Religious Book Week Critics' Choices

Gunn, Giles & Fiorenza, Elisabeth Schussier & McCormick, Richard A. & Kownacki, Mary Lou & Webber, Renee & MarkSearle & Wedel, Cynthia C. & Raboteau, Albert J. & Crites, Stephen & Wyschogrod, Michael

Religious Book Week: CRITICS' CHOICES Giles Gunn GILES gunn, is professor of English and religion at the University of Florida and author of The Interpretation of Otherness: Literature, Religion,...

...His lists as characteristics of the mystical movement for our times the following: (1) total dedication to the poor...
...A lecturer in the history and philosophy of religion at King's College, London, Jantzen promises to be a major new voice...
...22 February 1985: 123 Mark Searle mark SEARLE teaches liturgy at the University of Notre Dame...
...for its clarity and imaginative presentation of some influential recent thinkers: quantum physicist David Bohm, whose implicate-order philosophy has attracted worldwide attention for its attempt to marry the new physics with spirituality, Prigogine's dissipative structures, Jantsch's physical and spiritual evolution, Pribram's holographic theory of brain/mind...
...So the recent little spate of books on the subject is worth noting, though it is too early to say whether it represents a trend or just a bubble...
...Little of Heller's feeling for what he defines as "the broken tradition" is evident in the third book I have found, in its way, remarkable, but the book itself tells us much about the pain of a modern poet who suffered its cleavage in his own person and work...
...To make a case for how some things really and ultimately are is the first task of theological ethics.'' This is what these two volumes are all about...
...It is not contradiction, but confession...
...I have broken my body like bread and shared it out...
...Don't be put off by the book's length...
...WHEN I mention here only books in the field of liberation theology I do not want to suggest that these are the only important books, but only that they seem to me most significant for the paradigm shift in theology that is underway...
...After examining the great mystical figures in the Christian tradition and the elements of Christian spirituality, Johnston concludes: Christian mysticism has social implications...
...It is, in fact, a finely elaborated testimony to the seamless garment of Orthodox liturgy, theology, and church organization, a celebration of the efficacy of the lex orandi:' 'The liturgy at the altar brings about, regulates, and constitutes all things in every one...
...A new work pondering the meaning of evolution is ecophilosopher Henryk Skolimowski's The Theatre of the Mind: Evolution in the Sensitive Cosmos (Theosophical Publishing House, $6.75, 164 pp...
...My 22 February 1985: 121 journal is filled with passages from this book that capture the true mystic, the suffering, nonviolent servant that Johnston wrote about...
...Liturgy and Life in the Orthodox Church, (St...
...Hartshorne's God is in the world, struggling with other liberals to make it better...
...Brown, Johnson and Johnson, Box 836, Somerville, N.J...
...It renews one's hope for the humanization of medicine...
...In Christian Mysticism Today (Harper & Row, $12.95, 198 pp...
...THE BIG news in the philosophy of religion is that a remarkable number of books have appeared just in the past couple of years devoted to the existence and nature of God...
...And Flavian Burns, OCSO, the abbot of Gethsemani at the time of Merton's death, notes: ". . .1 felt Merton was a true spiritual master...
...A modest hope: that the book will not add to the volume of crozier-thumping...
...More remarkable was her genuine love for the dreaded "enemy," the Nazi...
...It gives warmth and shape to our lives...
...It is a style which constitutes perhaps the most serious threat yet mounted against that spontaneous and purified impulse of being we call poetry which, as the nineteenth-ceatury German philosopher Schiller noted, gives an infinite extension to our capacity to reflect.' 'In the age of prose" the poetic is endangered not only by the forces unleashed by Henry Adams's dynamo but also by the new disciplines of the mind, like psychoanalysis, what follow in its wake and would reduce to the realm of fact and pathology what was once appreciated as belonging to the world of figure and fantasy...
...3) a change in lifestyle...
...2) radical nonviolence...
...a report from a conference held in July 1982 at Grailville which sought to bring together women from very different faith communities for a week of feminist theologizing...
...Religious Book Week: CRITICS' CHOICES Giles Gunn GILES gunn, is professor of English and religion at the University of Florida and author of The Interpretation of Otherness: Literature, Religion, and the American Imagination...
...But more attention to them would make us wiser as we continue our fascination with the "gee-whiz" problems...
