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No Lasting City

No Lasting City

Essays on Theology, Politics, and Culture

by Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt

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In No Lasting City, Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt collects essays written over a twenty-five-year period that explore the relationship between theology, politics, and culture. Drawing on the Christian theological tradition and engaging thinkers from Augustine and Julian of Norwich to Max Weber and Michel de Certeau, Bauerschmidt sketches a picture of faithful engagement with politics and culture that has robustly Christological contours. The stories of Flannery O’Connor, the paintings of the Flemish Primitives, the curricula of medieval universities, and modern accounts of mystical experience all serve as points by which the path of God’s pilgrim city is charted, as a way both of understanding our past and present and of orienting us toward our hoped-for homeland.

More Info

Publisher: Word on Fire Academic
ISBN: 978-1-68578-046-3
Binding: Hardcover
Page count: 392
Dimensions: 6 x 9
Thickness: 1.4 (in)
Language: English
Release date: Dec 18, 2023
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About the Author

Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt (PhD, Duke University) is Professor of Theology at Loyola University Maryland and a deacon of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He is the author of several books, including most recently, The Essential Summa Theologiae: A Reader and Commentary and How Beautiful the World Could Be: Christian Reflections on the Everyday, as well as over four dozen scholarly essays and book chapters.

What People are Saying

“This book offers the fruit of twenty-five years of thinking and rethinking by one of the best Catholic theologians writing today. In prose that is crystal clear and simultaneously elegant, Bauerschmidt mines the past without retreating into a defensive posture vis-á-vis the present. Ranging over theology, politics, art, and literature, Bauerschmidt nourishes a type of pilgrim church that can serve as a hopeful sign of contradiction in a world of despair.”

William T. Cavanaugh, DePaul University

“Bauerschmidt’s new book reveals to us once more how the concentrated form of the essay can often say more that is essential than the detailed form of the treatise. All the essays in this book are immensely rewarding for their deft and nuanced treatment of the relation of Christian teaching and spirituality to politics and culture. They steer an exemplary path between either denying that there is such an essential relation, or else too readily supposing that Christian mystery obviously dictates one obviously and uniquely righteous political policy or a single aesthetic and cultural style. In our increasingly fraught and even hysterical times, this is a truth that we all need to ponder.”

—John Milbank

“Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt is a serious Catholic thinker who is also a humble man. This combination makes for just the kind of writings that are requisite in a time where theologians, pressed to the margins of the academy and polarized along various fault lines, are tempted to become loud rather than thoughtful. Bauerschmidt adds to this a lyrical prose style, a balance and sanity derived from his mentors Julian of Norwich and Thomas Aquinas, a challenging and Christ-centered vision, and a delightful ability to draw theologically upon Catholic art and literature. This is Christian pedagogy at its finest.”

Matthew Levering, James N. Jr. and Mary D. Perry Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

In No Lasting City, Bauerschmidt speaks with his trademark wit, intellectual seriousness, wisdom, lyricism, and authenticity. Whether debating the merits of political liberalism, exegeting a short story, or analyzing a medieval fresco, Bauerschmidt’s text is impelled entirely by the truth and force of the Gospel. Every essay in this volume is philosophically astute, theologically sensitive, and historically grounded: some, however, are downright prophetic.”

Jennifer Newsome Martin, Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame


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