File Size: 22499 KB
Print Length: 306 pages
Publisher: Image (September 6, 2011)
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
In his new book, Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith (Image, hardcover, 304 pages), Fr. Robert Barron explores these typical characteristics but doesn't stop there. He looks through many more lenses to reveal the core of Catholicism.
Barron is not just concerned with what's good and true about the Catholic tradition but in addition elaborate beautiful. The Catholic trust is not simply a matter of the mind and the soul but of the body and the senses. Therefore we want to fully understand "the Catholic thing", we need to gaze on art, history, culture, music, literature, and architecture:
"In order to grasp (Catholicism) completely, we have to read the Gospels, the Epistles of Paul, the Confessions of St. Augustine, the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas, The Divine Comedy of Dante, Saint John of the Cross' Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Tale of a Soul of Therese of Lisieux, among many other texts. But we also have to look and listen.
We all must consult the Tall of Chartres, the Sainte-Chapelle, the Arena Chapel, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, Bernini's Ecstasy of Saint Teresa; the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Grunewald's Crucifixion in the Isenheim Altarpiece, the soaring melodies of Gregorian chant, the Masses of Mozart, and the motets of Palestrina. "
In his Catholicism book, as well as in his epic ten-part film series with the same name, that is exactly what Barron does. More than the last five years he's traveled to more than fifty locations from Rome to Jerusalem to India to Poland to highlight the Catholic custom in all of their splendor, richness, texture, and genius. The film series will debut in October on PBS stations across the country, however the Catholicism book will be available in September.
To be blunt, this is simply the best book on Catholicism I've ever read. And I've read a lot of them. Without having hyperbole, I will say that this will now be the first book I'll recommend to anyone exploring the Catholic faith.
Barron is a systematic theologian at center, and Catholicism presents a complete tapestry of God and his Church. The book touches on every facet of Catholicism--Jesus, the apostles, Mary, the Church, the saints, prayer, the sacraments, and more.
The content in the publication aligns very closely with the scripts from the film series. In fact the book devotes one chapter to each episode in the series. But since "the medium is the message", the book convey Barron's content differently than the documentary does.
For instance, one of the most complex chapters concerns the existence and character of God. It's named "That Than Which Nothing Greater Can Be Thought", an allusion to St. Anselm's famous ontological argument. Within the film series, Barron's dense philosophical arguments can be tough to monitor. Moving fast they can fade behind the stunning visuals. Nevertheless the text in the book makes it easy to read slowly and grasp each concept before moving on (it also lets you flip back again if you would like a refresher. )
On the other hand, having seen large portions of the film series, the book can't take on the film's astonishing images and music. The publication does include more than one hundred black-and-white photographs along with an eight-page color insert. But in the film, Barron's words are illumined as you see the very places, culture, and artwork this individual is speaking about.
When this individual explains the Incarnation, for example, he doesn't just present his image of a strange baby King who thwarts the violent Roman Empire--he stands at the site of the Nativity. He doesn't just explain the vibrant celebration of the Ugandan martyrs--he will take you to Africa so you can see the tribal excitement for yourself. So as the book makes it much easier to digest the more complex material, it does lack the visual and audible flair of the film series.
Those familiar with Fr. Barron's other materials will quickly recognize his favorite themes in this publication. For instance, the "loop of grace" and the non-violent, non-competitive nature of God are seen throughout. And his chapter on the saints, one of the book's most exhilarating, recalls material from The Priority of Christ.
Within this chapter he profiles four holy women--a not so subtle reply to those who accuse the Church of being anti-feminist. Therese of Lisieux, Katherine Drexel, Edith Stein, and Mother Teresa exemplify what Barron calls "elevated virtue" and they we will flavor the wildly diverse community of saints.
Barron also applies his characteristic intelligence and artistry to the peculiar teachings of Jesus, the missionary zeal of Peter and Paul, the core importance of Mary, the riches of Catholic spirituality, and even death, judgment, heaven, and heck.
Catholicism closes with a grand crescendo, climbing and trumpeting in the direction of one of the most stirring conclusions I have ever read. The complete book flows similarly to Dante's Divine Comedy. Whenever you complete Catholicism, just like completing Dante's Paradiso, your soul is left soaring.
