Ernest Fortin

Ernest L. Fortin, A.A. (1923 - 2002) was a professor of theology at Boston College. While engaged in graduate studies in France, he met Allan Bloom, who introduced him to the work of Leo Strauss. Father Fortin worked at the intersection of Athens and Jerusalem.

recent articles

Friend and Teacher: Allan Bloom, 1930-1992

With the untimely death of my friend Allan Bloom on October 7, 1992, America lost one of its finest and most brilliant teachers. At the same time, and by more than mere coincidence, higher education lost its most courageous and incisive critic. My friendship with Allan goes back to the mid-’50s when we were in … Read more

Free Markets Have Their Limits: Two Cheers for Capitalism

A discussion of John Paul II’s latest encyclical, Centesimus Annus, begins logically with a brief examination of the famous document whose centenary it commemorates, Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, the grandfather of the great social encyclicals of our century and the one that singlehandedly created a new theological discipline now commonly referred to as the … Read more

Between the Lines: Was Leo Strauss a Secret Enemy of Morality?

History’s final verdict on Leo Strauss is not yet in and is not likely to be in for quite some time. Meanwhile, one cannot help noticing that since his death in 1973 Strauss’s reputation has been growing by leaps and bounds. Barely known beyond a small circle of colleagues, students, and friends when I first … Read more

Documentation: Catholic Social Teaching and the Economy

My brief and very general remarks are directed to the problem of the relationship between Christianity and the social order, particularly as it bears on matters of economic policy. The importance of this problem, to which no thoughtful Christian can be indifferent, has recently been brought to our attention by the bishops’ decision to issue … Read more

The Twilight of Socialism

The strange but suddenly popular notion that in John Paul II the Roman Catholic Church may have its “first socialist pope” (Kenneth L. Woodward, “The Vision of a Socialist Pope,” Newsweek, June 20, 1983, p. 47; cf. Gregory Buam, The Priority of Labor, Paulist Press, 1982, pp. 80-88) is based on a superficial reading of … Read more

Theological Reflections on a Pastoral Letter

We owe a deep debt of gratitude to our bishops for their splendid Letter and to Fr. Bryan Hehir for his brilliant analysis of the genesis and content of that Letter. The final draft strikes me as being vastly superior to the first two and serves as a fine example of what can be accomplished … Read more

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