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What Really Happened at Vatican II

What Happened at Vatican II by John W. O’Malley Harvard University Press, 372 pages, $29.95 Vatican II: Renewal Within Tradition edited by Matthew Lamb and Matthew Levering Oxford University Press, 462 pages, $29.95 When asked what he thought about the French Revolution, Zhou Enlai, China’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Two Thomisms,
Two Modernities

The past century and a half of papal teaching on modern times often seems a tangle: any number of different strands—theology, Thomistic ­philosophy, social theory, economics—all snarled together. And yet a little historical analysis may help loosen the knot. In fact, a careful reading . . . . Continue Reading »

Biblical Interpretation
in Crisis

In Wladimir Solowjew’s History of the Antichrist, the eschatological enemy of the Redeemer recommended himself to believers, among other things, by the fact that he had earned his doctorate in theology at Tübingen and had written an exegetical work which was recognized as pioneering in the field. . . . . Continue Reading »

How to Read the Bible

Allegory fell on hard times in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Although the charm of beloved works of English literature such as Spenser’s Faerie Queene and Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress lies in the imaginative use of allegory, biblical scholars banished the term from their vocabulary. . . . . Continue Reading »

Saving Ecumenism from Itself

The Oberlin conference on The Nature of the Unity We Seek, which met fifty years ago, in September 1957, marked an important stage in the ecumenical movement. For the first time, the churches in North America in large numbers committed themselves to the quest for Christian unity. The composition of . . . . Continue Reading »

Talmudic Jesus

Jesus in the Talmud by peter schäfer princeton university press, 232 pages, $24.95 Rabbinic literature is surprisingly silent on Christianity—but Jesus makes a cameo appearance in the Talmud, and it isn’t an endearing one. In scattered passages, the Talmud’s sages portray him as a child . . . . Continue Reading »

Metaphysical America

A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion by catherine l. albanese yale university press, 640 pages, $40 If one is looking for a fascinating tour of the many sideshows of the carnival that is religion in America, Catherine L. Albanese is the guide you want. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Churches of Earthly Power

Michael Burleigh’s study of European religion and politics requires us to imagine a very different Europe than the one we behold today—not the polity of bureaucrats in Brussels but a Europe of statesmen and revolutionaries who aimed at the most extravagant notions of national . . . . Continue Reading »

The Secret of the Self

Consider the obituary column in your local newspaper—not the obituary of anyone famous but just an ordinary obituary of an ordinary person from an ordinary place. Consider it first as a surviving family member or friend, the one who has to gather the information for the obituary and select . . . . Continue Reading »

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