Ultimately, Catholicism stands as Barron's magnum opus, the culmination of his life's work so far. Which means it's the best work from one of the world's best theologians, a monumental present to the Church. RCIA programs across the country should adopt the publication as a foundational text message, and through Word on Fire's own study program, parishes should use the film series and publication to reignite the interest of these flock.
One reviewer described the book and film series as "the most vivid catechism ever created. " And I actually think he's right. This specific will go down as the greatest catechetical tool of our generation, the premier, single-volume book on Catholicism.
In a culture hungry for truth, Catholicism offers answers. To people searching for goodness, it provides the road in the direction of sainthood. In a world determined for beauty, this publication ravishes.
If you're a Catholic, have this book and discover the radiance of your faith.
In case you are not a Catholic, get this book and glimpse the Church's splendor, maybe for the first time.
Once you know a young person, an RCIA candidate, or a fallen away Catholic burned up out by religion, let this book spark new wonder.
Whoever you are, and for whoever you know, buy this publication. I simply can't give it a higher recommendation., I actually really enjoyed this publication. I am a non- catholic and bought this book just to see why Catholicism differs from simple. Huge eye opener for myself. It is well written and concise. He makes his points clear and understandable for everyone. He explains why Catholicism has its traditions and sacraments and where they are tied to in the bible. I feel like Father Barron was communicating to me sometimes and I know this book has helped to fill some spiritual gaps in my life that I have felt while attending my local chapel. I have since bought his other book " Paradoxes" and " Rising up Catholic" by Chad Torgenson". This guide started a spiritual reawakening for myself and set me over a new path. I hope it will for you too., For this reason well written, clear, relatable and simple to understand book, I'm Catholic.
Well, not the ONLY reason, I give almost all of the credit to my parish priest and, of course, God. But a huge amount of my faith formation included "Catholicism". Fr. Barron has an amazing ability for taking sometimes very difficult subject matter and communicate it in a way thay makes people feel engaged. I actually sometimes felt like God was speaking through Fr. Barron because I'd be struggling and then right there in front of me was the thoughtful, intelligent answer, all explained without dumbing it down.
On of sixteen August 2014, I used to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church. The best day of my entire life! If you're looking for answers to what can be difficult concepts, this book is for you. I'm looking towards (hopefully) meeting Fr. Barron when he comes to my city in a few weeks so I can thank him or her in person., I was born into the Faith almost 64 years ago, grew up in it, and thought I understood it. NOPE!!!!! The previous 30+ years have been the journey of my title; A Journey into my Faith. This publication is a very delightful assist on that trip. I hope it is the same for anyone looking over this. Read the book; Listen closely to and sense the wonder within. Read and enjoy!!!!!, Excellent walk through the faith.
I have this book on Kindle and as an audiobook from Audible; and am like the Audible version the most. Bishop Barron speaks wonderfully and clearly.
In addition to being a great book to reflect on and pray with as a Catholic, I think listening to this publication will be a great introduction to the Catholic faith for anybody interesting in learning more about what Catholicism is all about., Simply put, this publication, and even more so the companion video, changed my entire life by reconnecting me to a Catholic faith. While I actually have been a relatively active Catholic over the years, I had lost a sense of link with the beauty and truth of the trust. The horrific scandals paired with many years since experiencing any formalized Catholic teaching (in grade school) had drained me of zeal or enthusiasm. These types of wonderfully vibrant materials healed and energized me! I will be forever in Fr. Barron's debt. Converts, reverts, active Catholics or anyone else - there's nothing better or more accessible to open the door to our faith. The delightful result of a deeper relationship with God is just around the corner., This book tells the whole story. My wife is a newly minted Catholic and the book and DVD set were mostly on her behalf, but, I figured out a lot myself. I actually highly recommend this book., It is pretty deep, but as I wade through it one becomes enlightened to many really thought provoking ideas and opportunities for understanding. I've been taking a chunk each time. I actually really enjoy his notifications and Lenten devotions, similar but more in-depth. I actually must not have access to paid much attention during Catechism.
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