This volume contains seven of Austin Woodbury’s texts on issues relating to the Family, Politics, Education and Formation.
Firstly, in Educational Rights of Family, Church and State, by tackling the question: “Who has the right to determine and to provide the means of education, especially to the young?” Woodbury identifies the rights of these three parties in this regard and avoids the evils of Philosophical Liberalism and Political Totalitarianism.
Then, in The Church’s Law and the Parent’s Right: Objections Answered, Woodbury refutes four objections against the Catholic Church’s law that Catholic parents choose a school to provide a Catholic education for their child, and identifies the root cause of these objections.
In The Hierarchy of Values in Education, Woodbury identifies the true nature and ultimate purpose of education and its hierarchy of values, especially regarding physical education, sex instruction, co-education, religion in education, and the formation of character. This text is vitally important for educators, parents and teachers of our youth.
In Piety and Religion and Maturity in Religious, Woodbury explains the importance of these virtues and the means for obtaining maturity in the Christian life. A keen reading offers great practical principles for living the Christian life.
In Foundations of Political Theory, Woodbury identifies two fundamental truths required for a correct political theory: (1) the individual man is a person, who exists for his own sake, and thus society exists for him; and, (2) as an individual he is not self-sufficient but needs society. Applying Thomistic philosophical principles Woodbury reconciles these truths offering the foundations of a correct political theory. He also answers the question of public rights, and how a State’s citizens can legally bind future citizens.
Finally, in The Alternative to Socialism and Spurious Capitalism, after identifying the three forms of Capitalism and their fundamental benefits and disadvantages, Woodbury offers principles for a corrective for the current situation in Western economies.
Who was Father Austin Maloney Woodbury?
Father Austin Maloney Woodbury S.M. (1899-1979) was a Marist priest and an Australian Thomistic philosopher and theologian, who in the 1920s received doctorates in both Philosophy and Theology at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas in the City (the Angelicum) in Rome under the renowned Dominican theologian Father Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange O.P. (1877-1964). Woodbury founded Sydney’s Aquinas Academy in 1945, a school of Philosophy and Theology aimed at educating lay people in the rich intellectual tradition of Christianity. He headed the Academy until 1975, teaching a strictly scholastic Philosophy and Theology based on the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). In his own lifetime Woodbury was distinguished by some of his scholarly contemporaries as having penned “one of the greatest courses in philosophy ever written in the English language.”