Religious Book Week: Critics' Choices

Osiek, Carolyn & Elisabeth & Fiorenza, Francis Schussler & Burghardt, Walter J. & Hauerwas, Stanley & Coleman, John A. & Cox, Harvey & Cunneen, Sally & Cooke, Bernard & Tavard, George H. & Gerhart, Mary & Swidler, Arlene & McNeill, John J. & Cardman, Francine & Higgins, George G. & Spear, Lois

Religious Book Week: CRITICS' CHOICES George G. Higgins AMERICAN CATHOLICS: A History of the Roman Catholic Community in the United States, by James Hennesey, S.J. (Oxford University Press,...

...It is livelier than many a novel and it puts so much of the current controversy about Christianity's role in a revolutionary world in a clearer perspective...
...University of California, $7.95, 300 pp...
...CRITICS WALTER J. BURGHARDT, S.J., is theologiatlin-residence at Georgetown University and editor of Theological Studies...
...I do wish, however, that Alter were more generous in explicating the literary critical method he uses so effectively...
...If you would grasp why intelligent Christian existence today is woven of complexity, invest in Notes on Moral Theology 1965 through 1980, by Richard A. McCormick, S.J...
...provides the first serious attempt to rethink Christian systematic theology in the light of what we have learned about Judaism especially in the first two centuries...
...What would we do without them...
...In final paragraphs he suggests a radical social praxis...
...In Christian Spirituality...
...First of all I wish to cite another major scholarly work of Edward Schillebeeckx, Christ: The Experience of Jesus Christ as Lord (Crossroad, $29.50, 925 pp...
...He correctly sees that "a moral philosophy characteristically presupposes a sociology" and vice versa...
...The products of that new culture- spiritualized politics, Christian anti-Judaism, oppression of women, domination of nature-are critiqued by Rosemary Ruether in To Change the World: Christology as Cultural Criticism (Crossroad, $8.95, 80 pp...
...This psychological insight found superb theological support in Edward Schillebeeckx's book: Ministry: Leadership in the Community of Jesus Christ (Crossroad, $12.95, 165 pp...
...She is the author of Belief in Literary Criticism and Editorial Chair of Religious Studies Review...
...Christians, he suggests, ought to let their private life spill over into the public sector...
...It is deeply modern in taking pluralism, conflict, and history seriously...
...I would suggest three companion books to Maclntyre's...
...Experience with other cultures or subcultures, for many Catholics, has radicalized the Gospel in their own lives...
...by Julia Kristeva is a collection of essays written over the last ten years...
...the rest of us out here in the world are externs...
...John J. McNeill NY OWN PERSONAL spiritual needs, as well as the needs I have in my work as a therapist, were best met during the past year by those spiritual readings which fed a growing sense of spiritual autonomy and pointed to a deeper understanding and practice of compassion...
...His work is more immediately and explicitly addressed to the academy than to the church or to societal praxis...
...sally cunneen, associate editor of Cross Currents, directs the Second Sight program at Rockland Community College...
...He wears his scholarship very lightly and with becoming intellectual modesty and has never been known to indulge in self-righteous indignation of to savage an opponent...
...Though that was admittedly a tragedy of sorts for all concerned, it made it possible for Times correspondent Peter Nichols, who has been covering Rome and the Vatican for almost twenty-five years, to go around the world and examine through his sympathetic Church of England eyes the posture of Roman Catholicism as it faces up to the disconcerting challenges of modernity...
...Stanley Hauer-was's A Community of Character (University of Notre Dame Press, $7.95, 298 pp...
...Two other more specialized books are particularly noteworthy...
...Finally, though I take the risk of being self-serving, I cannot help but recommend Gilbert Meilaender's Friendship: A Study in Theological Ethics (University of Notre Dame, $9.95, 118 pp...
...insists that embracing particularity, historicity, and tradition is essential for any vivid moral and religious life...
...Pablo Richard writes brilliantly about the history of the interpretation of popular religion and advocates a new stage in which this religion of the ordinary people is to be understood within the context of the current crisis in the entire civil polity and economic structure of Central America...
...There is so much superficial writing (and talking) about Christianity and Marxism that it is a real joy to find a book like this - open, candid, knowledgeable, and intelligently critical...
...Elisabeth & Francis Schussler Fiorenza THE TERRAIN of contemporary theology is brilliantly laid out by David Tracy's The Analogical Imagination (Crossroad, $24.50, 467 pp...
...Especially significant are Valerie Saiving's explorations of the concept of androgyny, John Cobb's revision of his own work in terms of feminist thought, and Jean Labert's application of feminist and process perspectives to the complicated moral discussion of pregnancy and abortion...
...Nouwen, (Doubleday, $12.95,142 pp...
...is a great book...
...Solid contemporary theology is communicated in personal terms by Dick Westley of Loyola (Chicago), who has added useful questions, themes for dialogue, and reading lists...
...This book radiates the glory of ingenuity...
...Jesus was evidently little interested whether this suffering was the consequence of sin or was innocent suffering...
...Fortunately both volumes were recently republished in attractive and relatively inexpensive soft-cover editions and thus can properly be listed here as current books...
...Needleman calls for the spiritual praxis of an "intermediate Christianity" by which one seeks "a gathered attention that is directed simultaneously to the spirit and the body...
...His survey of this praxis is as provocative as it is illuminating...
...Dorothy Soelle's Choosing Life (Fortress Press, $8.95, 132 pp...
...Although Schil-lebeeckx's Ministry has received much more public attention, Power's book is much more comprehensive in its analysis of the church's ministry, mission, and liturgy...
...When one thinks of the creative religious reflection associated with "liberation theology," McGovern's book qualifies as important religious reading...
...We are trying to prove something to ourselves, which may not be worth proving...
