Books

Abortion Rights: For and Against

Cambridge University Press, 2018.

 

“This splendid book offers a carefully reasoned debate about the morality of abortion by first-rate philosophers whose views are strongly opposed but who present their arguments and engage with those of the other in a civil, respectful manner. Their clear and accessible discussions do not require any training in philosophy. Those in search of authoritative guidance through the relevant moral issues and arguments, with attention to both secular and theologically-influenced perspectives, will find all they are looking for here.”

Jeff McMahan, White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Oxford

‘This book is the cure for arguments all too often relying upon ad hominem attacks, false premises, bad data and incompleteness. It is also necessary preparation for intelligently grappling with the complex set of arguments about abortion accumulated over more than half a century.’

Helen Alvaré, George Mason University, Virginia

‘A lively, thoughtful, lucid, and sensitive debate on abortion. The great strength of this book is that the two authors, while profoundly disagreeing, discuss the issues respectfully and with a genuine attempt to take the opposing sides of the arguments seriously. As a result we have one of the most sophisticated, and yet accessible, books on the ethics of abortion available. Students and experienced researchers alike will find this an invaluable resource.’

Jonathan Herring, University of Oxford

365 Days to Deeper Faith: The Catechism of the Catholic Church in Short Daily Readings (editor)

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Publishing House, 2017.

This first-of its-kind guide to the Catechism of the Catholic Church will help you read through the entire Catechism in just one year!

As a yearly guide, 365 Days to Deeper Faith will take you from paragraph 1 to 2865 with daily readings marking the course of your progress through the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Published in celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it presents Pope Francis’s October 11, 2017, speech commemorating the milestone silver anniversary.

The Gospel of Happiness: Rediscover Your Faith Through Spiritual Practice and Positive Psychology

Image: Penguin Random House, 2015

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“At last, a Christian perspective on Positive Psychology that ratifies scripture by presenting the latest evidence-based science.  Kaczor soars when he shows how Christian practices are the way to find fullness and freedom of life. Impressively integrative, reading this book was simultaneously edifying and enjoyable.” —Robert A. Emmons, Professor of Psychology UC Davis, Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Positive Psychology, author of Gratitude Works! and Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.

“Christopher Kaczor’s new book provides a clear account of both the value of ‘positive psychology’ for Christians and an account of the value of Christian faith for human well-being.  The book is beautifully written and will provide a great resource for those who want to know more about the value of empirical research on human well-being for the religious life, as well as the value of Christian practices and virtues for human flourishing.” —C. Stephen Evans, University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University

“Professor Kaczor has distilled the findings of positive psychology on the subject of happiness, showing their congruence with Christian theology.  Amidst the torrent of self-help and popular psychology fads, this book stands apart as a gem with lasting value: it is practical, empirical, eminently readable, and deeply wise.” —Aaron Kheriaty, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Director, Program in Medical Ethics University of California Irvine School of Medicine

“If Christians wish to penetrate the darkness of the modern soul, they must not only dialogue with the social sciences, they must speak in a truly integrative idiom.  Dr. Kaczor’s new book reflecting on happiness through the joint lenses of positive psychology and Christian faith provides a simple and persuasive model for us all to follow.” –. Christian Brugger, D.Phil., J. Francis Cardinal Stafford Professor of Moral Theology, Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary

“Professor Kaczor truly proclaims the Gospel of Happiness.  In conversation with scientists and sages, literature and liturgy, drawing upon a treasure trove of classical and contemporary sources, he offers profound and practical pathways toward happiness, virtue, and the flourishing life.  In engaging style suitable for personal growth, small group study, pastoral counseling, or college classroom, he shows how positive psychology validates Christian practice and how Christian practice completes positive psychology.  Grace truly does perfect nature, and Kaczor perfects positive psychology.” —Keith A. Houde, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, Ave Maria University

“Just as Augustine enlisted Plato and Aquinas mined Aristotle, Christopher Kaczor marshals the insights of positive psychology to illuminate the Christian faith in fresh ways, showing us how contemporary science confirms ancient wisdom. If you want to be happy, it turns out one of the best things you can do is practice traditional Christian disciplines like cultivating gratitude, extending forgiveness, and giving yourself away in service to others. This is philosophy that doesn’t just invite you to think differently but live differently.  A marvelous book that has me looking at my own life anew.” —James K.A. Smith, Professor of Philosophy, Calvin College and author of Desiring the Kingdom

