With this prosaic title, you might be forgiven for expecting a predictable narrative accompanied by pictures of dour, bearded reformers being executed in various unpleasant ways. In fact it contains seven essays by leading Reformation historians, with an array of fascinating pictures that are not just illustrations but integral parts of the argument.
News in Book Review
With so many interpretations being presented for Pope Francis’ new encyclical, Fr. Robert Barron says only one theologian can give us the proper context for reading Laudato Si': Romano Guardini. “As I read through the document, I saw, on practically every page, the influence of Romano Guardini and his distinctive take on modernity.”
Among those who write in the area of spirituality today, who’s being read? Here’s my list of spiritual writers who are highly influential today in the English-speaking world. My apologies to those whom I didn’t name, particularly those young, emerging voices such as Kerry Weber, David Wells, and Bill McGarvey, among others. Who should be more widely read.
The release of the complete adult faith formation series “Symbolon: the Catholic Faith Explained” hopes to offer a profound way of encountering the truths of the Catholic Church.
The Pope speaks on numerous themes, including evangelization, peace, homiletics, social justice, the family, respect for creation, faith and politics, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, and the role of women and of the laity in the Church.
A sudden burst of interest in God's word has meant that the Bible has become a best-seller in Norway, overtaking Fifty Shades Of Grey. In a surprising move in what is one of the most secular nations in Europe, a new Norwegian language version of the Scriptures has become the country's best-selling book.
So why are we still waiting for Godot? How has Samuel Beckett's play grown from a tiny avant garde performance in Paris to become part of the West End theatre coach party circuit? It asks all the big philosophical questions - about life and death and the uncertain purpose of what goes on in between - but in a way that isn't limited to a particular place or era.
There were between 850,000 and 1 million Jews who lived in Arab countries in 1948. By 1976, there was only 25,000. In one generation, that is, almost all Jews had left the countries where they had lived for ages. “Juifs en pays arabes. Le grand déracinement 1850-1975” by the Frenchman Bensoussan.
The transition to the new English missal has gone better than many of us expected. After a month or two of awkward and hesitant liturgical exchanges, the people in the pews seem to have gotten used to the new texts. By now the responses mostly come automatically, as ritual texts should.
The Testament of Mary - review. Perhaps Mary is too well known? After all, her life is recorded in one of the two great originating books of the Judaeo- Christian tradition. The question for the wary reader approaching Tóibín’s novel is whether it is an atheist’s demolition job or an attempt to deepen our religious understanding of the birth, the death and the resurrection.
The myth of matriarchy is one of patriarchy's oldest inventions. Those stories of primitive warrior queens, buxom mother goddesses and tribes of Amazons are no evidence at all that women did once rule the world. As most anthropologists have recognised for decades, these are cautionary tales invented by men to justify their own dominance.
This is the book I was telling you about; It is necessary to really understand the French Revolution in order to understand all the wars and religious hatred that have happened since. The Dreyfus Affair brought down one government, caused the resignation of three Ministers of War, led to France’s most famous novelist being sentenced to a year in prison and almost precipitated the country’s second civil war in little more than 100 years.
The archbishop and the historian have the elusory character of Christianity on their minds in their new books. Rowan Williams conveys what being a Christian means to him in his new book, The Lion's World.
The future of religious life in Europe is intimately connected with the future of the faith. This is one of the major preoccupations of the Church at this moment. There are three circumstances that do not make the vocational experience for religious life in Europe easy: cultural secularisation, religious chaos and the distrust of institutions.
“The Future as Promise” - A new book on the challenges Religious Life faces in our society today. This book presents all the conference speeches given by excellent guest speakers during our first Religious Life Conference, celebrated at the end of May in Hayes, West London.
20-Somethings Cite Many Reasons for Disconnect.- It's well-known that many young people stop being active Church-goers. A recent book examined extensive research carried out by the Barna Group to find out why so many drop out as they move into adulthood. In "You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving the Church ... and Rethinking Faith," (Baker Books), David Kinnaman, along with Aly Hawkins, analyzed a wide range of statistical data.
Like a glass-blower by a wintry sea, Tomas Transtromer has been slowly and painstakingly making poems in his native Stockholm since the early 1950s. A private man in his work and life, Transtromer has been following Thoreau's example for 50 years. He will have more difficulty doing that after today's announcement that he is this year's winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
As Ricci understood in the seventeenth century, when high Confucian philosophy and Christian faith walk together, they are an extraordinarily powerful combination – and perhaps this will be China’s great gift to the world and certainly not something to fear. Perhaps, as he reflects on this, the perceptive Martin Jacques should ruefully recall that Christianity is also a principal reason why Marxism is yesterday rather than today in the former Soviet Union.
Freeth’s book, which shares the name of a documentary film made about his family, is a personal account of a terrible decade spent working in Zimbabwean agriculture. During the most intense phase of Mugabe’s farm invasions in 2000-2002, Freeth worked for the Farmers’ Union, doing what he could to protect his members – several of whom were killed in their homes.
"Only in this second volume do we encounter the decisive sayings and events of Jesus' life... I hope that I have been granted an insight into the figure of Our Lord that can be helpful to all readers who seek to encounter Jesus and to believe in Him."-Pope Benedict XVI