...it was one of those books from a previous year that one finally decides must be read...
...by Robert Alter opens the Hebrew Testament to new, sometimes astonishing lucidity...
...Some, but not all, of the so-called electronic preachers, who are currently getting far too much publicity for their own spiritual good, have given the evangelical movement in this country an undeservedly bad name...
...For more than fifteen years Father Richard McCormick, S.J., of the Kennedy Institute (Georgetown University) and Woodstock Theological Center has been writing the annual "Notes on Moral Theology" for the Jesuit quarterly, Theological Studies...
...Maclntyre explicitly rejects both Aristotle's a-historicism and his organic teleology...
...Several recent works help to forward the project of reintegration...
...He mounts, instead, a modern social concept of teleology...
...It is the labor of the Catholic laity that will return a sense of shared values to the streets and public forums of the United States...
...HARVEY COX is professor of divinity at Harvard, on leave this year writing a sequel to The Secular City...
...it should not be degraded by those who take it on to avoid themselves...
...Maclntyre's is a radical book...
...ARLENE SWIDLER teaches religious studies at Villanova University...
...University Press of America, $9.75, 180 pp...
...14092, $11.95, 139 pp...
...He ministers to the gay community through Dignity, an organization which he helped found...
...paper...
...A team of "patristic" scholars has for the first time made available in a handy edition the lost tradition of early Christian women writers: A Lost Tradition: Women Writers of the Early Church, edited by Patricia Wilson-Kastner, et aliae...
...Holt, Rinehart and Winston, $16.95, 382 pp...
...For those who wish to pursue in further depth the biblical theology of wealth and poverty, Walter E. Pilgrim's Good News to the Poor: Wealth and Poverty in Luke-Acts (Augsburg, $7.95, 198 pp...
...In what sounds like a snippet from the current press it describes how the bishops handled the outbreak of guerrilla war, sometimes led by priests, against the Napoleonic occupation of Italy...
...We need more faith, he says, "that is rooted in the essential unity of the gospel...
...Still one of Ours, teaching Religious Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo, is William Johnston, author of The Mirror Mind (Harper & Row, $10.95, 181 pp...
...Whereas process thought offers a metaphysical system that starts with the experiencing subjects shaped but not totally determined by the past, feminist thought reclaims the right of women to define self as self-creating subjects and to participate in the intellectual interpretations of reality...
...Peters's Ours (Richard Marek, $11.95, 215 pp...
...This book, coauthored by Donald P. McNeill (no relative), Douglas A. Morrison, and Henri J.M...
...CAROLYN OSIEK, R.S.C.J., is assistant professor of New Testament Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and an associate editor of The Bible Today...
...With a creativity that reveals his intimate knowledge of the land and its history, the author traces the journeys of Jesus up and down the country, giving background on earlier biblical events that happened there and describing the countryside, cities, and towns as they would have appeared in the time of Jesus...
...is splendid in every way and richly readable...
...Their ability to unite attention to inner feeling with social action is powerfully conveyed by the moving illustrations of Paraguayan Doctor Joel Filar-tiga, whose son was tortured to death...
...Highly informative is the data gathered not merely from North American or European developments, but also from Asia, Africa, and Latin America...
...His mysticism: there is a Knower within the knower...
...The kind of religious literature to which I am attracted, therefore, is that done in a non-apologetic manner, i.e., in a manner that conveys the integrity of the theological task by exemplifying the seriousness of religious convictions as matters that do and should form our lives...
...Luke T. Johnson examines the biblical mandate to give of one's property, especially as it occurs in the Gospel of Luke, and sensitively interprets it in the light of scriptural ethics and theology...
...Someday I must be sure to ask my psychoanalyst why a Baptist like me can get so completely absorbed in the intricacies of Catholic political and eccle-sial history...
...roguish, conniving, irascible, repentant, gentle, fierce: Godric is compelling in his struggle for sanctity...
...which I picked up in England, explores the borderline between scientific method and theological method...
...approaches christological questions in a fresh way...
...In the Christian life," the authors tell us, discipline "is like raking away the leaves that cover the pathways in the garden of our soul...
...Although it discusses the emergence of new lay ministries in the church, the book is more than just another book on ministry...
...What is taking place in the contemporary church is not simply the addition of new ministries nor merely the increase of lay involvement, but a new vision of the church with its ministry and mission...
...offers a good overview of the heights and troughs of the spiritual life, along with some practical hints for growth in prayer...
...The annual "Notes" reproduced here from Theological Studies constitute an unparalleled history of the development of moral theology since Vatican II...
...In spite of this prevailing trend, there are several books of theology that I have particularly enjoyed, if not entirely approved...
...In the light of Schillebeeckx's prophetic words, a special feature of Compassion are the drawings of Joel Filartiga of Paraguay who through them expressed his compassion for the poor of Paraguay, and his sorrow for the death of his seventeen-year-old son, Joelito, tortured to death because of his father's compassion for the poor...
...were especially useful because of the clear, precise, biblically-founded guidance for developing an autonomous spiritual life, a disciplined way of "listening to the spirit...
...Though the book is primarily Yoder's lectures for his course in systematic theology, the originality of his work, both historically and in terms of his constructive christology, is unmistakable...
...Another worthwhile book, even enjoyable despite its bulk and complicated contents, was Hans Kiing's Does God Exist...
...A difficult but rewarding book...
...Notes on Moral Theology: 1965 Through 1980, by Richard A. McCormick, S.J...
...Peters, one of Ours for nine years, tells of "The making and unmaking of a Jesuit" with style, wit, and good humor...
...The book first surveys the documents and facts of post-conciliar developments...
...JOHN J. McNEILL, S. J., has a private practice as a psychotherapist and teaches counseling techniques to inner city clergy...
