In Defense of Tradition: Collected Shorter Writings of Richard M. Weaver, 1929“1963.
Edited and with an introduction by Ted J. Smith III.
Liberty Fund. 813 pp. $25

cloth, $15 paper.


Richard Weaver, it may be said, was conservative when conservatism wasn’t cool. A professor of English at the University of Chicago from the mid“1940s until his untimely death in 1963, Weaver is best remembered today for Ideas Have Consequences (1948), a meditation on the decline and hoped“for renewal of Western Civilization. Interestingly, the title, proposed by William Terry Couch of the University of Chicago Press, was loathed by Weaver, who described it later as “hopelessly banal” and had even considered withdrawing the manuscript. This new collection of his writings allows the reader to examine a greater body of his work, which includes speeches, essays, and book reviews. The subject matter herein encompasses a broad range of concerns, including Southern history, literature, and culture; political conservatism and the critique of modernity; rhetorical theory; and educational issues in general. All his work is tied together by a concern for eternal verities and time“honored standards. Though he was not straightforwardly religious himself, Weaver’s traditionalism is, in essence, a religious worldview. To use Weaver’s own words, “What we do . . . is look to an ultimate source of value and judgment, one of whose prescriptions is that we retain the image in which we were made. It is this ideal of the human under the aegis of something higher which seems to me to provide the strongest counterpressure against the fragmentation and barbarization of our world.”


Jeff McAlister


Fundamentalism .
By Steve Bruce.
Polity Press/Blackwell. 136 pp. $59.95 cloth, $24

.95

.


Bruce, professor of sociology at the University of Aberdeen, takes on in this essay a set of very large and complicated phenomena associated with what he admits is sometimes too loosely termed “fundamentalism.” He begins with a succinct account of theories of modernity and secularization along the lines advanced by Peter Berger and others some decades ago, offers a valuable over­ view of current tensions be­ tween modernity, politics, and religion in Islam, and concludes with an examination of “the religious right” in the U.S. Bruce argues against theorists who try to explain fundamentalism in terms of psychological disorders or social insecurities. Despite his admirable desire not to be condescending to those whom he calls fundamentalists (people who “take their religion too seriously”), there is a strong note of condescension in his view that they uncritically believe things that the rest of us know to be unbelievable. Along the way of his lucidly presented argument, there are asides that will be of particular interest to students of the sociology of religion. The essay is in a series of “Key Concepts” published by Polity Press in association with Blackwell.


The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism .
By Louis Bouyer.
Scepter. 295 pp. $12.95

.


A most welcome reissue of a landmark study that first appeared in 1956 and anticipated important developments at the Second Vatican Council in Catholic thought about the “separated brethren.” Bouyer, a Lutheran convert to Catholicism who became a leading authority on liturgical and devotional theology, here makes a powerful Catholic case for the chief principles of the Reformation” sola gratia, sola fide, sola scriptura ”and then argues that, because the Reformers uncritically accepted the nominalism of decadent scholasticism, the “spirit” of the Reformation cannot be sustained within what became the “forms of Protestantism.” His immediate antagonist in this book is Karl Barth, and his contention is that Barthianism is but a reactive version of the nominalist error of the liberal Protestantism that Barth wanted to combat. There have been many important developments since 1956, but this book remains among the most incisive examinations of a fundamental difference, if not the fundamental difference, between Catholic and Protestant ways of thinking about, and living, the Christian reality.


The Second One Thousand Years .
Edited by Richard John Neuhaus.
Eerdmans. 138 pp. $14.


Very handsomely put together here are the ten essays in the Millennium Series that appeared in this journal during 1999, plus an extended introductory reflection by Father Neuhaus on what the millennium does and does not mean. Authors include Robert Louis Wilken (on Gregory VII), David Novak (Maimonides), Romanus Cessario (Aquinas), Ro­ bert Hollander (Dante), Robert Royal (Columbus), Alister McGrath (Cal­ vin), Edward Oakes (Pascal), Mary Ann Glendon (Rousseau), Jean Bethke Elshtain (Lincoln), and George Weigel (John Paul II). The essays were, in our judgment, splendid in their separate publication and are even better when read together.


Making Patriots .
By Walter Berns.
University of Chicago Press. 146 pp. $20

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An elegantly written tract that explores why we have lost our sense of patriotism as a virtue, and what might be done about it. It is no criticism to say that Berns is clearer about the loss than about the remedy. The author’s understanding of patriotism is drawn chiefly from Greek antiquity, although in the American circumstance he appreciates the instrumental contribution of religion“in“general to the cultivation of virtue. The majority of Americans who when they think seriously about patriotism think about it in terms of the claims of Christ and Caesar will not find their concerns engaged by Making Patriots . It is, nonetheless, a very thoughtful argument that will reward the attention also of those who have a prior and higher allegiance than the allegiance to country.