...represent the most advanced Catholic thinking about Judaism to date...
...is concerned...
...This is an English translation of a work that originally appeared in German in 1979...
...Here are three examples, all published in 1984, written in refreshingly lively style, and accessible to the general reader...
...In this book nineteen sisters, many of them leaders in the Catholic Church, give personal, very moving, and somewhat painful accounts of what occurred in religious life both before and after renewal...
...which is ostensibly a study of American writing during "the crucial century," as Kazin calls it, that begins with Emerson and concludes with Hemingway and Fitzgerald...
...David Power, O.M.I., begins to do just that...
...Besides, what else shall philosophers of religion write about...
...both can only be renewed and plunged into deeper truth by an intimate knowing of the other...
...WEDEL, Deputy National Volunteer Consultant for Blood Services of the American Red Cross, was the first woman elected president of the World Council of Churches and one of the three American Protestant women invited to attend the fourth session of Vatican II by the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity...
...Anyone acquainted with Gustafson's work will see repeated here breadth and subtlety, wisdom and insight, as well as honesty, openness, fairness, and a humbling erudition...
...speaks of the same kind of women's patriarchal oppression in contemporary society when she analyzes the structural connections between the denial of women's right to procreative choice and enforced childbearing, child abuse, emotional deprivation, rape, and incest...
...Although they do not subtitle the book "a feminist theology of creation," it is obvious that Soelle's change of emphasis from Christ to God owes much to feminist theology...
...Weiss, who enjoyed a popular reputation as Yale's campus atheist, because he liked to puncture pious pomposities, proceeded to startle the campus if not the world, by advancing ninety-six new arguments for the existence of God in his major systematic work, Modes of Being (Southern Illinois University Press, 1958...
...You decide...
...Extremely exciting is Quantum Questions: The Mystical Writings of the World's Great Physicists (ed...
...is the work of Archimandrite Vasileios, abbot of the restored monastery of Stavronikita on Mt...
...But the book is mostly about different approaches, positive and negative, to the idea of God, and the author is a master guide indeed...
...The first is Josef Fuch's, S. J., Christian Ethics in a Secular Arena (Georgetown University Press, $9.95, 154 pp...
...which is remarkable neither for the new information it reveals about Eliot's private life nor for the new light it sheds on his various writings, but rather for the way it shows how the emotional and, to some degree, intellectual disorder of the first was finally overcome by the orthodox spiritual orderings eventually achieved in the latter...
...We are at the point where the peace and justice movement and the prayer movement must embrace...
...For the many who know the World Council of Churches only through its statements and actions in the political arenas, this book provides a much needed corrective...
...Some border on mystical affirmations of unity...
...Among holistically oriented books published in 1984, I especially liked Looking Glass Universe (John Briggs and David Peat, Simon and Schuster, $8.95, 280 pp...
...4) raising the consciousness of the poor by giving them a sense of human dignity...
...Renee Webber RENEE WEBER, a professor of philosophy at Rutgers University, has published widely on Dialogues with Scientists and Sages (Rout-ledge and Kegan Paul...
...I believe that people will read Thomas Merton's spiritual writings as long as they're reading John of the Cross's writings or The Cloud Of Unknowing or Augustine...
...Preterition is in place where the present author's Health and Medicine in the Catholic Tradition: Tradition in Transition (Crossroad, $15.95, 173 pp...
...Erich Heller, the eminent historian of German literature and modern literature generally, describes this new world evoked by Adams in the title of his most recent book In the Age of Prose (Cambridge University Press, $39.50, 268 pp...
...The first, ironically, is a Dutch Jew, killed in Auchwitz...
...Only through pain and the death of repentance, felt and acted upon, can life be discovered and shared with the world...
...At the same time it lives out of the hope that like Sarah who conceived in her old age the church once sterile will bring forth new life because of the promise of God...
...His most recent book is The Body of Faith: Judaism as Corporeal Election...
...and "The Tension Between Bishops and Theologians" and one ("Intrinsic Evil") from the volume Sittliche Normen...
...All God's creatures...
...Isn't that what liturgy is all about...
...The book would make a fine companion to a television series in the style of Kenneth Clark's Civilization or Bronowski's Ascent of Man...
