Arts

BOOK REVIEW: All we are saying is give faith a chance

God at WorkGod at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement by David W. Miller (Oxford University Press, 222 pages, hardcover, $38.95).

In God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement, David W. Miller commits "to recognize the faith at work movement as a movement; to understand its roots and historical trajectory leading to its current form and substance; to offer a framework and language to analyse it, challenge it and assist it to realize its significant social possibilities; and to raise questions for further research." This is a tall order. 

Giller Award winner has sense of service

dr. lamTORONTO - One gets the sense from reading selections from Dr. Vincent Lam's Scotiabank-Giller Prize-winning new collection, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, that the author would have made an excellent reporter had his time not already been taken up with medicine and fiction writing.

Painting aids retired bishop on spiritual journey

Bishop LaceyTORONTO - There is barely a square inch of free wall space in Bishop Pearse Lacey's North York apartment. The walls are covered with dozens of portrait and landscape paintings, most of which he painted himself.

Essayists miss the faces of the church

Why I am still a CatholicWhen I first saw the title of this book of essays, my heart sank. Was it going to be full of whining about that faceless entity, "The Church," meaning that other faceless entity, "The Magisterium"? And indeed, one clever contributor, BBC radio presenter Edward Stourton, points out the dark connotations of the word still: "…I detect a whiff of prejudicing the argument in the use of the word 'still'; it suggests a 'despite' in the sub-text, a conviction that we apologists must make our case in the face of overwhelming evidence of the general ghastliness of the church under the long reign of John Paul II."

Hope in a child's birth

Children of MenWriter-director Alfonso Cuaron uses P.D. James's novel The Children of Men to show us a world worn out, spinning on the empty energy of caffeine, terrorism, anger, paranoia, suicide and the media's technology of mental chaos. He shows us the real culture of death. But then he shows us something more.

Spiritans go tubing

youtubeTORONTO - Some religious communities are turning to the latest technology to help promote vocations.

Fr. Paul McAuley, C.S.Sp., decided to post some videos about TransCanada Province of the Spiritans on YouTube after reading about it in the news recently.

Where faith meets science

 The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, by Francis S. Collins (Free Press  304 pages, hardcover, $32.95).

The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins (Houghton Mifflin, 288 pages, hardcover, $35.95).

Challenging Nature: The Clash of Science and Spirituality at the New Frontiers of Life, by Lee M. Silver (Ecco, 464 pages, hardcover, $34.95).

The relationship between science and religion is the focus of a small swarm of new books. Almost all of these books are written by scientists, suggesting that the scientific community is feeling some pressure to articulate just how its work relates to religion.

Retelling of nativity lags behind Gibson's blockbuster

 Hollywood movies often generate all sorts of movie paraphernalia, from McDonald's action figure trinkets to coffee mugs and posters, but knock off items for this year's Christmas release The Nativity Story are sparse.

John Paul II film released on DVD

The late Pope John Paul II is brought to life with the DVD release of the two-part mini-series aired on CBC this past summer, entitled Karol, A Man Who Became Pope and Karol: The Pope, The Man.

Governor General's Awards - Shortlist coincides with troubles of the day

As always, five English-language books were shortlisted for this year's Governor General's prize for fiction. The majority deal with war. As Canadians struggle with the tragedy of Afghanistan and our military's foggy role in it, this is not likely a coincidence.

A donkey's-eye view on Christ's birth

Ruben The Donkey booksBRANTFORD, Ont. - Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, meet Ruben the Donkey.

This Christmas season some radio stations in Ontario will be adding a new Christmas jingle to their play list: "Ruben" sung by Belle River, Ont. country singer Gabe Gagnon.   

Angels guide this poetic journey

Accompanied by AngelsAccompanied by Angels: Poems of the Incarnation, by Luci Shaw (Eerdmans Publishing, 110 pages, softcover, $18.99).

Accompanied by Angels, subtitled Poems of the Incarnation, grew out of poet Luci Shaw's childhood collection of Advent poems. At the age of 11, and anticipating the great festivities of the season, Shaw determined to make her own Christmas cards. To go with the pictures and illustrations on the cards, she composed short greetings to evoke the message of this holy season.

Germans pushed church ecumenical commitment

 "Because He Was a German!": Cardinal Bea and the Origin of Roman Catholic Engagement in the Ecumenical Movement, by Jerome-Michael Verab, C.P. (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 332 pages, hardcover, $29.03 at amazon.ca).

This book tells part of the story of how Pope John XXIII came to create the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity. Prior to the Second Vatican Council, the church regarded the Orthodox Churches as schismatic and the Protestant Churches as heretical, and thought it was those churches' duty to return to the one true church and be obedient to the Pope. Through the new unity secretariat, the Catholic Church now committed itself to work with other churches for the unity willed by Christ. The person who persuaded John XXIII to take this bold step was a German Jesuit — Cardinal Augustine Bea.