...Most sequels are disappointments, but Kenneth Leech, whose Soul Friend was one of the discoveries of recent religious publishing, has followed up his earlier success with a sound introduction to the spiritual life which should speak to an even wider audience: True Prayer (Harper & Row, $10.95, 282 pp...
...But he is also a most perceptive political commentator and a master at explaining what happens to the human mind under totalitarianism and why, how, and at what a terrible price so many Eastern European (and even Western) intellectuals have embraced it...
...The subtitle explains the scope of the book: An Exploration of the Traditions, Writings, and Remains of the Holy City from the Time of Christ...
...This is not to denigrate earlier one-volume histories written by the late Theodore Maynard, for example, and the late Thomas T. McAvoy, C.S.C., but simply to say that Hennesey's book clearly supersedes them in every respect and now has the field all to itself...
...Their continued separation frustrates efforts to make the practical and theoretical connections between faith and responsibility for history;it also allows spirituality to be turned into a hot item of religious consumerism, divorced from the real world of politics and pain...
...as if reminded me of what an extraordinary theological mind Barth possessed...
...Focusing on the compassionate nature of God's solidarity with humanity, they point out the availability of an appropriate discipleship and discipline in a compassionate response on our part...
...I have long since learned to apply as a touchstone for reading any moral account Maclntyre's sociologically informed criterion: "All morality is always to some degree tied to the socially local and particular, and the aspirations of the morality of modernity to a universality freed from all particularity is an illusion...
...Women and Religion in America: Vol...
...I have never been disappointed in anything Wilfred Cantwell Smith has written...
...I do not warm up to its central problem, the "publicness" of theology...
...in our ubiquitous malls...
...MSGR...
...His use of Scripture and Catholic sources may be somewhat too uncritical for some readers, but to stand on solidly traditional ground is not a bad choice for someone building bridges...
...Arendt, Steiner, and Habermas...
...But his assault on contemporary literary critical methodology seems unnecessarily vexatious and blinds him to questionable assumptions of his own...
...paper...
...Wallis's deeply moving treatise on the true meaning of authentic evangelical conversion should go far towards redeeming the movement's tarnished reputation and restoring evangelism to its rightful place of honor in a society which has much to learn from it and stands in dire need of its theological and pastoral insights...
...The Captive Mind, by Czeslaw Milosz (Vintage Books, $4.95,251 pp...
...Although I do not-share Moltmann's strange conception of God as "Pathos," I think this is the best of Moltmahn's writing...
...His critique of the an-thropocentrism of Christian theology is a challenge so serious and well developed I do not think it will be possible for anyone to continue to do theology, and in particular theological ethics, in a "business as usual" manner...
...Theology has in fact three publics: the academy, the church, and society, Different criteria and distinct divisions of theology address each public...
...offers an excellent opportunity...
...I know of no better introduction to modern thought about God...
...Two small works from the pen of Henri J.M...
...It highlights a convergence that most theologians and scientists are unaware of...
...Again, at a time when, both in church and state, a prophetic ministry of compassion and liberation becomes increasingly more difficult, those books which have supported such a ministry have been particularly welcome...
...While it may not be "religious" in the sense of pious reading, it is an eloquent instance of the profound attempt by awakened Christian women to find a spirituality that is authentic for them as women and Christians...
...Archeology, literature, and superior photography (by professional Garo Nal-bandian) are brought together to examine roads, walls, gates, reservoirs, palaces, and traditional sites of the Last Supper, Crucifixion, and Resurrection, all with a view to giving the reader both a vivid impression of "what it was really like" and some idea of the critical questions involved...
...The role of wealth and possessions vis-a-vis responsibility to the poor is a perennial dilemma in the Christian life...
...Jesus's death was no historical accident...
...Although it covers only the period 1789 to 1815 (other volumes in the same series will explore subsequent periods) the book tells "what Catholicism was like before the deluge and what it was like after...
...Finally, in a quite different vein, Frederick Buechner's haunting, lyric recreation of the life of a twelfth-century English hermit, Godric (Atheneum, $10.95, 178 pp...
...I suspect there are many well-educated Christians for whom God's existence is a very real issue, and who have no ready means of satisfying their questions...
...Equally challenging is John Howard Yoder's, Preface to Theology: Christol-ogy and Theological Method (Distributed by Goshen Biblical Seminary Co-Op Bookstore, $8., 316 pp...
...The Holy City itself is the focus for Richard M. Mackowski, S.J., in Jerusalem, City of Jesus (Eerdmans, $29.95, 221 pp...
...His distillations of major approaches in literary criticism enable fresh appraisals of our understanding of what it means to have "an original experience of art...
...Derrida, Joyce, Benjamin and Nietzsche - and others - to disclose what he calls the uncanniness of our situation...
...He closes with love's creative force: love creative of love, of faith and courage, of peace and joy, of God's presence...
...She has treated these themes in other books and essays...
...In the recent plethora of books about christology, this one deserves to stand out...
...Small wonder that sociologists at Berkeley and Stanford are paying a great deal of attention to this book...
...by Morton T. Kelsey, who confesses himself "only a beginner in the art of loving...
...James Gustafson in his Ethics from a Theocentric Perspective, Volume I, (University of Chicago Press, $20., 345 pp...
...JOHN A. COLEMAN, S.J., is associate professor of religion and society at the Jesuit School of Theology of Berkeley...
...Disciplined" means allowing questions to take over as questions do in genuine conversation...
...Paul van Bu-ren's Discerning the Way: A Theology of the Jewish Christian Reality (Seabury, $12.95, 207 pp...
...He thereby downplays the role of praxis as a theological criterion, but underscores the disclosure of meaning and truth of classic theological texts...
...Religion y Politico en America Central by Pablo Richard and Diego Irarrazaval (DEI: San Jose, Costa Rica 1981) is only sixty pages long and in Spanish...