...Yet Commonweal: 118 Paz's achievement as a writer has been to convey the full force and distinctiveness of this "incurable otherness" of the Mexican people in a language that preserves its untranslatability in the process of rendering it wonderfully accessible, The result is a book in which the poetic triumphs over the prosaic by making the latter, somewhat astonishingly, once again almost wholly believable...
...Ken Wilber, Shambala, $8.95, 208 pp...
...Wilber's brilliant introduction is certain to generate heated controversy, and forces one to rethink the validity for mapping mysticism onto physics...
...Man signifies limited responsibility . . . God signals infinite responsibility . . . God is the one for whom nothing is done...
...That quote by Dag Ham-merskjold guides my book selections...
...God does everything...
...Simply put, this book, together with the earlier book by Clemens Thoma, A Christian Theology of Judaism (Paulist Press, $7.95, 211 pp...
...Gustafson writes (II, 90): "For theological ethics . . . the first task in order of importance is to establish convictions about God and God's relations to the world...
...Johnston claims that "a real mysticism for our time . . . demands a total commitment to peace and nonviolence...
...A scientist with a Ph.D...
...World Council of Churches, $3.95 90 pp...
...NOT the least significant question concerning the axiom lex orandi, lex credendi is that of how the liturgical order of the church might be understood to constitute a lex...
...In reassessing the origin and development of black theology Cone stresses that black theology and black church must move beyond their antagonism...
...But this is certainly not easy for Christians dealing with Judaism...
...First-class popularization of a complicated subject genetic engineering...
...During the sixties and seventies, at least in fashionable circles, the whole subject was dismissed with slogans about the death of God...
...ONE of the most significant publications of the past year was the completion of James Gustafson's two-volume Meisterstuck, Ethics from a Theocentric Perspective, V. I Theology and Ethics (Chicago University Press, $20, 345 pp...
...Johnston's point about mysticism is simple, but profound: the kiss of God should so transform us that we respond with unconditional and unrestricted love for all creatures...
...The degree of responsibility we feel for our own lives, for the lives of others "for everything there is'' is a measure of the person...
...The authority of the church's liturgy has to be discovered anew on the basis of a whole new mys-tagogy geared to second, rather than first, naivete...
...it "effects a change of heart and a revolution in consciousness whereby we are totally and radically committed to peace...
...It takes hold of each one of us personally, and of the liturgical community that we constitute...
...theological explorations of the theme of the Sixth Assembly of the World Council of Churches held at Vancouver, B.C...
...Vasileios and Taft show us what has been and may yet be...
...Beverly Wildung Harrison's, Our Right to Choose: Toward a New Ethic of Abortion (Beacon, $18.95, $9.95 paper, 334 pp...
...In the West, however, the liturgy has suffered its own vicissitudes: centuries of neglect, the critical upheaval of conciliar reforms, and now the benighted quest for ' 'meaningfulness'' to which the rites are regularly subjected...
...Michael Wyschogrod Michael wyschogrod 15 professor of philosophy at Baruch College, CUNY, and director of the Institute for Jewish-Christian Relations of the American Jewish Congress...
...Significantly, he begins his narrative, not with the Protestants of Europe, but with the "first migrants" to these shores, the Native Americans...
...This is not merely to ask how liturgy might be used as a theological source, but how the liturgy is canonical, how it provides a normative structure for the faith-life of the community as a whole and of the members who belong to it...
...and Leonardo Boff's Church: Charism & Power (trans, by J.W...
...Instead of simply opposing the "popular" piety of Italian immigrants to the "official" piety of the chancery, Orsi carefully describes the subtle tensions and interrelationships between the piety of the people and the piety of their priests in the context of an important ethnic shrine in New York City...
...It gives a succinct yet detailed history of the modern ecumenical movement, beginning with the great World Missionary Conference of 1910, the series of subsequent conferences on Christian Education, Life and Work, Faith and Order...
...Commonweal: 120 Mary Lou Kownacki MARY LOU kownacki, a Benedictine Sister from Erie, Pennsylvania, is national coordinator of Pax Christi...
...Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in his discussion of Torah...
...One example of this is to be found in Alfred Kazin's An American Procession (Alfred A. Knopf, $18.95, 408 pp...
...Now this may not sound like a particularly difficult thing to do...
...By prosaic he means "not merely a manner of writing, but a style of comprehension...
