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CatholicismFTMW Gets a Book Club

Hi, my name is Chase Lovelace and I'm so excited to be able to contribute to the website Catholicism for the Modern World. My corner of the website will consist mostly in cross-posting my current project, Rebuilding Christendom. I am definitely more of a blogger than a journalist or whatever, and so I hope that I can add some unique perspective to the site!

 

My story

I have enjoyed writing for a long time, but am pretty new to this format. I grew up learning how to song-write, then in college (I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance) had to do my fair share of papers, and off and on in the last couple of years I've done the blog thing. It was a while before I really found my footing. I didn't know what to talk about, and so experimented with different formats for the blog. From discussing manhood to personal goals, and even political activism (a misstep for sure) I've floundered a bit, but didn't give up.

Even though I wasn't sure what to talk about, eventually I knew it had to be about my faith journey.


Turns out, I didn't really have anything super impressive to say about that, either. And I didn't feel equipped to write on Catholicism, since I've only converted this year, at Easter Vigil 2023. Additionally, I'm somewhat under-formed in my education and can't necessarily present a well educated perspective on things. Why even try, when such amazing platforms as Catholic.com and Pints with Aquinas exist?


But slowly, over the course of months, I came into the knowledge of, and fell in love with, the Western Classical Tradition. For three-thousand years (well, more) our culture has built upon itself and has been guided by Holy Mother Church to bring about Christendom. The society, even the secular part of it, only existed in the context of the Catholic church. That she overtook the Roman empire is a testament to Christ's power to convert even the strongest pagan societies.


The height of this culture manifested in societies that were beautiful, literature that taught and

formed us, philosophy that enlightened us to how God works in this world and more. The more I've learned about the Church, the more I understand that I know nothing, and that the world has been remade and attempted to 'revolt' against the church, starting in the 16th century and heating up significantly throughout the 20th century.


Project 'Rebuilding Christendom'

This kinda stuff led me to start the Rebuilding Christendom project. This book club will be my own education, and unlike grade school and even college, this time I intend to pay attention. The Catholic Church is the One True Church, but the evidence is shrouded in so much misinformation and spin brought about by the Protestant Revolution and today's internet that it's nearly impossible to recognize for some. Only by starting at the beginning can we start understand how Classical Tradition matters, and how it demonstrates the Church's guidance through history.


So, will you join me in taking this journey? If so, keep an eye out for subsequent articles. The book club started a month ago on Substack, and this week we are reading Homer's Iliad, Book V, but it isn't too late to join! If you'd like to read with us, here's what I suggest:

  1. Pick up the book here (I am reading the Lattimore translation, because that's the one I found at the thrift store lol, but any translation will do).

  2. Search up some summaries of Homer's Iliad, Books I-IV

  3. Start Ch. 5 and finish before Wednesday, the 13th of September.

If you're really serious and a quick reader, you could totally just start the book from the beginning and try to catch up that way, but it isn't necessary, tbh. This book club is meant to be chill. We all have regular lives, and so the readings will be assigned by the week, rather than how most book clubs do it: a book a month (the result will be making our way through the books more slowly).


Finally, below, you'll find the entire reading list for our book club. This list isn't exhaustive, and it also isn't a commitment. It's simply a suggested list that I used multiple sources to put together, and have found myself editing weekly. Actually, it'd be nice to shorten it a little, but idk what to give up; there's so much I want to read! Even the nasty stuff like Freud, Marx or Lenin is playing itself out in our culture in important ways today, and so I feel his work necessary to understand this cultural moment.


Anyway, thank you to Michael Snellen for allowing me to join this site. I look forward to making new friends and learning new things!


God bless,

Chase





 

Reading List

The Founding of Christendom, By Warren Carroll (This has not yet been started, as I haven't picked it up yet).

