Sunday, January 22, 2012

“Why Are There No Hittites In New York?”

Walker Percy
In a large class of undergraduate students, I recalled the quip of Walker Percy which I thought was both amusing and pertinent to a discussion of the Old Testament and political philosophy: 
“Why are there no Hittites in New York?” Percy wondered. I expected some laughter, but, as far as I could tell, no one understood the point. Since obviously we find many Jews in New York but no Hittites, what can explain that survival over the millennia of Jews but not of the Hittites
In a sense, David Goldman’s book, It’s Not the End of the World; It’s Just the End of You, sets out to answer this question that has much more intellectual substance than we might at first suspect from the book’s somewhat flippant but accurate title. Goldman will indeed say that it is not the Jews of New York, who have very low birth rates, who will survive, but those in Israel, who are the “happiest nation on earth,” with the highest birth rate among industrialized peoples. The relation of birth and economics, happiness and enterprise, dying and living nations is at the heart of this book.
Link (here) to the full article by Fr. James Schall, S.J. entitled, On the Promises of God to Mankind at The Homiletic and Pastoral Review. 
Read David P. Goldman's reflection on Father Schall's piece (here)

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