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Vol 39 No 3


Richard Lennan
STILL RELEVANT? Vatican II Forty Years On

Tony Paganoni CS
ETHNIC MINISTRY IN AUSTRALIA: History, Present Realities and Future Options

Frank Fletcher MSC
THE SPIRITUALITY OF THE HEART: The EJ Cuskelly Memorial Lecture 2005

Brian San

Rev Dr Lawrence Cross, Australian Catholic University

John Falzon
STATS AND STONES: Vinnies’ report from the trenches on the poverty wars

Danny Kinnane
MERTON: A Modern Perspective

Janiene Wilson
REVIEW: Jane Anderson, Priests in Love: Australian Catholic Clergy and Their Intimate Friendships

Kevin Mark


New religious books by Australasian authors


Arthur Boyd and Saint Francis of Assisi: Pastels, lithographs and tapesteries, 1964-1974; Margaret Pont; Macmillan Art Publishing; HB $88.00 [1876832800]; 144pp; 265x255mm; 2004

Arthur Boyd (1920-1999) produced numerous artworks based on the life and legends of St Francis of Assisi. The original works were produced to accompany a reprint of a 1936 biography of the saint by art historian Tom Boase in the 1960s. Boyd produced both a set of 25 lithographs and versions in colour pastels. In the 1970s he produced 20 tapestries based on the pastels. This volume examines each of the artworks in detail, and each is reproduced (the pastels and tapestries in full colour). Also includes discussion of the significance of St Francis in Italy and key Italian artistic renderings of the saint. Preface by Vincenzo Coli, Custodian of the Sacro Convento, Basilica of San Francesco, Assisi. Introduction by Margaret Manion, Honorary Curator of Medieval and Early Renaissance Art, National Gallery of Victoria. Epilogue by William Cook, a Professor of History, State University of New York. Other colour and black-and-white photos; catalogue of Boyd's St Francis works; early Franciscan sources and biographies; bibliography. Author wrote a Master of Arts thesis at the University of Melbourne on the subject of this book, and is a Research Fellow at the University's School of Art History.

Australia's Religious Communities: A multimedia exploration; Philip J. Hughes (editor); Christian Research Association; CD-Rom $137.50 [1875223223]; 190x135mm; 2005

Second edition of a CD-Rom resource first published in 2000, revised to reflect the 2001 Census and other recent survey findings. Gives an account of more than 170 religious groups in Australia. 29 religious families are covered with book-length materials. These cover history, the history in Australia, beliefs and practices, organisation, statistics and biographies. (For example, the material on the Catholic community is based on the text of Robert Dixon's The Catholic Community in Australia [see below], but does not include the complete statistics and analysis found in the book version.) A shorter account is given of other groups. In most cases, the account of a religious group is by one of its members. Language used is simple and descriptive. Many illustrations are included and video clips of worship are provided for the large religious groups. Suitable for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX operating systems; includes instructional booklet. Materials can be viewed using a web-browser, so installation is not required. Can be installed on a network and site licences are available. Editor is the senior research officer of the Christian Research Association and has worked for the organisation since it was established in 1985.

The Catholic Community in Australia; Robert Dixon; Openbook, dist. by Christian Research Association; PB $28.00 [0859109844]; 144pp; 235x160mm; 2005

Volume in the 'Australia's Religious Communities' series produced by the Christian Research Association under the general editorship of Philip J. Hughes. First published as The Catholics in Australia (1996), the book has been significantly revised and updated. Chapter 1 offers a concise history of the Catholic community in Australia, while Chapter 2 provides an overview of Catholic briefs and practices. Chapter 3 is a survey of the organisation of the Catholic Church in Australia, from Bishops Conference to Aboriginal ministry. An account of Eastern Catholics follows. Chapter 5 profiles the contemporary Catholic community using the 2001 Census. The final chapter examines three aspects of Catholic life in detail, making use of statistical data: parishes, Catholic schools, and 'religious professionals', that is, clergy, religious and parish pastoral associates. Photos, tables, figures; glossary; works cited; other sources of data; suggested further reading. Author is Director of the Pastoral Projects Office of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and a Visiting Research Fellow at Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. He co-authored Taking Stock: A profile of Australian church attenders (1999).

