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It is always dangerous to draw too precise parallels between one historical period and another; and among the most misleading of such parallels are those which have been drawn between our own age in Europe and North America and the epoch in which the Roman Empire declined in the Dark Ages. Nonetheless, certain parallels there are. A crucial point in that earlier history occurred when men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman imperium and ceased to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with the maintenance of that imperium. What they set themselves to achieve instead � was the construction of new forms of community within which the moral life could be sustained so that both morality and civility might survive the coming ages of barbarism and darkness. If my account of our moral condition is correct, we ought also to conclude that for some time now we have reached that turning-point. What matters at this stage is the construction of local forms of community within which civility and the intellectual moral life can be sustained through the new dark ages which are already upon us. And if the tradition of the virtues was able to survive the horrors of the last dark ages, we are not entirely without grounds for hope. This time, however, the Barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing us for quite some time. And it is our lack of consciousness of this that constitutes part of our predicament.


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See also:

Alasdair MacIntyre Links:

    -Alasdair MacIntyre (Senior Research Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame)
    -INFO: Alasdair MacIntyre (Wikipedia)
    -Philosopher of the Month: October 2002 - Alasdair MacIntyre (Matthew Ray, TPM)
    -Alasdair MacIntyre Site (Thomas McCasland)
    -A Bibliography of the Works of Alasdair MacIntyre (William Hughes)
    -ESSAY: The Achievement of Alasdair MacIntyre (Edward T. Oakes, August/September 1996, First Things)
    -ESSAY: Alasdair MacIntyre, religion & the university (Maurice Cowling, February 1994, New Criterion)
    -STUDY GUIDE: After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntryre (Notes by Dr. Ronald C. Arnett)

Book-related and General Links:
-AETERNI PATRIS: ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON THE RESTORATION OF CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY Human Dignity, Human Rights and Moral Responsibility (Cardinal George Pell, Paper presented to the John Cardinal Krol Chair of Moral Theology Symposium on Catholic Moral Teaching in the Pontificate of John Paul II, St Charles Borromeo Seminary, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, 4 October 2003)