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1. Catholicism for Dummies
2. Paradoxes of Catholicism
3. Rediscovering Catholicism: Journeying
4. Catholicism and Fundamentalism:
5. The Catholicism Answer Book: The
6. From Atheism to Catholicism: How
7. Catholicism: New Study Edition--Completely
8. Reclaiming Catholicism: Treasures
9. Rediscovering Catholicism
10. Catholicism: Now I Get It!
11. A Biblical Defense of Catholicism
12. The Truth of Catholicism: Inside
13. Catholicism in the Third Millennium
14. The Spirit Of Catholicism
15. The Refashioning of Catholicism,
16. The New Anti-Catholicism: The
17. Path Through Catholicism
18. The Complete Idiot's Guide to
19. Catholicism: A Very Short Introduction
20. Catholicism and American Freedom:

1. Catholicism for Dummies
by John Trigilio, Kenneth Brighenti
Paperback: 384 Pages (2003-04-28)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$11.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764553917
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
"A gold mine of insight on the Catholic faith for people of all ages and beliefs."
—Prof. Charles E. Rice, Notre Dame School of Law and Visiting Prof., Ave Maria School of Law

Explains the deadly sins and cardinal virtues

Get the scoop on the Catholic Church’s stand on important social issues

Want to know more about Catholicism? Catholicism For Dummies presents the rich tapestry and history of the Catholic Church – from devotions to doctrines. You’ll find a description of the Catholic Mass, the seven sacraments, the liturgical calendar, the duties of the clergy, and much more.

Praise for Catholicism For Dummies

"Catholicism For Dummies is an intelligent and faithful look at one of the more misunderstood topics in contemporary religion."
– Michael S. Rose, author of Goodbye, Good Men, Priest, and Ugly as Sin ... Read more

Customer Reviews (127)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
We are using "Catholicism For Dummies" in our RCIA program at my Parish.It is clear, concise, and lots of fun.Anyone who is interested in the Catholic faith, or those who want a refresher in what the Church believes, should have this book in their library.There are lots of fun facts, laid out in an interesting and sometimes funny manner.I love this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love this book!
When we were in RCIA, coming into the Catholic Church after 20 years in various Protestant churches, a young man -- fiance of one of our classmates -- brought in a copy of this book for every member of the class. It is a wonderful book! Very straight-forward, orthodox and honorable Catholicism, taught by the best -- EWTN priests -- it helped us tremendously to clarify the true teachings of the Church. The parish where we were taking the class -- unbeknownst to us -- was very liberal. The things they were teaching were NOT orthodox; those of us who knew the Lord and knew Christian doctrine were able to speak out and challenge misstatements. When my husband suggested they teach The Catechism, they rolled their eyes and said it was 'way too difficult to understand.'

That every new student had one of these books, however, cut through the obfuscation. We now give it to every friend we have who is in RCIA, and there are many.

2-0 out of 5 stars Cover's Rosary Almost MIA
Informative, not inspiring; this basic book has shortcomings: "Celebrating the Year Round" in Chapter One doesn't begin with Advent or the Catholic liturgical year, very different from the secular calendar, but oddly starts with Jan 6 Epiphany, and ends with Dec 12 the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This is misleading to the unitiated, so early in the book. The liturgical year is finally described in a later chapter. Also, genuflection is mentioned, but kneeling is not elaborated upon, quite an odd omission.

The section on the "Ten Commandments" is far more helpful than other Dummies faith books (even "Judaism for Dummies" doesn't provide the biblical citations or the complete Commandments). But although citations in the Old Testament are provided, it neglects to emphasize the revolutionary and Judaic heritage of this utmost bedrock, and later implies that prior to the Septuagint, there were no cohesive Hewbrew Scriptures. Once, there is a statement that Anti-Semitism based on the crucifixion of Jesus is "innaccurate, unjust, and erroneous" (57). This implies that maybe it's ok based on other things. Given the history, read Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews -- A History, this is not a strong enough statement. The Church gains strength celebrating its Judaic heritage; try Worthy is the Lamb: The Biblical Roots of the Mass. This kind of insult comes close to the anti-Catholic bigotry exhibited by some Protestant groups when distancing themselves from the Church. The journey of faith does not need roadblocks such as subtle antisemitism thrown in, given the history of Christians and Jews.

Most importantly, especially for those seeking to deepen their prayer life, the section on the rosary reads like an outline, with no real context. The diagram of the rosary is upside-down and backwards, totally confusing to dummies and others. To just list the mysteries and pray the rosary as described would be to prattle them off in a boring fashion. The rosary is such a wonderful spiritual tool, more than it appears in this book. There is no mention of John Paul II's beautiful writing on the subject, or any real context for the depth of this prayer. Given that a photo of a rosary graces the book's cover, the authors should have gone further to introduce this rich prayer practice, or at least pointed readers to good sources (like JPII, Paul VI, St. Louis de Montfort, etc.) for more information. Praying the mysteries of the rosary can help teach Catholicism and provide sacred inspiration to those on a journey of faith.

For a more friendly spiritual approach, with levity and Catholic theology, culture and history: The Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine, Whiskey, & Song: A Spirited Look at Catholic Life & Lore from the Apocalypse to Zinfandel (Bad Catholic's guides). John Paul II's writings on the rosary: Rosarium Virginis Mariae: Apostolic Letter on the Most Holy Rosary are available for free download at the Vatican webpage.

To relax after all that study: The Quiet Man (Collector's Edition)

5-0 out of 5 stars For my Son
I bought this book for my 37 yr old son who recently converted. He has some mild learning difficulties due to MS & is struggling to understand the faith deeper. I saw the 13 part "Catholicism for Dummies" series on EWTN by the authors of this book & it was excellent so I bought the book for him. Read parts of it and it puts things in plain English and is easy to understand. I can recommend it for younger Catholics, new converts, any one thinking of converting or those who simply wants to learn more about Catholicism. The authors are the real deal. True traditional Catholic priests teaching true Catholicism, not some goofballs pushing some radical liberal agenda that is not true Catholic teaching.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book
This book really helped me I'm converting over to the Catholic faith & I have bought "The Cathesim Of The Catholic Church" but it did not give me Detail of what I was looking for such as Catholics Believed in & Mass & why they have mass , This book is A MUST if you have little to none knowledge of the Catholic church & Catholics . ... Read more

2. Paradoxes of Catholicism
by Robert Hugh Benson
Paperback: 198 Pages (2010-08-20)
list price: US$23.75 -- used & new: US$17.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1177540967
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process.We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection of sermons
This is the first (and as of yet, only) book by Benson that I have read.Benson seems to write in a manner similar of G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc.Paradoxes of Catholicism is one of the best books I have ever read.Not exactly an easy read but I think as easy to read as the subject matter allows.Benson's defense of Catholicism against those who attack the Church from the angle of both extremes (i.e. to Meek AND to Violent) is swift and complete.His answer for the many paradoxes found within Catholicism is the complete Divinity and Humanity of Jesus Christ.From this basis he explains how the Church can be both Wealthy and Poor, Joyful and Sorrowful, Meek and Violent, etc.I highly recommend this book not just for Catholics but for those questioning the Church.Benson offers insightful and concise answers to many valid questions that are often asked of the Catholic Church. ... Read more

3. Rediscovering Catholicism: Journeying Toward Our Spiritual North Star
by Matthew Kelly
Hardcover: 313 Pages (2002-10-01)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$1.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1929266081
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
At a time when many people are disillusioned with the Catholic Church, questioning the faith, and filled with doubts about the relevance of Catholicism in the modern world, Matthew Kelly reveals the essence of authentic Catholic spirituality while addressing some of the most important questions we face today as both individuals and as a Church. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (40)

3-0 out of 5 stars Rediscovering Catholicism: Journeying Toward Our Spiritual North Star...
at this time I have not read it.Jury still out.mailing and condition acceptable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Description of what our Catholic faith should be
This is an excellent book that describes where the church and our society are at and what our faith can be if we are serious about our walk with Christ.It will inspire you.A must read for every Catholic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life Changing
This book has brought friends back to church and encouraged others who are barely hanging on to reconnect.Thanks for bringing new life to the Catholic Church.

5-0 out of 5 stars fabulous!
This book enabled me to fall in love with the Roman Catholic Church all over again!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Great title for a great book.Very helpful for those looking to "come back" to Catholicism.I read this book in my own spiritual search and it was very helpful.Easy to read and understand.I have given copies of this book to several people who I felt it would be helpful to. ... Read more

4. Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on "Romanism" by "Bible Christians"
by Karl Keating
Paperback: 360 Pages (1988-05)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0898701775
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Karl Keating defends Catholicism from fundamentalist attacks and explains why fundamentalism has been so successful in converting ``Romanists". After showing the origins of fundamentalism, he examines representative anti-Catholic groups and presents their arguments in their own words. His rebuttals are clear, detailed, and charitable. Special emphasis is given to the scriptural basis for Catholic doctrines and beliefs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (159)

5-0 out of 5 stars Read it and rejoice!
This is a clear concise book that unveils the lies that abound concerning Catholism. Catholicism and Fundamentalism is a balanced book that brings truth to light against many sensationalist claims.

4-0 out of 5 stars Kindle Version Needs Proofreading
Like many other reviewers, I am using this book to gain a better understanding of the Catholic faith, and I have not been disappointed at all in the author's presentation.Each point is backed up logically and completely not only by Scripture, but also by writings of historians and theologians of the time as well.Granted, the writing comes down a little hard on critics of the Church at times, but it serves to get the point across clearly.The only reason I gave this book 4 stars is that in the Kindle edition there are quite a few typos.For example "lie" instead of "he," "Psalm no" instead of "Psalm 110," "fife" instead of "life" and quite a few others.I don't know if this is due to the way the book was transferred into the Kindle format, but it sure looks like these errors may be due to computer reading problems.It throws you off your stride when you have to try to decipher the words while trying to grasp a concept that may already be a bit difficult to understand!I hope that Amazon will notify Kindle owners of this title when a typo-free edition hits the streets.It would be nice to up-grade to it!If you already have the book and want it on Kindle, hang onto your book until this work is fixed!

3-0 out of 5 stars Out of date, but should be read.
Keating's arguments rehash old, worn out arguments that weren't even good when they were first raised.Better arguments could be made.

Certainly, tradition plays a role in our faith and Protestants are erroneous to hold the contrary.After all, the canon of Scripture is based on tradition.And Protestants purport to be bible centered.Not only is the canon of Scripture based on tradition, the theology which Protestants defend was preserved by the tradition of the Apostles Creed.Most importantly, Protestants ignore the tradition our Lord Himself gave us of the bread and wine.

Although they claim to be bible centered, the most conservative branches of Protestantism has imported a smorgasbord of heresies.To name a few, is the Gnostic dogma of E. W. Kenyon's Positive Confessionalism, the Judaizer dogma of Scofieldism, the Kingdom Now theologies, and so on.Although there have been heretics, the Roman Catholic Church has never departed from the Trinitarian orthodoxy of the Apostles Creed.Whereas, due to its eschewing of the Creed, Protestants are generally unable to articulate these doctrines with any sophistication if at all.And that is a statistical fact.Catholics unite the Trinitarian theology with the atoning work of Christ on the cross with the brilliant tradition of blessing themselves with the three-pronged sign of the cross.

Sure, there have been bad Popes, but, unlike evangelicalism, there have never been woman ministers in the Roman Catholic Church, something which, contrary to their purported favorite the Apostle Paul, Paul himself condemned.Moreover, the most conservative branch of Protestantism is the Southern Baptist Convention, which is also affiliated per member with the Masonic Lodge.Although there have been and are Masons in the Catholic Church, it has never had official endorsement in the Catholic Church.It has and still is officially condemned by Papal encyclicals.