“Many outside the faith (and too many within) believe Christianity to be a depressing religion obsessed with sin and suffering. Kaczor smashingly rights the wrong with this engaging, Christian reading of the scientific findings of positive psychology. Readers of this book will discover the wise happiness at the heart of Christianity.” —Eric L. Johnson, Ph.D. Lawrence and Charlotte Hoover Professor of Pastoral Care The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“God made us to be happy — to be blessed and to live with joy. And all of us are born with this desire for happiness in our hearts. But sometimes we can get a little lost along the way. We can find ourselves looking for happiness in the wrong places. Christopher Kaczor shows us the right path and he walks the path with us — shining new light on the ancient ways of forgiveness and gratitude, humility, prayer and service to our neighbor. Kaczor is a wise guide and this book can help all of us to grow in our relationships with others and our journey with God.” —The Most Rev. José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles

“In The Gospel of Happiness, Christopher Kaczor creates a refreshing new approach to a traditional theme lying at the heart of both Christianity and philosophy – the pursuit of happiness. Recognizing the dictum of Aristotle that happiness is the one objective we seek for itself, and that everything else is sought for the sake of happiness, he creates an understandable, practical, and usable path that combines contemporary psychology with traditional Christian teaching. He lays his foundation by appealing to seven Christian ways to happiness – “faith, hope, and love,” prayer, gratitude, forgiveness, virtue, and willpower, and enriches them with the five elements of positive psychology – positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement. By using Martin Seligman’s new positiveapproach to psychology, he bridges formerly perceived gaps between psychology and faith — opening the way for Christians to benefit from the insights and healing of this important discipline.” —Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D., author of Finding True Happiness

The Seven Big Myths about Marriage: What Science, Faith, and Philosophy Teach Us About Love and Happiness.

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Ignatius Press 2014.

“If I were a pastor, I would make this book required reading for engaged couples in all my marriage classes.”
– Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., Author, Jacob’s Ladder: Ten Steps to Truth

“The media portrayals of the public debates over marriage and its meaning often generate more heat than light. In this carefully crafted and accessible book, Professor Kaczor provides just the sort of illumination that is absent from those portrayals. I cannot think of a better book that offers such a clear and winsome account of marriage and its meaning, and what that tells us about human dignity and happiness.”
– Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy ,Baylor University

“Movies, television, and other forces have teamed up to deceive Americans about marriage–the institution that is very basis of society. They’ve done a spectacular job! They’ve sold myth after myth to the American people, and it’s no wonder that marriage is in crisis today. That’s why Chris Kaczor’s new book, The Seven Big Myths about Marriage, is so timely. Only by learning to see through the lies can we build happy and healthy marriages.”
– Jimmy Akin, Author, The Fathers Know Best

The Seven Big Myths About Marriage is not only a must-read for individuals or couples contemplating marriage, but also for couples already married, as it will provide an opportunity for active reflection and assessment. It’s also an effective pastoral tool for priests and pastoral staff looking to improve their own training. Christopher and Jennifer Kaczor have provided the Church a valuable resource — and a powerful reminder of the many fruits that marriage can yield
– Christopher WhiteNational Catholic Register

 

A Defense of Dignity:  Creating Life, Destroying Life, and Protecting Conscience.

P03055Notre Dame Press 2013. Winner of 2014 Second -place Award, Faith and Science Category, Catholic Press Association

“A Defense of Dignity provides a skillful, informed, and clear philosophical analysis, from a natural law perspective, of a range of controversial, and sometimes complex, bioethical questions concerning the beginning and end of life. Few authors approach bioethics from a natural law perspective, and few do it as well as Christopher Kaczor. The book should be of interest not only to natural law philosophers and their students, but also to anyone interested in bioethics.” — John Keown, Georgetown University

“Moral questions at the beginning and ending of life and controversies over liberty of conscience are among the most vexing and important issues of our day. Christopher Kaczor brings his characteristic moral seriousness and philosophical good sense to his treatment of these issues, all of which implicate the key concept of human dignity. This eminently readable collection will provide an invaluable resource for educators and students alike.” — Christopher Tollefsen, University of South Carolina

A Defense of Dignity: Creating Life, Destroying Life, and Protecting the Rights of Conscience serves as a well-crafted manual on some of the most divisive issues on the frontier of medical ethics. Christopher Kaczor deftly brings together Church teaching, philosophical tradition, and medical analysis to present a defense of dignity that is as sophisticated as it is accessible.”                       — Christopher White,  Director of Research and Education, Center for Bioethics and Culture Network

