Published November 9, 2007
“History must be made to march in the direction of genuine human progress; world affairs have no intrinsic momentum that necessarily results in the victory of decency. Maintaining the morale necessary to achieving progress in history requires us to live our lives, today, against a moral horizon of responsibility that is wider and deeper than the quest for personal satisfactions. The future of our civilization does not rest merely on the advance of material wealth and technological prowess; the future of the West turns on the question of whether our spiritual aspirations are noble or base.”
— from Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism
More than half a decade after 9/11, safe passage through a moment of history fraught with both peril and possibility requires Americans across the political spectrum to see things as they are.
In this incisive, engaging study of the present danger and what we must do to prevail against it, George Weigel, one of America’s foremost public intellectuals, does precisely that: he sees, and describes, things as they are — and as they might be. Drawing on a quarter century of experience at the intersection of moral argument and public policy, he describes rigorously and clearly the threat posed by global jihadism: the religiously inspired ideology which teaches that it is the moral obligation of all Muslims to employ whatever means are necessary to compel the world’s submission to Islam. Exploring that ideology’s theological, social, cultural, and political roots, Weigel points a new direction for both public policy and interreligious dialogue, one that meets the challenge of jihadism forthrightly while creating the conditions for a less threatening, more mutually enriching encounter between Islam and the West.
Essential reading in a time of momentous political decisions, Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism is a clarion call for a new seriousness of debate and a new clarity of purpose in American public life.
“This brilliant little book is, quite simply, the best analysis of the role played by religion in what I call World War IV.”
— Norman Podhoretz
“Absolutely masterful: the moral principles, the strategy, and the tactics to win this war for the survival of the West and democracy are all here — coherent and persuasive. Osama bin Laden and Ahmadinejad will hate this little book above all others.”
— R. James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency
“A stirring book: the battle of ideas against Islamist radicalism is now fully joined. George Weigel — a brilliant author with deep knowledge of theology and practical politics — provides a way forward for the western democracies. A badly needed and urgent book.”
— Fouad Ajami, director of the Middle East Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University
“Provocative and exacting, George Weigel wants Americans to think more clearly about the way we live now, and in this unapologetically bracing book he lays out a stark vision of the challenges of our time as he sees them. Whether you agree with Weigel or not, you will want to hear him out, for his is a voice worth taking very seriously indeed.”
— Jon Meacham, author of American Gospel and Franklin and Winston
“Weigel has written one of the most important books since 9/11. It’s a bracing, challenging, and compelling account of the war we are in and which we have to win.”
— William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard
“George Weigel has produced a thoughtful manifesto that wisely calls for bipartisan unity against a foe that threatens all that we cherish.”
— Joe Lieberman, U.S. senator
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George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. and holds EPPC’s William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies.