Arts

Commonality, differences with Protestants

{mosimage}Hope in Troubled Times: A New Vision for Confronting World Crises by Bob Goudzwaard, Mark Vander Vennen and Van Heemst David (Baker Book House, softcover, 256 pages, $24.99).

Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life: Rethinking Ministry to the Poor
by Robert D. Lupton, (Gospel Light and Regal Books, softcover, 139 pages, $12.50).

Theology for Non-Theologians: An Engaging
, Accessible and Relevant Guide, by James Cantelon (Wiley, softcover, 336 pages, $26.99).

As Roman Catholics we are aware of the unity and, at the same time, the separation that exists among Christians. We all follow Jesus, the one Lord, yet the different Christian communities have different outlooks and interpretations about how to go about this. It is interesting, therefore, to have a look every once in a while at what authors from other Christian denominations are writing about.

Books to make an ex-pat homesick


{mosimage}Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill (HarperCollins, 330 pages, $17.50).

Soucouyant by David Chariandy (Arsenal, 200 pages, $19.95).

Helpless by Barbara Gowdy (HarperCollins, 306 pages, $32.95).

Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje (McClelland and Stewart, 273 pages, $34.99).

The Assassin’s Song by M.G. Vassanji (Doubleday Canada, 314 pages, $34.95).
While studying theology in Boston I felt so homesick I thought I’d go crazy. I would delay the journey back to Canada as long as I could, but then I’d snap, call an airline agent or rush to South Station. If I flew to Toronto, I’d watch out the car window leaving the airport for the first Canadian flag. If I crossed the Quebec border, I’d long to hug the surly customs officers. I couldn’t do that, of course, so I spoke French to them instead.

Advent readings save us from twisted Christmas

TORONTO - When Kathleen Norris pulled back the curtain on what Benedictine life is really about in her ground-breaking 1997 book Cloister Walk, she wanted readers to know it’s not easy being spiritual. She wrote about loneliness and heartbreak and not knowing and just what it might feel like to haul one’s body off to chapel five times a day, every day, for the rest of your life.

History repeats

{mosimage}Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics From the Great War to the War on Terror by Michael Burleigh (HarperCollins, 557 pages, hardcover, $34.95.)

In his first volume of two on the co-mingling of European culture and faith covering the late 18th century to modern times, the encyclopedic and masterful British scholar Michael Burleigh laid down a basic theory to ground his work: “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” In other words, the tides of history roll out, but they also return. Faith may seem to disappear, but in fact it does not.

De Palma’s ode to the fruitlessness of war

{mosimage}Director Brian de Palma is obviously outraged, morally scandalized, angered and saddened by the war in Iraq. A Catholic educated in Quaker schools who came of age protesting the Vietnam War in the 1960s, de Palma is not the kind of American President George Bush can count on for support.

Irish Catholic artist finds the ‘Undeniable Truth’

TORONTO - Yad Vashem is Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust and to those non-Jews called the “Righteous Among the Nations” who helped save Jews at great personal risk. As a follow-up to this year’s Holocaust Education Week, the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem will be hosting an exhibition of 33 works by the Catholic Irish artist Thomas Delohery. The show is titled “Undeniable Truth.”

Patchett’s Boston beautiful but wrong

{mosimage}Run by Ann Patchett (Harper Collins, 295 pages, $32.95).

Ann Patchett’s latest novel, Run, will fly out of bookstores. And well it should, for it is a beautiful book. It is a non-Catholic novel about semi-pagan Catholics, but both the plot and the characters are engaging. The tone is as gentle and musical as the soundtrack on its promotional DVD. If you have a soft heart and an ear for good writing, you will be entranced and moved by Run.


Exploring the roots of the Messiah

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Here is an excellent introduction into the concept of the Messiah in the Bible. It allows us to understand how the Christian understanding of Christ is rooted in the Jewish tradition, but goes beyond it. This new Christian understanding was formed by the disciples’ experience of Jesus and His work.

Possibilities, dangers of Islam’s rise in Europe

{mosimage}God’s Continent: Christianity, Islam and Europe’s Religious Crisis by Philip Jenkins (Oxford University Press, 340 pages, hardcover $31.95).

They thought he was a cranky crackpot in his time, but Hillaire Belloc’s 1938 prophecy has come back to haunt Europe today: “Anyone with a knowledge of history is bound to ask himself whether we shall not see in the future a revival of Mohammedan political power, and the renewal of the old pressure of Islam upon Christendom.”

Documentary explores new style of mother-daughter relationship

{mosimage}TORONTO - Mothers moving in with their adult daughters is the focus of a TVOntario  documentary being filmed.

Payback time for Choir School alumni

{mosimage}TORONTO - Kevin Hearn of the Canadian pop band the Barenaked Ladies, jazz singer Matt Dusk, tenors John McDermott and Michael Burgess and concert pianist Stewart Goodyear are all St. Michael’s Choir School alumni who have gone on to become successful musicians both here and abroad. As a tribute to the school for its 70th anniversary, they will all perform at Roy Thomson Hall Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. along with the Canada Pops Orchestra and the boys of St. Michael’s Choir School.

The reproduction industry

{mosimage}Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction is Changing Men, Women and the World, by Liza Mundy (Alfred A Knopf, hardcover, 406 pages. $34.95).

This book tells gripping stories about virtually unregulated U.S. industries assisting human reproduction. It challenges pro-lifers to find new language for abiding concerns in rapidly changing contexts. It gives insight into probable future assaults on Canadian law.

Jesus still provocative after all these years

{mosimage}The One Who Is To Come  by Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J. (Wm B. Eerdmans, 183 pages, softcover, $22.99).

Of the distinguished trio of Catholic scholars (Raymond Brown, Roland Murphy and Joseph Fitzmyer) who edited both the Jerome Biblical Commentary (1968) and its successor, the New Jerome (1990), today Fitzmyer is the sole survivor, and unquestionably the éminence grise of Catholic exegetes. Almost 87 years old, Fr. Fitzmyer remains one of the most formidable scholarly minds in the field of Scripture, an expert in ancient Aramaic and Hebrew, a specialist in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the author of dozens of books on the Bible.