...The most stirring chapter is on "Responsibility," a perceptive and original piece...
...Like two haunted seekers of truth, both have been trying to cross the desert and scale the mountain alone...
...Instead of nomos, law, legalism, the letter that kill-eth, and other such conceptions, van Buren captures the love of the Jewish people for Torah as God's gracious gift received in joy...
...Her story is told in/in Interrupted Life: The Diaries Of Etty Hillesum, 1941-1943, Translated by Arno Pomerans (Pantheon Books, $12.95, 226 pp...
...While some such shift has undoubtedly occurred, Christianity's rediscovery of its Jewish roots is so central to its fundamental self-understanding that it is bound to remain on the theological front-burner...
...Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks...
...Emphatic conclusions abound, on the other hand, in another book with a slightly flippant title, Charles Hart-shorne's Omnipotence, and Other Theological Mistakes {State University of New York Press, $6.95, 144 pp...
...In Our Passion for Justice (Pilgrim, $10.95, 264 pp...
...Only this dialogue occurred in circumstances where it was more reasonable to curse God, rather than explode in prayers of thanksgiving...
...I'm not claiming that all of these sisters are mystics, although I know some are...
...While we will never know all that we may want to know about Eliot's interior life until his personal papers are released to the public sometime early in the next century, Ack-royd has, in the meantime, convincingly demonstrated how completely Eliot's critical tastes and poetic interests served as a spiritual compensation for, or defense against, the disorganization and confusion of his own personality and experience...
...The wider context and impact of women's patriarchal oppression is laid out in Women's Spirit Bonding (Pilgrim, $ 12.95, 389 pp...
...Concern with "illucidat-ing the status question is," Kolakowski steadily refuses to draw any conclusions...
...This continuity of identity has not only insured the religious character of the Mexican people but also lent to that character, even in its modern expressions, a bewildering and alien, even disconcerting, otherness...
...No more...
...To be human is to live in a state of responsibility...
...Cynthia C. Wedel CYNTHIAC...
...The first concerns the extent to which all American writing in the nineteenth century was a response to the death, or at least the disappearance, of God, and left a poet like Emily Dickinson in a position to sum up her entire era by addressing a word of gratitude to her departed "Father, for these strange minds that enamor us against thee...
...212 pp...
...He equates evolution with God...
...It is by no means meant only for the scholar...
...Using this social-historical method Wolfgang Stegemann's, The Gospel and the Poor (trans, by D. Elliott, Fortress, $3.95, 80 pp...
...The fourth book is of a different nature but in my opinion extremely important...
...He is past president of the North American Academy of Liturgy...
...Writing with a rare combination of analytic rigor and aesthetic sensibility, Jantzen conducts a sensitive dialogue with traditional Christian thinkers and spiritual writers as well as with modern philosophers...
...Both should be read together because of their powerful explorations of patriarchal violence...
...The result of a five-day interdisciplinary conference, this volume is a comprehensive treatment documenting the importance of touch in human development from infancy to the old and dying, for whom compassionate touch is deemed crucial...
...This is a highly original piece of writing that moves a step away from "dilemma ethics" to examine the moral power of images in understanding the healer and his/her tasks...
...Though originally published in 1961, OctavioPaz's The Labyrinth of Solitude: Life and Thought in Mexico (trans, by L. Kemp, Grove Press, $8.95...
...In this volume Curran brings together articles and papers on fundamental moral theology, sexual and biomedical ethics, social ethics and pastoral practice...
...But Kazin's book goes well beyond the confines of literary criticism to discern two interrelated issues central to American cultural and religious history...
...Though we may not comprehend Hillesum's journey, we cannot dispute her testimony: as her love relationship with God intensified, so did her gratefulness for life, her compassion and concern for God's creatures...
...AMERICAN religious history used to be called American church history and most specialists in the field restricted their subject matter to the history of denominations, clergy, and 22 February 1985: 125 theology (usually Christian...
...Increasingly, over the last decade historians have enlarged the scope of their craft to include the religious life and culture of groups whom the old historiography ignored: minorities, non-Christians, women, the people in the pew...
...Martin E. Marty's new book, Pilgrims in Their Own Land, (Little, Brown, $25, 500 pp...
...Certainly, the expansion of the field of American church history to include previously forgotten minorities was due in part to the civil rights movement of the 1960s...
