Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 19, 2014

L. Joseph Hebert
Pages 47-53

Response to Gary Glenn and Kenneth Grasso
Tocqueville, Catholicism, and the Art of Being Free

This paper discusses the erosion of the conditions of American civic education and engagement described by Tocqueville, the connection between Tocqueville’s understanding of democracy and the teachings of the Catholic Church, and the contribution of both civic and religious decline to the threat of democratic despotism as discussed by Gary Glenn and Kenneth Grasso in their symposium papers. It concludes by asking what students of Tocqueville and of Catholic social doctrine can learn from one another about questions of God, human nature, and the proper influence of the social state on our understanding of moral and political duties and rights.