Jerry Falwell's moral majority united with Mormons and Muslims but avoided Catholics like the plague.Why?Evangelicals call the Juwes the chosen people, people who blaspheme our Lord in every form of media; but damn the Catholics who recite the Trinitarian theology of the Apostles Creed every Sunday.Contrary to Protestant belief, the Talmud does not represent Old Testament Judaism.

We're told by testimonies "I never heard the Gospel in the Catholic church," but we're not told how many haven't heard the Gospel in the Protestant church.The universal condemnation of Roman Catholics testifies to the presence of the Holy Spirit for Catholicism to convict a sinful world.

Protestants say, test everything by Scripture.I agree.Scripture is my authority too.Jesus said, you will know them by their fruits.Why is the fruit of the reformation a secular Europe?Why is the fruit of evangelicalism in America, not only a smorgasbord of heresies (mentioned above), but separation of church and state, abortion, elimination prayer in schools, the teaching of evolution, and so on.Montgomery's sly thesis on American thinking in his "The Shaping of America" fails to conceal this fact.

Some will argue, look at the more prominent of Protestant scholars.But, what will you find?B. B. Warfield denies miracles occur today, contrary to Scriptural teaching.John Warwick Montgomery recognizes Teilhard De Chardin as a viable Christian according to his tapes on evolution in the tape set Sensible Christianity, naming Chardin as an example of a Christian who believes in evolution.The Roman Catholics have regarded Chardin as a heretic.Montgomery will sue Greece in International Criminal Courts for its anti-proselytizing laws but is silent about the harsher anti-proselytizing laws in Israel.Indeed, Montgomery borrows his whole apologetic from Jean Guitton, a renowned Catholic scholar whose writings have never been translated into English.Montgomery rather snobbishly eschews anybody's credentials if they graduated from "Podunk" university.It is the Ivy League universities, which Montgomery invests so much respect for, that are sabotaging our morals, politics and theology in this country (see Sensible Christianity).Montgomery scoffs at conspiracy theories by traditional Roman Catholics regarding juwes and freemasons in his book Principalities and Powers even though juwes and masons produce a vast amount of literature testifying to such a conspiracy.If you hide the name of our chief enemy, then whose side are you on?The Cabala and Masonry are historically behind every major cult we have today: Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology, Christian Science, Children of God, Jim Jones, and so on.Even Masons admit, via Fire in the Minds of Men, that Juwes and Masons fathered the communist revolutions in the 20th century.

But, Protestants will rightfully counter that Pope John Paul's teachings regarding the world religions, Nostra Aetate, the new order mass, and so on testifies to the same weaknesses existing respectively in the Catholic Church.Roman Catholics, who are devout, will defer to the Pius X and sedevacantist as examples of internal criticism by Catholics regarding these issues, an internal affair committee which is virtually non-existent amongst Protestants.

However, Protestants will rightfully show the flaw in Pius X for its treatment of Bishop Richard Williamson.Nonetheless, the sedevacantist position stands as a deeper critique holding even this in check.

The weakness in Protestantism is its lack of a monolithic structure, which they confuse with being its strength.The lack of a hierarchy of departments of criticism lends itself to a smorgasbord of heresy that cannot withstand the winds of cultural change.The strength of Protestantism is its emphasis on Jesus Christ as our One and Only Savior.However, Christian education stops at that in the Protestant world.As its best exponent has said, John Warwick Montgomery: "evangelicals seem to suffer from endemic adolescence (teenage decisions for Christ but few grownup churches, etc.)" (Principalities and Powers, page 167).Dr. Montgomery notes further that evangelicals are subject to kookishness, as seen in tent revivals.There is also an emphasis on cults of personality, far worse than any Catholic's reliance on a bad Pope.Montgomery criticizes miracles in the Catholic church as being suspect as to their origin, yet, in regard to so-called Protestant supernatural experiences, as Alfred Metraux noted in his scholarly study of voodoo, "A Pentecostal preacher describing his feelings when `the spirit was upon him,' listed to me exactly the same symptoms as those which I had heard from the mouths of people who have been possessed by loa.'" ("Voodoo in Haiti," page 357).Ironically, Montgomery quotes this same passage.

John Calvin criticized Thomas Aquinas for his appropriation of Aristotelianism, yet he hypocritically used Seneca's Stoicism to dictate his entire understanding of Predestination to the point of arriving at a deterministic heresy that predetermines the damned and which, as Sir Robert Filmer pointed out, gives "saved" Christians a license to sin (in modern parlance, "once saved, always saved").

John Warwick Montgomery notes that Luther and other reformers tolerated and even practiced astrology because it hadn't yet been distinguished from the genuine science of astronomy and so were victims of cultural blindness.Is that so?The relative contemporary of Luther, the Roman Catholic Pedro Calderón de la Barca, clearly regarded astrology as an intolerable heresy in his "Life is a Dream."With all do respect to Dr. Montgomery, his two volume apologetic "The World-View of Johann Valentin Andreae," doesn't successfully extricate the reformers from Rosicrucianism.Indeed, Dr. Montgomery's endorsement of the freemason Charles Williams and A. E. Waite's secret society of the Golden Dawn belies his purposes (Principalities and Powers, page 107).

Not to harp too much on Dr. Montgomery, but when he quotes Jesus as saying, "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold" and says this probably refers to leprechauns, elves, dwarfs, goblins, faeries, his Th.D. goes by the wayside (Principalities and Powers, page 135).Jesus was referring to the "other covenant" mentioned in Isaiah, which is for nonjuwes who were to be engrafted into the body of Christ.That is why, in the book of Acts, Peter was told by God in a dream to eat unclean animals, meaning, preach the Gospel to the Gentiles as well as the Juwes.

We are saved from hell upon faith in Christ, we are being saved from the affects of sin as we grow in holiness, and we will be saved from the presence of sin upon the final resurrection of the dead.Of the second, Catholics interpolate the doctrine of Purgatory.Of the third, Protestants interpolate a heresy of a second resurrection under the appellation of "the rapture."

Protestants don't commemorate the tradition of the bread and wine our Lord left us with (except by poor imitation of Catholicism in only some of the churches).Not only does this contravene the Protestant thesis against the role of tradition in the Christian life, but it shows a dangerous negligence on the part of Protestants who fail to recommit themselves to Christ every Sunday.Christ our Lord inserted this tradition in the Christian life to aid in our perseverance.The most devout Protestants have one alter call in their whole life, whereas Catholics, who are devout, make that alter call every Sunday when they receive Christ in the bread and wine.On Easter, Catholics have Stations of the Cross, and Protestants match this with just another Sunday church service indistinguishable from the rest of the church services on the most sacred day on the Christian calendar.

I could go on and on for a several hundred pages for further potent criticisms of the best representations of Protestantism, criticisms which Karl Keating passes over, overlooks, or is simply too caught up in outdated apologetics in this area to see the forest from the trees.

But, I will end this review on a deeper note; namely, the fundamental tension between Protestants and Catholics, which precludes ecumenism.The most vitriolic critiques of Roman Catholicism come from juwes Dave Hunt, Robert Morey, Keith Green, and others.Why?The most vitriolic critiques of Protestantism come from one place, the Jesuits, most of whom are juwish.Why?There is a common thread here.There is a common source that is dividing the body of Christ.While Christians of any stripe can fall into all kinds of error (something I'm sure God acknowledges if anyone takes a brief perusal of church history), it is the teachers, James counsels us, who will be judged worse.

5-0 out of 5 stars Takes the time to honestly and logically address important Catholic doctrine - doctrine that is clearly based on Scripture
After Keating is done addressing the objections to key Catholic doctrines, one is left asking "How can a truly honest objection remain?"The answer is that smart people can always come up with something to argue and they have.Distancing oneself from Truth for the sake of argument must be uncomfortable.

as an fyi, the following is from Martin Luther.Since he said these words Protestants have strained to reject so much in the interest of being "correct":

In his sermon of August 15, 1522, the last time Martin Luther preached on the Feast of the Assumption, he stated:

"There can be no doubt that the Virgin Mary is in heaven. How it happened we do not know. And since the Holy Spirit has told us nothing about it, we can make of it no article of faith . . . It is enough to know that she lives in Christ."

"The veneration of Mary is inscribed in the very depths of the human heart." (Sermon, September 1, 1522).

"[She is the] highest woman and the noblest gem in Christianity after Christ . . . She is nobility, wisdom, and holiness personified. We can never honor her enough. Still honor and praise must be given to her in such a way as to injure neither Christ nor the Scriptures." (Sermon, Christmas, 1531).

"No woman is like you. You are more than Eve or Sarah, blessed above all nobility, wisdom, and sanctity." (Sermon, Feast of the Visitation, 1537).

"One should honor Mary as she herself wished and as she expressed it in the Magnificat. She praised God for his deeds. How then can we praise her? The true honor of Mary is the honor of God, the praise of God's grace . . . Mary is nothing for the sake of herself, but for the sake of Christ . . . Mary does not wish that we come to her, but through her to God." (Explanation of the Magnificat, 1521).

3-0 out of 5 stars Back to Basics
"Catholicism and Fundamentalism" is a helpful introduction to the basic differences between Catholicism and evangelical Protestantism, but the big drawback is that Karl Keating, who's usually accessible, goes for the obscure sources and writes more densely than Immanuel Kant. Unfortunately, the Critique of Pure Reason is a bit more user-friendly.Apologetics books OUGHT to be helpful for the non-theologian. This book reads like a dry treatise. Keating deals with the usual anti-Catholic arguments on infant baptism, papal infallibility, and Marian doctrine... but it's pretty dry reading. He goes for obscure evangelicals, instead of the popular ones like Dr. James Dobson or Pat Robertson. This book could also use some updating, with folks like Joel Osteen It's Your Time: Activate Your Faith, Achieve Your Dreams, and Increase in God's Favor and Rick Warren Rick Warren's Bible Study Methods: Twelve Ways You Can Unlock God's Word Evangelical Christianity has changed. The term "fundamentalism" has fallen out of favor. "Catholicism and Fundamentalism" is a useful book, it is well-written... but it's also boring. Perfect for Lenten reading. ... Read more

5. The Catholicism Answer Book: The 300 Most Frequently Asked Questions
by Kenneth Brighenti Ph.D.Rev.
Paperback: 320 Pages (2007-01-01)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$9.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1402208065
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
As religion continues to dominate the news, politics and society in general, more and more laypeople are looking for a reliable guide to understanding the beliefs and practices of each faith.

The Roman Catholic Church-the largest branch of Christianity-claims a total of 1.086 billion baptized members around the globe and has been revered by millions of followers for thousands of years. Why?

The Catholicism Answer Book answers 300 pivotal questions about one of the world's oldest religions. From the basic tenets of Christianity to the differences between a Catholic Bible and a Protestant Bible, readers can round out their knowledge on such inquiries as:

--What are the "lost" or "missing" books of the Bible?
--Why does it seem like Catholics worship Mary?
--What are the Last Things?
--Why confess to a priest when I can go directly to God? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very user friendly
I was raised Catholic, but when it came to defending my faith, sometimes I wouldn't know the exact right answers because I was just taught them so long ago. This book not only really helps non-Catholics to understand some points, but also helps Catholics better understand some of the reasons behind many of our beliefs. Very user friendly for Catholics and non-Catholics alike!

1-0 out of 5 stars don't waste your money
This book does not reflect mainstream Catholic teaching on the Bible, at least for the last century.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book, Every Catholic should own one!:)
This is a awesome book.It has so many answers to every question you or your family may have.Ordered on a Monday night & received within a week. It's a great gift for Confirmation..Wish I had one a lot sooner.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good book
I am going through RCIA right now.I bought this book, and found it interesting.In RCIA class, we learned about the stamps on the front inside cover, and I can't seem to find them in this book.Maybe they are in there somewhere, but I can't find it yet.It does have good information, though!!