...The first of these which I would like to mention is The Lord of Life (World Council of Churches Friendship Press, $8.95,184 pp...
...That is to say, his concerns are vital, his perspectives Catholic and catholic, his scholarship thoroughgoing...
...Such traditional notions as God's immutability, omnipotence, omniscience, and otherCommonweal: 126 worldliness, take a lambasting on these pages...
...Taken together, these two books added up to a good year for Jewish-Christian relations...
...Hillesum, after all, chronicled a holocaust, a living hell so harrowing that we still refuse to own the full horror...
...This nonCommonweal: 122 technical book abounds with charming illustrations...
...For Protestants (and Roman Catholics) this is a very much needed contribution to their understanding of the Orhodox who make up a very large portion of the Christian community...
...He has long been the leading exponent, after Whitehead, of process philosophy and the leading modern exponent of the ontological proof for the existence of God...
...Robert Taft, S.J., takes up the same theme and argues it with specific reference to the Divine Office in The Liturgy of the Hours in the Christian East: Origins, Meaning, Place in the Life of the Church, (Cochin, Kerala/India/: KCM Press, $7.50, 314 pp...
...One is the wonderful book by Yvonne Baskin, The Gene Doctors: Medical Genetics at the Frontier (William Morrow, $13.95, 289 pp...
...The book in question is Peter Ackroyd's biography T.S...
...Marty writes in an engaging, anecdotal, sometimes chatty style which moves the reader rapidly through an interesting series of episodes, crowded with fascinating characters and intriguing events...
...The second modern mystic is found in Merton By Those Who Knew Him Best, edited by Paul Wilkes (Harper & Row, $12.95,163 pp...
...Many who criticize the World Council of Churches know very little of its origins, its present organization, or its world-wide mission...
...No one who takes Mussner's book seriously will ever again be able to speak about Christianity without stressing the Jewish background and the continuing deep Jewishness of early Christianity...
...It contains fifteen essays, each by a different scholar, and makes clear both the surface differences among various branches of the Orthodox churches, and at the same time, the shared sense of history, liturgy, and tradition which mark the Orthodox contribution to world Christendom...
...integrates the best of the old and the new in a masterful survey of 500 years of religion in America...
...The great liturgy of Christ's sacrifice celebrated on the altar forms the heart of our lives and our consciousness of what we are...
...He is the author of Slave Religion (Oxford...
...THIS past year saw the publication of two books that can only be characterized as major developments and intensification of the post-World War II Jewish-Christian dialogue...
...The Jesus who emerges from Mussner's pen is a Jewish Jesus, not just in a technical but a profoundly religious sense...
...but Power shows how much hard work must be undertaken before we can learn to trust the lex orandi once again...
...So, for example, after remarking upon the social and political vicissitudes of the Christian East he concludes: "as long as the mysteries can be celebrated, the Church lives, held together not by organization, nor authority, nor education, but by communion year after year in the regular cycle of the offices of the Church...
...This small book fills in these gaps...
...in July, 1983...
...What makes Heller's depiction of this modern spiritual predicament so terribly moving is his almost uncanny, and certainly very rare, ability to make his reader feel the full attraction of what has been lost in this modern and secular exchange...
...08876, $7, 189 pp...
...I hope that the Vatican controversy surrounding Boff's book will not prevent Catholics from reading it, but will make it required reading in all theological schools and continuing education programs...
...He says, in his final paragraph, "the whole unity discussion needs a more urgent passion in the face of a world in Commonweal: 124 disarray and looking for a word of hope to its condition...
...In a period during which inter-national tensions polarize and heighten, there is a sign of hope in the fact that the Christians of the world increasingly divided and fragmented for almost five hundred years are ever more seriously pursuing mutual understanding and reunion...
...I read the book as a Christian attempt to understand Judaism in its own terms...
...Though addressed to ecumenical dialogue it is an uncompromising book...
...a collection of essays on socio-historical interpretations and materialist readings of the Bible that appeared in German in 1979...
...Elisabeth Schiissler Fiorenza ELISABETH SCHUSSLER FIORENZA has taught at Notre Dame since 1970 and is presently Talbot Professor at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge...
...In his Unsearchable Riches: The Symbolic Nature of the Liturgy (Pueblo, 1984, $9.95, 240 pp...
