Books received from various publishers.
Pope John Paul II, Rise, let us be on our way, 2004, $22.95 U.S., hardcover, 230 pages. Transl.: Walter Ziemba. The memories and reflections of the Pope call the reader to accept his vocation and follow the Lord with trust and zeal. The hook was written on the forty-fifth anniversary of John Paul's appointment as auxiliary bishop of Crakow, and is a celebration of the episcopal vocation. The themes covered include vocation and a bishop's ministry and responsibilities. Inspiration and guidelines are offered to bishops, who must put themselves at the service of the people as shepherds or fathers. A great read for both the laity and religious.
From Scholarly Book Services Inc. (distributing for University of North Carolina Press), 473 Adelaide St. W., Fourth Fl., Toronto, ON, M5V 1T1. Tel.: (416)504-6545.
Candy Gunther Brown, The Word in the world: Evangelical writing, publishing, and reading in America, 1789-1880, 2004, $32.95 Cdn, softcover, 336 pages. This book, mainly of interest to historical scholars, explains the connection between the media and the spread of fundamentalist Evangelical thought. The technique and strategies employed over a century ago to promote religious values are of historical interest and may offer some bright thoughts for today.
Theodore Dwight Bozeman, The precisianist strain: disciplinary religion and Antinomian backlash in Puritanism to 1638, 2004, $82.50 Cdn, hardcover, 350 pages. Again, this is a volume for historical specialists. It presents Puritan spirituality, especially its austere disciplinary teachings and rites, covering the years from 1570 to 1638. Antinomianism, with its premise of salvation without strictness or duty, is shown as the backlash against the severity of Puritanism. Attention is given to the life and legacy of John Cotton, first leader of the Antinomian insurgency. With footnotes and quotations.
From Christian History Project, 1033-178 St., Edmonton, AB, T5S 1R5. Tel. (780): 443-4775.
Ted Byfield (ed.), The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years: The Sword of Islam: A.D. 565 to 740. The Muslim onslaught all but destroys Christendom (vol. 5), 2004, $49.95 Cdn, hardcover, 288 pages.
This is the latest release of the magnificently illustrated large volumes in the Christian history series. This volume describes the rise of Islam, as well as Muhammad's life and teachings. Fascinating details of Arab life in the sixth and seventh centuries come to life in this colourful volume. Insights are offered into the present-day conflict between the West and fundamentalist Islam.
From Mansfield Press, 25 Mansfield Ave., Toronto, ON, M6J 2A9. Tel.: (416)532-2086.
Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, The Dark Time of Angels, 2003, $14.95 Cdn or $12.95 U.S., softcover, 92 pages. Toronto Catholic priest Di Cicco was nominated for the 17th Trillium Award for his poetry in May 2004. His exploration of spiritual themes through poetry presents a search for the Creator in nature and in the mundane. The search, however, remains unfinished and the under lying theology incomplete.
From Random House of Canada Ltd., 2775 Matheson Blvd E., Mississauga, ON, L4W 4P7.
Alister McGrath, The twilight of atheism: The rise and fall of disbelief in the modern world, 2004, $35.95 Cdn or $23.95 U.S., hardcover, 306 pages. The ideology and growth of atheism is presented from the French Revolution up to present, with attention to underlying historical, intellectual, and cultural factors and key thinkers such as Voltaire, Marx, Freud, Shelley, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, and O'Hair. The final chapter deals with the fading appeal of atheism. The author, an Oxford University professor, may unsettle both believers and disbelievers, as he addresses the complexities surrounding religious belief.
John L. Allen, Jr., All the Pope's men: The inside story of how the Vatican really thinks, 2004, $35.95 Cdn or $24.95 U.S., hardcover, 392 pages. This book, by one of the best-informed and well-known Catholic Vaticanologists in the English language, surveys the push and pull for authority between the Vatican and the American Catholic Church. It analyses the Vatican's spirituality, psychology, sociology and role in the American sexual abuse crisis and the war on Iraq. Although employed by the dissenting Nat. Catholic Reporter of Kansas, the author avoids a too-partisan stance.
Jonathan Wright, God's Soldiers: Adventure, politics, intrigue, and power--a history of the Jesuits, 2004, $39.95 Cdn or $27.95 U.S., hardcover, 338 pages. British historian Wright produced this fascinating chronicle of the mighty religious community, with its outstanding achievements affecting both religious and secular realities. This in-depth history presents the Jesuits' long-lasting contributions, the controversies surrounding them, the strong reactions of out rage against their power and influence, and the thanksgiving of the many who have benefitted from their endeavours.
As Wright races through five hundred years of history, fitting in or drawing out Jesuit contributions on all continents, any idea that either the Church or the Jesuit Order could be described as monolithic evaporates. Behind the enormous variety of accomplishments, he does not lose sight of the hard work and devotion of unsung daily prayer and labour in the pastoral ministry. The more knowledge the reader has of Church history, the greater the appreciation of this work. With notes, bibliography, and index.
Edward L. Beck, Unlikely ways home: Real-life spiritual detours, 2004, $29.95 Cdn or $21.95 U.S., hardcover, 290 pages. Father Beck's stories relate the experiences of real people, as they set out to seek God due to a turn in the circumstances of their lives. At times the author has recourse to strange theology, for instance, a "gay" couple finds God in one another.
Brace Chilton, Rabbi Paul: An intellectual biography, 2004, $37.95 Cdn or $24.95 U.S., hardcover, 335 pages. This detailed look by a modern Protestant scholar, takes as its leitmotif that Paul transformed Jesus' message into a world religion. Paul is presented as an independent apostle and organizer in the style of much modern scholarship which has lost the sense of a divinely united community founded by Jesus, God and man, and guided by the Holy Spirit. Interesting observations, but no spiritual biography which lifts the heart. Chilton also uses the meaningless "Common Era" dating instead of B.C., Before Christ and A.D., Anno Domini, the year of our Lord. With notes, sources, and index.
From McClelland & Steward Ltd., Suite 900-481 University Ave., Toronto, ON, M5G 2E9. Tel.: (416)598-1114.
Trevor Herriot, Jacob's Wound: A search for the spirit of wildness, 2004, $34.99 Cdn, hardcover, 358 pages. Jacob's struggle against an unnamed man at night and his wrestle with his brother Esau is interpreted by Herriot to represent humanity's ongoing struggle against the wild and the pagan. While Jacob, the farmer, the civilized man, conquered Esau, the primitive man and hunter, he suffered a wound. The question arises whether civilized society can ever be reconciled with what it has conquered and become estranged from for ages. The author has much love and respect for nature and for agriculture. His book represents interesting and independent thought.
From Random House of Canada Ltd., 2775 Matheson Blvd E., Mississauga, ON, L4W 4P7.
Harold S. Kushner, When bad things happen to good people, 2004, $13.95 Cdn or $9.95 U.S., softcover, 164 pages. Rabbi Kushner's bestseller offers wisdom and consolation in times of sorrow. Inspired by the tragic health condition of his son, the author attempts to reconcile the suffering human with God and with reality.
Dean Hamer, The God gene: How faith is hardwired into our genes, 2004, $34.95 Cdn or $24.95 U.S., hardcover, 242 pages. This book explores the connection between genetics and belief. Some of the scientific insights may be useful in proving a built-in inclination towards faith. The research conducted included people of various ages, races and belief systems, though Christianity was omitted from the forum.
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|Title Annotation:||Book Notes|
|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2004|
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