32" Height: 0.91"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2007
Publisher   Ignatius Press
ISBN  1586171976  
ISBN13  9781586171971  

Availability  0 units.

More About S.J. James V. Schall

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Fr. James V. Schall teaches political philosophy at Georgetown University and a prolific essayist and author. Among his many works are the following from St. Augustine s Press: " The Regensburg Lecture, Sum Total of Human Happiness, The Modern Age," and "The Classical Moment. "

Rev. C. John McCloskey III is a Research Fellow of the Faith and Reason Center in Washington, D.C. He is the author of The Essential Belloc and of the well-known Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan"

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1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catholic
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Science & Religion

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Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Order of Things?

Highly recommended  Dec 13, 2008
Schall has written some jems over the years, but I would have to say I found The Order of Things to be my favorite so far. If you have not delved into Catholic philosophy or theology before, you are in for a treat, though as an earlier review noted (and I concur) it is deep and requires some mental energy. What it can deliver is a reorientation of the mind to a perspective that is not commonplace today yet intellectually challenging and profoundly captivating once one acquires it. Order of Things delivers intellectual insight with a fresh manner that makes Order just plain fun to read.
really, though!   Oct 11, 2008
I thought the back-cover praises highly exaggerated. Then I read the book, and realized that it is quite impossible to write anything worse.
"A Book about. . .Well, Everything"  Aug 3, 2008
Father James V. Schall, Georgetown Professor and political theorist, has written a wonderful book. Tackling such topics as Divinity and the Godhead, the Cosmos, the human soul, and other topics, he presents his reflections and arguments in a simple, yet comprehensive and logical fashion. Yet, the genius of the book is not in the individual topics, but rather in the deft synthesis of ideas and concepts, in the intertwining, if you will, of these seemingly separate "orders" into a coherent whole.

The joy is in the reading. For an ostensibly dry subject, Father Schall manages to maintain a high level of reader interest throughout the 230+ pages. A well-formed index and selected bibliography provide the reader with additional source material should he or she wish to explore specific topics further. Without compromising intellectual integrity THE ORDER OF THINGS puts things simply and directly -- the hallmark of solid scholarship and human creativity.
A Veritable Smorgasbord of Unified Reflections on Order  Mar 1, 2008
Fr. Schall's text is quite a distillation of the central idea that there is an order to things and that this order is part of a unified whole when viewed from the foundational building blocks of the Godhead. I picked this text up because it seemed to providentially be placed in my path in several different locations in my local bookstore which I had visited only with the desire to find books to later purchase online more cheaply. I am glad that I picked this book up immediately.

Although it is merely 234 pages, "The Order of Things" is a dense, but approachable, read which takes on a panoply of considerations in order to see the overall direction of the Creator, His cosmos, and the parts therein (particularly man). It is difficult to lay out the fullness of Schall's presentation in a short review since he pulls from many philosophical, theological, and cultural sources to address and consider a great variety of topics related to order. However, in short, it can be said to be an arrow which strikes the heart, having passed through the Godhead into the world and then into humanity. Schall's considerations are centered on that order which is the dynamic ordering of love in the Trinity, even if that is only implicit in much of the text. His exposition of order (and its contrast to disorder) is not one of a static nature but one which draws its unity from the initial consideration of the Triune God.

This is a book that one can revisit many times (and I intend to do such over time). I highly recommend it as a veritable smorgasbord which touches the depths of the soul.
Not Just A Book But A Meditation On Order  Jan 3, 2008
Like the previous reviewer, I am a fan of Fr. Schall. He is the wise type of professor I always enjoyed but rarely found. This book is not an easy read, but it certainly is well worth reading because of its wisdom encompassing subjects ranging from political philosophy to aesthetics, in terms of both faith and reason. Fr. Schall is equally comfortable quoting both Plato and Peanuts and many of the great minds of the Western tradition to show that reality has an objective order that is divinely ordained. This order begins with God and extends to creation and all its aspects-angels, humans, plants and matter, law, ethics, science, knowledge, beauty, etc. The ascent of the order leads to God via the mind knowing and contemplating truth, goodness and beauty in all their varying aspects of being. The book is also a profound meditation of philosophical anthropology discussing the human being in all his relationships-self, others, city and state, good and evil-to explain how goodness and love enhance the order of reality while evil alienates and creates disorder. Ultimately, he shows that that both the material and immaterial orders of realty point to God's love for humans and that our ultimate destiny and happiness is the origin of all order, God himself.

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