Gerald J. Russello

Gerald J. Russello is a Fellow of the Chesterton Institute at Seton Hall University and editor of The University Bookman. He is also the editor of the 2013 edition of Christopher Dawson’s Religion and Culture from Catholic University of America Press.

recent articles

Beauty Is At the Heart of True Conservatism

What is the point of contemporary conservatism? Whatever one thinks of the victory of Donald Trump to the presidency, he is not a conservative of any expected kind. But he has thrown the various strands of conservatism into disarray and has caused a remarkable level of self-reflection and self-criticism. And his administration has opened up … Read more

Seeking the Truth with Orestes Brownson

Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., among others, thought highly of Orestes Brownson—indeed, Russell Kirk, who led the Brownson revival in the last century, placed him “in the first rank of American men of ideas,” and his work is of more than historical interest. Reflections on American society as good as Tocqueville? Check. Addressing a devastating critique … Read more

Fr. Schall’s Latest Literary Treasures

Father James Schall was, as many readers of this magazine know, a longtime professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University.  For the last half-century, Fr. Schall has published a near-constant stream of books, articles, and reviews ranging over almost every subject, from Peanuts to Plato, sports to the Church Fathers. Although now retired, Fr. Schall … Read more

How the West Really Lost God: An Interview with Mary Eberstadt

Editor’s note: This interview of Mary Eberstadt, conducted by Gerald J. Russello, was first published July 21, 2013 in The University Bookman under the title “Faith and Family: A Two Way Street” and is reprinted with permission. Eberstadt is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington D.C. Q: Thanks for … Read more

Obama’s Disregard for Our European Inheritance Imperils American Freedom

Our quadrennial spectacle of electing a president brings out the relationship between political order and the nation’s cultural and social order. Take the question of “rights,” which is a concept at the heart of the American experiment.  Based on the nation’s revolt from England, and deeply grounded in the mother country’s common law tradition, rights … Read more

What Barack Obama Could Learn from St. Robert Bellarmine

Saint Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), Jesuit, Cardinal, and doctor of the Church, was one of the most influential theologians and political writers in Europe in the years following the Reformation.  He sparred with Protestants, heretics, and other Catholics (including Pope Sixtus V, who tried to get some of Bellarmine’s work placed on the Index, but failed) … Read more

In Washington State, a Victory for Conscience

It was a great way to start Lent. On Ash Wednesday, in an eagerly anticipated  case, a federal judge in Washington State issued a ruling that strongly affirmed  the centrality of the rights of conscience and religious exercise. The court ruled that Christian pharmacists could not be required to stock and  dispense medication that violated … Read more

Of Peyote and “Humanae Vitae”

Religious liberty is at a crossroads in America. On one side are the forces of secularism, who think that religions, like children, are best seen and not heard (and, in truth, not even seen that much).  States like Illinois, California, and New York have been passing laws aimed directly at the ability of religious social-service … Read more

In Defense of Christopher Dawson

I would like to present a qualified defense of Christopher Dawson and his essay, “Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind.” Jeffrey Tucker, John Zmirak and Fr. John Peter Pham each mount a strong defense of the bourgeois and the world they created, and Tucker in particular argues that thinkers like Dawson are dangerously reactionary world when … Read more

Christopher Dawson: Christ in History

The following essay first appeared in the April 1996 edition of Crisis Magazine. It is part of today’s symposium on “the bourgeois spirit” as diagnosed by Dawson. See also Dawson’s essay, Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind, and Jeffrey Tucker’s reply, In Defense of Bourgeois Civilization.   Dawson wrote with two different audiences in mind. He … Read more

At Belmont Abbey, Catholics Fight Back

The first counterattack on behalf of religious liberty has, perhaps, begun. Earlier this month, Belmont Abbey College, a small, century-old Benedictine college in North Carolina that has deep devotion to its Catholic identity, sued the federal government for violating its rights to worship freely because of certain provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, know … Read more

The Last Empire Loyalist

The Politically Incorrect Guide to the British Empire. H.W. Crocker III. Regnery Publishing. $19.95. 327 pp.   An American Catholic looks at the British Empire with some skepticism. The Empire brought with it unquestioned benefits, but its roots in the seventeenth-century are entwined with a deep hatred of Rome and the Catholic heritage of the … Read more

A Victory for Religious Freedom

Religious belief, and Christianity in particular, has found an unlikely ally in the debate over the proper public place of Europe’s Christian heritage: the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. In a closely watched decision, the Grand Chamber overruled a 2009 lower court decision, Lautsi v. Italy, and determined that public schools … Read more

Back to the Woods

The Druids are back. Some may remember the Druids from half-forgotten Dungeons and Dragons role-playing games, or from the description of them in Julius Caesar’s De Bello Gallico, where they are portrayed as important religious leaders who engaged in and presided over human sacrifices. Recent archeological findings support the literary evidence of human sacrifice, but … Read more

Christopher Dawson: Christ in History

As one of the premier Catholic historians in this century, Christopher Dawson sought to rehabilitate both the history of salvation and religion in Europe. Strongly embraced by conservatives today, Dawson was considered an innovative scholar among his peers. Even after Dawson’s conversion in 1919, his interdisciplinary approach to history stirred controversy among Catholic scholars. Dawson … Read more

What’s Right with the World

This year marks the centenary of G. K. Chesterton’s What’s Wrong with the World. The book continues to inspire and surprise with its prophetic insights on issues from economics and property, to its bracing defense of the “wildness of domesticity.”   And what is wrong with the world for Chesterton? “What is wrong with the … Read more

‘Chickens Have No Myths’

In the early 1970s, the Catholic novelist Walker Percy (1916-1990) wrote an introduction to a manual for Louisiana State University’s mental-health services, where he was then teaching a course on “the novel of alienation.” In what is possibly the most learned and humane of such introductions — usually prime examples of bureaucratic boilerplate — Percy … Read more

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