  1. Homer (c. 9th century BC)

    1. Iliad (We are here)

    2. Odyssey

  2. Aeschylus (c. 525-456 BC)

    1. Tragedies

  3. Sophocles (c. 495-406 BC)

    1. Tragedies

  4. Herodotus (c. 484-425 BC)

    1. Histories

  5. Euripides (c. 485-406 BC)

    1. Tragedies

  6. Thucydides (c. 460-400 BC)

    1. History of the Peloponnesian War

  7. Aristophanes (c. 448-380 BC)

    1. Comedies (The Clouds, The Birds, The Frogs suggested)

  8. Plato (c. 427-347)

    1. Dialoges (The Republic, Symposium, Sophist, Phaedo suggested)

  9. Aristotle (384-322)

    1. Works (Politics, Rhetoric, Poetics, The Nichomachean Ethics, Organon suggested

  10. Epicurus (c. 341-270)

    1. Letter to Herodotus

    2. Letter to Menoeceus

  11. Cicero (106-43 BC)

    1. Works (Orations, On Friendship, On Old Age suggested)

  12. Lucretius (c. 95-55 BC)

    1. On The Nature Of Things

  13. Virgil (70-19 BC)

    1. Aeneid

  14. Vitruvius (c. 80-70 — c. after 15 B.C.)

    1. Ten Books on Architecture

  15. Horace (65-8 BC)

    1. Odes and Epods

    2. The Art of Poetry; (Or Epistles)

  16. Livy (59 BC-AD 17)

    1. History of Rome

  17. Plutarch (c. 45-120)

    1. Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans Moralia

  18. Tacitus (c. 55-117)

    1. Annals

  19. Epictetus (c. 60-120)

    1. Discourses

  20. Justin Martyr (100-165)

    1. Works (Likely to use “Writings of Justin Martyr” from Veritatis Splendor Publications)

  21. Lucian (c.120-c.190)

    1. The True History

  22. Marcus Aurelius (121-180)

    1. Meditations

  23. Mike Aquilina (Born 1952)

    1. The Fathers of the Church, 3rd Edition: An Introduction to the First Christian Teachers

  24. Plotinus (205-270)

    1. The Enneads

  25. St. Ambrose (c. 339-397)

    1. The Complete Works of St. Ambrose

  26. St. Augustine (354-430)

    1. Confessions

    2. City of God

  27. St. Benedict (c. 480–547)

    1. The Rule of St. Benedict

  28. Beowulf

  29. St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033–1109)

    1. Works

  30. The Song of Roland (c. 12th Century)

  31. The Nibelungenlied (13th Century)

  32. Steve Weidenkopf (born 19974)

    1. The Glory of the Crusades

  33. St. Thomas Aquinas (and Peter Kreeft) (c. 1225-1274)

    1. A Summa of The Summa

  34. Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

    1. The Divine Comedy

  35. Francis Petrarch (1304-1374)

    1. Sonnets

  36. Boccaccio (1313-1375)

    1. The Decameron

  37. Chaucer (1340-1400)

    1. Canterbury Tales

  38. Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

    1. Notebooks

  39. Machiavelli (1469-1527)

    1. The Prince

  40. Erasmus (c. 1469-1536)

    1. Christian Humanism

    2. Henry VIII and the Reformation

  41. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543)

    1. On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres

  42. Sir Thomas More (c. 1478-1535)

    1. Utopia

  43. Martin Luther (1483-1546)

    1. Three Treatises

  44. St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556)

    1. The Spiritual Exercises (Exercitia spiritualia)

  45. François Rabelais (c. 1495-1546)

    1. Gargantua and Pantagruel

  46. Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola (1507-1573)

    1. Canon of the Five Orders Of Architecture

  47. Andrea Palladio (1508-1580)

    1. The Four Books On Architecture

  48. John Calvin (1509-1564)

    1. Institutes of the Christian Religion

  49. St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

    1. The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila

  50. Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

    1. Essays

  51. St. John of the Cross (1542-1591)

    1. Dark Night of the Soul

  52. Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)

    1. Don Quixote

  53. Vincenzo Scamozzi

    1. The Mirror of Architecture

  54. Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-1599)

    1. The Faerie Queene

  55. Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

    1. Essays

      1. Advancement of learning

      2. Novum Organum

      3. New Atlantis

  56. William Shakespeare (1564-1626)

    1. Works (esp Midsummer night’s dream & Hamlet)

  57. St. Francis De Sales (1567-1622)

    1. An Introduction to the Devout Life

    2. The Catholic Controversy: A Defense of the Faith by St. Francis De Sales

  58. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    1. Dialogues Concerning the Two New Sciences

  59. Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

    1. The Leviathan

  60. Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

    1. Meditations on First Philosophy

    2. Discourse on Method

  61. John Milton (1608-1674)

    1. Works (Esp. Paradise Lost)

  62. Moliere (1622-1673)

    1. Comedies (The Miser, The School for Wives, The Misanthrope, The Doctor in Spite of Himself, Tartuffe suggested)

  63. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

    1. The Provincial Letters

    2. Pensees

  64. Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677)

    1. Ethics

  65. John Locke (1632-1704)

    1. Letter Concerning Toleration

    2. Two Treatises of Government

    3. Essay Concerning Human Understanding

  66. Jean Baptiste Racine (1639-1699)

    1. Andromache

    2. Phaedra

  67. Antoine Desgodetz (1653-1728)

    1. The Ancient Buildings of Rome

  68. Daniel Defoe (1660-1731)

    1. Robinson Crusoe

  69. Johnathan Swift (1667-1745)

    1. Gulliver’s Travels

  70. St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)

    1. True Devotion to Mary

  71. George Berkeley (1685-1753)

    1. Principles of Human Knowledge

  72. Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755)

    1. Spirit of laws

  73. Voltaire (1694-1778)

    1. Candide

    2. Philosophical Dictionary

  74. Henry Fielding (1707-1784)

    1. Tom Jones

  75. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

    1. The Vanity of Human Wishes

  76. David Hume (1711-1776)

    1. An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding

  77. Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

    1. On the Origin of Inequality

    2. The Social Contract

  78. Laurence Sterne (1713-1768)

    1. Tristram Shandy

  79. James Stuart (1713-1788), Nicholas Revett (1720-1804)

    1. The Antiquities of Athens

  80. Adam Smith (1723-1790)

    1. Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

  81. Emmanuel Kant (1724-1804)

    1. Critique of Pure Reason

    2. Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals

    3. Critique of Practical Reason

    4. Science of Right

    5. Critique of Judgement

  82. Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

    1. Reflections on the revolution in france

  83. Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)