3-0 out of 5 stars good claims, poor support
I thought the book was very informative since I had a lot of questions about Catholicism and what Catholics believe or the basis behind their religious practices. The answers were well explained, but one thing I think the explanations really lack is SCRIPTURE to back it up. A book on theology should support its claims with Scriptural evidence, and this book really lacks any sufficient biblical support for its claims. ... Read more

6. From Atheism to Catholicism: How Scientists and Philosophers Led Me to the Truth
by Kevin Vost
Paperback: 224 Pages (2010-03-15)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1592766382
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
God was dead to Kevin Vost for most of his adult life. Baptized, confirmed, and raised Catholic, at age 17 Vost left it all behind as he immersed himself in atheism for a period that lasted over two decades.

Paralleling a successful career as a psychologist and professor, Vost allowed his clinical perspective to drive his faith perspective as well, falling into a common trap for many Catholics.

This timely book's unique approach includes the good elements in the thinking of several famous atheists.
But then from experience and logic, he shows how each of these authors falls short of the mark.

Vost also opens the door to the philosophers and psychologists whose work, implicitly or explicitly, have paved the way toward belief in God and even in Jesus Christ.

And finally, from the perspective of a clinical psychologist, Vost unveils how theologians, popes, and Catholic philosophers persuaded him to abandon his atheism and embrace faith in Christ and the Church. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy read
Very interesting subject matter, very well presented by the author. I found the book easy to read and the arguments easy to follow. The book documents a personal journey and its authenticity is enhanced by the author having studied philosophy in some detail before returning to the Church.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
This is the latest book by Dr. Kevin Vost that I have read. With each of the previous I have felt I came to know the author by his self-revelation in and through his writings. In this latest book it is even far more so. For Dr. Vost takes us with him through a journey of philosophy and through the humanities that once lead him away from God and the Church but then became tools that helped him to return to the church.

The Sections in the book Are:

Foreword: God Bless the Atheists
Introduction: Neither Bird, nor Plane, but Superman!

1. Friedrich Nietzsche's Superman
2. The Lord and Lord Bertrand Russell
3. Albert Ellis: Reason, Emotion, Psychotherapy, and Jehovah
4. Aristotle Shrugged: Ayn Rand and the Intellectual Soul
5. Darwin and Dawkins: Genes, Memes, and "Me's"

6. Alfred Adler and the Fictive Goal of God
7. Stoic Strivings: The Slave, The Lawyer, The Emperor, and God
8. Mortimer Adler and the God of the Philosophers

9. St. Thomas Aquinas: The Angelic Doctor Effects a Cure
10. C. S Lewis: God Save the Queen
11. G. K. Chesterton: What Could Be Right With the World
12. Pope John Paul II: Faith and Reason, Body and Soul

Conclusion: The Real Super Man
Afterword: An Ode to the Real Super Man

By taking us on a whirlwind tour through those topics, Vost helps us to experience his own spiritual journey and some of it may mirror our own or people we know. Then by using him as an example, we will also develop the tools to argue and refute the claims of the secular humanist, and those we know who have slid away from the church and its teachings. This was not an easy book to read; philosophy is not my strong suit. But Vost presents it in such a way that almost any layman can approach the topics with confidence and faith in their interpretation. The book is well written and easily engages the reader. The personal nature of the writing makes topics that would normally be inaccessible to some readers much more accessible. It is very well written. Thank you Dr. Vost for another great tool to help us in our spiritual development. His other books also help to strengthen us in either Body, Mind or Spirit.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed
I enjoyed the book, but I think I really enjoyed it because I have already read many of the works Yost talks about in his book.So I'm not sure if I would have liked it as much had I not already been familiar with many of the personalities, because the chapters can sometimes seem kinda short.This isn't the refutation of atheism I was expecting, but rather a well written faith journey from atheism to Catholicism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just what I was looking for - and more
This book is a tour de force.I came to it wanting to learn more about modern philosophy's critique of theism; and that is here - Nietzsche, Darwinism, Bertrand Russell, Ayn Rand, etc.Vost's voice throughout is honestly appreciative of, and sympathetic toward, the atheist philosophers who shaped his earlier life. (With a subtitle like "How Scientists and Philosophers Led Me to Truth," I was correct in my suspicion that it would have a completely unique take on the matter.)An atheist well into his forties, when Vost points out the shortcomings in that position he does so with keen insight.His discussion of scientist turned amateur philosopher, Richard Dawkins, was very informative and his explanation of Dawkins' theory regarding "memes" the most down to earth I've seen.Vost introduces us to the works of other converts from atheism to theism as well - Antony Flew and Mortimer Adler two who jump to mind.In short, this book gives quite an education and from the pen of a man who knows both atheism and theism from the inside. He writes as one comfortable in his own skin (unlike so many within the "new atheism"). ... Read more

7. Catholicism: New Study Edition--Completely Revised and Updated
by Richard P. Mcbrien
Paperback: 1344 Pages (1994-05-19)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$21.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060654058
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A new study edition of the classic that has sold over 150,000 copies. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (57)

5-0 out of 5 stars Call to all serious Catholics
knowledge does not come to us, we must search for it.
If you want and need to increase your knowledge on our Holy Mother Church, you must buy, read, study, read, study and continue reading this great book.
Besides my Bible and my catechism, this is my most valued book on my loved Catholism.

1-0 out of 5 stars Most divisive man since Luther
Richard P. McBrien has done considerable damage to the American Catholic Church. His hatred towards the Church's stance on the real presence has hit home in my parish. His recent tirade against Eucharistic adoration has drawn lines of division at my local parish. Shouting matches have ensued and our parish community is in shambles because of McBreins disciples who roam about our parish in attempt to ruin souls. His "theology" and "church history" has drawn lines between groups in our parish to the extent of people refusing to speak to other people. It has come down to the young tratitional large family Gen X Catholics against the fading grey haired heterodox Catholics who insist that every church program be themed around womens ordination and Gay rights. Luckily none of the McBrieners are allowed to pollute the heads of our children with their rubbish as the orthodox families have more than sufficiently volunteered to teach CCD. (or faith formation as the dissenters put it). The McBriens of this world have created an overt "us vs. them" mentality in catholic churches across America. Its always a good military tactic to divide and conquer. Just who is this man working for anyway?

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Do not be deterred by the negative reviews of Catholic fundamentalists, who basically will not approve of anything unless it has a Nihil Obstat.This exhaustive study of Catholicism presents the Church in all of its facets, and presents the viewpoints of theologians across the "conservative" and "liberal" spectrum.So, if you're looking for a book that will simply repeat what the Magisterium of the Church says, this is not it.If, however, you are interested in what a broad range of Catholic theologians have had to say, this book can not be recommended highly enough. McBrien simply explores what these theologians have to say and some of the critical questions they have raised, while not necessarily endorsing them himself.If you are fearful of modernity and a pluralism of theological viewpoints, do not read this book.If you have an inquiring mind and suspect that there is more to Catholicism than what the Vatican officially states, then this book is for you.Many thanks, Father McBrien.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have, very informative.
I purchased this originally for research and really found it a treasure trove of facts. It was objective historically, even with information that the Catholic Church may have been less than thrilled to have out there.
This book is a must have for anyone who wants to know more about the faith, not just Roman Catholics, but Protestants and Jews as well.
The Cranky Old Lady in Phila

1-0 out of 5 stars McBrienism
If the title of this book were "McBrienism," I would rate it with two stars, because at the very least it would be what it claims to be.But "Catholicism"?No.

I purchased this book long ago when I was a teenager eager to learn about the Catholic faith, only to discover later that I had purchased an expensive book on McBrienism, instead.

Save your money, or spend it wisely by browsing the recommendations on traditional Catholic blogs and other Web sites.Then you will learn about Catholicism. ... Read more

8. Reclaiming Catholicism: Treasures Old and New
Paperback: 250 Pages (2010-02-28)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$13.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570758638
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Putting immigration in context
Fr. Hollenbach, continuing his lifelong commitment to articulate Catholic human rights theology, has brought together essayists "in the trenches" of forced migration. I am especially interested, a an Arizona resident, in Part V. which addresses the claims of economic migrants.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This is a wonderful book for anyone who wants to put together the events and issues in the Catholic church pre- and post- Vatican II.

3-0 out of 5 stars Rather uneven assembly of several too-brief articles on various aspects of Roman Catholicism
This is probably the only place you will find a favorable or "fair" account of the infamous Father Feeney, written by a former colleague, Avery Dulles.

In fact you find here favorably reported Fathers Coughlin and Fulton Sheen and other media stars whose main purpose was placing a religious stamp of approval on runaway capitalism and convincing the masses that fair wages, health care, educational opportunities and other equity issues of social justice were tools of the red devil, unsanctioned by the church.

Sort of like Glen Beck does today.

But this aspect of the role of these soft soap salesmen for capitlaism goes barely mentioned, merely reported in passing as one aspect of their preaching.

As does their fashionable anti-Semitism.

A favorable article on Feeney, and that one by Dulles?


Not even a too brief article by the learned and Reverend Father Richard P. McBrien a too brief treatise on sin and guilt by Roman Catholic moral theologian the Reverend Father Charles E. Curran saves this patchwork from fraying into futility.

All of the very many articles are far too brief. One does better to read the excellent The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, Lives of the Saints: From Mary and St. Francis of Assisi to John XXIII and Mother Teresa and The Catholic Moral Tradition Today: A Synthesis (Moral Traditions and Moral Arguments Series) and call it a very good night.

Like most things Catholic, this collection is divided into three parts:

Part One contains Perspectives, with a look to the past.

Part Two presents Personalities, including de Chardin, Theodore Hesburgh, Dorothy Day (by Robert Ellsberg), Thomas Merton, Mary Luke Tobin and John Courtney Murray.

Part III holds Practices, such as the Baltimore Catechism, Marian Devotions, Catohlic Schools, Angels and SAints, Asceticism, The Rosary, Lent, THe Legion of Decency, First Confession, and many others.

Each item is presented in these parts with a rather cheery and nostalgic, uncritical attitude, like something one might read in Reader's Digest. brief and missing the point. There is nothing here which will offend anyone, but will please those who need a safely inoffensive coffee table book in a dentist office. This is certainly in short no textbook for a class in Roman Catholic theology and ecclesiology, although certain superficial institutes might discover this a "safe" text to have.

We do far better to read Dorothy Day's own instrument, the Catholic Worker, or her Therese, and of course this one weekly essential to every Roman Catholic home and house: National Catholic Reporter. We do best by reading the collected works of the Reverend Father Daniel Berrigan SJ, such as The Kings and Their Gods: The Pathology of Power, the Reverend Father John Dear SJ, like Jesus the Rebel: Bearer of God's Peace and Justice, the Reverend Father Anthony de Mello, like Ligero de Equipaje - Tony de Mello (Spanish Edition), and the Reverend Sister Joan Chittister's Uncommon Gratitude: Alleluia for All That Is.

This unfortunate work meanwhile may best gather dust unread in your parish's inoffensive library alongside such theological travesties as The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Catholicism, 3rd Edition and Triglio's Saints For Dummies. ... Read more

9. Rediscovering Catholicism
by Matthew Kelly
 Paperback: Pages (2009)

Asin: B00332EFKI
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10. Catholicism: Now I Get It!
by Claire Furia Smith
Paperback: 251 Pages (2006-02-15)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$9.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1592761526
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Are you a member of the "lost generation?"

Do you still feel in a bit of a "fog" over the details of your Catholic upbringing and education?

Finally, here's the opportunity to "connect the dots" and tap into the true joys of the Faith!

Written in a warm, friend-to-friend style by a fellow "lost generation" author, Catholicism: Now I Get It! is a refreshing guide for rediscovering the doctrine, truths, and deep satisfaction in your faith that may have never quite "clicked."

