- For Your Review
of the spate of books generated by the ongoing crisis
in our Church, a few VOTFers have compiled a short list
of books many have read and recommend. As Jim Post says,
these are the worst and best of times in at least one
respect. "The crisis has created an interest among publishers
in the ideas of Catholic scholars, journalists, and
learned persons. The result has been a score of new
and soon to be published books that illuminate the causes
and consequences of the crisis. The analyses by theologians,
church historians, sociologists, psychologists, and
experts in religion are shedding light on some of the
great questions raised by this scandal."
invite readers to submit reviews of these books and/or
others you find helpful and relevant to the achievement
of VOTF goals. Send your comments to Peggie Thorp at
Beaudoin (visiting assistant professor of theology
at Boston College), Consuming Faith: Integrating
Who We Are With What We Buy. While you're at
it, read Tom's 10/31 NCR essay "What young theologians
owe their elders."
Peter Steinfels, A People Adrift. Steinfels
finds much that called for attention even before
the current crisis. The New York Times Religion
correspondent considers a broad spectrum of concerns
including parish worship, religious education, doctrinal
development, Catholic identity and higher education.
Donald Cozzens, Sacred Silence - see July
2203 issue In the Vineyard
David Gibson, The Coming Catholic Church: How
the Faithful Are Shaping a New American Catholicism.
Gibson brings his award-winning religion writing
to the task of examining a Church at a crossroad.
His CNN documentaries on the Church as well as his
years with Vatican Radio in Rome offer readers a
unique and thought-provoking perspective.
John McGreevy, Catholicism and American Freedom
- A History. McGreevy is the John A. O'Brien
Associate Professor of History at the University
of Notre Dame, Indiana. His examination of the role
of Catholicism in America's political and intellectual
development will be news to many, invaluable to
most and worthwhile to all.
Eugene Kennedy, The Unhealed Wound. A psychologist
and former priest and an award-winning author of
several books and a column for the Religious News
Service, distributed by the New York Times syndicate,
Kennedy addresses one of the oldest and greatest
stresses of Roman Catholicism: human sexuality.
He studies the awkward reconciliation Catholics
are supposed to effect between their sexuality and
their spirituality. Kennedy suggests that both are
to be celebrated. He lives with his wife in Chicago,
Illinois, and Naples, Florida.
Paul Lakeland, The Liberation of the Laity -
see July 2003 issue In the Vineyard
Alan Wolfe, The Transformation of American Religion:
How We Actually Live Our Faith. Wolfe is professor
of political science and Director of the Boisi Center
for Religion and American Public Life at Boston
College. His book takes a broad and illuminating
look at the larger question of American culture
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