“Indispensable. Kaczor untangles the various meanings of human dignity to undertake a reexamination of the most serious and difficult issues in medical ethics. The book combines clarity with philosophical precision, faithfulness to Catholic teaching with a thorough engagement with critics.” — J. Budziszewski, University of Texas at Austin

“Kaczor neatly demolishes arguments that claim appeals to human dignity are a form of discrimination by dissolving the link some attempt to make between speciesim and racism or sexism.  …  There is no doubt that these essays are clearly argued, and Kaczor’s keen intellect gets to grips with opposing views and nuanced arguments.  ..  Whether or not the reader agrees or disagrees with Kaczor’s conclusions, Kaczor does make a strong case for his positions in each of these essays.” — Pia Matthews, The New Blackfriars

“This collection of essays showcases Kaczor’s careful and precise approach to key moral problems surrounding reproduction, death and dying, and the protection of conscience in health care. . . . The text would be quite suitable for an advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate class seeking a serious, careful consideration of Catholic teaching on abortion and euthanasia, including the most contested difficult cases of today. The chapters are invariably tightly argued, clearly written, and their topics fully explained.  Kaczor’s conclusions will be educated by his precision, his extensive case knowledge, and his rational tone” Theological Studies

“…Blessed John Paul regularly invoked dignity as a moral compass. Christopher Kaczor . . . does a masterful job in showing how important is this concept, properly understood, to contemporary bioethics. . . . Kaczor argues as a philosopher in the light of reason, not revelation.” National Catholic Register

“Kaczor has created a definitive volume that is both fair and balanced, and well-grounded within the Catholic Magisterium. . . . Christopher Kaczor has written a marvelous defense of human dignity. His latest work is extremely well-written, and is highly recommended for advanced students, and institutions with collections dedicated to ethics, moral theology, and philosophy.” Catholic Library World

“This volume is a collection of previously written essays by the author, and the basic premise is the intrinsic dignity of every human being and their subsequent protection. There is extensive discussion of what dignity is, and why the concept of universal inherent dignity is an extremely important ethical principle . . . . It is well written and well researched.” Religious Studies Review

“Although Kaczor’s Roman Catholic perspective on bioethical issues is undisguised, he writes in a nondogmatic style that acknowledges ambiguities and unresolved dilemmas. Thus, the book invites readers to critically examine important issues, whether or not he/she agrees with Kaczor’s philosophical analysis.” Choice

“A Defense of Dignity, brings together previously published essays on a range of issues in medical ethics . . . . Kaczor focuses principally on particular issues in bioethics in which human beings are vulnerable. He discusses procreative beneficence, embryo adoption, ectopic pregnancy, fetal surgery, physician-assisted suicide, patients in a persistent vegetative state, and organ donation. Kaczor’s argument on behalf of human dignity—forwarded in the introductory chapter and then elaborated through his interventions on these particular controversial medical issues—provides a strong example of a common claim that human worth is intrinsic.” Studies in Christian Ethics

“Kaczor’s book abounds in fine distinctions and careful observations.” Journal of Moral Philosophy

“Christopher Kaczor’s A Defense of Dignity explores the most challenging issues in contemporary bioethics and public policy… thinkers like Kaczor offer convincing arguments to maintain Christian ideas, morality, and culture for all nations.” Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction about Catholicism.

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San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2012.

“Christopher Kaczor is one of our finest young Catholic philosophers. In The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church, he shows that he is also one of our finest defenders of the Catholic faith. Essential reading for the new evangelization.” Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles

“Kudos to Christopher Kaczor for a book that should be read not only by any Christian from the age of reason on up, but also and especially by the Critics of Perpetual Indignance. Intellectually relentless yet engagingly sincere, The Seven Big Myths About the Church is a rhetorical demolition derby of some of the most cherished — and toxic — lies of our time.” Mary Eberstadt, Author, Adam and Eve After the Pill

“All of this book is full of clarity and charity, but two chapters are masterpieces each worth ten times the price of the whole book. The chapter on contraception is the most simple, commonsensical, winsome, and persuasive I have ever seen. The chapter on same-sex marriage has the clearest and the completest logic I have ever read on the subject.” Peter Kreeft, Boston College, Author, Because God Is Real

“In my own pilgrimage back to the Catholic Church was the growing realization, as a consequence of study and reflection, that much of what I had believed about the Church, its doctrines, and its practices was mistaken. This is why I find Professor Kaczor’s book to be so important.” Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy, Baylor University

“Kaczor clears up damaging misconceptions about the Church common among both Catholics and non-Catholics who have been deluged with anti-Catholic propaganda. The book is not only an engaging read, but a splendid conversational resource.” J. Budziszewski, Author, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide

