Telling the American Catholic Story

Catholics in America have rarely taken the study of their history seriously. My own educational circumstances, which were hardly unique, may illustrate the point. In nineteen years (1956-75) of a generally excellent Catholic education in church-sponsored schools and seminaries, I never once was . . . . Continue Reading »

Catholics Against Hitler

The Jesuits and the Third Reich by vincent a. lapomarda, s. j. the edwin mellen press, 375 pages, $39.95 At the beginning of this valuable study, Vincent A. Lapomarda, who is Curator of the Hiatt Collection of Holocaust Materials at Holy Cross College, allows that Catholics have not recounted . . . . Continue Reading »

Nature's Call

In Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana the dissolute but not, he emphatically insists, officially “defrocked” Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon has been “collecting evidence . . . of man’s inhumanity to God.” When asked what he means by that. Shannon indicates that he refers to the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Social History of American Religion

Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People by jon butler harvard university press, 360 pages, $29.50  Jon Butler’s Awash in a Sea of Faith is the most ambitious and successful effort to date to link the social or behavioral history of American religion with that of medieval . . . . Continue Reading »

The Real John Courtney Murray

The Search for an American Public Theology: The Contribution of John Courtney Murray by robert w. mcelroy paulist press, 216 pages, $10.95  The Ethics of Discourse: The Social Philosophy of John Courtney Murray by j. leon hooper georgetown university press, 283 pages, $17.95  William Lee . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith and Politics

The Political Meaning of Christianity: An Interpretationby glenn tinder louisiana state university press, 257pages, $29.95  “I seek God! I seek God,” wails the madman. “Whither is God?” “We have killed him,” cries the crowd, “you and I. All of us are his murderers . . . God is . . . . Continue Reading »

What Families Are For

In his engagingly titled book, What’s Wrong With the World, G. K. Chesterton argued that his fellow citizens could not repair the defects of the family because they had no ideal at which to aim. Neither the Tory (Gudge) nor the Socialist (Hudge) had an ideal that viewed the family as sacred, an . . . . Continue Reading »

The Demon in the Jewish Soul

Demons surface. For most people, demons surface in nightmares, but for us, for Jews, demons seem to surface in history. Pharaoh, Amalek, Nebuchadnezzar, Titus, Torquemada, Chmielnitsky, and Hitler were real demons. They killed real Jews. The night demons can be forgotten, but not the demons that . . . . Continue Reading »

Heaven Is My Home

It sometimes seems to me through the mists of memory that I spent my childhood in church. That is not actually the case, of course. There was the weekly Sunday morning service, preceded by Sunday School, and it was invariable, no more to be questioned or argued over than attendance at regular . . . . Continue Reading »