L. Joseph Hebert

L. Joseph Hebert is Professor of Political Science and Leadership Studies and Director of Pre-Law Studies at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA. He is former Editor in Chief of The Catholic Social Science Review published by the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. Dr. Hebert is the President of Una Voce Quad Cities and author of More Than Kings and Less Than Men (2010).

recent articles

Music and the Education of the Christian Soul

In Plato’s Republic, Socrates leads a group of ambitious young Athenians on a search for the best way of life. Their verbal construction of a perfectly just regime is not motivated by idealism, real or feigned, but by genuine perplexity about the one thing human beings cannot help desiring: happiness. Glaucon, Adeimantus, and their companions … Read more

Thomas More and the Politics of Conscience

In 1515, as he wrestled with his decision to join the court of King Henry VIII, Thomas More penned his most famous work, Utopia (“No-place”). The book opens with a debate between More (then chief legal officer of London) and the fictional philosopher Raphael Hythloday (“Spreader of Nonsense”), occasioned by the latter’s refusal to apply … Read more

The Universe We Think In (Versus the One We Think Up)

Jean Louis de Lolme, writing in 1784 of the “omnipotence” of the British legislature—and by implication of the modern state—remarks that “parliament can do everything, except making a woman a man or a man a woman.” Today, the striking thing about de Lolme’s qualification of state power is its apparent naiveté. We live in a … Read more

The Traditional Mass: A Remedy for Modern Man’s Spiritual Ills

King Henri IV, after a long and bitter fight for the French Calvinist cause, finally sought to quell the fires of religious war by adopting his country’s traditional faith. “Paris is well worth a Mass,” he is rumored to have said, confirming the impression that he continued to reject Romanish ritual in his heart, even … Read more

The Liturgy as Educator

“I have understood more than all my teachers: because thy testimonies are my meditation.” —Ps. 118:99 Mine is a familiar story. Having grown up Catholic in the 1980s, I was well into my twenties when I first encountered the concepts—not to mention the terms—transubstantiation, real presence, or holy sacrifice. Having fallen away from any semblance … Read more

Cardinal Sarah’s Ambitious Liturgical Reform

“Education,” according to Plato’s Socrates, “is not what the professions of certain men assert it to be”—it is not the putting of knowledge into the soul “as though [one] were putting sight into blind eyes.” Rather, education is the art of turning souls around so that our natural human powers, directed toward “what really is,” … Read more

What to Look for in a Supreme Court Justice

As we brace ourselves for the political firestorm that is already beginning around filling the vacancy on our highest court, it would be useful to engage in a little “cultural catechesis” on the nature and purpose of the office in question. Though some will decry the “politicization” of the selection process, an honest review of … Read more

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