Religion

It's Nothing Personal

Papal infallibility is utterly misunderstood. Nowhere is it decreed that the pope is infallible; the Catholic Church has never taught that any pope is infallible.

'The Good Book'

Writers engage biblical texts ranging from the Psalms to a single parable.Their essays are wildly heterogeneous in tone and method, kind of like the Bible itself.

'The God of Walkers'

Bruce Chatwin casts travel as an act of sacrifice, of “sloughing-off” the world and discovering the self anew. His work contains moments of aching spirituality.

Intellectual Maintenance

The move to less philosophy is a mistake. Philosophy is utterly essential for an educated Catholic; pedagogically, anything less than two courses is inadequate.

First Things First

Charges of sowing division in the church are more properly lodged against one of the heroes of conservative Catholicism: the late Richard John Neuhaus.

Doctrine Air

Engagement with vexing questions is part of the life of a pilgrim church. It is strangely un-Catholic to assert that doctrine does not and cannot change.

Letter from Rome

The Vatican announces world tour for holy corpses; Relics arrive in Rome escorted by paramilitary police; Francis calls religious to "pray more" to raise vocations.

'The Revelatory Body'

Luke Timothy Johnson provides an important alternative to the “theologies of the body” on offer among those thinkers elaborating themes fashioned by John Paul II.

'Pure Act'

It is the purpose Michael N. McGregor’s biography of Robert Lax to move him out from under the shadow of Merton’s personality and give him his own place in the sun.

'Shakespeare and Abraham'

In Ken Jackson's reading, Abraham points to the possibility of offering a truly generous gift, a gift for which one would hope for nothing in return.

'Hope Without Optimism'

Terry Eagleton gives a witty and insightful tour of hope’s complicated linguistic terrain that carefully avoids proposing some once-and-for-all grand Theory of Hope.

Religion Booknotes 2016

Frederica Mathewes-Green on Eastern Orthodoxy; Brian E. Daley and Paul Kolbert on Psalm interpretations, Philip Jenkins on lost gospels; James O'Donnell on pagans
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