...This collection is not just of interest for historians of the early church, but helps us all to understand that the history of early Christianity may not be reduced to the "study of the fathers...
...It emphasizes the centrality of Trinitarian doctrine in all the mysteries of Christ in a way that is both profoundly traditional and sensitive to modern questions...
...McCormick's long-waited one-volume compilation of his Notes, surveying year by year all of the more important literature in moral theology in several different languages, is an indispensable reference work and would be a giveaway at triple its actual price...
...He identified with the sufferer - saddiq or not, neither piety nor lack of piety set any limits to his approach...
...His account of the Tamar story, for example, solves the problem of the significance of its being inserted between two parts of the Joseph story in Genesis 37 and 39...
...The essay by Mary Ewens, OP, is particularly gratifying for documenting the role of women religious in spreading the Catholic faith in this country...
...Almost uniquely among moral philosophers, Maclntyre grounds his ideas in history and a tutored sociological imagination...
...builds its "new perspective for the Journey to Adult Faith" on the premise that "experience is revelatory...
...Stone is coming on fast as one of the best American novelists going, and he is onto some subjects that are going to be bothering a lot of us for some time to come...
...Theological History from the New Testament to Luther and St...
...Nouwen skillfully blends his knowledge of psychological growth with the great Christian traditions of spiritual development...
...Ruether's argument is provocative, occasionally overstated, and must be taken seriously...
...Moreover, it challenges those in high places who make policy governing official ministry in the church: is the fundamental objective of such policy the good of Christian communities or the preservation of ecclesiastical structures...
...have written a profound, unified guide to the spiritual life for a general audience...
...For example, the three authors of Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life, Donald P. McNeill, Douglas A. Morrison and Henri J.M...
...This new praxis, however, is in, search of a theology...
...He asks that we attend to "becoming a self or soul" before we talk too soon about union with God...
...It is an extremely useful tool for forming North American base communities, which could vitalize lay people as church in a fresh and responsible manner...
...His panoramic survey of Roman Catholicism in Africa, South and Central America, the United States, Canada, Ireland, Western Europe, and the Iron Curtain countries is a most impressive tour deforce, the best book of its kind that I have come across in any language...
...Unfortunately, the leadership of women in developing new ministries is not surveyed...
...Possessions are shown to function symbolically as extensions of the self, so that dispossession carries with it faith implications that go to the core of one's relationship to the world and to God...
...and The Way of the Heart: Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry (Seabury, $7.95, 95 pp...
...The very nature of the problem van Buren tackles makes his position more exploratory than finished, but his book is a welcome challenge to increasingly sterile debates that have characterized much of recent theology...
...Another, book which I found extraordinarily timely is Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life (Doubleday, $12.95, 142 pp...
...Yet to those who think that theology should not be only a matter of words, but can be expressed in painting, I recommend the recent reproduction of a Pierpont Morgan Library illuminated manuscript, The Prayer Book of Michelino Da Besozzo (George Braziller, $50, 148 pp., 67 full-color reproductions, intro...
...Anyone who sets no limits to his sacrifice for the suffering of others will sooner or later pay with his life - even today...
...Orbis Press published it in 1979...
...Nouwen, Making All Things New: An Invitation to the Spiritual Life (Harper & Row, 95 pp...
...It is valuable for its readability, synthesis of the historical background of Vatican II, and its attempts to deal with issues facing the contemporary church...
...I would especially recommend the two books by Czeslaw Milosz listed above...
...No Catholic ethicist has reflected more consistently than McCormick on acute moral issues...
...For centuries, women have been a subculture so victimized that they have seen themselves totally through the eyes of the dominant sex...
...After a sketch of theology before and after Vatican II Power returns to the tradition and to the New Testament to diagnose processes of change and diverse patterns of ministries...
...For Kristeva, writing is a "ridge where the historical becoming of the subject is affirmed...
...I The following three will do just that...
...This is only one of the excellent series of monographs now being produced by the Departamento Ecumenico de Inves-tigaciones (Box 339, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, San Jose, Costa Rica...
...Sally Cunneen THIS YEAR I have sought out books for spiritual nourishment that take it for granted that human growth and spiritual growth are inextricably related...
...Gottwald is the first scholar I know of to have the chutzpah to draw on textual, archeological, and anthropological studies to suggest a new paradigm for the early history of Israel...
...is a striking depiction of a world in which the integrity of theology and spirituality were still taken for granted...
...Doubleday, $17.50, 839 pp...
...Not least, it tries to re-appropriate the largely forgotten tradition of the Christian mystics: their experience of Christ should be a source of christological reflection...
...Knowing is a ceaseless process of interchange between myself and a world incredibly alive...
...This book testifies to the dynamic presence of the Holy Spirit within the grass-roots communities of the church throughout history and today, raising up new forms of ministry and breaking down old barriers...
...These three books, taken together, display the spectrum of the hermeneuti-cal, the literary critical, and the deconstructionist at their best...
...Joan has long intrigued such creative minds as Honegger, Claudel, Martha Graham, Maeterlinck, Schiller, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Shaw...
...The Analogical Imagination: Christian Theology and the Culture of Pluralism (Crossroad, $24.50, 467 pp...
...Tracy argues that theology facing our culture of pluralism should not withdraw into an enclave, but should engage in public discourse...
...provides a chapter-by-chapter guide to the sites associated with the events narrated by John...
...The Call to Conversion: Recovering the Gospel For These Times, by Jim Wal-lis (Harper & Row, $9.95, 190 pp...
...For too often "religious books" are unscholarly in their attempt to be provocative and relevant...
...I hope some day soon Schillebeeckx will find a translator who is sensitive to sexist language...
