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Vol 39 No 4


Francis Mansour LCM

Charles Hill

Terry Lyons

Vincent Battaglia

Sophie McGrath RSM

Peter Malone MSC

Kevin Mark



New religious books by Australasian authors


A thirst for God: Spiritual desire in Bernard of Clairvaux's Sermons on the Song of Songs; Michael Casey; Cistercian Publications, USA, dist. by John Garratt Publishing; PB $84.95 [0879072776]; 396pp; 215x140mm; 2005
Reprint of a work first published 1988. Number 77 in the 'Cistercian Studies' series, it is a reworking of the author's thesis presented to the Melbourne College of Divinity in 1979. It is a detailed guide to and commentary on The Sermons on the Song of Songs by Cistercian abbot Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153). While the treatment is scholarly, Casey's primarly purpose was to produce a work of spirituality and present Bernard as a master of spiritual living for today. Footnotes; detailed select bibliography; indices. Author is a Cistercian monk and Prior of Tarrawarra Abbey, Victoria. His other works include The Undivided Heart (1994) and Fully Human, Fully Divine (2004).

Australian Religious Diary 2006; David Lovell (editor); David Lovell Publishing; HB $32.00 [1863551093]; 132pp; 240x175mm; 2005
Religious diary for Australian use from 27 November 2005 (First Sunday of Advent) until 6 January 2007. Each week-to-an-opening indicates Catholic feast days and daily lectionary readings, as well as the major feasts and holy days of Eastern Rite Catholics, the Anglican, Uniting, Lutheran and Orthodox churches, and of the Jewish and Muslim religions. Liturgical colours for each Sunday are indicated. Illustrated with 18 reproductions, 11 in colour, of religious art and sculpture by Australian artists. Includes notes on the artists, and an essay on Aboriginal artist Linda Syddick, whose painting 'Leaving Home' is reproduced on the cover. The diary has been published annually since 1993.

An Authentic Life: Finding meaning and spirituality in everyday life; Caroline Jones; ABC Books; PB $29.95 [0733316603]; 365pp; 230x150mm; 2005
Second edition of a work first published 1998. Author is a veteran broadcaster and journalist best known for the ABC Radio National program 'The Search for Meaning'. Broadcast 1987–94, it featured interviewees speaking about their lives and how they made meaning. This book is something of a sequel to the four published collections of 'Search for Meaning' interviews. Author presents stories and reflections from her own life and those she has interviewed as a means by which the reader can reflect on their own life and its meaning. Each chapter concludes with questions for journal writing, and guidance for using the book for group discussion is also included. The major addition to this edition is a lengthy introduction in which the author reflects on her experiences since the book's first publication, especially her involvement with groups throughout Australia using the book for self-reflection. Endnotes. Author was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988 and has presented the 'Australian Story' program on ABC Television for the last ten years.

An Authentic Life: Finding meaning and spirituality in everyday life; Caroline Jones; ABC Books (ABC Audio); Audio CD Set $39.95 [0642589372]; 2005
Presention of the above book on a set of four compact disks. Read by the author, it has been somewhat adapted and abridged for this audio presentation. Duration is approximately 4.5 hours. Includes a booklet on how to use the CDs for group discussion. An audio cassette version was also released of the original edition of the book in 1998. This release includes the new introduction from the book's second edition.

The Black Dress: Mary MacKillop's early years; Pamela Freeman; Black Dog Books, www.bdb.com.au; PB $17.95 [1876372877]; 270pp; 210x140mm; 2005
Novel for teenage and young adult readers based on the early life of Blessed Mary MacKillop (1842–1909), the founder of the Sisters of St Joseph. Story is told as the recollections of MacKillop at the end of her life as she faces death. She recounts the trials of growing up in a poor family and her developing sense of religious vocation. Includes guide to further information; teacher notes are available from the publisher's website. Sydney-based author is an experienced writer for children and young adults.

