Former Georgetown professor provides study of reason, faith and pleasure

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 16, 2013There is an old adage that says you cannot have pleasure without pain. The truth is, you cannot experience true, meaningful pleasure without faith and reason, former Georgetown University professor Fr. James Schall says in his new book, REASONABLE PLEASURES: The Strange Coherences of Catholicism.

The fact of pleasure is obvious to many, but its relation to reason is less understood. We are beings who laugh and run, sing and dance, but we infrequently 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 REASONABLE PLEASURES, a thought-provoking study of the relationship between our reason and our experience of pleasure, 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.

“The strange coherences of Catholicism are themselves … reasonable pleasures,” Schall writes in REASONABLE PLEASURES. “To know the deviations from truth or good is itself a pleasure and a good thing. This is why Catholicism, true to its Greek name, is universal, why it wants to know the heresies as well as the dogmas and doctrines. It has a thirst for reasonable pleasures. And this search is, at bottom, a search not just for a propositional understanding of truth but for the truth that lies in our being, the truth that suggests that though we are, as Saint Peter tells us, ‘aliens and exiles’ (I Pet 2:11), we are also created to be at home in that only place where home can finally be found, in eternal life.”

For more information, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Fr. James Schall, please contact Kevin Wandra (404-788-1276 or KWandra@CarmelCommunications.com) of Carmel Communications.


Kevin Wandra


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