...Vladimir's Seminary Press, $5.90, 138 pp...
...I admit it is not sensational, but then this field tends in general to be one of the quieter fountains in the academic waterworks, not given to loud splashing...
...Johnston concentrates on the unique experience of Christian mysticism...
...Athos...
...His concerns may never elbow Baby Fae or William Schroeder fromeBT front pages...
...Perhaps it is only that my reading habits are more peripatetic than most, but I would prefer to believe that my own experience has been shared by other readers and is merely symptomatic of an age and culture in which religious understanding and interest are widely diffused and variously expressed...
...Even earlier, in the Tillichian heyday of the 1950s, Paul Weiss of the Yale philosophy department used to twit theological students who ventured into his courses with the complaint that the one thing so-called theologians would not talk about was God...
...Aldon D. Morris has written a valuable new book on The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement (The Free Press, $19.95, 354 pp...
...His is a theology of liturgy constructed in the face of a double crisis: a crisis of vision affecting the "world" projected by the church's liturgy and a related crisis of hope afflicting humanity suspended between two holocausts...
...This emerges clearly from Paul M. van Buren's A Christian Theology of the People Israel (Winston-Seabury, $26.95, 362 pp...
...In the area of bioethics several entries have caught my attention...
...for a re-creation of theology and church in a liberation theological perspective must be stressed...
...Hartshorne's reputation as a philosopher of religion rests securely on a succession of heavier books produced during a career that began in the 1920s and is still going strong...
...But Gustafson is a first-rate theologian who deserves careful, even if critical, study...
...He also advocates a revisionist view of the nature of God, presented clearly in this book designed for a general audience...
...Historians were reminded, frequently by their students, that the history of the black past was essential to understanding the American past...
...it bears witness...
...Her latest book, Bread Not Stone: The Challenge of Feminist Biblical Interpretation, will be published this month by Beacon Press...
...We have to thank Orbis Press for making available their work in The God of the Lowly: Socio-Historical Interpretations of the Bible, (trans, by M.J...
...LOOKING BACK on the reading I have done this year, I am struck again, as I have been in the past, by the fact that very few of the books that have actually taught me anything new about religion have been written, as it were, from within religion...
...this year...
...Hymn of Entry...
...Also, what is occurring now...
...by Canon John Poulton of Norwich Cathedral in England...
...Two volumes of collected essays are noteworthy...
...Still, Taft's focus is on the lex orandi...
...First, her fellow-Jews for whom she became Eucharist, comforting the doomed, refusing to abandon them...
...Enter William Johnston, S.J., a leading Catholic spiritual writer, best known for exploring the common ground between Christian and Buddhist mysticism...
...but he is fascinated with an element of it quite different from the one Kazin singles out...
...MYSTICISM, an all-embracing love of humanity, and peacemaking often go together...
...May explores five images: parent, fighter, technician, teacher, covenanter...
...Stephen Crites Stephen crites occupies a charmingly antique chair as Hedding Professor of Moral Science at Wesleyan University, Connecticut, where he teaches courses in the philosophy of religion and related subjects...
...It presents an astute analysis of the pathologies of Roman Catholic institutional structures...
...Several of the essays were originally public lectures delivered in the United States...
...Eliot (Simon and Schuster, $24.95, 400 pp...
...It is the only book I know of which brings together the orthodox medical and research establishment with nurses active in healing, notably therapeutic .touch...
...offers a nuanced examination of black-white relations in the South since the period of Emancipation...
...The other book that deeply impressed me was Franz Mussner's Tractate On the Jews (Fortress, $29.95, 339 pp...
...To break with that picture of Judaism, not with respect to peripheral issues but with the very essence of the picture, is exactly what van Buren does...
...Paz attributes the source of this persistence of order in the life of a people whose history has been extraordinarily disordered to the presence of indigenous myths which have survived the superimposition of cultural orderings from without...
...To some, perhaps many, the overall impact of Gustafson's theocentric ethic will appear remote, gloomy, and hopeless, a departure from authentic Christianity...
...Albert J. Raboteau ALBERT J. RABOTEAU teaches courses in American religious history at Princeton...
...and V. II Ethics and Theology (Chicago University Press, $25, 370 pp...
...Read their stories, reread the characteristics of the mystical movement that Johnston describes, and then compare...
...The saint feels it maximally, the immoralist minimally...
