2013 Catholic Press Association Book Award: 50th Anniversary of Vatican II (2nd Place)<br>Marking the fiftieth anniversary of the first session of Vatican II (1962-65), a watershed event in the history of the church, whose meaning and interpretation continue to inspire heated debate. In this book fifty distinguished authors, including theologians, journalists, spiritual writers, and pastoral leaders, offer their own assessment of the meaning of the Council and its historic documents, drawing in many cases on their personal experience as witnesses or participants. The contributors are a "who's who" of modern Catholic and non-Catholic voices: Francis X. Murphy (who, as "Xavier Rynne," penned an inside account of the Council for The New Yorker magazine), Martin E. Marty, Lisa Sowle Cahill, John O'Malley, Joan Chittister, Gregory Baum, Michael Novak, Basil Pennington, Richard McBrien, Cardinal Avery Dulles, John Dominic Crossan, Joseph Komonchak, Brother Roger of Taize, Cardinal Francis Arinze, Elizabeth Johnson, David Hollenbach, and many more.<br>For those who want to understand what happened at the Council, as well as those concerned about the state of the church today and the agenda for the future, these fifty personal stories provide an invaluable and inspiring resource.
Royal presents in a single volume a sweeping but readable account of how Catholic thinking developed in philosophy, theology, Scripture studies, culture, literature, and much more in the twentieth century. This involves great figures, recognized as such both inside and outside the Church, such as Jacques Maritain, Bernard Lonergan, Joseph Pieper, Edith Stein, Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor, Romano Guardini, Karl Rahner, Henri du Lubac, Karol Wojtyla, Joseph Ratzinger, Hans Urs von Balthasar,Charles Peguy, Paul Claudel, George Bernanos, Francois Mauriac, G. K. Chesterton, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Christopher Dawson, Graham Greene, Sigrid Undset, J. R. R. Tolkien, Czeslaw Milosz, and many more.
Royal argues that without rigorous thought, Catholicism - however welcoming and nourishing it might be - would become something like a doctor with a good bedside manner, but who knows little medicine. It has always been the aspiration of the Catholic tradition to unite emotion and intellect, action and contemplation. But unless we know what the tradition has already produced - especially in the work of the great figures of the recent past - we will not be able to answer the challenges that the modern world poses, or even properly recognize the true questions we face.
This is a reflective, non-polemical work that brings together various strands of Catholic thought in the twentieth century. A comprehensive guide to the recent past - and the future.
Philip A. Egan is a priest of the Diocese of Shrewsbury, England. He completed his doctoral studies at the University of Birmingham and specializes in the thought of John Henry Cardinal Newman and Bernard Lonergan, SJ. Until recently, he was the dean of studies and professor of foundational theology at St. Mary's College, Oscott.