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Theology and Canon Law: New Horizons for Legislation and Interpretation.

Theology and Canon Law: New Horizons for Legislation and Interpretation. By Ladislas Orsy, S.J. Collegeville: Glazier/Liturgical, 1992. Pp. 211. $17.95.

Recurring themes in Orsy's writings, himself both canonist and theologian, are the relationship between theology and canon law and the interpretation of canon law. Here he brings together the fruit of over a decade of thinking and writing on these subjects, a welcome compilation and revision of eleven previously published writings, with the addition of an annotated bibliography, analytical index, and index of persons. Unlike many such compilations, the ten chapters of this work are not essays isolated from each other, but they flow easily from one to the next and fit naturally and integrally together. The result is a quasi-systematic treatment of canonical interpretation, one that is both theoretically consistent and pastorally useful.

O. is an original thinker who writes with great clarity, even simplicity. He helps readers to broaden their own horizons in understanding the nature and observance of church law, leading them to develop, in the words of Pope Paul VI, a "new way of thinking" that eschews narrow legalism. His method calls for the discovery of the values behind the legal texts and the judgment of how (or whether) these values can be upheld within the framework of one's own culture and present circumstances. Canon law, interpreted in this way, will be seen as serving the Christian community, not burdening it.

This book will be helpful not only to scholars and students in the academic interpretation of canon law, but also to Roman Catholic ministers and people who interpret the law in practice.

John M. Huels, O.S.M.

Catholic Theol. Union, Chicago
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Author:Huels, John M.
Publication:Theological Studies
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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