...Christian obedience is also listening, so as to be involved in the kairos or the moment of grace of a particular time, listening in obedience to the suffering of human beings and the seeds of a Christian community and then performing specific actions in conformity to this 'voice of God...
...Memorializing the ambiguity which attends our relationship to the tradition(s) into which we are born, Tracy calls for a "disciplined and responsive conversation" - minimally to free ourselves from the "negative realities" of our tradition and maximally to discover its truth...
...Peter Brown has drawn a vivid picture of one of these characteristic shapes in The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity (University of Chicago, $15, 187 pp...
...Last October I had the rewarding experience of attending the first national congress of the Polish labor movement, Solidarity, in Gdansk...
...A fascinating book integrating an immense amount of scholarship is Marina Warner's Joan of Arc (Knopf, $19.95, 349 pp...
...explains that the American ideal of privacy can be a selfish retreat from public responsibility...
...Milosz, who was exiled from Poland some years ago and is currently Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at Berkeley, is one of the world's most renowned poets and the recipient of the 1980 Nobel Prize for Literature...
...What stands out dramatically in Schillebeeckx's biblical theology is the understanding of Jesus as totally committed to overcoming human suffering...
...The authors explore the biblical evidence for compassion as the central reality of Christian faith...
...Benedict...
...proves that, while he is in deep disagreement with Barth's theological method, he is no less a theologian's theologian...
...John of the Cross (John Knox Press, $7.95, 193 pp...
...Story, scholarship, and personal experience are warmly wed in Caring: How Can We Love One Another...
...He thus refutes a cherished assumption of the spirituality-theology dichotomy as he also delineates the continuities and discontinuities between the declining classical world and the new Christian culture that was replacing it...
...street festivals...
...francine cardman teaches historical theology at Weston School of Theology in Massachusetts...
...george H. TAVard, is professor oftheology at Methodist Theological School in Ohio...
...We are waiting not for a Godot but for another - doubtless different - St...
...Box 450,'Lewiston, N.Y...
...First published in 1951 and 1968, respectively, they are still as timely as ever, in fact even more so now that Solidarity has been temporarily suppressed by military force...
...For them this book should be a treasure...
...Rowan Williams ably treats both historical context and the personal and theological matrix out of which particular spiritualities took form...
...I am not even sure myself whether I believe this as a general claim, but I do know I despair of much that is published that is explicitly "religious...
...allows us to listen in on a-prophetic voice from the first-world within the context of the third world...
...and "A Theology of Comparative Religion for Christians" will ever again feel comfortable with the objectifying imperialism implicit in the phrase, "the anonymous Christian...
...But it could be a sequel to Chadwick's book...
...The book has decided merit even though it is marred by sexist language and a tendency to think of God only in anthropomorphic terms...
...a disillusioned radical nun in a revolutionary Central American republic...
...Meilaender's exploration of the theological tension between the universalism of agape and the special bond of friendship results in a book of extraordinary insight and humanity...
...He is more thari a scholar, however...
...I have never been much attuned to apologetical writing, v and the American theological market is flooded with it (check any publisher's list...
...He writes with clarity and insight, illuminating the persons and movements he considers against the backdrop of their world...
...Resurrection," she reminds us, "as something purely objective, as a mere fact which would be true even without us, has no meaning...
...The insights into Christian thought and spirituality which Johnston draws from Zen and presents in his usual simple, readable style are as always worthwhile and practical - topics like the importance of the body in prayer, and reading (and body-reading) the Scriptures...
...There is nothing else quite like it on the market...
...This one of the first books in Alasdair Maclntyre's and my series, Revisions, which seeks to challenge the unimaginative mode of so much of contemporary philosophical and theological ethics...
...One of the things that appealed to me in Kung's book was the competence that underpinned his balanced judgments of the issues at stake...
...Arlene Swidler CERTAINLY MY BEST bit of literary luck this year was stumbling upon F.E...
...On religion, I find Kristeva to be deconstructionist and as such to provide a detour to more authentic understanding that is worth taking...
...In contrast to the better known mysticisms of "unknowing," Thomas M. King details Teilhard's Mysticism of Knowing (Seabury, $14.95, 154 pp...
...Concerned over the number of communities that have no Eucharist because they have no priest, he traces the evolution of forms of ministry from the New Testament through Trent...
...He calls not for another "revival," but for conversion in the most profound theological sense of the word...
...Smith deals, in interlude chapters, with method for the humane sciences (he is a comparative historian of world religions) for the study of religion...
...It includes a long chapter on the stormy story of the Jesuits including an informative section on the Utopian "reductions" in Paraguay...
...I must say that Nichols used his enforced sabbatical very well indeed...
...All genuine Christian faith is challenged by the issues this book raises: the fundamental need to which it points is the need for Christian faith to become humanly mature...
...Since method, the Trinity, and christology have been high among my own concerns, I have read little outside of these fields...
...In the second part, Luke's warning on the danger of riches and the radical call to dispossession and almsgiving are excellently developed, with a well-placed admonition to keep alive the social dimension of the gospel in the face of a marked first-world tendency to internalization and spiritualization of the evangelical challenge...
...Nouwen is the best theological and pastoral work on the theme of compassion I am aware of to date...
...Moreover it reminds us that all theology finally gains its intelligibility and purpose by its power to connect us more perfectly with one another and God...
...A variety of well-chosen photographs and drawings heighten the "You are there'' impression as the text meditatively follows the ministry of Jesus as portrayed by John...
...STANLEY HAUERWAS is a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame and the author of Community of Character (University of Notre Dame...
...Richard P. McBrien's column in the diocesan paper never fails to draw reactions, chiefly from his critics...
...But in searching for the conditions of this publicness, Tracy touches on many major questions in a way that is always suggestive and never boring (unusual , for a book of that length...
