Book News

{mosimage}Common Ground: A Priest and a Rabbi Read Scripture Together by Andrew M. Greeley and Jacob Neusner (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 335 pages, softcover, $24.95).

A couple of nights ago I looked up at the sky and saw the wishing star and so I made a wish. I wished there was a university course, perhaps called Thinking and Judgment 101, and that it became a required course for everyone in a position of responsibility or aspiring to one.

Christianity's changing face

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{mosimage}Christianity and Ethnicity in Canada. edited by Paul Bramadat and David Seljak (University of Toronto Press, softcover, 448 pages, $49.95).

Canada’s churches no longer look or talk the way they once did. The once predominantly Anglo-Celtic membership of the United Church, an organization that viewed itself as a potential national church for Canada when it was established in 1925, is now complemented by large Taiwanese and Hungarian congregations. Many Catholic parishes in major cities now have a significant Filipino presence.

The true joy of Lourdes

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{mosimage}The Miracle of Lourdes: A Message of Healing and Hope by John Lochran (St. Anthony Messenger Press, softcover, 134 pages, $12.95).

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the miracle of Lourdes, where Our Lady appeared to French peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous, Fr. John Lochran retells the familiar story with deep insight and new appreciation.

In community we find home

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{mosimage}Beyond Homelessness: Christian Faith in a Culture of Displacement by Steven Bouma-Prediger and Brian J. Walsh (Wm.B. Eerdman’s Publishing, softcover, $27.99).

Stone by stone, as he laboured to build his summer house on Lake Geneva, the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung came to recognize that home — with its design, rooms, windows, corners and doors — mirrored the human psyche, with all its needs, shadows and spiritual longings. Home is foundational to individual identity and therefore acknowledged as one of our universal human rights.

Creation through Franciscan eyes

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{mosimage}Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth by Ilia Delio, O.S.F, Keith Douglas Warner, O.F.M., and Pamela Wood (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 226 pages, softcover, $18.95).

This book made me nervous, but also had me excited. My Franciscan community has studied and reflected on cosmic theology and eco-spirituality this past year in preparation for our general chapter this month. Through it all, there was for me a need to maintain a sound doctrinal understanding of our faith as Roman Catholic religious.

Seeing beyond Africa’s problems

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{mosimage}African Saints, African Stories: 40 Holy Men and Women by Camille Lewis Brown (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 145 pages, softcover, $14.95).

With good reason, the continent of Africa is often at the centre of Catholic debates pertaining to world affairs and global politics. The haunting shadows of the Rwanda genocide and present realities in places like Darfur and Congo are a constant challenge to the Christian conscience and test the boundaries of our own charity.

Dialogue is one way

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{mosimage}Feminist Theology with a Canadian Accent, edited by Mary Ann Beavis, Elaine Guillemin and Barbara Pell (Novalis, softcover, 444 pages, $34.95).

With the Catholic Church refusing to ordain women or even entertain the idea, feminists and the church have entered into a longstanding non-meeting of the minds. Because of this deadlock, dialogue has turned to monologue, a sad reality reflected in the pages of Feminist Theology with a Canadian Accent, a collection of 19 essays by Canadian feminist theologians and scholars.

Fr. Joe offers a cautionary tale to would-be missionaries

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{mosimage}The Gospel of Father Joe: Revolutions and Revelations in the Slums of Bangkok by Greg Barrett (Jossey-Bass, 336 pages, hardcover, $28.99 list)

The missionary tradition in the Catholic Church is centuries old. Missionaries left their own homelands to do good works and spread Christianity in far away places — most notably Africa, Asia and Latin American countries. Not all missionaries went to the poorer countries of the Third World. They figure prominently in colonial history in the North as well. In our country, missionaries had quite an impact on aboriginal peoples, as we were recently reminded during Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apology to residential school survivors.

There’s something about Mary

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{mosimage}Mary and Me: Catholic Women Reflect on the Mother of God, by Ginny Kubitz Moyer (St. Anthony Messenger Press, softcover, 120 pages, $14).

This compelling little book, written by an unmistakable Mary enthusiast, attempts to answer a question asked time and time again by Catholic women: How is the Virgin Mary relevant to my life?

No getting to know Merton here

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{mosimage}Thomas Merton: Hermit at the Heart of Things, by J.S. Porter. (Novalis, softcover, 216 pages, $24.95, ISBN Number 9782896460083).

Thomas Merton was an American poet and writer who died accidentally at the age of 56 in 1968 after a remarkably public life (especially for a Trappist monk).

Learning God's plan along Field of Stars

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{mosimage}To the Field of Stars: A Pilgrim’s Journey to Santiago de Compostela, by Kevin A. Codd (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, softcover, 271 pages $19.99).

In the opening pages of his book, priest and author Fr. Kevin Codd dedicates his words to his mother and father, “who taught me how to walk.” Whether this is in gratitude or accusation for the anguished steps that would follow 50 years later when he walked the almost-800 kilometres to Santiago de Compostela is for the next 270 pages to reveal. But what is immediately apparent is that Codd’s parents have, in fact, taught him how to walk and write — an essential combination for his pilgrimage.