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Greatest American Catholic Intellectuals



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Orestes Brownson (1803–1876)

While some of my closest friends are Catholics, I’m not, so I wouldn’t have had a vote in this poll to determine America’s ten greatest Catholic intellectuals.  The current list:

The Catholic Hall of Fame’s Greatest American Catholic intellectuals, in the order of their birth:

  1. Orestes Brownson (1803–1876)
  2. John Courtney Murray (1904-1967)
  3. John Senior (1923-1999)
  4. Avery Dulles (1918-2008)
  5. James Schall (1928-)
  6. Ralph McInerny (1929-2010)
  7. Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009)
  8. Mary Anne Glendon (1938-)
  9. George Weigel (1951-)
  10. Robert P. George (1955-)

I’d hesitate to subtract any names from the list, but would be tempted to add at least two: the prolific and profound Peter Augustine Lawler and the always interesting Michael Novak. [more]


First Things



  1. Stanislav Zadnik says:

    This is a joke, right…”First Things”, that explains it.

  2. Charles Bolser says:

    Are we speaking of the 10 greatest Conservative Catholics? It certainly seems that way – with the exception of John Courtney Murray who would be on any listing.

  3. Tom Owens says:

    Michael Novak..you got to be kidding! But Greeley and Rohr are catholics worthy of the choice and honor…

  4. Daniel Kealey says:

    Thomas Berry, John Dunne, Richard Rohr


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