“Every seminary, every RCIA program, every parish effort in continuing education should make The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church required reading.” Ronald K. Tacelli, SJ, Author, Handbook of Catholic Apologetics

“Whether it’s the idea that the Church is anti-science, anti-women, anti-sex, or what have you, people can’t resist a juicy myth about the Catholic Church. That’s what makes Dr. Christopher Kaczor’s book so timely. He cuts through the myth to expose the truth.” Jimmy Akin, Author, The Fathers Know Best

“The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church combats the standard errors about Catholicism (so often flung with anger) with nary a hint of combativeness. Indeed, Kaczor loves his enemy. This book is myth-busting at its best about the things that matter most. Listen up. He knows what he’s talking about—and so will you.” Patrick Coffin, Host, Catholic Answers Live

The Ethics of Abortion: Women’s Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice. (2nd edition)

ethicsofabortionNew York: Routledge, 2015.

“This is one of the very best book-length defenses of the claim that abortion is morally impermissible. It is clear, thorough, thoughtful and carefully argued. I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in the subject to read it and to study it.” –David Boonin, author of A Defense of Abortion (2003), University of Colorado, Boulder

The Ethics of Abortion is an important book.  Its greatest virtue is its insightful discussion of the most important pro-choice literature from the past twenty years.  Kaczor’s book is essential reading for anyone interested in the present literature on the morality of abortion.” Don Marquis, The University of Kansas, USA

“An accessible and philosophically reliable guide to the abortion debates is sorely needed, and this is it. Kaczor is not one of those who think calm, rational argument is useless. Engaging abortion advocates at their strongest points, he replies to the most difficult objections to the pro-life position, many of which have not been adequately addressed by previous authors. Throughout, he navigates the storms of argument with such calm, charity, and balance that not even the most committed opponent could become angry with him.” J. Budziszewski, University of Texas at Austin, USA

“I spent years finding and learning what this book holds in one place. It is an excellent ‘first stop,’ and a necessary reference book for those who wish to engage fully the most vexing moral question of our day.” Helen M. Alvaré, George Mason University School of Law, USA

“[T]his book contains the most complete, the most penetrating and the most up-to-date set of critiques of the arguments for abortion choice presently available. It is required reading for anyone seriously interested in the abortion issue. It is a good introduction for anyone who wishes to read a serious and thoughtful account of all of the various serious philosophical views that support the right to abortion. It deserves careful study. . . . I highly recommend it.” –Notre Dame Philosophical Review

“There is much to admire and appreciate in this volume, which may be the strongest book-length defense of the view that abortion is morally impermissible.  It is easy to read, deeply thoughtful, and constructive.  Christopher Kaczor offers much insight and many good arguments.  He endeavors to take to heart the values and concerns of his opponents, maintaining an evenhanded tone throughout the discussion.  While working primarily from arguments familiar to pro-life thinkers, his discussion of hard cases for each side of this debate is as refreshing as it is smart, and reflections on the possibility of artificial wombs add considerable novelty.” David DeGrazia –Ethics

Kaczor’s book is the most up-to-date and comprehensive defense of the pro-life position available. He carefully takes on every serious voice in the contemporary abortion debate: Peter Singer, Michael Tooley, Mary Anne Warren, Judith Jarvis Thomson, David Boonin, Jeff McMahan, John Harris, Ronald Green.  …  Kaczor’s arguments are philosophically rigorous, analytically precise, and wholly pro-life. His tone is calm and charitable throughout. Warmly recommended.”-Ryan Anderson, First Things

“The present volume is thus a fine book-length defense of the claim that abortion is morally impermissible and a splendid guide to the philosophical complexities involved in the abortion debate.  It brings together under one cover a thoughtful and readily accessible account of the positions and arguments of the major disputants, and it argues for its position in philosophical and scientific terms, without recourse to religious or theological assumptions.” International Philosophical Quarterly

“Given the plethora of scholarly articles and books concerning the moralpermissibility of abortion, one may wonder whether there is a place for anothervolume on the topic. Christopher Kaczor’s powerfully argued text, though,definitely merits any reader’s careful attention.  …  The rigor of Kaczor’s metaphysical and ethical arguments concerning whena person begins to exist and the moral rights that pertain to embryos and fetusesshould help disarm many alternative views that have been popular in bothscholarly and public arenas.”-Jason T. Eberl, Semler Endowed Chair for Medical Ethics, The Thomist