...The fourth part of that book: "God's Glory and Man's Truth, Well-being and Happiness," represents a new summa theologica based on the biblical Jesus's life and the pertinence of that meaning to us today...
...This same attribute made Arthur McGovern's Marxism, An American Christian Perspective (Orbis, $12.95, 339 pp...
...Lois Spear THE DIOCESAN newspaper staff sees Catholics from the often frustrating perspective of letters to the editor, telephone calls, etc...
...another slightly older (1979) book that I only discovered in 1981...
...Ecumenical worship services, performances, displays, etc...
...The radical nature of the Christian life is dramatically drawn through Barth's shaping of his discussion around the Lord's prayer...
...It will be welcomed, however, not only by professional theologians and reference librarians, but by the general reading public as well...
...ELISABETH SCHUSSLER BORENZA is a profes-sor of New Testament studies at the University of Notre Dame...
...Hers is a powerful warning against our recurring temptation to use piety to support authoritarianism...
...I also have a problem about Pathos in the following volume, yet William M. Thompson's Jesus, Lord and Savior: A Theopathic Christology and Soteriology (Paulist Press, $9.95, 287 pp...
...Wallis, a founder of the Sojourners Community in Washington, D.C...
...It is not so much I who see, as Humanity or God seeking expression through me...
...a very satisfying experience...
...This shortcoming aside, Alter has written one of the most lively and engaging books on the Bible in recent years...
...MARY GERHART is associate professor of religion at Hobart and William Smith Colleges...
...Literary questions provide dominant chords in Tracy's theological argument...
...Warner's book traces and analyzes the intense interest in Joan from the time of her brief career up to the present...
...FRANCIS SCHUSSLER FIORENZA is a professor of systematic theology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C...
...Like his Roman Catholic counterpart, Father Henri Nouwen, I consider Wallis's new book "the most compelling and challenging invitation to conversion" that I have read in recent years...
...explicitly builds his Christian theology of virtue on Maclntyre's scheme...
...Peddler, merchant seaman, pilgrim and perhaps pirate, ultimately hermit...
...and street-corner soapbox oratory, he suggests, are some of the means for a Christian re-entry into public life...
...If Gottwald's thesis is accurate, then "liberation" theology is no recent invention but the oldest strand of biblical faith...
...And the inner and outer worlds are not hostile, but the two loving hands of God...
...He unfolds the fine art of loving ourselves, the importance of listening, the power of touch, the "Christian" devaluation of sex, love of the stranger...
...Most of Ours deals with the two-year novitiate, that wonderfully isolated world in which teenagers discover leg chains, recreate in assigned trios, and converse soberly and solidly on "the virtues of Ours, particularly the dead.'' The lapse of decades has given Peters a mellow perspective on his experiences, but the memories remain vivid-extern friends formerly of Ours assure me every detail is precisely right...
...a religious book...
...lois spear, O.P., is the editor of the Inter-mountain Catholic, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Salt Lake City...
...I would make Needleman's book required reading for anyone interested in Catholic spiritual direction and the cultural revival of inferiority in the West...
...These brief chapters suggest the beginning points for a reconstruction of Christian theology in light of the pressing " questions of human justice and survival" today...
...Francine Cardman THE rejoining of theology and spirituality is one of the important projects facing Christian faith and practice today...
...John A. Coleman I CANNOT find words adequate enough to praise the achievement and wisdom of Alasdair Maclntyre's After Virtue (University of Notre Dame Press, $15.95,252 pp...
...He makes what to me seems like a persuasive case that the people who constituted the coalition that became "Israel" did not all come from Pharaoh's Egypt, nor did they drift in gradually from the hills (as more recent scholars have contended) but that they were mostly already in Palestine and came together as an alliance of independent rural peasants to resist the taxes and conscription being inflicted on them by vassal princes of the Egyptian empire...
...McBrien's recent work, Catholicism: Study Edition (Winston, $24.50, 1186 pp., 80-pp index/glossary) is now in a one-volume paperback edition...
...What Hauerwas has to say about family, sex, and abortion is wise, fresh, and evangelical...
...He likens his approach to traditional Mid-rashic commentary and lists devices such as repetition, parallelism, and irony as sufficient to explain what he finds the author (or the redactionist) to have done in the text...
...Leech's book is a first-rate demonstration that a genuinely traditional approach, drawing on the riches of Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox traditions, will also turn out to be non-faddishly contemporary...
...Stanley Hauerwas MOST OF MY LIFE is spent reading novels because much of theology is so dreadful...
...If only Moltmann could give up his urge to find suffering in God...
...The pinnacle of self-consciousness is not the loneliness of the reflective Titan or identification in a collective Nirvana, but Christ as the union in which reflective centers are differentiated...
...The dialogue with the world religions increasingly takes place on the home front...
...won't fill the gap in women's studies, but it does add facts to the historical record...
...This book is considerably more detailed than Schein's and enters far more into questions disputed by historians - a real enjoyment for those seriously interested in learning more about the background of the gospel narratives...
...Jesus came to terms with this...
...Teilhard's real significance is his "exuberant claim that in the very act of scientifically achieving, he knew God...
...In fact, I suspect that McCormick was anxious to publish his Notes in one volume primarily for the convenience of the latter audience...
...In the lectures which make up this book Johnston continues sharing his thoughts and experiences of Buddhism as he lives out a dialogue...
...and the editor of Sojourners magazine, has completely broken with right-wing culture-bound revivalism...
...It's about an alcoholic Catholic, former CIA agent...
...One comes away from this work with a sense of the many possible shapes of Christian life...
...Two recent books tackle the issue in helpful and enlightening ways...
...Not even God himself can help a man who has no attention...
...His thesis is that we possess only fragments of a morality because the Enlightenment project of basing ethics on "universal" reason alone was bound to fail, yielding mere "decisionism...
