Heroism and Genius: How Catholic Priests Helped Build – and Can Help Rebuild – Western Civilization
William J. Slattery
Ignatius Press, 272 pages
The role of Catholic clergy is pivotal in developing Western culture at key moments in history in this scholarly volume. Naturally folks like Sts. Augustine and Benedict get their due, but Slattery also highlights the impact of priests like Alcuin, mentor to Charlemagne; St. Bernard, who wrote the statutes for the Knights Templar and endowed them with Christian chivalry; and 17th century Jesuit Cardinal Juan de Lugo, who backed a free market economy and opposed government regulation of prices and production. The book is heavy, alternately gives too much and then too little detail, but there is a lot to be gleaned here by the patient reader.