Christ Our Light: Praying with Rembrandt's etchings of the life of Christ from the collection in the National Gallery of Victoria; Anne Margot Boyd; John Garratt Publishing; HB $19.95 [1920721193]; 128pp; 160x180mm; 2005
In giftbook format, this volume presents fifteen images of the life of Jesus Christ by Dutch master artist Rembrandt van Rijn (1609–1669), and invites the reader to use them for a prayerful encounter with God. The art works are etchings that can be found in the National Gallery of Victoria. Introduction suggests ways in which one can 'let God transform us through contemplation of a prayerful image'. Each meditation has the following structure: The etching is reproduced on a page by itself, for the reader to ponder. A relevant biblical passage is presented, followed by a reflection providing some background information on the etching, but aimed primarily at bringing details to the viewer's attention and encourage prayer. Final page of each meditation provides a concluding prayer, framed by details from the etching and key words. Chronology of the life of Rembrandt. Boyd has many year's experience as a religious and educational book editor, and is a Dominican Associate currently researching a Master of Arts on the paintings of St Catherine of Siena.

Early Christian Life and Thought in Social Context: A reader; Mark Harding; Continuum (T&T Clark International), UK, dist. by Allen & Unwin; HB $210 [0826456030]; PB $59.95 [0826456049]; 392pp; 245x170mm; 2003
Volume in the 'Understanding the Bible and Its World' series. Anthology for students of the New Testament and early Christianity that integrates concise explanatory comment on various aspects of the historical and social situation of the early Christians with substantial extracts from primary sources by way of illustration. Sources include the Greek and Roman classics, the early Jewish writers Josephus and Philo, the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, the Bible, Rabbinic literature, and papyri and inscriptions. Book is divided into eight parts dealing with the political, literary, religious, philosophical and social contexts of the early Christians. Each part is sub-divided into topics on discrete subjects, beginning with an introduction followed by relevant primary sources, along with commentary as required. Notes at end of each section; bibliography; numerical list of sources; indexes of sources, subjects and names. Author is Dean of the Australian College of Theology.

Enemy Aliens: The internment of Italian migrants in Australia during the Second World War; Connor Court Publishing, www.connorcourt.com.au; PB $20.00 [0975801503]; 86pp; 210x150mm; 2005
Four papers on aspects of the internment of Italian migrants in Australia following Italy's declaration of war on Britain and France in 1940. Cate Elkner examines what happened in Victoria, using Werribee as a case study. Ilma Martinuzzi O'Brien uses case studies from Queensland to consider the importance of internment in the life histories of Italian-Australians and what light the internment throws on Australian attitudes to citizenship and civil rights. Gateano Rando writes of Andrea La Macchia, an internee in NSW. Anthony Cappello considers the assistance given to the Italian community by Archbishop Mannix of Melbourne. Foreword by James Franklin, University of NSW. Endnotes; notes on contributors; index. First book from a new publisher established by Anthony Cappello, formerly publisher with Freedom Publishing.

God's Trailblazers: Great figures in the early church; Cardinal Edward Clancy; St Pauls; PB $15.95 [1921032065]; 112pp; 215x140mm; 2005
Presents concise bibliographies of thirteen great Fathers of the early church, ranging from St Athanasius (295-356) to St Augustine (354-430). There is also a final chapter on the popes of the fourth century. The introduction explains the historical setting of the church in the fourth century, while the conclusion considers the legacy of the church of that period. Appendix: Note on the fourth-century emperors; bibliography. Author served as Archbishop of Sydney from 1983 until 2001, and was appointed a Cardinal in 1988. He received a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Urban University, Rome, and taught Sacred Scripture at St Patrick's College, Manly, until he was appointed bishop in 1973. Other books include Come Back! The Church loves you (2002) and Walk Worthy of Your Vocation (2004).

A Pillow for My Heart: Words for resting our grief; Verna A. Holyhead sgs; John Garratt Publishing; PB $9.95 [192072107X];72pp; 135x100mm; 2004
Pocket-sized book to assist those grieving the death of a loved one. Presents brief texts from the Bible, other Christian works and other religious traditions, as well as some original prayers and reflections by the author. The first and longest section is entitled 'The Early Days of Grief'. 'After a Death which Breaks Special Bonds' has texts on specific deaths, such as of a parent, a stillborn child, by suicide. Final section has texts for 'Special First Occasions after the Death of a Loved One'. Some texts feature calligraphy by Lynne Muir. Holyhead is an Australian religious in the Benedictine tradition whose previous publications include Following the Cross (1998) and The Gift of Saint Benedict (2002).