The Chosen Ones: The politics of salvation in the Anglican Church; Chris McGillion; Allen & Unwin; PB $29.95 [1741143136]; 272pp; 210x140mm; 2005

Study of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney since the early 1990s. During a period in which Anglicans throughout the Western world generally embraced more progressive approaches to ecclesiology and theology, Sydney Anglicans adopted a more conservative and extreme form of Protestantism. The struggle for power within the diocese culminated in the appointment of Peter Jensen as Archbishop of Sydney. Sydney is the richest Anglican diocese in the world and McGillion examines the impact of its 'new Reformation' (his term) across Australia and internationally. Foreword by Gary D. Bouma; endnotes; biography; index. Author is the religious affairs commentator for the 'Sydney Morning Herald' and senior lecturer in print journalism at Charles Sturt University. He is also currently editor of Online Catholics. He edited A Long Way from Rome: Why the Australian Catholic Church is in crisis (2003).

Christ in a Grain of Sand: An ecological journey with the Spiritual Exercises; Neil Vaney SM; Ave Maria Press, dist. by John Garratt Publishing; PB $34.95 [1594710171]; 191pp; 225x150mm; 2004

Adaptation of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola, drawing on modern ecological awareness and scientific understanding of nature. Presents materials for daily use over a four-week period. For each day, the author provides a Prayer Desire, Ignatian Focus (citing the Spiritual Exercises), Introduction (to the day's theme), Ecological Reflection, Scripture Reflection, Scripture Commentary, Additional Scripture Passages, Questions for Reflection, and a Final Thought. Volume could be used as a companion during retreat (over 30 days, or any period of time), or as a liturgical resource. Foreword by William A. Barry SJ. Photos; list of sources/references. Author is a Marist Father and a lecturer in Christian ethics at Good Shepherd College, Auckland, New Zealand. He holds an STL from Gregorian University, Rome, and a doctorate from the University of Otago.

Dictionary of Religious Orders; Peter Day; Burns & Oates, UK, dist. by Allen & Unwin; PB $39.95 [0860123952]; 463pp; 230x155mm; 2005

Dictionary covering some 1450 existing and defunct religious Orders and Congregations, Institutes, Societies and Public Associations in the Western Chruch (Catholic, Anglican and Protestant). First part of each entry lists the current headquarters, date of foundation, name of the founder, and details of the original habit. There follows a brief history of the Order and an account of the present-day activities of the communities. Sub-families of the major Orders have also been included. First published in hardcover 2001. Glossary; list of abbreviations; list of alternative names in alphabetical order with cross-references to relevant entries; and summary list of Orders. Author was born in Australia and educated at Sydney and Queensland universities before moving to England. He is a member of the Russian Orthodox Church. Previous books include The Liturgical Dictionary of Eastern Christianity (1993).

A Fair Go in an Age of Terror: Uniya's Jesuit Lenten Seminars 2003 and 2004; Patty Fawkner SGS (editor); David Lovell Publishing; PB $18.95 [1863551077]; 148pp; 215x140mm; 2004

Collection of presentations given as part of the Jesuit Lenten Seminar series by Uniya, the Jesuit Social Justice Centre. They address the climate of fear, anger and intolerance following the events of September 11, 2001. The 2003 seminar had the theme 'Muslims and Christians – Where do we all stand?' Keynote papers were by Rome-based Australian Jesuit priest, Dan Madigan, and Muslim academic, Abdullah Saeed, with a response by Frank Brennan SJ, former Director of Uniya. All three texts are included. The 2004 seminar had the theme 'A Fair Go in an Age of Terror', and considered how the rhetoric of the so-called 'war of terror' had compromised human rights and traditional Australian values. The keynote address was by Frank Brennan. It is presented here, along with responses by Alex Bruce, Mohamad Abdalla, Nitra Kidson, Matt Foley, Miriam Gani, Teresa Bonello, Anthony Burke, Duncan Campbell, Patty Fawkner, Alison Broinowki, and Hannah Moore. Footnotes; notes on contributors. Editor is a Good Samaritan Sister, Director of Uniya, and member of the Commission of Australian Catholic Women.