...Moreover, both must confront the challenge of black women to theology and church...
...And this is just one example of the book's achievement...
...The three books mentioned here are each chosen for the way they bear upon these questions...
...Just as Heyward stresses the power of mutual relation and body-centeredness as the center of feminist theology, so Dorothee Soelle and Shirley Cloyes in To Work and to Love: A Theology of Creation (Fortress, $9.95, 160 pp...
...O'Connell, Orbis, $9.95, 176 pp...
...Carter Hey-ward brings together lectures, poems, and sermons reflecting a white Christian feminist liberation theologian's struggle and work in the past seven years...
...What, amid the historical and cultural varieties of Christian liturgy, is actually normative, and what contingent...
...You may not find this intelligence terribly startling...
...stress God's desire for relatedness as the impulse for 22 February 1985: 119 creation...
...The fourth book I must mention, because I had occasion to return to it in 1984, could not be more different...
...These brief reflections by Merton's friends and acquaintances give us rare, warm, and very human glimpses into a monk who embodied the mystic as peacemaker...
...The second is Charles Curran's Critical Concerns in Moral Theology (University of Notre Dame Press, $16.95, 264 pp...
...May's prose is elegant, his thought incisive...
...make present the patriarchal oppression of biblical women...
...Finally, I would recommend Midwives Of The Future: American Sisters Tell Their Story, edited by Ann Patrick Ware (Leaven Press, $8.95, 237 pp...
...Two quotes make that clear...
...There is much information here and, thankfully, not a great number of answers...
...TO a great many of us, the Ecumenical Movement is truly "the great new fact of our time...
...For a while it seemed that the project of Jewish-Christian reconciliation had reached a plateau, partly because of growing Christian disillusionment with some policies of Israel and partly because of intensified Christian interest in third world, liberation, and feminist issues...
...Then there is William F. May's The Physician's Covenant (Westminister Press, $10.50, 204 pp...
...In the void created by the withdrawal of the divine presence, moderns would place the machine which would eventually convert the idioms of their thought and feeling into idioms of power and force...
...The second book is The Feast of Life (World Council of Churches Friendship Press, $3.95, 77 pp...
...A second edition, expanded to include the offices of the West, will be published in the U.S.A...
...The first principle of all historical scholarship is to let the material speak to the scholar so that the scholar does not impose his preconceptions on it...
...But he was a voice in the wilderness...
...Richard A. McCormick FATHER RICHARD A. McCORMICK, S.J., 15 Rose F. Kennedy professor of Christian ethics at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University...
...This one does...
...A fact worth noting is that three women are included among the contributors...
...The third volume is Jesus Christ The Life of the World an Orthodox contribution to the Vancouver theme, edited by Ion Bria (World Council of Churches Friendship Press, $6.95, 160 pp...
...This confusing title, like a monstrous hat worn at a rakish angle, is due partly to learned insouciance, and partly to the fact that this book represents' 'religion" in something called The Master-guides Series, edited by Frank Kermode...
...The terror in the stories of Hagar, Tamar, the concubine, and the daughter of Jephta challenges us to rethink our understanding of the Bible as the Word of God...
...Mussner is a well-known German New Testament scholar who came to the problem of Judaism rather late in life...
...Such giants of twentieth century physics as Planck, Schrodinger, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg and others reveal their philosophical-religious reveries, intuitive glimpses of an underlying wholeness in the universe...
...Indeed, what Vasileios says of Orthodoxy is true of his book: "It does not assert a proposition...
...is the study not of a single person but of a whole people whose personality and experience, despite immense variations, exhibit an astonishing degree of coherence and integration...
...Edited by William H. Lazareth, these are substantial essays by noted Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Jewish, as well as many Protestant theologians, each contributing to a deeper understanding of the theme...
...The answer to that question is that philosophers of religion, and even theologians, have been writing about everything under the sun except God for the past twenty years or so...
...With a different method (literary criticism) and hermeneutical perspective (feminism) Phyllis Trible's Texts of Terror: Literary Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives (Fortress, $7.95, 144 pp...
...Joel Williamson's The Crucible of Race (Oxford University Press, $25, 561 pp...
...A forthcoming book to be published by Yale University Press is well worth watching for: Robert Orsi's The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880-1950 is a major contribution to immigrant history and to the growing literature on popular piety...