Recalling childhood memories of her own religious education, the author relates to readers with wit, humor, and loads of encouragement.With simple explanations of key concepts, enlightened discussions of common misperceptions, and thought-provoking ideas for spiritual growth.Catholicism: Now I Get It! helps readers clear the "fog" and bring faith into daily life.

Catholicism: Now I Get It! empowers readers with:

  • The highlights of historical origins, beliefs, and traditions of the Catholic Church
  • The truth behind the sacraments
  • The "aha!" explanations of the "whys" behind Church Tradition
  • Unwavering support to get -- and stay -- focused on living out the Faith

Sometimes amusing, sometimes poignant, Catholicism: Now I Get It! gives readers the spark they need to begin their own unique journeys.Recapture the fullness of your Catholic Faith.Discover what you've been missing today! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Catholicism - Taking a Second Look
The book, Catholicism: Now I Get It by Claire Furia Smith, is an excellent presentation of basic questions in the Catholic Church concerning beliefs and practices.Smith does an great job of explaining them (or talking things over)to contemporary persons in contemporary language. She uses her own experiences and modern day references to get at the wisdom of the Catholic Church and the wisdom of living it out in our times.

It is a good "conversational" approach to Catholicism for both Catholics and those who are not Catholic to be able to better "get it" -- Catholicism -- in a combination of wisdom, practicality and humor. Well worth reading and hanging on to as a referece. A good buy for younger and older pesons -- for personal reading and for group sharing.

5-0 out of 5 stars catholicism: now i get it! book review
one of the most informative teachings on Catholic belief. just like the title say's NOW I GET IT!! very much worth reading..

3-0 out of 5 stars Good but not completely accurate
I am a non-denominational protestant exploring the Catholic faith and will more than likely become a Catholic.I pick up this book with several others on the Catholic faith.

I like the style of the book and it is very easy to read.What is troubling it that it is not completely accurate.The author uses scripture passages to suppport her discussion around different teachings of the Catholic church.At different points, she makes a statement and then gives a scripture reference in parenthesis.Some of her statements suprised me since I have already studied many books on the Catholic faith and some of her conclusions were new to me; I was also very happye to see the scripture references.The problem is that when I went to the Bible to read the supporting reference, in more than one case they did not support the statement that she was making!!This was really problematic for me since I am wanting as accurate an understanding of the Catholic faith as possible.Since I am using a lot of what I read as an apologetic to my husband, it is very important that it is very accurate (he has found statements in other books that are not supportable and is now very suspicious).

For Catholics and non-Catholics I would suggest "Catholicism for Dummies" as very readalbe and accurate.For Catholics or those that already have a pretty good grasp of the Catholic faith I would suggest the "United States Catholic Catechism for Adults".This book is much easier to read than the Catechism itself and have a very nice format for each section.The biggest advantage, however, is that you know it is 100% accurate.

5-0 out of 5 stars Claire Gets It, Now You Can Too!
I love Claire's story because it mirrors not only my own, but just about every cradle Catholic I've ever known. We learn the faith as children but really don't "get it" until the it gets challenged--then we either get it or bale. Sadly many bale, without unpacking what we learned and putting it into practice. Thankfully Claire does the work for us.
The Ivy League grad gives a great overview of the basics of the Faith in a manner that makes this not only enjoyable to read but lifechanging.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Big Thumb's Up!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.It is affordable (retailing for $12.95) and relatively brief (252 pages).The author gets right to the meat of her subject, which is a hardy defense of the Catholic Church, her teachings and dogmas, without apologies while laying down her apologetic approach.

Ms. Smith stumbles a bit out of the gate, before hitting her stride, about 1/3 of the way into the book.I found three glaring errors early on in this book.

On pages 41-42, she writes, "After the Resurrection, Paul (whose name was Saul before he was renamed by Jesus)..."To be more precise, St. Paul was born a Roman citizen, and therefore Paul (Paulus) was already his name at birth.It was his Roman name.Saul was his Jewish name.Jesus didn't have to rename Saul to Paul, since he already was known by both names.St. Paul, as apostle to the Gentiles, found it more fitting that he would go by his Roman name in his ministry.

On page 44 the author writes, "The Roman authorities later paid the guards to say the body (of Christ) was stolen."This is a glaring error.The Gospel of Matthew, chapter 28, verses 12-16, makes it clear that the Chief Priests in Jerusalem bribed the guards of Jesus' tomb, not the Roman authorities.

Page 46 has this error, "Over at Lourdes, France---where Mary had appeared to St. Bernadette in 1958..."The author surely meant 1858, a century earlier.

Other than the 3 above mentioned mistakes, the rest of the book is quite sound, and I would recommend it highly for those that are looking for a nonscholarly & brief introduction to basic Catholicism.

John Paul ... Read more

11. A Biblical Defense of Catholicism
by Dave Armstrong
Paperback: 320 Pages (2003-06-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1928832954
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This exciting book shows that, far from straying from the Bible, Catholicism is eminently and thoroughly biblical.Indeed, Catholicism is the only Christian religion that is in full conformity with what the Bible clearly teaches.

To demonstrate this, Catholic author Dave Armstrong ( a former Protestant campus missionary) focuses on those issues about which Catholics and Protestants disagree the most:the role of the Bible as a rule of faith, whether we are justified by faith alone, whether doctrine develops, what the Eucharist really is, veneration of Mary and prayer to the saints, the existence of purgatory, the role of penance in salvation, and the nature of infallibility of the papacy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Defense
The author defends the catholic faith very toughly.Every catholic should read this book. The best catholic apologetic book I have read, and I have read a lot.

5-0 out of 5 stars biblical defense
An excellent source of biblical information to settle discussions about the legitimacy of the Catholic Church.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This Blog Linked From Here
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Thursday, May 6, 2010
A Biblical Defense of Catholicism Book Review

Sophia Institute Press gave me a complimentary copy of A Biblical Defense of Catholicism by Dave Armstrong to read and review. I was excited to read this book because even though I am a protestant, my family is all Catholic and I love to research Catholicism. His references are excellent, especially the use of Bible verses to support his statements. He is an excellent author , but the only downside to the book was that there were a lot of comparisons between Catholics and Protestants. I didn't really appreciate that because I am a Protestant and just because there are differences between Catholics and Protestants, doesn't mean that we both don't love the exact same God. We are both Christians and we both love God so there shouldn't be any judging between us. Only for that reason do I give this book 3 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Sophia Institute Press Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Popular Introduction to Catholicism
David Armstrong's `A Biblical Defense of Catholicism' is a relatively short popular work that examines the main theological differences between Protestant and Catholic Christians.For those unfamiliar with the author, Armstrong, a former Protestant campus missionary, is a well known Catholic writer.

The text covers most of the major doctrinal differences that separate conservative Protestants and orthodox Catholics, e.g. the role of tradition, the communion of the saints and the papacy.Potential purchasers can look at the available on-line portion of the book for a comprehensive list of topics.Armstrong's approach is to define the specific issue (e.g. tradition), raise key Protestant concerns, present the Catholic position and provide Biblical references and historic interpretations that support the Catholic view.While he occasionally slips, Armstrong's tone is generally respectful. At times the sheer volume of quotations used makes for a choppy read, however, given the subject matter - providing a Biblical defense of Catholicism - this may be a necessary evil. Armstrong is particularly adept in explaining the different views that Christians take with respect to doctrine, organic and growing (Catholic) or more fixed (Protestant).From my standpoint, this discussion itself is worth the price of the book - it provides a brief, yet, essential foundation to understanding much of the Protestant - Catholic dialogue.

There would appear to be two primary audiences for this book, first, an internal Catholic audience where it could serve as an educational tool, and second, a non-Catholic audience who are seeking a credible source to learn about Catholicism.Though this type of popular inter-Christian writing is not my forte, this text seems a good addition to ecumenical dialogue between orthodox Christians.At a minimum, it provides a helpful corrective to some of the ill-informed and vitriolic anti-catholic views one sometimes encounters in popular level works.While it is unlikely to convince all readers of the Catholic position, it does present fair explanation of Catholic doctrine.

Overall, this is an excellent popular explanation of Catholicism.I highly recommend it to readers wanting to learn more about Catholic Christianity - Armstrong is a knowledgeable and skilled guide.

1-0 out of 5 stars MHFM has a better book and Catholic not Novus Ordo
IN THIS BOOK, one will see that:

-the Bible without any doubt teaches that the body and blood of Jesus are present in the true Eucharist, as the Catholic Church has always taught

-the Bible teaches Catholic doctrines on Mary, including her immaculate conception (conception without sin), perpetual virginity and bodily assumption; and that she is the Ark of the New Covenant

-the Bible teaches that Jesus made St. Peter the first pope, the prime minister or governor of His Church

- the Bible repeatedly teaches that man is not justified by faith alone, but that human deeds (sins), in addition to faith, determine whether a man has justification and salvation

-the Bible repeatedly teaches that a true believer can fall away from the faith or lose his justification through sin; and that many passages refute the popular idea of "eternal security" or "once saved always saved"

-countless people have completely misunderstood a handful of Bible verses, and have used those misunderstood verses to construct a false view of justification/salvation which contradicts the entire teaching of Jesus and the Bible

-the Bible teaches that Jesus instituted confession to priests, and gave the Apostles the power to forgive sins

-the Bible teaches that saintly men intercede with God (both on Earth and after death), and that their intercession can impact how God will deal with other men

-the Bible teaches that angels and saints play an important role in the salvation of men, and that both angels and saints intercede and can be invoked (prayed to) in order to obtain graces from God

-the Bible teaches that the statues/images of heavenly figures are not forbidden, but were actually commanded for God's temple; and that the relics of saintly men were venerated and even miraculous

-the Bible teaches that water baptism takes away sins, justifies, and is necessary for salvation

-the Bible teaches Purgatory

-the Bible teaches that, in addition to Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Church must also be believed; and that Sacred Tradition is also "the word of God" - refuting sola scriptura

-the fathers of the Church (i.e., those earliest Christian writers who received the tradition of the Apostles) believed in Catholic teaching

-a deeper understanding of the Bible corrects many misconceptions that people have on a variety of issues relating to the Catholic faith and the Bible

-Martin Luther (1483-1546), the first recognizable Protestant and the progenitor of all non-Catholic denominations, came upon his beliefs later than one might think; and that Luther was still professing to be a Catholic on the very date which now marks, for most people, the beginning of the Protestant "reformation"

-Martin Luther "discovered" and invented his doctrines by the day; and much more...

This book contains all the information necessary to prove, from the Bible itself, that the Catholic Church is the one true Christian Church. This book contains very detailed proofs, arguments, and responses to objections on the most important topics. At the same time, however, it is deliberately as brief as possible so as to avoid unnecessarily long discussions. The combination of essential details and brevity make this book especially conducive for mass-distribution and interest to the general reader.

The book also contains sub-headings throughout so that the casual readers (or those with less interest) can the find topics and sections that might interest them, no matter where they happen to flip in the book. We feel very strongly about this book, and we encourage all readers of our website to obtain it.

... Read more

12. The Truth of Catholicism: Inside the Essential Teachings and Controversies of the Church Today
by George Weigel
Paperback: 208 Pages (2002-11-01)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060937580
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The Catholic Church may be the most controversial institution in the world. Whether the question is the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, the relationship of Catholicism to other religious communities, the meaning of freedom, the use and abuse of sex, the dignity of human life from conception until natural death, or the role of women, the Catholic Church has taken challenging positions that some find inexplicable, even cruel.

