Alice von Hildebrand

Alice von Hildebrand is professor emerita of philosophy at Hunter College of the City University of New York and the renowned author of many books, including The Soul of a Lion (Ignatius, 2000), The Privilege of Being a Woman (Veritas, 2002), and Man and Woman: A Divine Invention (Sapientia, 2010).

recent articles

Edith Stein: The Apostate Saint

The 1998 canonization of Edith Stein created quite a turmoil for the Jews. They are willing to admit that she was an extraordinary woman, though the fact remains: To them, she was an “apostate.” It is not the first time the Jewish people have had to face a situation in which someone whom they view … Read more

The Mystery of Israel

Years ago, I was sharing an office at Hunter College with a very observant Orthodox Jew, Michael Wyschogrod. He is a distinguished Jewish theologian — not only did he faithfully follow the Torah, but his religion was clearly at the very center of his life. This created a deep bond between us, finding ourselves in … Read more

The Victory of Factum over Genitum

The solemn declaration of the Credo that “Christ was engendered, not made” (genitum, non factum), is pregnant with rich philosophical insights and is an inspiration to investigate two possible ways of relating to existence: to be made or to be engendered.   God is eternal and the Creator of heaven and earth, though our current … Read more

Civilization and Culture at War

God gave Adam and Eve dominion over the earth. This mission was confided to them, not to let it become stale but to make it bear fruit. They were called to take care of it, to tend it, and to develop it. Nature was the material, and man was to foster its development and to … Read more

Debating Beauty: Jacques Maritain and Dietrich von Hildebrand

Having taught both ethics and aesthetics many times in the course of my career, I’ve come to the conclusion that the latter is a much more demanding task. In both cases, the enemy to be fought is the deeply rooted relativism and subjectivism prevalent in our society. But in ethics, there’s always a possibility that … Read more

On True Love

Reason speaks in words alone, but love has a song. Joseph de Maistre We live in an age of confusion. It might even be said that we major not only in intellectual confusions but in affective confusions as well. Many do not know how to gauge their emotions; they cannot distinguish between valid and invalid … Read more

Mr. Lewis and Mrs. Moore

Literature offers us a rich panorama of marriages in which the woman is a shrew and the husband a victim. Not every male is a Petruchio and can “tame” his conjoint. But while not a marriage, the mysterious partnership between the great C. S. Lewis and Janie King Moore, which lasted half of Lewis’s life, … Read more

Death and Punishment

I must have been three or four years old when I was first acquainted with death. My parents had a summer home at the Belgian seashore; enchanted as I was by the dunes and the wild flowers, I was roaming about when, to my delight, I found a bird’s nest hidden in a bush. The … Read more

In Defense of Discrimination

Years ago, the word “discrimination” was primarily used to make intelligent distinctions. A discriminating person was one capable of perceiving the crucial difference between good taste and bad taste, between beauty and ugliness, between a cultivated person and a coarse one, between moral good and evil, between normal and perverse. To call a person discriminating … Read more

When Is Stupidity A Sin?

In his autobiography, G. K. Chesterton writes, “A large section of the Intelligentsia seems wholly devoid of Intelligence.” At first, this surprising indictment might be interpreted as merely humorous; after all, are not “intellectuals” those to whom we turn for enlightenment and guidance, those who are the luminaries of universities — castles of knowledge and … Read more

On True Love

We live in an age of confusion. It might even be said that we major not only in intellectual confusions but in affective confusions as well. Many do not know how to gauge their emotions; they cannot distinguish between valid and invalid feelings. They do not know for certain whether they are truly in love … Read more

The Devil’s Distraction: A Misplaced Bad Conscience

Having a bad conscience is one of the most unpleasant feelings one can experience. We dread it and understandably try to escape its sting. Anything that assuages a bad conscience will be welcome. In the meantime, the wily one—the devil—calculates what advantage he can win from it. He begins to benefit as soon as a … Read more

The Devil’s Distraction: A Misplaced Bad Conscience

Having a bad conscience is one of the most unpleasant feelings one can experience. We dread it and understandably try to escape its sting. Anything that assuages a bad conscience will be welcome. In the meantime, the wily one—the devil—calculates what advantage he can win from it. He begins to benefit as soon as a … Read more

The Canons of Friendship

Friendship is the remnant of paradise. Aristotle sees it as a virtue, and one’s behavior toward one’s friendstells us a great deal about a person’s character. That great friendships are rare is a sad fact that has been power­fully expressed in the words of Ovid: Donec eris felix, multos nu­merabis amicos. Ternpora si fuerunt nubila, … Read more

Pleasure and the Saint

Ambiguity is the cause of many philosophical errors. One clear example is Aristotle’s claim that all things desire the good. Apart from the obvious fact that inanimate objects cannot “desire” anything, the statement itself is equivocal. Even if we grant to Aristotle that “happiness is the highest good,” men are far from agreeing what the … Read more

No Prophet In His Own Land: Reflections on Benedict XVI

The election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to the throne of Peter has elicited a response of joy from all the faithful who love Christ and His Church. A man of outstanding talents, he has proved to be an unwavering servant of the Lord and has accepted the burden of the papacy with humility and courage, … Read more

Guest Column: An Audience With Peter

In 1980, I was granted the extraordinary privilege of a private audience with His Holiness Pope John Paul II. Knowing that John Paul had a great admiration for my late husband, I dared make the request. It was granted so fast, I could hardly believe it. I’d been spending my sabbatical leave in Switzerland and … Read more

Debating Beauty: Jacques Maritain and Dietrich von Hildebrand

Having taught both ethics and aesthetics many times in the course of my career, I’ve come to the conclusion that the latter is a much more demanding task. In both cases, the enemy to be fought is the deeply rooted relativism and subjectivism prevalent in our society. But in ethics, there’s always a possibility that … Read more

In Defense of Feeling

Anyone acquainted with the history of philosophy knows that many of the great thinkers have looked down upon feelings. Fleeting, unreliable, misleading, they’re fraught with danger and must be kept carefully in check. Moreover, feelings are shared with animals. What characterizes man as man is his reason and will. Today, more than one respectable thinker … Read more

Civilization and Culture at War

God gave Adam and Eve dominion over the earth. This mission was confided to them, not to let it become stale but to make it bear fruit. They were called to take care of it, to tend it, and to develop it. Nature was the material, and man was to foster its development and to … Read more

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00

Orthodox. Faithful. Free.

Signup to receive new Crisis articles daily