...Rarely do books live up fully to their jacket endorsements...
...she wrote...
...elaborates that the Gospels reflect a world of hunger, poverty, and oppression...
...offers another revisionist view of God.The world is God's body, which sounds Hartshornian if not Spinozistic, but a very different spirit in fact suffuses this book...
...Grace Jantzen, God's World, God's Body (Westminster Press, $6.95, 173 pp...
...Diercksmeier, Crossroad, $14.95, 192 pp...
...Particularly valuable in this latter category are two articles translated from Stimmen der Zeit ("Moral Truths Truths of Salvation...
...Finally, the importance of James Cone's For My People: Black Theology and the Black Church (Orbis, $9.95,288 pp...
...This has led to an increasing number of books about various aspects of ecumenism which could rightfully claim the attention of both clergy and laity...
...Finally, a most unusual work, 1984 brought The Many Facets of Touch (ed...
...others appeared in foreign journals...
...While his approach is historical, Williamson brings insights from philosophy, literature, and psychology to help explicate the complexity of racism and its ongoing effects upon our society...
...This collection, edited by Janet Kalven and Mary I. Buckley, highlights the richness as well as the very real difficulties of such a feminist theological dialogue that affirms diversity and seeks to overcome patriarchal divisions for the sake of our common struggle...
...Judaism, as traditionally interpreted by Christians, played a key role in the traditional self-definition of Christianity...
...In his essay, Jim Forest, General Secretary of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation writes: "Thomas Merton was the parish priest of the Catholic Peace Movement...
...As a former missionary teacher in Africa, Poulton has a global understanding of both physical and spiritual hunger...
...Taft judiciously reviews current scholarship on the origins and development of the Office and then offers the first comprehensive survey in English of the morning and evening services of the churches of the East...
...Heller is concerned about the fate of what he calls the poetic in an age dominated by the prosaic...
...As James Bonner, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Cal Tech, words it: "A reader who takes the trouble to read this book from cover to cover will bring him-or herself up to date with modern biomedical science...
...in philosophy from Oxford, Skolimowski pays homage to Teilhard de Chardin, Au-robindo, and Soleri in his philosophic and often poetic musings on the message of evolution...
...Permit me to suggest three books that sketch mystics for our times...
...A reader who would like to be initiated into the philosophical discussion of God should read Leszek Kolakowski, Religion: If There Is No God . . . On God, the Devil, Sin, and other Worries of the so-called Philosophy of Religion (Oxford University Press, Galaxy Books, $7.95, 235 pp...
...Morris's stress on the role of local, usually unsung, activists and ordinary people is a healthy corrective to our tendency to look for national leaders of reform and to lament their absence as a sign of failure and an excuse for inaction...
...It is entitled What in the World is the World Council of Churches?, and is the carefully edited transcript of an interview with Philip Potter, conducted by Ans J. van der Bent, the librarian and archivist of the Ecumenical Center in Geneva...
...Let me begin with biblical studies: Gerd Theissen's work has had great impact on biblical studies in this country whereas that of Willy Schottroff and Wolfgang Stegemann is virtually unknown...
...Both are nearing exhaustion...
...Race relations and the inability of religion to bridge the distance between races has been one of the constitutive facts of American religious history...
...Equally central to Kazin's argument, and clearly as crucial to our understanding of modern American spiritual history, is the point he makes about what took the place of the deus absconditus in the American imagination: what Henry Adams described as the dynamo...
...Curran has been dining out on this type of thing for years...
...He/She is, for instance, like Hartshorne himself, an ardent feminist...
...The book that he has produced is a profound reading of the New Testament which, without overlooking problematic passages, understands the deep Jewish dimension of the work...
...In the present struggle around the access to legal abortion her book is the most significant scholarly contribution from the perspective of feminist Christian liberation theology...
...and Rupert Sheldrake's hypothesis of morphogenet-ic fields as realities in nature that, if proven true, would revolutionize biology, psychology, and society...
...which focuses on local black communities and local leadership as the originators and builders of the movement...
...Published thirty-eight years after her death, the diaries make us privy to the intimate and transforming relationship between God and the mystic...
...While Trible's book eschews theory in favor of story-telling, Harrison's presents a careful theoretical analysis...

Vol. 112 • February 1985 • No. 4


 
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