Book Reviews

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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...]

Catholic Scholars Address Current Problems

VOICES OF THE NEW SPRINGTIME: The Life and Work of the Catholic Church in the 21st Century. Edited by Kenneth D. Whitehead (St. Augustine’s Press, P.O. Box 2285, South Bend, Ind. 46680, 2004), ix + 102 pp. PB $17.00.

This volume contains the papers of the 25 th Annual Conference of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, held in Philadelphia in 2002. The keynote address was given by Cardinal Avery Dulles, on faith and reason, with a call to Catholics to … [Read more...]

The Dark Side of Voluntary Poverty?

THE POVERTY OF RICHES: ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI RECONSIDERED. By Kenneth Baxter Wolf (Oxford University Press, 200 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016, 2003), 208 pp. HB $45.00.

The emergence of a commercial economy in the High Middle Ages created new spiritual challenges for many medieval Christians, who wondered how to reconcile Christ’s instructions to the rich man in the gospel with the emerging profit economy. … [Read more...]

What Civilization Owes to the Church

HOW THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BUILT WESTERN CIVILIZATION. By Dr. Thomas Woods, Jr. (Regnery Publishing, Inc., One Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001), 256 pp., HB $29.95.

If modern studies credit the Catholic Church with anything positive, it is usually limited to faint praise in the realm of music and the arts. Dr. Thomas Woods, however, offers an alternative view in his unambiguously titled best-seller, … [Read more...]

Twentieth Century Catholicism

THE CHURCH CONFRONTS MODERNITY. Catholic Intellectuals and the Progressive Era. By Thomas E. Woods, Jr. (Columbia University Press, 61 West 62nd St., New York, N.Y. 10023, 2004), 228 pp. HB $29.50.

In the first two decades of the 20th century, American intellectuals moved away from a Christian view of the world and opted for a secular philosophy of Pragmatism and empiricism. Two of the main figures of the day were William James and … [Read more...]

Light in the Darkness

SURPRISED BY CANON LAW: 150 Questions Catholics Ask About Canon Law. By Pete Vere and Michael Trueman (Servant Books, 28 W. Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202), ix + 126pp. PB $9.99.

This slender volume has earned the praise not only of such notables as Karl Keating and Father Peter Stravinskas but also of the Rev. Francis G. Morrisey, O.M.I. of the Canon Law Faculty of Ottawa’s St. Paul University. The 150 questions … [Read more...]

The Church as True Pilgrim

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH THROUGH THE AGES: A History. By John Vidmar, O.P., Paulist Press, 997 Macarthur Boulevard, Mahwah, N.J. 07430), 360 pp. PB $18.95.

We are somewhat inundated with new church histories featuring interpretations that allow for no trace of magnanimity toward the Church’s actions in the midst of her various conflicted episodes. One notes with frustration that some of … [Read more...]

The Art of Dying Well

PATIENCE, COMPASSION, HOPE, AND THE CHRISTIAN ART OF DYING WELL. By Christopher P. Vogt (Rowan & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., 4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706), 2004, 176 pp. PB. $19.95.

In a culture of death that promotes euthanasia as compassion, in a secular world that imagines medical science as the cure-all to all human suffering, and in the modern therapeutic society which rationalizes death and dying, to quote from … [Read more...]

Protection for human reason

ROMAN CATHOLIC POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. By James V. Schall (Lexington Books, 4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, Md. 20706, 2004), 209 pp. HB $65.00.

There is no official Church-sanctioned “Roman Catholic” political philosophy. But, precisely because of this, Roman Catholicism offers a unique protection for the place of human reason in political philosophy’s contemplation of human … [Read more...]

Imperial Judges

THE SUPREMACISTS. The Tyranny of Judges and How to Stop It. By Phyllis Schlafly (Spence Publishing Co., 111 Cole St., Dallas, Texas 75207, 2004), viii + 182 pp. HB $24.95.

Federal and State judges have become the leading protagonists in the current culture war that is going on in the United States. It seems like almost every month some activist federal judge declares a law passed by Congress or one of the … [Read more...]

Judaism and Catholicism

SALVATION IS FROM THE JEWS. By Roy H. Schoeman (Ignatius Press, P.O. Box X1339, Fort Collins , CO 80522, 2003), 392 pp. PB. $16.95.

Ambitious and comprehensive in scope, this book examines the role of Israel in religious history from the time of Abraham to the Second Coming. It is a work of fresh, illuminating thought that offers startling, original insights and a … [Read more...]

He turned out to be Pope

THE SMILING POPE. The Life and Teaching of John Paul I. By Raymond and Lauretta Seabeck (Our Sunday Visitor, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, Ind. 46750, 2004), 253 pp. PB $14.95.

This is an interesting book, simply written; it is also a book of practical spiritual guidance for our times. Albino Luciani was the Holy Father, Pope John Paul I, for thirty-three days. Most people know little more about him. This … [Read more...]

Function of Catholic laity

CATHOLIC LAITY IN THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH. By Russell Shaw (Requiem Press, P.O. Box 7, Bethune, S.C. 29009; 2005), 191 pp. PB $14.95.

As with all his writings, Russell Shaw’s latest Catholic literary product, Catholic Laity in the Mission of the Church, is rich, balanced, reasoned, lucid, concise, poignant, and widely accessible. In the volume, he takes up a theme that he … [Read more...]

The Seven Deadly Sins

VICTORY OVER VICE. By Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. (Sophia Institute Press, Box 5284, Manchester, N.H. 03108, 2004), 128 pp. PB $9.95.

In this volume Archbishop Sheen attacks each of the seven deadly sins in pointing out that these sins led Christ’s enemies to nail Him to a cross. He refers to examples in the Savior’s life to develop each of the corresponding virtues. … [Read more...]