Few qualifiers are misused more often than “magisterial”. The term refers not just to intellectual authority, but intellectual authority embedded in thousands of years of devout tradition – specifically, the Magisterium, or teaching authority of the Catholic Church, the anchor institution of Western civilization.

Father James V Schall, the Georgetown University political philosopher, is “magisterial” in the full sense of the word, an authoritative thinker from a tradition that has stood for millennia.

Prominent among Schall’s many virtues is courage. Last August, for example, he suggested that Islam may collapse as suddenly as communism once Muslims begin to question the authenticity of the Koran. “The fragility of Islam, as I see it, lies in a sudden realization of the ambiguity of the text of the Koran,” he wrote at the Catholic Thing blog.

“Is it what it claims to be? Islam is weak militarily. It is strong in social cohesion, often using severe moral and physical sanctions. But the grounding and unity of its basic document are highly suspect. Once this becomes clear, Islam may be as fragile as communism.” Few political theorists could, or would dare to, go so boldly to the heart of the matter.

Continue Reading on www.atimes.com