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 Home > About IHS > Mission
About IHS Press

The Mission of IHS Press.

IHS Press was founded for the express purpose of re-popularizing the works of Catholic Social Thought by the great Social Catholics of the early 20th century. The Editors are firmly convinced that the wisdom of Catholic Social Thought is, today, largely a buried treasure, relatively untapped and almost wholly neglected. Nevertheless, it offers to a troubled world the solutions for a whole host of social ills.

Far from being pie-in-the-sky dreaming, or quaint, if attractive, wishful thinking, the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church is the only consistent body of political thought which is both compatible with the truths of Revelation, of reason, and of common sense, and also sufficiently practical and concrete in nature to be of real use as a guide to the solution of nearly all of the ills which plague our society.

Hilaire Belloc

Drawing upon the papal encyclicals, allocutions, and pronouncements that addressed social problems and the nature of society, as well as upon the great theologians of the Church, the Social Catholics of last century produced a magnificent collection of both scholarly and popular writings on a vast range of topics, all of which in one way or another elaborated and explained the Social Doctrine. These militant, uncompromising Catholics wrote works of truly impressive foresight and convincing argument, subjecting society as they found it to the scrutiny of critical reason and the light of Divine Faith. From such serious reflection ushered forth – sometimes in truly incomparable prose – seminal volumes challenging the complacent assumptions of the modern world and advocating both a return to sane thinking and true progress towards a better world.

G.K. Chesterton

Unfortunately, most of these great works are out of print, and are today available – if at all – only through expensive second-hand bookshops. Furthermore, few if any scholars, thinkers, and journalists are tackling modern problems in light of the traditional Social Doctrine of the Church. Thus, IHS Press was established to make these classic expositions of Catholic Social Doctrine from last century available again to the current generation, at reasonable prices, and in very high quality packages. Moreover, IHS Press was created in order to provide a venue for the publication of serious works by modern authors which address current problems in light of Catholic Social Principles.

Heinrich Pesch, S.J.

The republication of classic, out-of-print texts inspired by Catholic Social Doctrine is certainly a primary focus for IHS Press. Yet it remains, ultimately, a means to an end. That greater end, which may be achieved, we hope, by God's help, is the wholesale rehabilitation and re-popularization of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Not for its own sake, but for what it may provide by way of a direction and a guiding light for a society which has – in spite of its advanced technology and high-speed communications and transportation – for the most part lost its way. Thus if our endeavor succeeds, we envision not merely the re-publication of old classics, but the first-time publication of new texts which chart a course for the repair of modern society by the sure Light of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

Vincent McNabb, O.P.

IHS Press aims not only to be a truly Social Catholic Press, but to become the Social Catholic Press. Not that we wouldn't be happy to have competition – the more people and organizations that are discussing the Social Doctrine, the better it is for society and the world. But what IHS Press hopes to do is fill a void which exists to some extent in the both the academic and publishing worlds. Admirers of Chesterton can and should join the American Chesterton Society; Belloc afficionados can visit a number of good Belloc websites; but true students of the entire Social Doctrine of the Church are all too frequently left to fend for themselves. Few alive today are conscious of a mission to preserve the memory of the great Social Catholics for current generations. There are none who feel called to bring their ideas and their Vision into the world with a view towards making that Vision into a vital force for the re-conversion of the Social Order.

IHS Press, however, is just such an organization. We intend to pick up where the Distributist, the Solidarist, the Corporatist Catholics of all nations left off before the war, and, God willing, to deliver to the world once again the hope of a peacful and fruitful existence, free from both the excessive power of the state and the ruthless injustice of an untamed market.

Thus do we hope to provide not just printed books – new and re-published – but also a forum for a deepening of knowledge and appreciation of the Social Teachings as well as a practical discussion on how they should be implemented, so that their wisdom can be brought to bear on a world sorely in need of it. We hope, with God's help, that such a forum will grow and expand, to include conferences, workshops, journals, etc. There is no limit to what can be done and what should be done to make the Social Doctrine once again an intellectual force to be reckoned with. But to grow in that direction, IHS Press requires your help.

For more on how to help IHS Press, please click here.

For further information: call or e-mail today
with any questions, comments, or concerns:
IHS Press
222 W 21st St. Suite F-122
Norfolk, VA 23517
877-IHS-PRES (877.447.7737)