    1. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  84. John Jay (1745-1829), James Madison (1751-1836), and Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804)

    1. Federalist Papers

    2. Articles of Confederation

    3. The Constitution of the United States

    4. The Declaration of Independence

  85. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1850)

    1. Lectures on the philosophy of History

    2. Philosophy of Right

  86. Asher Benjamin (1773-1845)

    1. The Architect, or Practical House Carpenter

  87. Jane Austen (1775-1817)

    1. Pride and Prejudice

    2. Emma

  88. Karl von Clausewitz (1780-1831)

    1. On War

  89. George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1831)

    1. Don Juan

  90. St. John Vianney (1786–1859)

    1. Sermons of the Curé of Ars

  91. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

    1. Studies in Pessimism

  92. Honore de Balzac (1799-1850)

    1. Pere Goriot

  93. John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

    1. Apologia

  94. Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)

    1. Three Musketeers

    2. Count of Monte Cristo

  95. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

    1. Representative Men

    2. Esssays

    3. Journal

  96. Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

    1. The Scarlett Letter

  97. Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

    1. Democracy in America

  98. John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

    1. On Liberty

    2. Representative Government

    3. Utilitarianism

  99. Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

    1. The Origin of the Species

    2. The Descent of Man

  100. Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

    1. Works

  101. Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

    1. Fear and Trembling

    2. Either/Or

  102. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

    1. Civil Disobedience

    2. Walden

  103. Karl Marx (1818-1883)

    1. Capital

    2. Communist Manifesto

  104. Herman Melville (1819-1891)

    1. Moby Dick

    2. Billy Budd

  105. Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)

    1. Crime and Punishment

    2. The Brother’s Karamazov

  106. Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)

    1. Three Stories

  107. Lew Wallace (1827-1905)

    1. Ben Hur

  108. Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

    1. A Doll’s House

    2. The Wild Duck

  109. Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

    1. War and Peace

  110. Mark Twain (1835-1910)

    1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    2. Tom Sawyer

    3. The Mysterious Stranger

  111. William James (1842-1910)

    1. The Principles of Psychology

  112. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)

    1. Thus Spoke Zarathustra

    2. Beyond Good and Evil

    3. The Genealogy of Morals

    4. The Will to Power

  113. Henryk Sienkiewicz (1846-1916)

    1. Quo Vadis

  114. Brian Stoker (1847-1912)

    1. Dracula

  115. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

    1. Plays (Man and Superman, Major Barbara, Caesar and Cleopatra, Pygmalion, Saint Joan)

  116. Loius Sullivan (1856-1924)

    1. Louis Sullivan’s Idea

  117. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

    1. The Ego and the Id (The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud)

  118. Pope Pius XI (1857-1939)

    1. Mit brennender Sorge

  119. Henri Bergson (1859-1941)

    1. Time and Free Will

    2. Matter and Memory

    3. Creative Evolution

    4. The Two Sources of Morality and Religion

  120. John Dewey (1859-1952)

    1. How We Think

    2. Democracy and Education

    3. Experience and Nature

    4. Logic, The Theory of Inquiry

  121. George Santayana (1863-1952)

    1. The Life of Reason

    2. Skepticism and Animal Faith

  122. Nikolai Lenin (1870-1970)

    1. The State and Revolution

  123. Bertrand Russel (1872-1970)

    1. The Problems of Philosophy

    2. The Analysis of Mind

    3. An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth

  124. St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897)

    1. The Story of a Soul (Tan Classics edition)

  125. Thomas Mann (1875-1955)

    1. The Magic Mountain

    2. Joseph and His Brothers

  126. James Joyce (1882-1941)

    1. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    2. Ulysses

  127. Jacques Maritain (1882-1973)

    1. Art and Scholasticism

    2. True Humanism

  128. Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

    1. The Trial

    2. The Castle

  129. Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975)

    1. A Study of History

    2. Civilization on Trial

  130. Edward Bernays (1891-1995)

    1. Propaganda

  131. C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

    1. Mere Christianity

    2. Miracles

    3. A Grief Observed

    4. The Screwtape Letters

    5. The Great Divorce

  132. John Steinbeck (1902-1968)

    1. A Tale of Two Cities

  133. George Orwell (1903-1950)

    1. Animal Farm

    2. 1984

  134. Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)

    1. Nausea

    2. No Exit

    3. Being and Nothingness

  135. St. Faustina (1905-1938)

    1. Diary

  136. William Golding (1911-1993)

    1. Lord of the Flies

  137. Albert Camus (1913-1960)

    1. The Stranger

    2. The Myth of Sisyphus

  138. St. Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

    1. Works

  139. Harper Lee (1926-2016)

    1. To Kill A Mockingbird

(I am a Rococo enjoyer)



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