The Latest Book Reviews

REVIEWING:  Gold Tested in Fire; In Memory of Me, Indivisible; Shadows and Images; Understanding Language: A Guide for Beginning Students of Greek & Latin; and, Scruples and Sainthood; Reflections on the priesthood GOLD … [Read more...]

Was Robert Bellarmine Ahead of His Time?

Empire of Souls: Robert Bellarmine and the Christian Commonwealth. By Stefania Tutino (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 416 pp. ISBN 978-0-19974-053-6. On Temporal and Spiritual Authority. By Robert Bellarmine. Edited, translated … [Read more...]

The 60th Anniversary of F.X. Durwell’s classic, THE RESURRECTION: A BIBLICAL STUDY

Durwell, F.X., C.S.S.R. (1960).  The Resurrection:  A Biblical Study.  NY:  Sheed and Ward.  pp. 359. This is the 60th Anniversary of F.X. Durwell’s classic, The Resurrection: A Biblical Study, and the 50th year since its English Edition … [Read more...]

A Review of Cullen Murphy’s “God’s Jury”

GOD’S JURY: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World. By Cullen Murphy (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012) 310 PP. ISBN 978-0-618-09156-0. Mr. Cullen Murphy never claims to be an historian. His edited … [Read more...]

Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae in modern English

TREATISE ON HUMAN NATURE: The Complete Text (Summa Theologiae I, Questions 75-102).  By St. Thomas Aquinas; translated by Alfred J. Freddoso (St. Augustine’s Press, South Bend, IN 47780, 2011), 351 pp.  PB $20.00. Students of St. Thomas … [Read more...]

A Man “Beloved of God”

THE DESERT FATHERS: Saint Anthony and the Beginnings of Monasticism. By Peter Gorg (Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA 2011) 131 pp. PB$16.95 plus shipping. Available through: www.ignatius.com; 1-800-652-1531.

This is a concise biography of Saint Anthony, and a short history of monasticism, in both the Eastern and Western churches. This excellent work on the Egyptian desert saint—“the personification of Christian asceticism and the father of … [Read more...]

A Revival of Natural Law?

WHAT WE CAN’T NOT KNOW. A Guide. By J. Budziszewski (Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2d ed. 2011), 291 pp.

Can we say that “natural law” is rather like the Loch Ness monster:  “Now you see it, now you don’t” ?  For many Americans, especially U. S. senators, the only time that natural law has been in contemplation range, or up for discussion, was … [Read more...]

The Mystery of Good and Evil

AN OCEAN FULL OF ANGELS. By Peter Kreeft (St. Augustine’s Press: South Bend, IN, 2011); www.staugustine.net; 374 pp. HB. $37.50.

A copious work that abounds in a multitude of moral themes and religious questions, the book assumes the form of a fictional autobiography of ‘Isa Ben Adam, the son of a Muslim father and Catholic mother who studies philosophy … [Read more...]

Finding God in All Things

ABANDONMENT TO DIVINE PROVIDENCE. With Letters of Fr. De Caussade on the Practice of Self-Abandonment. By Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J. (Ignatius Press, San Francisco, Calif. 2011), 453 pp. PB $ 17.95.

Fr. de Caussade’s treatise on abandonment to divine providence is a classic on the spiritual life from the 18th century that has been reprinted many times.  The actual text is not very long, but in this edition it is complemented by the … [Read more...]

Moral Theology after Humanae Vitae

MORAL THEOLOGY AFTER HUMANAE VITAE: FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES IN MORAL THEOLOGY AND SEXUAL ETHICS. By D. Vincent Twomey, SVD (Four Courts Press, c/o International Specialized Book Services, 920 N.E. 58th Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR 97213, 2010), 218 pp. HB $45.00.

There are basically two explanations for the tepid reception of Humanae Vitae. We can blame either the Church who gave it birth, or the culture into which it was born. Twomey points his finger at the latter. He explains that the rejection … [Read more...]

Women, Sex, and the Church

WOMEN, SEX, AND THE CHURCH, ed. Erika Bachiochi (Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2010), 251pp.

In a culture that often views the Catholic Church as patriarchal and misogynistic, Women, Sex, and the Church, edited by Erika Bachiochi, offers a “practical, pro-woman defense” of many of the Church’s most controversial teachings. This … [Read more...]

The Martyred Inquisitor

THE MARTYRED INQUISTOR: The Life and Cult of Peter of Verona. By Donald Prudlo. (Ashgate, Hampshire, England, 2008) ISBN: 978-0-7546-6256-3, 300 pages.

This book is an historical biography of the life of St. Peter Martyr, the first Dominican to be canonized.  The author is an assistant professor of ancient and medieval history at Jacksonville State University in Anniston, Alabama.  The … [Read more...]

Renaissance saint and scholar

A THOMAS MORE SOURCE BOOK.Edited by Gerard B. Wegener and Stephen W. Smith (The Catholic University of America Press, P.O. Box 50370, Baltimore, Md. 21211, 2004), xxxii + 395 pp. PB $34.95.

St. Thomas More is one of the few intellectual and moral giants of the second millennium. He was truly a Renaissance man, being outstanding as a poet, scholar, husband and father, lawyer, statesman, and in addition to all of that a saint of … [Read more...]

European Christophobia

THE CUBE AND THE CATHEDRAL: EUROPE, AMERICA, AND POLITICS WITHOUT GOD. By George Weigel. Basic Books (2005), $23

In the closing months of his pontificate, John Paul II turned repeatedly to the “Europe question.” He insisted that a failure to mention the common Christian heritage in the drafting of the E.U. constitution would tear apart the very … [Read more...]

Moral Theology Update

THE CATHOLIC CITIZEN: DEBATING THE ISSUES OF JUSTICE. Proceedings from the 26 th Annual Conference of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, 2803. Edited by Kenneth D. Whitehead (St. Augustine’s Press, Box 2285, South Bend, Ind., 2004), 248 pp. PB $17.00.

“Notes on Moral Theology” originated as a feature of Theological Studies intended to help priests stay abreast of the latest developments in Catholic moral theology. Alas, under the long editorship of the late Richard McCormick, S.J., and … [Read more...]