Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

The Soul of a Nation: Culture, Morality, Law, Education, Faith

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

The Soul of a Nation: Culture, Morality, Law, Education, Faith

Article excerpt

The Soul of a Nation: Culture, Morality, Law, Education, Faith by bernard j. coughlin, s.j. hamilton, 230 pages, $50

A colleague suggested that Fr. Bernard Coughlin, S.J., title this collection of essays "Letters to Young People," because it would inform and challenge college-aged students who are grappling with philosophical, spiritual, political, and ethical questions for the first time. The essays particularly explain how American society has shifted culturally and politically since World War II and how to revitalize it.

"It is through the humanities principally," says Coughlin, president of Gonzaga University from 1974 to 1996, "that the culture, values, and moral principles of the Judeo-Christian tradition are kept alive in Western society. That tradition does not exist on paper but in the mind and in the soul." By throwing out faith and championing neutrality and tolerance, our institutes of education "all but forgot the child. …

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