In The Truth of Catholicism, George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II, explores these perennial questions and more, showing Catholicism and its controversies from "inside" the convictions that make those controversies not only possible but necessary. The truths of Catholicism then come into clearer focus as affirmations and celebrations of human life and human love, even as they challenge us to imagine a daring future for humanity and for ourselves.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Solid Introduction
The Truth of Catholicism is a good introduction to some of the Catholic beliefs and issues that are most commonly misunderstood and opposed by both non-Catholics and Catholics.George Weigel provides clear explanations of the Church's positions on such hot-button issues as the all-male priesthood, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, ecumenism, and salvation.Weigel writes with wit, style, and charity, and he never dumbs down the truth of the Catholic faith, which is the great strength of his book.I would recommend this book to curious Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear and Succinct
Mr. Weigel is a gifted author and this book clearly explains the basis for many Catholic practices and beliefs.I highly recommend it for any Catholic, ex-Catholic or critic of the Catholic Church.

4-0 out of 5 stars A teaching essential for students of Catholicism
Thank God someone has finally stepped up to the plate and dared to take on the questions of "What do Catholics actually believe and WHY do Catholics believe this?" in a tone that suggests there might actually be some meaning behind the doctrine of this monumental institution. From the first page, Weigel establishes exactly how he will respond to the ever-present critics and cynics who keep the Catholic Church constantly in their sight: truthfully, carefully, and without apology.What a refreshing change in a cultural climate that suggests the Church exists for something other than the mission on which its foundations were originally established.

While I ultimately love and appreciate the content of this book, especially a light but accessible treatment of the true theology behind Catholic doctrine, I give the book four stars and not five because of a specific detail that, for me, detracts a bit from the overall point of the book. Weigel's clear and undying devotion to Pope John Paul II, a figure who was also the focus of a Weigel biography, clouds any attempt at an objective treatment of problematic doctrinal issues.I think some of the problems that create such cynicsm when it comes to the Church today are glossed over in an attempt to "protect" the portrayal of this man.While I completely understand the intention, this fact does seem to taint some of his credibility in reaching the people who may be questioning some of the decisions of the hierarchy of the Church. While Pope John Paul II has been a great positive force in the Church, he hasn't been the sole positive force in the Church which is a claim that Weigel implies at times.

Overall, this is the best book I've found for answers to some very complex questions.For a faith that, at times, appears completely countercultural, often for no good reason, this book gently but surely straightens out any misconceptions and paints a reasonable picture of the thought behind the belief.

5-0 out of 5 stars Apologetics with Panache
Weigel explains the ten "controversies" that critics of the Faith usually challenge Catholics to defend, e.g., the all-male priesthood, the Church's teaching on sexuality, and the Church as the sacrament of salvation.

In less than two hundred pages, he provides succinct, faithful explanations footnoted to official documents like the Cathecism of the Catholic Church.

This book is highly recommended to the lightly-catechized as a way to explore the Faith "from the inside", as Evelyn Waugh once put it, and to other Catholics seeking a chartitable way of explaining truths to critics both inside and outside the Church.

2-0 out of 5 stars Truth if You Already Believe
Weigel's book is a good introductory book to Catholicism, its assumptions, beliefs and theology. On the other hand, it assumes the answers and then creates a structure and rationalization to support those answers, which in my view sums up both the major strength and weakness of religious thought. By adopting this technique religion lets men and woman step outside of themselves and judge themselves and the world more objectively. Let me suggest an analogyA friendhas a personal crises which is eating him up. You give him or her advice which you know is good advice and she knows is good advice. Indeed if the circumstances were reversed, he'd give you the same advice. The problem is that knowing the facts objectively and knowing how one should react objectively doesn't make it happen. The most difficult thing for a person to do is to step outside his or her own skin and then take action as if they were someone else. It is too hard to separate emotions and objectivity. What religion does is help someoneto do just this, to look into a mirror and see ourselves as we would see another person facing the same questions and crises. ... Read more

13. Catholicism in the Third Millennium (Michael Glazier Books)
by Thomas P. Rausch, Catherine E. Clifford
Paperback: 304 Pages (2003-02)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$16.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0814658997
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
What is Catholicism? And where is the Catholic Church headed in the third millennium? These two questions provide the structure for Thomas Rausch’s Catholicism in the Third Millennium. Here Rausch combines a faithful presentation of the tradition with a critical theological reflection and interpretation of where the Church is today and where it might be moving.

Catholicism in the Third Millennium offers an appreciation of the forces and movements that have shaped, and continue to influence, the ongoing change and development of Roman Catholicism. Chief among these is the influence of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) in reshaping Catholicism.

This revised edition includes updated text from Rausch’s Catholicism at the Dawn of the Third Millennium, particularly the final chapter on "The Unfinished Agenda" of Vatican II. Each chapter concludes with focus questions developed by Catherine E. Clifford of St. Paul’s University, Ottawa. This experience of guided reading provides readers with a broad survey of Roman Catholic faith and practice in its contemporary context.

For readers who wish to compare particular passages of this volume with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, an outline is provided in an appendix, with references to the appropriate sections of the Catechism. A second appendix offers a glossary of terms used in the book, while a third appendix lists a number of basic works for further investigation of Catholic faith and life.

Chapters are "The Church and the Council," "Faith and the Believing Community," "A Visible Church," "A Living Tradition," "Sacraments and Christian Initiation," "Christian Life and Discipleship," "Sin, Forgiveness, and Healing," "Sexual Morality and Social Justice," "Prayer and Spirituality," "The Fullness of Christian Hope," and "The Unfinished Agenda." Includes Appendix I: Outlook of Book, with References to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Appendix II: Glossary of Terms, and Appendix III: Basic Reference Works on Catholicism. An Index of Names, and an Index of Subjects are also included. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good and Insightful Book
I first encountered this book in a causal theology discussion group and found it to be a nice read.While it is hardly original, I do believe that it provides a good foundation for a discussion about Catholicism, Religiosity and secularity in the modern world.I have not read the older version of this book, so cannot comment on the changes in this edition.I would recommend this book for anyone engaged in religious education or the professional or casual study of Christian theology.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but not much changed
This book is a new edition of Catholicism: At The Dawn Of The Third Millennium. It is a great book for one raised in the Catholic tradition or someone who is curious about it. It looks back over the past thirty-odd years at the goals of Vatican Council II, and how the church is doing at living up to the expectations from that event.

This revised edition does not, at first look, appear that different. Yet the few differences make it well worth it. There is major revision of chapter 2, section two, which has gone from being `The People of God' to `God and God's People'. There are also discussion questions at the end of each chapter. That will help the reader digest the material, or help a group study the book together.

All in all, in a new edition written seven years after the first, I was hoping for much more. There was an expectation of newer and fresher analysis of the material. Yet, even with that letdown, the book is worth an examination by a member of the catholic community or the casual scholar. ... Read more

14. The Spirit Of Catholicism
by Karl Adam
Hardcover: 248 Pages (2008-06-13)
list price: US$41.95 -- used & new: US$27.42
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Asin: 1436685265
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Kessinger Publishing is the place to find hundreds of thousands of rare and hard-to-find books with something of interest for everyone! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Can Anything Good Come Out of Tübingen?
Adam's book is terrific, and as Olson points out, amazing in that it was ahead of its time. Another reviewer's comments on his socialism pushed me to do a little research. Despite his brilliant writing, Adam was in certain ways a child of his time and place, and appears to have been a patriotic German. While his loyalties may have been misplaced, and he was also anti-semetic in ways embarrassing to us today, he was no Nazi. In certain ways he seems to offer a Catholic counter-portrait to the many devout Christians who were overly zealous in support of America's Confederate South. We can condemn the man and his writings, or see it as grace that despite human blinkers he was still able to get so much so right, and keep his lasting books free of the nationalist taint that hurt his middle years. To modern eyes his volumes read as strikingly clear-sighted and irenic, and I can think of no author better to recommend to inquiring Protestants (along with Bouyer, Guardini, and von Hilderbrand). These comments on Adam's German patriotism from The Catholic Historical Review are long but helpful:

"The Tübingen theologian Karl Adam (1876-1966) won international respect in the 1920's with the publication of The Spirit of Catholicism (German text, 1924), which appeared in English in 1929 and eventually in ten other languages,including Chinese and Japanese.This book on the Church as the mystical body of Christ influenced Yves Congar, Dorothy Day, Flannery O'Connor, Karl Rahner, and Pope Paul VI,who implicitly drew on the work in his first encyclical, Ecclesiam suam (1964). Adam wrote other widely read books as well:Christ Our Brother(1926) and The Son of God (1933), in which he stressed thehumanity of Jesus Christ, and The Christ of Faith(1954), which illumines theChurch's teachings about Jesus Christ against the demythologizing of Rudolf Bultmann and the reductionism of the liberal quest for the historical Jesus. Adam was surely one of the most creative Catholic theologians of the early twentieth century. However,he was also one of the most prominent German Catholic proponents of an accommodation between the Catholic Church and Adolf Hitler. How could he have perceived common ground between Catholicism and National Socialism? What was it about his theology that fed into his political naiveté?

Lucia Scherzberg answers these questions in Kirchenreform mit Hilfe des Nationalsozialismus, "church reform with the help of National Socialism." Along with most Germans,Adam's patriotism swelled in August,19l4,when the nation went to war,and it was deeply offended by the war's end and the Treaty of Versailles. Beginning in 1919, Adam set out to present the Catholic Church's primary teachings in categories that were faithful to the Bible and Christian tradition and simultaneously intelligible to his contemporaries. Intent upon finding an alternative to Neo-Scholasticism,he made use of Max Scheler's phenomenology and the neo-romantic existentialism or Lebensphilosophie of Rainer Maria Rilke and Friedrich Nietzsche.Crucial was the notion of community, of the "organic" interconnectedness of people who share a common history and
similar religious beliefs and moral values.

Residing in idyllic Tübingen, Adam judged in 1933 that Hitler could restore Germans'unity and pride. If the new chancellor and his circle could be influenced to uphold the legal and moral order, then the Church could flourish in Germany,for it could build its spiritual community on the foundation of a vibrant national community. Moreover, the Church itself could undergo its much-needed renewal by means of its participation in the new German society; that is, it could replace its medieval and baroque forms with ones more appropriate to the contemporary world,for example, by switching from Latin at Mass to the vernacular and by dropping the requirement of clerical celibacy.

Scherzberg has shed new light on Adam's theological and political reasoning and also on his professional relationships, thereby highlighting aspects of Catholicism in the Third Reich. She goes beyond the books on Karl Adam by Hans Kreidler (1988), Robert Krieg (1992), and Karl-Heinz Wiesemann (2000) in her review of the theologian's correspondence and in her discussion of his work from the perspective of recent studies in theological inculturation, for example, by Michael Bongardt, Robert Schreiter, Roland Spliesgart,Hans Kessler, and Otmar Fuchs. She appropriately cites Kevin Spicer's valuable doctoral dissertation "Choosing Between God and Satan" (Boston College, 2000) concerning Berlin's Catholic clergy under Hitler. However, she does not refer to the two-volume Der Rheinische Reformkreis (2001), edited by Hubert Wolf and Klaus Arnold, which includes Adam's correspondence with German Catholics who looked for ways in which they could use the national movement to bring about changes in the Church.This correspondence shows that Adam's primary loyalty was to the Church; although he tried to find points of contact between the Church and some of Hitler's ideas, he was not a National Socialist." -R.A.Krieg, Catholic Historical Review, Oct. 02.

2-0 out of 5 stars Theological compartmentilization
Karl Adam's book was one of the few I bought as a teenager in Germany on the recommendation of the priest in charge of the parish youth group. Even then it struck me that the author turnedmore to Goethe than tothe saints and Fathers of the Church to make his point.I have come to know only recentlythatmy scepticism was well founded.An article by Denziger, a professor at Bambergand a book by Krieg, a professor at Notre Dame, have demasked Adam as one of the three important German theologians who endorsed the "blood and soil" doctrine of National Socialism. Adam considered the Jews an inferior race and even speculated in a very peculiar way thatJesus Christ was miraculously spared the shame and stain of Jewish genes.
The young priestwho had attended Adam's lectures in Tuebingen explained to me that the Nazis were right in restricting the Jews, especially the ones infiltratingGermany from the East.My parents had Jewish friendswe visited quite often and I had gotten good advice from Dr. Roseconcerning my studies of ancient Greek. I also knew that anotherpriest in our parish had insisted that Christ was a Jew. So I was surprised and annoyed by the first priest's anti-Semitism. Inspite of Adam's brilliant writings I have notbeen able to take him seriously since. --Another disillusion of old age.

