Michael Novak

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An undated biographical sketch from the National Commission on Civic Renewal for Michael Novak states that Novak "currently holds the George Frederick Jewett Chair in Religion and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., where he also serves as Director of Social and Political Studies."

"A theologian, author, and former U.S. ambassador, Mr. Novak has written some 25 influential books in the philosophy and theology of culture, including The Open Church (1964), The Rise of the Unmeltable Ethnics (1972), The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism (1982), and To Empower People: From State to Civil Society (1996). He is also the author of numerous monographs and more than 500 articles and reviews. Illusions and Realities, his twice-weekly column, was syndicated nationally from 1976 to 1980 and was a Pulitzer finalist in 1979," the biographical note states.

"Mr. Novak's writings have appeared in every major Western language, and in Bengali, Korean, and Japanese. The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism has been reprinted often in Latin America, and was published underground in Poland in 1984. More recently, it has been published in Czechoslovakia and Germany, and now China and Hungary," it states.

"In 1981 and 1982, Mr. Novak led the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, with the rank of Ambassador. In March 1986, he headed the U.S. Delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the monitor of the Helsinki accords). With Senate approval, he was appointed in 1984 to the Board for International Broadcasting, the private corporation that governs Radio Free Europe. In December 1985, he was appointed to the Presidential Task Force on Project Economic Justice. He has served the United States during both Democratic and Republican administrations," it states.

"Mr. Novak began his teaching career as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard. In 1976 he accepted a tenured chair at Syracuse University, before joining the American Enterprise Institute as a research scholar in 1978. Mr. Novak has received numerous awards, including the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion (1994), as well as more than a dozen honorary degrees, both here and abroad."

Novak has written extensively on Catholic issues. Earlier in his career, he advocated liberalizing the Church's rules on birth control in such works as "The Experience of Marriage", and the original edition of "Confessions of a Catholic". Since then he has changed his mind, and now defends the teaching of Pope John Paul II on the subject. More recently, he has argued for the 2003 US invasion of Iraq on "just war" principles, against the Pope's opposition to the war. Novak also wrote extensive criticisms of liberation theology in the 1980s.

Recent short works of his published by the American Enterprise Institute include apologetics for intellectual property laws and CEO compensation (funded in part by the drug company Pfizer), and arguments for the Christian roots of the United States.


Contact information

Web: http://www.michaelnovak.net/
Email: michaelnovak@michaelnovak.net

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Institute on Religion and Democracy Board, organizational web page, accessed April 23, 2012.
  2. Staff, Cultural Change Institute, accessed December 12, 2010.

External links