Famous Last Words

You know: when most people get ready to write a little something for the Christmas season, they fire up the Yule log, and they have a little eggnog, and toss a little tinsel, and eat a cookie, and then they have this sweet smell on their breath as they talk about how joyful a season this . . . . Continue Reading »

Church Ladies

Catholic and Feminist: The Surprising History of the American Catholic Feminist Movement by mary j. henold university of north carolina press, 304 pages, $32 Ihave never met a nun—there was a time when this would have been a truly bizarre statement from an American Catholic. Nuns were everywhere: . . . . Continue Reading »

Recovering the Bible

The Bible contains a verse that scholars like to quote. It is from the book of Ecclesiastes: “Of making many books there is no end, and much study is weariness of the flesh” (12:12). In context it serves as a warning against the vain illusion that we can study our way to the Kingdom of God. The . . . . Continue Reading »

Theology After the Revolution

Twentieth-Century Catholic Theologians: From Chenu to Ratzinger by fergus kerr blackwell, 240 pages, $29.95 Over the last decade, a Scottish Dominican named Fergus Kerr has produced a series of books designed to orient readers to contemporary trends. In the 1997 Immortal Longings, he discussed a . . . . Continue Reading »

Kierkegaard for Grownups

That extraordinary writer of stories about the “Christ-haunted” American South, Flannery O’Connor, was frequently asked why her people and plots were so often outlandish, even grotesque. She answered, “To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you have to draw large and . . . . Continue Reading »

Modernism, Science, and Spirituality

Some of the greatest Modernists, including the painter Georges Rouault, the poet T. S. Eliot, and the composer Igor Stravinsky, found in the language of abstraction, fragmentation, and primitivism ways to reconnect ancient religious truths with the conditions of the modern . . . . Continue Reading »

The Radical Orthodoxy Project

Novelty provides cheap thrills, and a student of Christian theology is rightly skeptical of agendas and programs that claim to renew Christian faith and practice with new concepts, new paradigms, and new theologies. Much that modern theology has hawked as “new” and “renewing” has led to . . . . Continue Reading »

To NATO from Plato

Justice Among Nations: On the Moral Basis of Power and Peaceby thomas l. pangle and peter j. ahrensdorfuniversity press of kansas, 362 pages, $45 Makers of American foreign policy today are experiencing a philosophical dearth, a want of broad principles of governmental conduct in world affairs. This . . . . Continue Reading »

Negative Theology

The Concept of Biblical Theology: An Old Testament Perspectiveby james barrfortress, 715 pages, $40 Formerly the Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford and now the Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Bible Emeritus at Vanderbilt Divinity School, James Barr is surely one of the leading biblical scholars . . . . Continue Reading »