Fr. James V. Schall SJ

A Primer on Politics and Prudence

The political scene is drawing toward the center of our national consciousness (if it ever left) as Democratic presidential debates take place and the 2020 election nears. As this process happens, faithful Catholics need sound ways to think about candidates, policies, and the landscape in general. Josef Pieper, a great twentieth-century philosopher, provides a broad [...]

On the Death of Great Men

The death of a father is an earth-shattering event. When my father died in 1993, I felt disoriented. I had never been in a world that did not include him. I could feel myself move up the generational ladder. No one is above me any longer. No one who matters stands above me. When I [...]

Recollections of a Good Priest and a True Scholar

Last week, a good and holy priest went to his eternal reward after a long and distinguished life as a teacher and writer. Father James V. Schall, S.J., died of pneumonia at the age of 91 in the company of family on April 17, 2019. A few months earlier he had been hospitalized much to [...]

James V. Schall, S.J.: The Embodied Catholic Mind at Work

Midafternoon last Wednesday, on the eve of the Paschal Triduum, I got word that Fr. James Vincent Schall, S.J., had died. The news did not come as a complete surprise; a few days earlier I heard that he was going to be moved from a hospital in Los Gatos, California, to a hospice. My first [...]

Fr. James Schall on Books and Teaching

"Nothing is more disconcerting, it seems to me, than to enter a home or apartment in which there are no books and no place for books, no sign a book had ever been there. It always seems like a kind of desecration to me, even though I am perfectly aware that bookless people can also [...]

In Memoriam: Letter Writing

On a Sunday evening in the mid-1990s, some friends and I had gathered for coffee after Mass at the Newman Center and the conversation turned to what was then the latest technological advance into our daily lives: e-mail. Alone among my peers, I did not welcome e-mail. I believed it signaled the death of a [...]

On Islam Is on Target

One of the interesting aspects of Fr. James Schall’s refreshing collection of essays, On Islam, is that it provides a chronological record. The first essay appeared in 2003, the last in 2018. This allows the reader to see how our understanding of Islam has changed over those years. Unfortunately, it hasn’t changed much at all. [...]

Three Cheers for Inequality

It's springtime, and fairness is in the air. And we’re choking on it. Everywhere we turn, fairness. Wherever so-called microaggressions and cultural appropriation are condemned or when the University of California bans phrases like “land of opportunity,” it is done in the name of fairness. #LoveWins or #MeToo—fairness. Open borders—fairness. Like a thirsty man at [...]

MENU