...pedantically scholarly in their attempt to be academically serious...
...The barbarians have been governing us for quite some time although we are unconscious of it...
...Carolyn Osiek FOR THOSE INTERESTED in the Study of the gospels in their geographical and historical setting, Bruce Schein's Following the Way: The Setting of John's Gospel (Augsburg, $12.50, 223 pp...
...Although all the authors stress the significance of process thought for social change, the interaction between dualistic philosophical categories and patriarchical societal-political structures needs further exploration...
...Key elements in Maclntyre's retrieval of the notion of virtue are his concepts of "a practice," the inevitable tension between a social practice and institutions, the need to locate ethics in a narrative framework and what constitutes a living tradition...
...Finally, he discerns how the vision of the church as the people of God affects ministries and rites, social mission, and liturgical praxis...
...The Pope's Divisions: The Roman Catholic Church Today, by Peter Nichols...
...In its own indispensable way, Kolbenschlag's book helped me deal a bit more understanding with the question we all face: how can we really be Christian and a part of today's changing world...
...and both types often fail to exhibit intellectual and moral wisdom sufficient to help us better understand our lives...
...Present discussion of the "God question" is often abstruse and seldom situated in the full context of modern philosophical developments...
...The religious understandings and attitudes for which it is reaching are not limited to women, though the book is obviously directed more immediately to women...
...Redemptive Intimacy (Twenty-third Publications, Mystic, Conn., $5.95, 176 pp...
...Harvey Cox Heavy TO hold and utterly thorough, still Owen Chadwick's The Popes and European Revolution (Clarendon Press, Oxford, $84, 646 pp...
...With his usual careful attention to the significant detail and with a fine sense for the psychological and social meaning of religious practices, Brown shows that the cult of the saints wasn't merely "popular religion" but the province of ordinary folk and the intellectual elite alike...
...A provocative, courageous book is Edward Schillebeeckx's Ministry: Leadership in the Community of Jesus Christ (Crossroad, $12.95, 165 pp...
...Paulist, $6.95, 198 pp...
...1, The Nineteenth Century, a Documentary History, Rosemary Radford Ruether and Rosemary Skinner Keller, general editors (Harper & Row, $14.95, 353 pp...
...Thomas 4 Torrance's The Ground and Grammar of Theology (Christian Journals Ltd, Belfast, X5.95, 180 pp...
...However, letters to the editor indicate a desire, often inchoate, for books on personal prayer and spiritual growth...
...Whether his thesis will stand up under the withering fire of more cautious critics remains to be seen...
...Oxford University Press, $19.95, 398 pp...
...Bernard Cooke IN SOME ways the most satisfying religious book this past year for me was Edward Schillebeeckx's thin volume Ministry (Crossroad, $12.95, 165 pp...
...Thus I found it particularly pleasurable to read Barth's The Christian Life (Eerdmans, $17.95, 310 pp...
...Jacob Needleman points to its religious challenge to Christianity in Lost Christianity (Doubleday, $9.95, 240 pp...
...Parker J. Palmer's The Company of Strangers, Christians and the Renewal of America's Public Life, (Crossroad, $10.95,169 pp...
...The Art of Biblical Narrative (Basic Books, $13.95, 195 pp...
...If McGovern's book needs to be justified as "religious reading," the same is probably more true of Madonna Kol-benschlag's Kiss Sleeping Beauty Goodbye (Doubleday $8.95, 244 pp...
...Tracy's own understanding of theology as hermeneutic and his focus on the meaning of theological classics indicates how he seeks to link proclamation and manifestation...
...McCormick is a first-rate scholar, one of the leading Roman Catholic moral theologians not only in the United States but in the Church Universal...
...The first part of the book gives a comprehensive survey of biblical literature on the topic from the Pentateuch to Jesus...
...Among many striking insights: "There is an heroic vocation for genuine celibacy...
...His most recent book is The Vision of the Trinity (University Press of America...
...As a therapist I am well aware that human development, including spiritual development, is always toward autonomy and self-governing, and away from letting our lives be determined by outside expectations rather than inner convictions...
...he is a consummate gentleman even, or especially, when he feels compelled to take issue with one of his peers or to state his disagreement with the magisterium on matters which are properly open to dissent...
...Irarrazaval, a co-worker of Gustavo Guttierez, writes about saints and fiestas sympathetically from the perspective of liberation theology...
...Since returning to Washington, I have tried to make up for lost time by reading a number of books about Polish life and culture and about the Soviet Communist Empire which I should have read, and regret not having read, before going to Gdansk...
...paper, edited by Sheila Greeve Davaney) challenges us to formulate a wholistic rather than dualistic vision of reality...
...Ours," as readers of the book soon learn, is what Jesuits call themselves...
...His latest book, Toward a World Theology (Westminster, $18.95, 206 pp...
...Norman Gottwald's enormous (916 pages) The Tribes of Yahweh: A Sociology of the Religion of Liberated Israel, 1250-1050 B.C.E...
...by Colin Eisler...
...Is Robert Stone's thrilling novel A Flag for Sunrise (Knopf, $13.95, 439 pp...
...In them we have both the artistic control and the exuberance of Judy Garland's Carnegie Hall concert - let's "sing 'em all and stay all night...
...Native Realm: A Search for Self-Definition, by Czeslaw Milosz...
...Since Catholic moralists cannot candidly speak their full minds on these matters we should rejoice that other Christian ethicists are seeking a way out of the sterile debate between individualist permissiveness vs...
...it grew out of lectures given recently in Buenos Aires in which she presented her "nontheistic" political theology while keeping in mind the suburban, middle-class background of her potential readers...