5-0 out of 5 stars Talking to all of each part of the human person
German theologian Karl Adam makes here the best case I have yet found for the following proposition: The Catholic faith not only speaks to all people, it speaks to each part of every person. Adam knew, and showed, how rich the Catholic faith is, from art and literature to intellectual and architectural cathedrals; from piety and community to mysticism. Each part of a person is addressed: the intellectual, the affective (or emotional), and the imaginative. And each part is brought together with the others to form a beautiful, brilliant, and vibrant whole.

Adam shows the teachings of the Church as lived realities. They are beautiful, intellectually sound, and viscerally charged. lamentably, contemporary writings about the Church's loveliness tend to fall miles beneath the august standard here set.

Though written in the 1920s, this book's appeal is not primarily historical. It presents a fresh vision of what the Catholic life may yet again be, and inspires one's journey toward that lovely horizon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good First Step
I picked up a copy of the original 1935 version of this book and gave it a chance. This is not an area that I normally read so at first I did not know what to expect.I am also not an overly religious person so I do not have a large stock of other books to compare it to.I found that the book was well written and easy to move through. I was concerned it would be a little high handed, but it was not. It was full of information that was beneficial.You certainly gain a positive view of the church from the book and it has spurned me on to look for more titles on the subject. If you are like me, a first time reader in the area this was a good way to start.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This book helped me immensely with my apologetics "homework", especially concerning communion of the saints and other issues that are so alien to Protestants. The book is extremely well written and contains so much information that I haven't found in one source anywhere else. If you are sitting on the theological fence then this book is a MUST read! ... Read more

15. The Refashioning of Catholicism, 1450-1700: A Reassessment of the Counter Reformation
by Robert Bireley
Paperback: 231 Pages (1999-08)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$10.00
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Asin: 081320951X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Throughout its history, Christianity has adapted to contemporary society and culture in order to reach people effectively and have an impact on the world. This process often evokes controversy. Certainly this is the case in the current century, and so it was in the sixteenth. Robert Bireley argues that early modern Catholicism, the period known more traditionally as the Counter Reformation, was both shaped by and an active response to the profound changes of the sixteenth century-the growth of the state; economic expansion and social dislocation; European colonialism across the seas; the Renaissance; and, of course, the Protestant Reformation. Bireley finds that there were two fundamental, contrasting desires that helped shape early modern Catholicism: the desire especially of a lay elite to lead a full Christian life in the world and the widespread desire for order and discipline after the upheavals of the long sixteenth century. He devotes particular attention to new methods of evangelization in the Old World and the New, education at the elementary, secondary, and university levels, the new active religious orders of women as well as men, and the effort to create a spirituality for the Christian living in the world.

This book will be of great value to all those studying the political, social, religious, and cultural history of the period. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Work on a Complex Topic
Jesuit professor Robert Bireley's work "The Refashioning of Catholicism, 1450-1700: A Reassessment of the Counter Reformation" is without a doubt one of the best texts I've read about the subject of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Despite its relatively small size when compared to Euan Cameron's large volume on the Protestant Reformation in Europe, "The European Reformation," it contains a great deal of information that enabled me to gain a better understanding of the Catholic "Counter-Reformation" as it is traditionally called (although Bireley makes a good case that such a term is in fact outdated). It explores the Counter-Reformation as both caused by and, in some ways, a cause of emerging historical changes in the 15th-18th centuries, such as the growth in state power, socioeconomic changes in European society (especially colonialism) and the changes in education and learning due to the Renaissance. Although the role of the Protestant Reformation cannot be dismissed, Bireley's work was especially helpful since it helped me become aware of the fact that the Protestant Reformation was not the only factor that contributed to the Counter-Reformation (which is precisely what I had been taught in Catholic high school). Bireley's work also explored some of the consequences of the Counter-Reformation, such as the emergence of various new religious orders and new forms of education.

Bireley begins by making his position regarding terminology clear to the reader. He prefers the term "Early Modern Catholicism" to the traditional terms of "Counter-Reformation" and "Catholic Reform" since, in his opinion, the latter two terms make are parts of a whole picture of changes in the Catholic Church, and such terms link said changes too closely with the Protestant Reformation (p. 8). His point is a valid one. One of the most salient points of the book is, in my own estimation, that the reality of Early Modern Catholicism was more than just a knee-jerk reaction to the Protestant Reformation. Indeed, such an assumption is far too simplistic. Bireley breaks down the causes of the changes in Catholicism into five general categories.

First, he discusses the role of the centralization of state authority in Europe, devoting Chapter 4 to an intensive study of the conflicts between Church and state. Although he is careful to note that there were always clashes between Church and state throughout European history in one form or another, it was during the time period of Early Modern Catholicism that the state was gradually winning more of these conflicts. It was increasingly beneficial for rulers to intervene in the religious affairs of their subjects, as it gave them increased power, a more unified religious population and of course financial benefits. One factor in particular that facilitated the growth of separate, powerful European states was the fact that the sense of unified "Christendom" felt during the Crusades had weakened significantly. The state was becoming more important in peoples' lives.

Second, he discusses the various socioeconomic changes, especially the demographic resurgence in the late 15th century that spurred economic expansion, which in turn caused a wide gap between rich and poor, something which attracted the attention of both church and state alike. The economic expansion probably helped lead into the third factor that Bireley discusses, namely colonial expansion.

Colonial expansion into South America, Africa and other areas posed a new challenge for the Catholic Church, namely how it would bring its message to these potential Christians. Bireley devotes Chapter 7 to a detailed discussion of the various challenges that the Church faced in these regions, but he also brings up a conflict that resulted from the increasing power of the European states. The Church and the European powers tended to clash when it came to treatment of the natives, especially in Mexico and South America. This is where the roles of the new religious orders, such as Bireley's own Jesuit order, became particularly important in spreading the faith.

The fourth factor was, simply put, the Renaissance, and especially its intellectual offspring known as humanism. For our class, this is a particularly salient factor. Renaissance humanism encouraged the study of the classics, and had a large base of support in both courts and towns, among both the clergy and the laity. Humanism eventually became identified with religious reform, even amongst the clergy, especially with Erasmus of Rotterdam. The Renaissance also enabled humanist ideas to be spread more effectively thanks to the development of the printing press, and it set the stage for conflicts with the Church as the Scientific Revolution developed in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Of course, the fifth and final factor, the Protestant Reformation, cannot be ignored. While Bireley is careful to note that it is difficult to establish the state of the Church on the eve of the Reformation since local realities varied (Euan Cameron did a good job at discussing these various local realities), he points out something interesting that contributed to the desire for reform: "the desire for a more profound religious experience and practice on the part of a significant number of laity (p. 19)." This desire helped contribute to the development of new religious orders, discussed in Chapter 2. Catholics in general wanted a deeper experience with their faith, especially in light of the vast changes that were reshaping the world that they knew. The issue with most laity was not so much doctrinal. Indeed, the Council of Trent did not change much, if anything, in terms of doctrine but rather clarified and defended that which was attacked by the Protestants.

The results of Early Modern Catholicism included a radically reshaped religious map of Europe, new religious orders and a renewed emphasis on education from the Council of Trent, which recognized the importance of religious literacy in the face of Protestant challenges. Catholicism was no longer the only faith in Europe, and the Peace of Augsburg in 1555 essentially split Europe up into various Protestant and Catholic states. Whatever else it did, Early Modern Catholicism ensured one thing: Europe would never be the same again.

While the Protestant Reformation certainly contributed a great deal to the development of Early Modern Catholicism, this was only one of several factors that influenced the changes in the Catholic Church that became popularly known as the Counter-Reformation. Political, economic and social changes also contributed greatly to the upheaval that influenced not only the Council of Trent and subsequent developments in the European church, but also to the history of Catholicism in general. Robert Bireley did a fine job with this book, and I highly recommend it to students of Catholic history (just beware that it's probably something best read at the graduate student level).

4-0 out of 5 stars heavy going
Actually, I cannot bear to read it. I would like all scholarly books to be witty in the best sense of the word, or "Chestertonesque" if you prefer.The Refashioning of Catholicism, 1450-1700: A Reassessment of the Counter ReformationI was attracted by the fine English Catholic name independently from the obvious high quality of the scholarship.

5-0 out of 5 stars More Life Than Previously Believed
This is an interesting introduction to an era that traditionally bears the name "Counter Reformation." Bireley, a Jesuit Professor of History at Loyola University of Chicago, argues persuasively in his opening remarks that the term "Counter Reformation" has outlived its usefulness in the study of Catholic history. In fact, he observes, nearly all of what we would call today post-Tridentine reform not only has roots in the fifteenth century but in many cases was in full bloom and inspired the council to do what it did. Trent, in his view of things, was the institutional crest of a wave that had been building for a century. Moreover, Bireley's global view-geographic, political, scientific, theological-invites the reader to view the Church against the backdrop of forces it could not control and critique the many accommodations made by the Church to the world of the seventeenth century.

Why 1450? One reason was geographic exploration. The exploits of DeGama and Columbus reflected a growing sense of the cosmos, later amplified by Galileo and others; a new economic world order, so to speak; and the increasing sense of nationalism and centralization of governments, later abetted by formalized "confessions" of religious doctrine and worship after Luther. Another reason for this new delineation of Catholic epochs was the Renaissance and the humanistic philosophy it nurtured, which the author maintains had significant impact upon many major Catholic leaders of the time, including Ignatius Loyola and Francis de Sales. At the other end of the chronological spectrum, Bireley designates 1700 as a marker because of the impact of Cartesian rationalism upon official Catholic thought in the bigger context of the Enlightenment itself.

Without ignoring the contemporary problems of the "Catholic confession"-papal excesses, poor training of priests, etc.-Bireley is remarkably upbeat about the condition of the Catholic Church at the time of the Reformation and the Council of Trent in the sense that the need for reform was widely recognized and in many places being addressed already. Popular piety throughout Europe was strong in pockets, and the printing press, so often termed a tool of Protestant reformers, was cranking out thousands of copies of "The Imitation of Christ." The author notes that in the late fifteenth century the existing religious orders, or at least many of them, were distinguishing themselves by excellent preaching, pastoral practice, and adaptation.

After 1500, however, the combined challenges of Protestant confessions, humanist demands of higher education, and missionary work, not to mention ecclesiastical reform itself, led to a veritable explosion of new religious orders. Not surprisingly, the Jesuit phenomenon is extensively chronicled. But to his credit, Bireley gives significant attention to Francis de Sales and the Salesian efforts to address the spiritual needs of the new humanized Catholic. Joined with the efforts of the new Capuchins, Ursulines, Oratorians, Hospitalers, Theatines, Oratorians, Visitandines, Piarists, Barnabites, Sulpicians, and the Christian Brothers, to cite several, these movements addressed the above cited needs in ways that have sculpted the Catholic experience to the present day.

It is probably obvious that none of the above named orders is, strictly speaking, contemplative. Bireley contends that the paradigmatic shift in Catholic thinking in this era was toward the world, not away from it. Educators, confessors, and spiritual directors and writers consciously or subconsciously picked up the gauntlet set down by Machiavelli, whose thesis broadly read argues that the marketplace is the arena of practicality, not faith. It is no accident that the curriculum of Catholic schools at every level broadened to include the best of classical thought, that Aquinas and the idea of synthesis came back into style, and the Jesuits added drama and the fine arts to their standard cursus studiorum. Theologically speaking, it was an age of "doing." Loyola himself did not impose choir upon his men to free them for mission. The case study or manualist method of moral theology was born.