Friendship and Ways to Truth .
By David B. Burrell.
University of Notre Dame Press. 136 pp. $15.


A philosophical and theological, yet very personal, reflection on what makes for friendship. Aristotle, Plato, Augustine, Lonergan, and many others come into play in Father Burrell’s argument that friendship requires an inter“subjectivity that is impossible without an understanding, based on personal experience, of faith as a way of knowing the truth.


New York Glory: Religions in the City .
Edited by Tony Carnes and Anna Karpathakis.
New York University Press. 440 pp. $60
.


John Paul II is not alone in having called New York City “the capital of the world.” In the view of many, however, it is also Babylon on the Hudson, the world source of rage against the dominion of God and all things good and true. In fact, New York is as riddled with religion as is the rest of the country, although it is more confusedly riddled. Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, and a host of other communities come in for attention in these twenty“five chapters of data, analysis, and narrative displaying what one might call, were the term not so abused, the gorgeous mosaic of religion in New York. Preface by Richard John Neuhaus.


Pardon and Peace: A Sinner’s Guide to Confession.
By Francis Randolph.
Ignatius. 130 pp. $12.95

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The author is an English priest who writes in a delightful manner reminiscent of Ronald Knox. He writes with priestly wisdom, common sense, and spiritual insight in a way that should greatly benefit those who go to confession regularly or almost never, as well as for those who just wonder what it is all about. A very useful book for penitent and priest alike.


Modernity’s Wager: Authority, the Self, and Transcendence .
By Adam B. Seligman.
Princeton University Press. 177 pp. $27.95

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Seligman of Boston University provides an intelligent and eminently civilized reflection on how we might get beyond modernity’s notion of the autonomous self, recognizing the irrepressible human need for authority, typically religious authority. The danger, of course, is religious intolerance, in response to which Seligman, following sociologist Peter Berger, suggests that believers must cultivate a measure of skepticism about their beliefs. One might respond, in turn, that a religiously based theory and practice of tolerance requires a non“skeptical belief in the imperative of tolerance. While Seligman’s proposed resolution of these questions does not satisfy, he offers a fair“minded introduction to questions that will not, and should not, go away.


The Promised End: Eschatology in Theology and Literature .
By Paul S. Fiddes.
Blackwell. 299 pp. $62.95.


A highly specialized survey of contemporary theology, literature, and critical theory dealing with the perception of endings. While the subject matter and many of the thinkers treated lend themselves to the esoteric, the argument is, considering, quite accessible to nonspecialists willing to make the effort.


Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boom­ ers and the Remaking of American Religion .
By Wade Clark Roof.
Princeton University Press. 367 pp. $24

.95

.


A sociologist of religion of the old school, Roof teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and here proposes a new “map” of American religion based on a 1988 national survey, with follow“up conversations by Roof with forty people, mainly in California. Roof suggests that Americans can be “mapped” as mainstream believers, born“again Christians, metaphysical believers, spiritual seekers, dogmatists, and secularists. The author is favorably disposed toward “mainstream believers” like himself, and has nothing good to say about evangelicals (a.k.a. fundamentalists) and almost nothing at all to say about orthodox (a.k.a. dogmatic) Catholics. The book may be of interest to the shrinking number of sociologists, and the even smaller remnant of the sociology of religion.


Classic Catholic Converts .
By Charles P. Connor.
Ignatius. 220 pp. $14.95

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Here are the compelling stories, compellingly told, of Elizabeth Ann Seton, John Henry Newman, Orestes Brownson, Isaac Hecker, Edith Stein, G. K. Chesterton, Jacques Maritain, Dorothy Day, and a host of others as remarkable for their differences as for their earnestness for truth who entered into full communion with the Catholic Church as adults. With the current growth in the number of adult converts, the stories seem strikingly contemporary.


The Transformation of American Religion: The Story of a Late“Twentieth“Century Awakening .
By Amanda Porterfield.
Oxford University Press. 272 pp. $27.50

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The author teaches religious studies at the University of Wyoming and relates her personal adventures through various spiritual liberationisms, Western and Eastern, concluding that American religion is being transformed by students exposed to religious studies taught by people like herself. It is an eccentric book that is not without its charms, such as a forty“page typology of American Buddhism that attends to the easily overlooked distinctions be­ tween practical, pious, and epistemological Buddhism as refracted through the postmodernist discourse of Jacques Derrida in dialectical tension with the insights of feminist theol­ogians (sic).


Articles by Various

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