O Rare Ralph McInerny: Stories and Reflections on a Legendary Notre Dame Professor.

o-rare-ralph-mcinerny-stories-cover-arteditor. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press, 2011. During more than a half century at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Ralph McInerny’s legendary achievements include writing more than 50 non-fiction books in philosophy, medieval studies, and theology, as well as more than 90 novels, including the Father Dowling Murder Mystery series. This volume offers personal reflections on the man himself and what he meant to so many over his rich life of teaching, writing, and contributing to the life of the mind. Contributors include Alasdair MacIntyre, Cardinal Francis George, Ralph’s brother D.Q. McInerny, Michael Novak, John Haldane, Joseph Bottum, Thomas De Konick, Jude P. Dougherty, Gerard V. Bradley, Fr. Marvin O’Connell, and many of Ralph’s colleagues and students who aim to capture some of the ‘more’ that was McInerny, a more that cannot be captured by any curriculum vitae, even one as impressive as Ralph’s. The stories, anecdotes, and reflections in this volume give us various snapshots of the man that cannot be found in news accounts, press releases, or academic evaluations. A person as great as Ralph should not live merely in memory, so some record such as this volume written his friends, colleagues, and former students becomes appropriate. Also included is a full list of all the books – fiction and non-fiction – authored by McInerny as well as enumeration of his forty-seven doctoral students and their dissertations completed under his direction. Finally, the collection is rounded out by five contributions by McInerny himself: a poem about his late wife Connie, a scholarly article “Why I Am a Thomist,” a popular essay, “Mementoes Never Die,” an early Roger Knight mystery entitled “Dust Abhors a Vacuum,” as well as his last written words.

Thomas Aquinas on the Cardinal Virtues:  Edited and Explained for Everyone.

co-author. Naples, FL: Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University, 2009. Arranged for beginners, Aquinas on the Cardinal Virtues contains select passages from the treatment of justice, temperance, courage, and practical wisdom found in Thomas’s Summa theologiae. Copious footnotes treat matters of historical, philosophical, and theological interest to the contemporary reader making this book ideal for classroom use or individual study.

“I think the authors of this book, Christopher Kaczor and Father Thomas Sherman, were inspired when they hit upon the idea of providing a summary of the cardinal virtues such as this. Here you will find a discussion of the virtue needed to make right judgments about the good, the virtue of prudence. You will find discussion of the two virtues that enable us to act well despite the tug of our emotions, the virtues of temperance and courage. Finally, the virtue of justice deals with the fact that we are members of communities, the family, the city, and not isolated and autonomous individuals. Christopher Kaczor and Father Sherman have put us all in their debt. The idea for this book was a great one; its execution is marvelous. The rest is up to the reader.” Dr. Ralph McInerny, University of Notre Dame

Thomas Aquinas on Faith Hope and Love:  Edited and Explained for Everyone.

Naples, FL: Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University, 2008. Thomas Aquinas on Faith, Hope, and Love provides essential passages from Thomas’s treatment of the theological virtues in the Summa theologiae, edited and explained for classroom use or the independent reader. Arranged for beginners, this book contains passages of great historical import, contemporary relevance, and intrinsic interest combined with abundant footnotes aiding the modern reader.

“The subject of this book, the three theological virtues of faith, hope and love, is nothing less than the greatest thing in the world. And the author of this book, Saint Thomas Aquinas, was nothing less than the greatest theologian in the history of the world. Christopher Kaczor does for the Summa’s treatment of the faith, hope, and love, the very thing I did in my Summa of the Summa for its central philosophical passages. This book is for amateurs and beginners as well as professionals and scholars. My advertisement for it here is simply that it works. Students learn from Aquinas. So do teachers. I have learned more from Aquinas than from any other philosopher or theologian. Perhaps most important of all, I have learned the habit of philosophizing from him, by example, more than from anyone else. So has Dr. Kaczor. So can you. This book can actually help you to live by faith and hope and love.” Dr. Peter Kreeft, Boston College

Life Issues, Medical Choices: Questions and Answers for Catholics.

Co-authorCincinnati, OH:  Servant Press, 2007, 2nd edition 2009, 3rd edition 2016.

How to Stay Catholic in College.

[booklet] El Cajon, CA: Catholic Answers Press. 2007. More than 150,000 copies sold.

 

 

The Edge of Life: Human Dignity and Contemporary Bioethics.

Philosophy and Medicine Series. New York/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2005.

Proportionalism and the Natural Law Tradition.

Washington, D.C. The Catholic University of America Press, 2002.