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Henri-Dominique Lacordaire, OP: A Dominican Faces Modernity

Samuel Gregg


My task is to consider the thought of one important Dominican who wrote in the modern era, in the wake of the various Enlightenments and the aftermath of the French Revolution. The life and writings of Father Henri-Dominique Lacordaire reflect all the dramas of Catholicism’s ongoing, difficult, but inescapable engagement with societies shaped by the movements of ideas that emerged in the eighteenth century and transformed the world—for better and for worse. Some of these ideas resulted in positive developments such as the abolition of hereditary privileges. Other ideas associated with the same movements, however, brought many people to the guillotine.

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