In this Book
- Words of Wisdom: A Philosophical Dictionary for the Perennial Tradition
- Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
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Like their predecessors throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have emphasized the importance of philosophy in the Catholic intellectual tradition. In his encyclical Fides et ratio (1998), John Paul II called on philosophers “to have the courage to recover, in the flow of an enduringly valid philosophical tradition, the range of authentic wisdom and truth.” Where the late pope spoke of an “enduringly valid tradition,” Jacques Maritain and other Thomists often have referred to the “perennial tradition” or to “perennial philosophy.” Words of Wisdom responds to John Paul's call for the development of this tradition with a much-needed dictionary of terms.
“A good dictionary is a great thing. In over 1,000 entries, Words of Wisdom manages to be concise, as it must be, and complete where it should be. Its notes on usage by contemporary scholars I find particularly helpful. Students and teachers alike will be grateful to Dr. Carlson for taking up the challenge of John Paul II to appreciate and illuminate the ‘great tradition of philosophy.’” —David Ruel Foster, Athenaeum of Ohio