...Kristeva's preface on the history of structuralism and her own intellectual itinerary during the seventies and Leon Roudiez's valuable introduction on the differences among the French structuralists unify the essays...
...The conclusion I was led to by Schil-lebeeckx was the need for a deeper personal spiritual life, a renewed openness to the voice of the Spirit...
...Father Hennesey's compact but easy-to-read history of American Catholicism from colonial days to 1981 is literally unique, one of a kind...
...Though made to order for classroom use in those few seminaries, colleges, and universities which, praise the Lord, are still offering a full credit course in American church history, it is not your typical stodgy textbook...
...While lamenting the all too common split between personal faith and social action, he warns that the solution is not merely a matter of putting the two halves together...
...In Sharing Possessions: Mandate and Symbol of Faith (Overtures to Biblical Theology, Fortress, $8.95, 160 pp...
...The old debate between so-called pre- and post-Vatican II Catholics continues...
...Reading this book was no task whatever...
...Disciplined" also means fidelity to contemporary disciplines, such as literary criticism - disciplines which inform and are informed by the "historical movement" of conversation...
...A true Christian compassionate life can only be based authentically "on a grateful, free and joyous expression of the great encounter with the compassionate God...
...Lift Up Your Eyes to the Mountain: A Guide to the Spiritual Life, by Father David M. Knight (Dimension Books, $8.95, 174 pp...
...This book celebrates and illustrates the power of imagination...
...a crazed speed freak Coast Guard deserter - and the specters of emptiness, cruelty, and violence...
...University Press of America, $24.50, paper $15.00, 892 pp...
...The book may well mean a "return to Rome" for the author, but the issues will remain, and they cannot be solved by sheer reaffirmation...
...University Press of America, $24.50 cloth, $15 paper, 892 pp...
...If read carefully, this book can help lead Catholics to a deeper level of Eucharistic worship...
...They draw from many disciplines and range from formal structuralist analysis to inventive hypotheses which conspire to cast new light on whatever is in danger of becoming staid...
...No one who reads his two chapters, "A 'Christian' Theology of Comparative Religion...
...Walter Burghardt FOUR OF MY favorite works of '81 dealt respectively with knqw-ing and caring, with morality and ministry...
...Kung's book, with its clear description of modern thought about the divine, is a great help in thinking through a personal response to contemporary agnosticism...
...GEORGE G. HIGGINS is adjunct lecturer in theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C...
...absolutist rigidity...
...Only the final half-dozen pages deal with the Unmaking, with no recriminations, no bad feelings, neither rancor nor guilt...
...Another typology shows the differences of theology based upon manifestation (a more adequate concept than the more subjective experience), proclamation, and praxis...
...what is new here is the use of christology as the principle as well as the object of her critique...
...19.95) has taken me over a year to read...
...As concerns a general approach to theological method, David Tracy's The Analogical Imagination: Christian Theology and the Culture of Pluralism (Crossroad, $24.50,467 pp...
...Then there is Jurgen Moltmann's The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God, (Harper & Row, $15., 222 pp...
...His book is a delight to read...
...The role of the church and praxis dominates much more David N. Power's Gifts That Differ: Lay Ministries Established and Unestablished (Pueblo, $8.95, 179 pp...
...In extraordinarily lucid style, Johnson explores these implications and leaves the reader challenged to seek ways of personal implementation...
...He weds civilized dialogue to a humility born of the conviction that within a pilgrim church even a theologian is a pilgrim...
...Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art (Columbia/ $14.95, 305 pp...
...What was refreshing about the book was the frankness with which Schil-lebeeckx discussed leadership within the Catholic church...
...Buechner's retelling draws reader/ listener into the world of his words, a world and language so strangely and strongly evocative they would seem to be Godric's own...
...They explore the conditions of possibility for compassion as a way of life, e.g., community, and the temptations and pitfalls which await those who attempt a compassionate life style such as activism, burn-out, self-righteousness, etc...
...the martyr of the Inquisition has been seen variously as a type of the virgin, the prophetic visionary, the witch, the heretic, the androgyne, the Amazon, the saint, to name some of the categories Warner deals with in showing us how Joan has "extended the taxonomy of female types...
...The historical developments lead into, or confirm, his conviction that, for the good of the Christian community, we might have to return to the relative freedom of the first millennium, let leadership be reshaped by actual needs, separate the leadership roles that have gradually become the prerogative of the episcopally ordained priest...
...A few years ago the London Times was shut down for many months because of an intractable labor-management dispute...
...Feminism and Process Thought (Edwin Mellen, P.O...
...by David Tracy has been reviewed for many theological concerns, but it warrants special comment on its creative use of hermeneutical method...
...Mary Gerhart LOOKING FOR books to take you to the heart of their matter...
...The translations of Perpetua's Martyrdom, Proba's Cento, Egeria's Pilgrimage, and Eudokia's Life of St.Cyprian of Antioch are introduced by competent discussions of their historical and life contexts...
...BERNARD COOKE teaches in the religious studies department at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts...
...May he continue to favor us with his Moral Notes for at least another fifteen years...
...his separate chapters on "Prayer and Holiness" and "Prayer and Politics" are equally stimulating...
...Chapter eight is a coup-de-maitre: a daring literary-and-critical systematics of culture in which he brings together such diverse figures as Hegel and Truffaut...
...published on the 550th anniversary of the burning of this nineteen-year-old martyr at the stake...
...Thanks to a generous subsidy from the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus, he has been able to reproduce them here in one volume of almost nine hundred pages, with a very detailed index, at the ridiculously low price of $15 for the soft cover edition...
...For him, the universality of the saving nearness of God was made present through a historical life of care for his fellow men...
...George H. Tavard IN THE last YEAR or two I have read more books in French and Spanish than in English...

Vol. 109 • February 1982 • No. 4


 
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