EPPC Briefly: Is Pope Francis Anti-Modern?

February 4, 2016


The latest issue of EPPC’s journal The New Atlantis includes a collection of essays examining the moral, political, and economic implications of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical on the environment and the poor:

Is Pope Francis Anti-Modern?
New Atlantis associate editor M. Anthony Mills examines the encyclical’s critique of “the technocratic paradigm.”

The Flawed Economics of Laudato Si’
Economist W. David Montgomery explains why the encyclical’s moral teaching requires better policy.

Two Approaches to Climate Action
New Atlantis associate editor Brendan P. Foht contrasts the encyclical with another major environmental statement — the recent “Ecomodernist Manifesto.”

On Trump

Taking part in National Review’s “Against Trump” symposium, EPPC Hertog Fellow Yuval Levin makes the case that Trump “poses a direct challenge to conservatism, because he embodies the empty promise of managerial leadership outside of politics,” and EPPC Senior Fellow Mona Charen warns that, “when you elect a con man, there’s no recourse.” (See also Ms. Charen’s column decrying that the “Republican hemlock society” has given “the vulgarian unguided missile atop the polls … a pass from everyone about everything.”)

Also writing at National Review Online, EPPC Senior Fellow Stanley Kurtz argues that “Trump is a desperation bet that needn’t be made when smart, persuasive, and authentic conservatives are ready and willing to serve.”

(The views expressed by EPPC scholars in their work are their individual views and are not to be imputed to EPPC as an institution.)

In 2016, we are celebrating EPPC’s 40th anniversary. Please make a donation today to support our work in defending American ideals.


What’s Wrong with the Humanities?
EPPC Senior Fellow (and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities) Bruce Cole takes stock of the problems facing the humanities in higher education, including the “weaponization of the academic humanities for the promotion of social or political agendas.”

Anger and Citizenship
EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow George Weigel differentiates between “anger” and “passion” in American politics: “A passionate politics, informed and disciplined by reason, can be a politics of the intelligence, a politics of great ideas: a politics, if you will, of sound moral judgment. And sound moral judgment is rarely, if ever, the child of anger.”

Instead of ObamaCare: Giving Health-Care Power to the People
In the Wall Street Journal, EPPC Senior Fellow James C. Capretta (with co-author Lanhee J. Chen) outlines “a credible plan to reorient federal policy across the board toward markets and the preferences of consumers and patients, and away from one-size-fits-all bureaucratic micromanagement.”

Certitude and Seeking the Truth
Drawing on examples from Daniel Patrick Moynihan and C.S. Lewis, EPPC Senior Fellow Peter Wehner reminds readers that “the purpose of debating isn’t so much to win an argument as it is to deepen our understanding of how things really and truly are.” (Click here to see a video of U.S. Senator Ben Sasse reading excerpts of Mr. Wehner’s remarks on the Senate floor.)

How ‘The Stupid Party’ Earned Its Name
EPPC Senior Fellow Henry Olsen reviews Matt K. Lewis’s new book Too Dumb to Fail, which critiques “a conservatism that is both unable to argue rather than assert and uninterested in persuading Americans who are not already true believers to join their cause.”

Feminism and Abortion: What Would Susan Say?
EPPC Visiting Fellow Erika Bachiochi argues that, contra today’s feminists, “the early American feminists presumed that the evil of abortion would be abolished by the elevation of women.”

Gain Some Iranian Contracts, Lose Your Civilization
Reflecting on the Italian government’s recent display of deference to the visiting Iranian president, EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow George Weigel muses that, “if those gestures of cravenness were not evidence of a crisis of civilizational morale in its terminal, or hospice-care, stage, I’m not sure what would be.”

Manners Makyth Man
EPPC Resident Scholar James Bowman observes that our political culture’s “decline into the permanent state of rhetorical guerrilla warfare which we now enjoy has proceeded pari passu with our progressive abandonment of the old standard of good manners for one of invincible but highly personal ‘truth.’”

A ‘Brexit’ Wouldn’t be the Economic Calamity You’ve been Warned About
EPPC Fellow Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry explains that the European Union’s “rejection of democracy and accountability has rendered it morally bankrupt,” but that British voters have an opportunity to give the EU a “swift rebuke.”

President Obama’s Legacy of Red Ink
According to EPPC Senior Fellow James C. Capretta, “any fair assessment of the Obama years must acknowledge that the administration is leaving the nation in a perilous fiscal situation.”

China’s Population Crisis: An Evangelical Opportunity?
Amid the democratic and political realities facing the Chinese government, EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow George Weigel notes that “Chinese Christianity is growing rapidly” and that “Christianity provides a compelling and compassionate alternative to the hollowness of the regime’s materialism.”

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