Composed of ten original essays written with the goal of exploring the thought of one of the most significant German philosophers of the 20th century, namely, Josef Pieper (1904-1997), this book is the only systematic treatment of his expansive philosophy to date. It brings his philosophy into dialogue with that of other important 20th century philosophers and schools of thought. The breadth of this discussion is itself a tribute to Josef Pieper. Not only do the essays seek to make better known the thought of this significant man, but they also deepen an understanding of some of the philosophical problems and challenges of our time. Some of the subjects discussed are, among others, the notion of totalitarianism and the question of what constitutes authentic culture; the intrinsic value of leisure and its relation to the total world of 'work'; the dimension of virtue in the on-going realization of the human person; the rational foundation of hope in confrontation with incomprehensible violence (such as that of Auschwitz, Burundi, and the events of September 11); the relation between faith and reason in a secular society; and the legitimacy of tradition.
BERNARD SCHUMACHER teaches philosophy at the University of Fribourg and is co-director of its Interdisciplinary Program for Catholic Studies. He is director of the collection ""Josef Pieper"" (Geneva: Ad Solem, official translation of the French edition of Pieper's works) and the author or editor of many books in French, German, and English, including A Philosophy of Hope: Josef Pieper and the Contemporary Debate on Hope.