Free to be Priest; Fr Len Thomas; Spectrum; PB $14.95 [086786382X]; 54pp; 240x170mm; 2005

Autobiography of a priest of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, produced to celebrate his 70th birthday and his 40 years of priesthood. Consists of brief stories and anecdotes, ranging from the author's early interest in journalism and theatre, to his appearance as a grave-side priest in the movie Dogs in Space. Includes stories of parish ministry, ecumenism, mental healthcare chaplaincy, and of his experiences as Melbourne Director of Australian Catholic Relief (now Caritas) 1971-93. The book has as its theme the ways in which people, both within the church and outside it, have freed the author 'to be something of what God wants'. Photos; fold-out family tree.

The Gift of Julian of Norwich; Karen Manton; Lynne Muir (illustrator); John Garratt Publishing; HB $19.95 [1920721150]; 128pp; 150x150mm; 2005

Giftbook presentation of the spirituality of Julian of Norwich (c. 1342-1420). Part 1 provides an introduction to Julian's life, writings and their historical and social context. Part 2 presents quotations from Julian's Revelations on Divine Love (also known as A Book of Showings), grouped under a number of themes, with each section introduced by Manton. Illustrated throughout with original colour illustrations, calligraphy and decorations by artist Muir, who also illustrated the two previous books in this series, The Gift of Saint Benedict (Verna A. Holyhead, 2002) and The Gift of Saint Francis (John Davis & Don McMonigle, 2003). Guide to further reading; glossary. Author is a writer, editor and project coordinator who studied Julian of Norwich as part of her MA research thesis at the University of Melbourne.

Journeying: A beginner's guide to the Bible; Michael Trainor; St Pauls; PB $9.95 [1876295902]; 71pp; 215x140mm; 2005

Guide for first-time Bible readers. The chapters that the comprise the body of the book introduce the various types of writing found in the Bible: Story, Myth, The Epic, History, Poetry and Song, Wisdom, Prophecy, the Gospels, Letters, and Apocalyptic writings. Each chapter concludes with questions for personal reflection or group study. Annotated guide to Bible editions and further introductions. Portions of the book were previously published in the author's Befriending the Text (1991). Author is a priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide who teaches the Bible at the Adelaide College of Divinity. Previous books include Jesus in Luke's Gospel (1995) and The Quest for Home: The household in Mark's community (2001).

Julian Tenison Woods: 'Father Founder'; Margaret M. Press RSJ; St Pauls; PB $24.95 [1876295945]; 287pp; 210x135mm; 2004

Biography of Fr Woods (1832–89), best known as the controversial co-founder (with Mary MacKillop) of the Sisters of St Joseph. First published 1979. This is a reprint of the revised edition published by Collins Dove 1994. It remains the only full-length study of Woods in print and also examines his significant contributions as scientist, priest, educationalist, journalist and missioner. Foreword by Paul Gardiner SJ, postulator of the cause of MacKillop. Photos; notes; bibliography; detailed listing of Woods' scientific publications; index. Author is a Josephite sister whose other publications include a two-volume history of South Australian Catholics, From Our Broken Soil (1986) and Colour and Shadow (1991), as well as an annotated edition of Mary MacKillop's 1903 manuscript, Julian Tenison Woods: A life (1997).

