Michael Novak

If Charles Martel Were Alive Today

Sunday was the 1,276-year anniversary of the death of Charles, King of the Franks. Charles, who won the decisive victory at the Battle of Tours against the Umayyad Caliphate (an Islamic state), gained the nickname “Martel,” meaning “the Hammer.” This battle was the beginning of the expulsion of Islam from, and victory of Christendom over, [...]

The Spirit of Michael Novak

One of the most brilliant, influential Catholic intellectuals of the past half century has died at age 83. He was Michael Novak, theologian, philosopher, and gentleman—truly, a gentle man. I had the privilege to know Michael well. One of the great, undeserved honors of my life was sharing the stage with him at Franciscan University [...]

Memories of Michael Novak

In 1992 I read a column in Crisis by the magazine publisher who warned, “no one should doubt that ... this election is a choice between two radically opposite national directions. The outcome will deeply affect the public life of Catholics.” The author of that column, Michael Novak, will be remembered for his stellar achievements. He [...]

Let Us Work Together: On Jewish-Christian Relations

Editor’s note: The following address was delivered on April 15, 2016 before the Harvard Hillel Society and is printed with permission of the author. I am so glad to be back in cooperation with the Harvard Hillel Society. Long, long ago, in about 1961, the Hillel Society and the Harvard Catholic Club almost at the [...]

What “Social Justice” Really Means

For much of my academic life, I considered the terms, “values,” “rights,” and “social justice,” to have equivocal meanings. When these terms were used without clarification, they disrupted any fair social order. Each of the phrases had two or more meanings that usually meant the direct opposite of each other. Conversations and legislation in which [...]

Anglicans Choose Egalitarianism Over Christian Unity

On 14 July, the General Synod of the Church of England voted in favor of allowing women to become bishops. The measure had previously been rejected in 2012 by the Synod, the Church of England’s deliberative and legislative body composed of “houses” of bishops, clergy and laity, when it failed to gain the requisite two-thirds [...]

On Being and Staying Catholic in the Modern World

Editor’s note: The following is an address delivered June 7, 2014 to the graduating class of St. Michael the Archangel High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I love being here at this school. I love what you are trying to do. I am moved by the faith of your parents, and the generosity of your families, [...]

Crisis Co-Founder Celebrates 80th Year with New Memoir

It is a small detail, but a revealing one, as the small details tend to be.  Michael Novak in the final chapter of his personable memoir tells the story of his first meeting with John Paul II.  Friends of Novak know that Wojtyła counted him as his friend too. But somewhat surprisingly they did not [...]

The Love that Moves the Sun

  In one of the two greatest lines of world poetry, Dante bows gently toward "The Love that moves the sun and all the stars." Many moralists speak of love as the one fundamental and universal moral principle, the golden rule honored in all traditions. But what do we mean by love? In English we [...]

Trigesimo Anno: Continuing Crisis

In its thirtieth year, Crisis could rest on its laurels. Across three decades it has been a leading participant in thoughtful Catholic engagement on the subjects of politics, business, culture, faith, and family life.

Theology of the Corporation: A Conversation with Michael Novak

Religious philosopher Michael Novak, cofounder of Crisis Magazine, was the 1994 recipient of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. According to many observers, Novak's influence played an important role in the drafting of Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II's 1991 encyclical on Catholic social teaching. In particular, Novak's work is seen within the Holy [...]

Ralph McInerny passed away this morning

I have sad news to report: The great Catholic philosopher and writer Ralph McInerny passed away this morning. He was just shy of his 81st birthday. While Ralph may be best remembered in general circles as the author of the popular Father Dowling mystery series, he has a special significance to the staff and friends [...]

The Last Word: Settling In

The phone call took place only a few weeks ago; it is still fresh in my memory. Would I be interested in moving from Washington to South Bend, to become editor of Catholicism in Crisis? Yes, I would; and here I am. To establish a successful new magazine requires vision, energy, courage, and persistence. Ralph [...]

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