Certainly no collective group was doing more than the missionaries. The work of the Church in the new worlds is complex and not without controversy on many levels. Bireley is somewhat limited by this complexity in his attempt to give an overview of the missionary situation, but in general no one can deny that it was not large scale and heroic. The argument is often made that Catholic missionary efforts were part of a larger colonization effort. Bireley implies in his overview that this accusation is probably more appropriate to those missionaries whose monarchs exercised state control of the Church in their kingdoms, such as Spain and Portugal. By contrast, missionaries working more directly with the papacy and the newly formed Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, such as the Jesuits in the East, worked with remarkably less baggage, the Malabar Rites Controversy notwithstanding.

Although only two hundred pages, this is a thought provoking work that on the whole depicts a Roman Catholicism of considerably more vigor and spirituality than is generally attributed to the Reformation era. Certainly the author's thoughts on the importance of the new religious orders, humanism, and ecclesiastical globalization call for further reading and reflection. Curiously, this work, published by The Catholic University of America, was printed in China. One way or another, Francis Xavier was going to get there. It was only a matter of time. ... Read more

16. The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice
by Philip Jenkins
Paperback: 272 Pages (2004-10-28)
list price: US$19.98 -- used & new: US$3.19
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Asin: B002QGSXK0
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Anti-Catholicism has a long history in America. And as Philip Jenkins argues in The New Anti-Catholicism, this virulent strain of hatred--once thought dead--is alive and well in our nation, but few people seem to notice, or care.A statement that is seen as racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, or homophobic can haunt a speaker for years, writes Jenkins, but it is still possible to make hostile and vituperative public statements about Roman Catholicism without fear of serious repercussions. Jenkins shines a light on anti-Catholic sentiment in American society and illuminates its causes, looking closely at gay and feminist anti-Catholicism, anti-Catholic rhetoric and imagery in the media, and the anti-Catholicism of the academic world. For newspapers and newsmagazines, for television news and in movies, for major book publishers, the Catholic Church has come to provide a grossly stereotyped public villain. Catholic opinions, doctrines, and individual leaders are frequently the butt of harsh satire. Indeed, the notion that the church is a deadly enemy of women--the idea of Catholic misogyny--is commonly accepted in the news media and in popular culture, says Jenkins. And the recent pedophile priest scandal, he shows, has revived many ancient anti-Catholic stereotypes. It was said that with the election of John F. Kennedy, anti-Catholicism in America was dead. This provocative new book corrects that illusion, drawing attention to this important issue. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars a timely book
It would be hard to credit the depths of anti-Catholicism in the U.S. academic and media elites if one had not seen the current (as I write) spectacle of the New York Times's orchestrated attack on the pope and the Church.False information is spread and goes uncorrected, columnist Maureen Dowd writes column after vicious column denouncing Pope Benedict and all who defend him, in a campaign that would be inconceivable against any other religion or religious organization.

Jenkins's book is a helpful guide for understanding this phenomenon. It shows in rich and well documented detail both the deep roots of anti-Catholicism in U.S. history and the distinctive nature of its current manifestation. For the first time, writers who claim to be Catholic are among the fiercest detractors of the Church. He shows how the media pick up on and amplify dissent in the Church, especially that coming from the most anti-Catholic Catholics--those like Garry Wills, James Carroll, and John Cornwell who claim to be Catholic while denouncing the Church, its history, organization, and doctrine in the fiercest terms.Tiny groups that favor abortion rights or same-sex marriage are given equal or greater space than the Church itself.Most recently, a group of rebellious nuns who wrote a letter challenging the U.S. bishops on the empirical question of whether the Obama health care legislation allowed for federal funding for abortion were treated as authorities on the matter just because they challenged the hierarchy and sided with major abortion providers like Planned Parenthood (whose president made a point of specifically and publicly thanking the nuns).The fact that they made wildly inflated claims about what they represented and were countered by a statement from an official organization of leaders of women religious supporting the bishops was ignored by the media that spread the false information.

Of course, Jenkins's book was published well before these events.Written by an ex-Catholic Episcopalian, this book is fair-minded and factual. Because of this, the level of vituperation and hatred leveled at the Church and calmly documented by Jenkins is shown all the more clearly and convincingly for what it is.It is an important cultural phenomenon that cries out for this kind of careful examination.Anyone who has encountered or absorbed this new anti-Catholicism owes it to themselves, in the interest of simple fair-mindedness, to read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The New Anti-Catholicsim: The Last Acceptable Prejudice. Very true and Sad book.
As a Proud Catholic(Conservative) I might be a bit biased, However I found that the book is a Sad account of a Prejudice that is indeed ingrained in most non-Catholics. Specifically The Mainstream Media. While it is taboo to mess(by this I mean portray in Movies ,etc)with other religions and backgrounds, It certainly is not when It Comes to The Institution of The Catholic Church, And the book drives this point home. At times it is a little apologetic for such actions, But it is written by a NonCatholic.
and Intelligently done.Another good point is that "Liberal" Catholics from within are destroying the Church and Indirectly Feeding this. Author Notes how Originally it was a Nativist(Rightwing) Ideal and now it has become A Left Liberal line of attack which is very true and sad.
I disagree that the Church is Politically Left On most issues however.As it is Apolitical, And Conservative in It's Teachings.He sheds light on Special Interest Groups Such AS Act-Up, and Gay Rights Groups and Feminists,Catholics For A Free Choice.who attack the church and Want to Force their Way of Life to TRUE Catholics.As Well as So-Called "Art"- Avante Art by the Likes of Andres Serrano among others and His Disrespectful Art of Christ, this to me Is Anti-Catholic,AntiChrist. If people Want "Reform" They should Become something other than Catholic,Because to Change Her is a Betrayal.This Book is A Must for Any CATHOLIC.

3-0 out of 5 stars Hatred abounds!
Jenkins, who teaches history and religious studies at Pennsylvania State University, seems to have launched the public concern about sex abuse by Roman Catholic clergy with his Pedophiles and Priests, published in 2001.

The author of more than a dozen books, many of which treat religious themes, Jenkins here has set out a useful account of the constant vituperative and hostile language and bigoted stereotypes commonly found in much social and religious commentary in the United States on Roman Catholics and their faith.

Jenkins examines a number of these, including alleged hatred of women, gays, and so forth. Of course, anti-Catholicism has a long history in the United States. What Jenkins shows is that, though it was once thought essentially dead, it is now alive and well and being trumpeted by the media without fear of any negative consequences for the perpetrator.

What Jenkins does not realize is that Catholics are not the only ones as Latter-day Saints are faced with the same sort of bigotry as he finds commonly directed at Roman Catholics.

The old anti-Mormonism, which also has a long and undistinguished career in America, is also alive and well. Americans seem to have been able to export every vice, along with whatever else is marketable. And hence those guilty of advancing anti-Mormonism have no fear of repercussions here or even in faraway places like Australia and New Zealand.

And so it goes . . . .

3-0 out of 5 stars A "Politically Correct" Prejudice
In the very first sentence of text, Jenkins well describes the situation: "Catholics and Catholicism are at the receiving end of a great deal of startling vituperation in contemporary America, although generally those responsible never think of themselves as bigots" (p.1).

While this is not a great book, it is peppered with some insightful gems: "Through the centuries, defectors from particular religions have distinguished themselves by their fanatical zeal against their former friends and colleagues....[In the 1970s,] many arguments that would have once seemed nakedly anti-Catholic now gained an audience among Catholics themselves....Catholic divisions contributed to opening the Church to attacks by the mass media that would have hitherto been unthinkable....[1968's] Humanae Vitae spawned intense public criticism of the Catholic hierarchy, especially - and this was a vital development - from Catholics themselves" (pp. 12, 48, 49).While Jenkins does not thoroughly connect the dots, widespread rejection of Pope Paul VI's prophetic Humanae Vitae did indeed spawn incredible difficulties in the past four decades (A more detailed history of what happenned may be found in "Catholics And Contraception: An American History.").As evidenced by "Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology Of The Body," Pope John Paul II dedicated enormous energy to correcting basic errors.

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative and scholarly
I recommend this book to those who are open to the possibility of anti-Catholic prejudice. Those who might be characterised as anti-Catholic themselves might dislike its contents. However even the latter group may enjoy reading it to afford the opportunity to rationalise their position much as an intellectual who harboured strong negativity toward another race would never accept the possibility that their society was racist but would enjoy the challenge of rationalising away clear evidence.

That said this is certainly a scholarly review with a wealth of examples both recent and historical that show clear anti-Catholicism and its continuity from past to present. Bigotry is plainly distinguished from fair criticism. Where necessary he expands on historical incidents that are a forgotten part of our past subject to soundbyte rumours. The author is not Catholic and not anti-Catholic and writes accordingly.

As a Catholic I appreciated his objectivity but struggled with the 'warts and all' approach of a non-Catholic putting the issue under the microscope and not missing the opportunity to cite examples where he considered Catholics contributed to the prejudice. I would probably feel more comfortable reading a similar book from a Catholic author who accepts Catholic beliefs. However, as difficult as it might be in places, I do not shrink from recommending it to Catholics as it is useful to see the issue viewed from a different perspective not coloured by prejudice but not viewed through rose coloured glasses either.

It is clear that Mr Jenkins considers our religion to be overly extreme in respect of contraception and a tad sexist. Not that he joins the bigots even when discussing those issues. Indeed he even condemns anti-Catholicism demonstrated by improper actions based on views which he apparently shares and seeks to tone down misrepresentations relating to such issues. Such objectivity even in the face of his own biases is valuable in this type of discussion and should widen its appeal.

He takes pains to carefully document the internal issues within the Church and its implications. This is a wise approach as it confronts the Church with the fact that Catholics themselves exacerbate the problem and make it easier for bigots to make excuses. At the same time it sends a clear message that simply because some Catholics abandon large parts of the religion citing that is an excuse not a reason to be prejudiced against Catholicism. ... Read more

17. Path Through Catholicism
by Mark Link
Paperback: 320 Pages (2000-01-04)
list price: US$20.75 -- used & new: US$18.56
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Asin: 078290971X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Catholicism is not simple a creed to be memorized; it is a faith to be lived. It is not a book to read; it is a spirit to be caught. ... Read more

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1-0 out of 5 stars NO BOOK YET

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This book is very well written.It explains the basic principles of the Catholic faith including the sacraments, an explanation of the mass and moral principles.It is an excellent resource for the person enquiringabout the Catholic faith or for Catholics who want to get a betterunderstanding of their faith.At the end of each chapter there areexercises that serve as a review.Additional exercises invite the readerto delve deep into his/her heart and think about how the different aspectsof the Catholic faith apply to him/her.This book would be excellent inRCIA programs and also for anyone interested in to understanding whatCatholicism is REALLY about.The simple, easy-to-read writing style makesthis book an excellent choice for readers aged 8 - 100!Thank you MarkLink, this book changed my life!!! ... Read more

18. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Catholicism, 3rd Edition
by Ph.D., Bob O'Gorman, M.A., Mary Faulkner
Paperback: 432 Pages (2006-08-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$10.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1592575358
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
What does it mean to be Catholic today?
Newly updated and revised.

How can the Catholic Church be both hugely popular and widely scorned? How can it hold onto its ancient roots and be forever changing? This updated guide tells the story of being Catholic as Catholics themselves live their faith, every day of their lives. More than ever before, this edition speaks to interested outsiders, non-clergy, and practicing Catholics, as well as to religious professionals and members of the clergy.

