Most studies of the development of American ideas concentrate upon the growth of our political values and institutions. By contrast, this unique work goes directly to the core philosophical issues surrounding our sense of personal and social identity. It carefully examines the efforts of our major thinkers to elaborate a humanism adequate to our experience by breaking free from the theocentric cosmology imposed upon the nation by the New England Puritans. As these reflections record the quest for a new understanding of human nature, they also raise the possibility of a more comprehensive humanism grounded in a Catholic Christianity.
Person and Society in American Thought will be of interest to students and scholars in the disciplines of philosophy and religion, as well as those of history, sociology, and literature.