Sacred Space: The prayer book 2006; Jesuit Communication Centre, Ireland; Michelle Anderson Publishing, www.michelleandersonpublishing.com, dist. by John Garratt Publishing; PB $24.95 [085572367X]; 377pp; 210x135mm; 2005
Daily prayer book for the 2005–2006 liturgical year. It is based on the website www.sacredspace.ie, established in 1999 by Alan McGuckian SJ and Peter Scally SJ of the Jesuit Communication Centre, Ireland. The site has had over 15 million visits and is translated into 19 languages. The book presents the same process of prayer: each week begins with 'Something to think and pray about each day this week', then six brief 'stages of prayer', which include a scripture reading that differs each day (and is reproduced in full, along with brief pointers for reflection). The first edition of the prayer book was published in 2004. The Australian connection is that local publisher Michelle Anderson produced the book, publishes it here, and licenses it to other publishers for international release, including Ave Maria Press in the USA.

Sharing God's Love with Muslims: Effective guidelines for Christians; Bill Dennett; SPCK Australia; PB $9.95 [1876106115]; 136pp; 180x110mm; 2004
Revised edition of a book first published as Sharing the Good News with Muslims in 1992 by ANZEA. It encourages ordinary Christians to share their belief in the gospel with their Muslim friends, neighbours and workmates. 'In essense, it shows how to speak to Muslims' spiritual felt needs which can only be met in Christ and which Islam fails to fulfil.' Provides information on understanding the Muslim worldview and practical guidance on witnessing to Christian faith. Foreword by John R. Reid, former Bishop of the Sydney Anglican Diocese. Guide to literature for Muslim evangelism; summary of principles; endorsements. Author is a retired chemical engineer who engaged in street evangelism in his free time for 35 years; his experiences with Muslims led to the writing of this book.

So, You Want to Learn Coptic?: A guide to Bohairic Coptic; Sameh Younan; St. Mary, St. Bakhomious, and St. Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church, Kirawee, NSW, www.learncoptic.com; PB $19.95 [0975794906]; 324pp; 245x175mm; 2005
Introduction to a regional form of Coptic known as Bohairic, especially significant as it is the language used in the heritage of Egyptian Christianity, including biblical translations, lives of martyrs and other saints, sermons and liturgical texts. It remains the liturgical language of the Coptic Church. The book focuses on the grammar of Bohairic Coptic but does not assume familiarity with English grammar. Texts considered are generally from Christian literature. Includes translation exercises and practice texts throughout. Foreword by Bishop Daniel, Coptic Bishop of Sydney and Affiliated Regions. Appendices include verb tables, useful prefixes, and answers to exercises; glossary; references; index. Author is based in Sydney.

Sundays Under the Southern Cross: Gospel reflections, Year B, Mark; Mary Coloe PBVM; John Garratt Publishing; PB $7.95 [1920721231]; 93pp; 135x100mm; 2005
Pocked-sized series of reflections on the Gospel readings for the Sunday Eucharist for Year B of the Catholic liturgical cycle. Most are from the Gospel of Mark, which is also briefly introduced by the author. For each Sunday the author provides the Gospel reference, a brief quote from it, a theme, and a short reflection based on the biblical text. The reflections were originally produced for The Saving Word, a weekly parish bulletin series published by St Paul Publications. Intended for personal use or for groups in parishes or schools. Author is senior lecturer in the School of Theology, Australian Catholic University. Previous book is God Dwells with Us: Temple symbolism in the Fourth Gospel (2001).

Tomorrow's Islam: Age-old beliefs meet the modern world; Geraldine Doogue & Peter Kirkwood; ABC Books; PB $29.95 [0733315437]; 304pp; 235x155mm; 2005
Book developed out of the documentary 'Tomorrow's Islam', broadcast on the ABC Television program 'Compass' in 2003, but featuring a greater range and depth of material. Based on interviews with key progressive Muslim thinkers and leaders from around the globe, it examines the major debates about Islam in the modern world, including Western concerns regarding issues such as terrorism, democracy and the treatment of women. Also considers the history of pluralism in Islam and the possibility of reform within Islam. The final two chapters feature interviews with progressive Muslims in Indonesia and in Australia. Photos; endnotes; index. Doogue presents 'Compass' on ABC Television and is a news and current affairs journalist; her awards include the Order of Australia and the United Nations Peace Prize. Kirkwood has a degree in theology from the Melbourne College of Divinity. Since joining the ABC in 1985, he has chiefly researched and produced documentaries on religion.

Kevin Mark is Data Collection Manager for Australian Books in Print and a former religious publisher for HarperCollins Publishers.