Andrew Latham

Andrew Latham is a professor of political science at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota for the past two decades. He is the author, most recently, of Theorizing Medieval Geopolitics: War and World Order in the Age of the Crusades published by Routledge in 2012, and The Holy Lance, his first novel, published by Knox Robinson.

recent articles

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What is the Common Good?

The louder he talked of the common good, the faster we counted our spoons. That’s not the original quote, of course. What Ralph Waldo Emerson actually wrote over a century and a half ago was, “the faster he talked about his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” But the sentiment is the same: that … Read more

Integral Disarmament

The Vatican’s Dangerous Call for “Integral Disarmament”

Earlier this year, the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD) joined with the Vatican COVID-19 Commission and the Strategic Concept for the Removal of Arms and Proliferation (SCRAP) of the SOAS University of London to co-host a webinar entitled “Advancing Integral Disarmament in Times of Pandemic.” The goal of this conference was to … Read more

Against Integralism: A Thomist’s Case for Limited Government

This past March, The Atlantic published an essay by Adrian Vermeule, a Catholic professor of constitutional law at Harvard University, introducing the idea of “common-good constitutionalism” to an audience that I’m sure had never read anything quite like it. At its most basic, Professor Vermeule’s argument unfolded something like this: Human flourishing, or the “good … Read more

The Medieval and Catholic Roots of American Democracy

Ask a typical college student today who “invented” American democracy and you’ll most likely be told “the Founding Fathers, of course.” If you’re lucky, this typical student might then go on to tell you a bit more, namely, that the historical roots of the American republic are to be found in the political traditions of … Read more

Pope Francis and the Pacifist Jesus

In his recently released message for the 50th World Day of Peace, Pope Francis called on humanity to adopt nonviolence as a “style of politics for peace.” Continuing a tradition inaugurated in 1968, the Holy Father began his message by painting a picture of a “broken world” in which humanity finds itself “engaged in a horrifying … Read more

Why King Richard Did Not March on Jerusalem

When we look back on the Third Crusade (1189-1192) it is all but impossible not to be struck by how close King Richard and the Christian host came to decisively defeating Saladin and re-taking Jerusalem. Twice during the campaign—in January 1192 and again in July 1192—the crusaders advanced to within a dozen or so miles … Read more

Is Just War Theory Obsolete?

In an essay that appeared recently on National Catholic Reporter online, Professor Terrence Rynne of Marquette University offered five reasons that support abandoning Catholic Just War Theory and toward what he calls a positive vision of peace: Modern wars have made the just war theory obsolete; The rise of a Christology “from below”; A clearer … Read more

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