This book explores:
• The various stances within American Catholicism today
• Recent Catholic history, most notably, the death of John Paul II and the succession of Pope Benedict XVI
• The seven sacraments
• The present state of Catholic education, Catholic identity, and Catholic social teaching ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

1-0 out of 5 stars Completely lacking.
I bought this book years ago and finally got around to reading it about six months ago. Even with as little as I knew about the Catholic faith, I knew something was off. Finally I saw so many contradictions between what I was learning from it and what I was learning from real Catholic sources that I tired of it and the simplistic way it talked down to the reader and put it down. It now holds up a wobbly end of a table, that's how little I think of it. I'm just glad to find some practical use of it.

Do yourself a Big favor and get Catholicism for Dummies by Father John Trigilio and Father Kenneth Brighenti instead of this, it was extremely well written and very, very useful, I'm way ahead of the game in my RCIA classes now.

If you claim to be Catholic but fail to subscribe to the Catholic Worker newspaper you are not Catholic. (available here)

If you claim to be Catholic yet support directly or indirectly the Iraqi war, you are not Catholic (read Gaudium et spes, Pacem in terris, Father John Dear)

Forget this externalist formalist farcical treatment of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

To know what it is to be Catholic in the flesh and heart and spirit, study the writings of Sister Ita Ford, or her bio by Sr. Noone. Study Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister, or Monica Hellwig.

Be a true (not just practicing) Catholic and study deeply the great American CAtholic theologian and scholar, the Rev. Father Richard McBrien's comprehensive tome: Catholicism, well received and respected for a generation.

Continue with other great Catholic and American theologians and scholars and saints and contemplatives such as Jesuit Fathers Daniel Berrigan and Father John Dear who dare ask the hard questions with intelligence, insight and spiritual orthodoxy to the Gospel of Jesus. In particular illuminating is Jesus the Rebel by the Rev. Father Dear, and the commentaries on the Old Testament prophets such as Job and Ezekial by the Rev. Father Berrigan.

Then neither Dummy nor Complete Idiot shall you be, but Catholic in mind, heart, spirit and soul. Continue with the great Saint, Martyr and Confessor of the Faith, Archbishop Romero, and of course the other Salvadoran martyrs and confessors like Fr. Ellacuria and the still living (when last seen) Father Jon Sobrino.

Such a telling shame cornerstone Catholic texts such as Pope John XXIII's PACEM IN TERRIS and Pope PAul VI's POPULORUM PROGRESSIO or even the US Conference of Catholic Bishop's ever-more-important treatise on Just Cause/Just war entitled God's Challenge and Our Response are out of print and no longer available, as they truly call us to put our faith into concrete action for Christ. As the great St. James wrote: Faith without works is dead.

Please check my other reviews for further excellent sources as well as warnings about the ill sectarian and shallow observances.

1-0 out of 5 stars complete idiots guide to understanding catholicism
Book was in terrible shape, looked like something liquid was spilled all over it. First time I have felt ripped by a used book purchased via Amazon

1-0 out of 5 stars Distorts and misrepresents the Catholic faith
This book has many distortions and inaccuracies about the Catholic faith. I reccommend other sources.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not to strengthen faith
TIG does teach about the Catholic Church, but adds too much liberal and mildly anti-Catholic commentary for it to be a strict guide. The jokes are unfunny and it's overall effect is to make the reader not think it very important to be Catholic. In other words, it's not a book you'd give somebody to strengthen their faith or to educate a potential convert. It wouldn't even be one to give somebody wanting to objectively know official Catholic teaching.

Asymmetric blog. ... Read more

19. Catholicism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Gerald O'Collins
Paperback: 144 Pages (2008-12-15)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$6.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 019954591X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Despite a long history of external threats and internal strife, the Roman Catholic Church and the broader phenomenon of Catholicism remain a vast and valuable presence into the third millennium of world history. What are the origins of the Catholic Church?How has Catholicism changed and adapted to such vast and diverse cultural influences over the centuries?What great challenges does the Catholic Church now face in the twenty-first century, both within its own life and in its relation to others around the world? In this Very Short Introduction, Gerald O'Collins draws on the best current scholarship available to answer these questions and to present, in clear and accessible language, a fresh introduction to the largest and oldest institution in the world. O'Collins explains clearly and concisely where the Catholic Church comes from, what it believes and practices, the sacraments and the Church's moral teaching, and where it is heading. The book also includes a timeline of events in the history of Catholicism and useful suggestions for further reading. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent introduction to Catholic history and beliefs
Despite the fact that this is a very short book (as the title implies), I found it full of useful information.
It briefly outlines the history, practices and beliefs of Catholics impartially and honestly.
Furthermore, the author doesn't shy away from tackling the most troublesome issues related to the Church, including the lack of priests and the possible future ordination of women as deacons.
As a former Catholic for 23 years, I can say that this book does not contain any exageration or propaganda, but only real, proven facts.

5-0 out of 5 stars good book!!
This book is a good adquisition!!! I recomend to everybody to buy it. I am reading the original version, but this very short introduction is helpful for understanding the big one...

5-0 out of 5 stars A universally accessible book on Catholicism
Catholicism is a word that encompasses many distinct meanings: a religion, a church, a way of life, a geographical region perhaps. Catholicism is all of these things and much more - it is a Christian sect (to most of its members THE Christian sect) that strives to be all encompassing and universal, as its very name implies. And yet it is probably the form of Christianity that invites the most controversy. To the outsiders it can seem imposing and even threatening, and many groups implicitly or explicitly define their raison d'être as the opposition to Catholicism. The opposition is not limited to the outsiders, and there are many who call themselves Catholics who have serious issues and misgivings about certain aspects of Catholic teachings. And yet, for millions of people around the globe Catholicism remains a cornerstone of their lives and a source of great joy and fulfillment. It is often said that the Catholic Church is much vaster from the inside than it is from the outside. For all these vastly different points of view, be they opposing or promoting, it is useful to get themselves familiarized with what Catholicism really is. They owe it to themselves to understand this Catholicism better, and in achieving that goal I cannot think of a better first step than reading this slim yet informative book.

The book is written by Father Gerald O'Collins, S.J. research professor of theology at St. University College, Twickenham, and formerly the dean of the Faculty of Theology at Gregorian University in Rome. He is obviously a Catholic "insider," but that does not prevent him from making a book that is readable by and aimed at the general reader. The advantage of a Catholic theologian writing a book on Catholicism is that the reader is guaranteed to get a full picture of how Catholics understand themselves, their faith and their Church.

The book's chapters cover a handful of main themes - the history of Catholicism, Catholic Theology, the sacraments and church practices, the spiritual life, the moral and social teachings, the organization of the Catholic Church and the future of Catholicism. Each one of these topics could easily occupy vast number of volumes or even whole libraries full of books, and it is not always the easiest thing to exercise prudential judgment in choosing how much space to devote to each one of them. Many things will necessarily be omitted or just mentioned in passing. Overall, however, Father O'Collins does a remarkably good job of covering all the essential features of Catholicism.

The book is easy to read. It is written in an easy-going and legible style, but it is not condescending to the reader. It assumes a willing and interested reader who wants to learn about a new (or perhaps an old) subject.

Overall, this is a splendid book and another publishing success for the Oxford University Press. If you have any interest in Catholicism, this is a worthwhile volume to read. And just like the Catholicism itself, the appeal of this book is truly universal.
... Read more

20. Catholicism and American Freedom: A History
by John T. McGreevy
Paperback: 432 Pages (2004-09-17)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$9.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 039332608X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"[McGreevy] has written the best intellectual history of the Catholic Church in America."—Commonweal

For two centuries, Catholicism has played a profound and largely unexamined role in America's political and intellectual life. Emphasizing the communal over the individual, protections for workers and the poor over market freedoms, and faith in eternal verities over pragmatic compromises, the Catholic worldview has been a constant foil to liberalism.

Catholicism and American Freedom is a groundbreaking tale of strange bedfellows and bitter conflicts over issues such as slavery, public education, economic reform, the movies, contraception, and abortion. It is an international story, as both liberals and conservatives were influenced by ideas and events abroad, from the 1848 revolutions to the rise of Fascism and the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, to papal encyclicals and the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s; and by the people, from scholarly Jesuits to working class Catholics, who immigrated from Europe and Latin America.

McGreevy reveals how the individualist, and often vehemently anti-Catholic, inclinations of Protestant intellectuals shaped the debates over slavery&#151and how Catholics, although they were the first to acknowledge the moral equality of black people and disavowed segregation of churches, even in the South, still had difficulty arguing against the hierarchy and tradition represented by slavery. He sheds light on the unsung heroes of American history like Orestes Browson, editor of Brownson's Quarterly Review, who suffered the disdain of abolitionists for being a Catholic, and the antagonism of conservative Catholics for being an abolitionist; and later heroes like Jacques Maritain and John Courtney Murray, who fought to modernize the Church, increased attention to human rights, and urged the Church "to adapt herself vitally . . . to what is valid in American democratic development."

Putting recent scandals in the Church and the media's response in a much larger context, this stimulating history is a model of nuanced scholarship and provocative reading. 18 illustrations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Personal Review
Excellent.This writer documents every assertion, often with quotations.As a professional historian, he tells the story without inserting his own opinions until the very last chapter.Even then, he inserts very few of his own opinions.The book documents the often-uneasy relationship between Protestant viewpoints derived from a belief that each individual is responsible for himself and his own actions, and Catholic viewpoints that are based on Thomistic understanding of the community/common good, and individuals' relatinships to each other through the common good.This is not Protestants versus Catholics.This is two different mindsets, both of which produce responsible citizens.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent history of Catholicism in the United States
Catholicism and American Freedom: A History is a readable, scholarly work, with extensive references. Although it is a history of Catholicism, one also gets an education on the great influence of all Christian religions on US historical development, which is woefully lacking in modern, politically correct textbooks. (One can learn here how Justice Felix Frankfurter invented the "wall of separation of church and state," which did not exit before 1948.)

There are a couple of threads to the book. One is the struggle of Catholics to gain acceptance as loyal Americans first from Protestant antagonism, which has ebbed and flowed over two centuries, to the attacks by secular liberalism, today. The book opens in 1859 with Protestants questioning Catholic motives because of the refusal of a Catholic child in a public school to recite the Protestant enumeration of the Ten Commandments. One hundred years later, in that same state (Massachusetts), Catholics were berated for inflicting their views of contraception on non-Catholics. In the mid-1800s, the Church saw slavery as an acceptable institution (though not in its form in the American South); by the late 1960s, the Church was a leader for racial equality. Also, since the early 1900s, the Church began leading the campaign for social justice in the US.Today, the Catholic Church finds itself aligned with conservative Protestants against secular liberals' insistence on legal abortion. The final chapter of the book is about the post-Vatican II Church's handling of internal problems, such as pederasty by priests, and its effect on the Church's mission in America. This section is weak, but the scenario is still being played out.

A second thread is the struggle by the institutional Church to come to grips with democracy, and with individual freedom, which is the hallmark of American democracy. In early American history, the Church was suspicious of democracy because of the persecution of Catholics and seizure of Church property by European democracies, and the Church favored governments that sponsored Catholicism as the state religion. Though it took over a century, the American experience was a major influence on changing the Church's thought to realize that freedom of religion is better for the Church and that individual freedom in a democracy is preferred over authoritarian rule.

4-0 out of 5 stars Praise for accurate title and fascinating book
It took me about ten days to read this fascinating book.The author has made an excellent contribution to U. S. history by carefully keeping to his title topic (Catholicism and American Freedom: A History), halting his account when he has made his point, and jumping ahead ten or fifteen years.With a hundred pages of notes and a helpful index, McGreevy has fashioned a parade of people exposing their thoughts and prejudices.I had already known many of the names and events, but I found the quotations startling.Such brazen words written by such renowned men!As for wisdom and insight, Jacques Maritain stood out.I must explain the withheld fifth star: Other authors enliven their work by colorizing, presenting one view with convincing animation.This book is nuanced, more like life, therefore a bit more difficult to read. ... Read more

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