Marxist Criticism of the Bible; Roland Boer; Continuum (T&T Clark International), UK, dist. by Allen & Unwin; HB $215.00 [0826463274]; PB $75.00 [0826463282]; 279pp; 235x155mm; 2003

A critical introduction to Marxist literary criticism, with specific reference to its application to biblical interpretation. Each of the eight chapters examines a leading critic in the Marxist tradition, namely: Louis Althusser, Antonio Gramsci, Terry Eagleton, Henri Lefebvre, Georg Lukacs, Ernst Bloch, Theodor Adorno, Fredric Jameson, and Walter Benjamin. In each chapter the author also employs the critic's approach for a detailed interpretation of a selected biblical text. Footnotes; bibliography; index of references; index of authors. Author is Logan Research Fellow, Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology, Monash University, Melbourne. Previous books include Novel Histories: The fiction of biblical criticism (1997) and Last Stop before Antarctica: The Bible and postcolonialism in Australia (2001).

Steps to Life: A spiritual journey with Christian mysticism and the Twelve Steps; Joanna Thyer; ABC Books; PB $24.95 [0733314171]; 181pp; 210x135mm; 2004

Self-help guidebook that relates the Twelve Steps program developed by Alcoholics Anonymous to classic Christian wisdom. Following a general introduction to the origin of the Twelve Steps and their spiritual basis, each of the chapters that follows explores one of the Steps in detail, with reference to the writings of great Christian teachers, including John of the Cross, Ignatius of Loyola, Julian of Norwich and Francis of Assisi, as well as more recent writers such as Thomas Merton and John Main. While the Twelve Steps are specifically for those battling addiction, the book broadens their application to assist those dealing with significant life changes, depression or low self-esteem. Endnotes; bibliography. Author is a workplace counsellor and has degrees in psychology and theology.

The What Can the Church Say?: Politics and religion in contemporary Australia; Andrew Murray sm; St Pauls; PB $19.95 [1876295929]; 104pp; 215x140mm; 2005

Fifth of the 'Windows Into…' series, providing concise introductions to contemporary issues, encouraging thought, conversation and informed action. This volume focuses on the relationship between politics and religion and how the church might engage in public discussion of issues that are called political. Begins with an examination of a range of events between 2001 and 2004, both here and abroad, that have seen Australian church leaders engage in political debate. Chapter 2 discusses the essential relationship between politics and religion, and considers some particular Catholic issues and teachings. The following chapter turns to an exploration of 'how the church, through its leaders, might engage effectively in public discussion'. A concluding chapter applies the book's principles to the church's own practise of preaching. The examination is philosophical rather than theological, though written from a Catholic perspective. Each chapter concludes with questions for discussion; bibliography; endnotes. Author is a Catholic priest in the congregation of the Marist Fathers, has a doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of America, and is senior lecturer in philosophy at the Catholic Institute of Sydney.

Where's God?; Victor Kelleher; Elise Hurst (illustrator); Lothian Books; HB$26.95 [0734407483]; 32pp; 285x215mm; 2005

Upbeat picture storybook for children about a young boy's search for where God lives. Peter first quizzes the members of his family, but when they cannot answer the question to his satisfaction he continues his quest by seeking out a priest in the local church, a Hindu shopkeeper, then an elderly poor man in the park who tells Peter he can find God in his heart. Colour illustrations throughout. Author is an award-winning writer for both children and adults. Illustrator is both a fine artist and book illustrator.

The Wreck of Western Culture: Humanism revisited; John Carroll; Scribe Publications; PB $35.00 [192076917X]; 286pp; 235x150mm; 2004

Substantially revised edition of a work first published as 'Humanism: The wreck of Western culture' (1993). Offers a critique of the five hundred years of humanism, since the Renaissance and Reformation, challenging common orthodoxies about humanism's merits. Author describes the essence of the book as 'the spiritual history of the modern West'. He particularly demonstrates his case against humanism by consideration of masterpieces of high culture. Among the numerous revisions to this edition is the addition of a concluding chapter on the failure of humanism through reflection on September 11, 2001; this draws on the author's Terror: A meditation on the meaning of September 11 (2002). Eight-page insert reproducing images of artworks; list of works; notes; bibliography; index. Author is a Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Other books include Ego and Soul: The modern West in search of meaning (1998) and The Western Dreaming (2001).