About us



Vol 40 No 2


John Rate MSC

Michael Fallon MSC

Martin Borg

Roy J O’Neill MSC
THE MINISTRY OF THE SKILLED STRANGER: Religion and Spirituality in Public Hospital Ministry

David Ranson
FROM FEAR TO LOVE: Building an Australian Culture of Hospitality

Kevin Mark



New religious books by Australasian authors


At Home in the Earth: Seeking an Earth-centred spirituality; Neil Darragh; Accent Publications, PO Box 47 086, Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand, email accent.publications@bigfoot.com; PB NZ$25.00 [0958345430]; 218pp; 210x145mm; 2000
Text that aims to articulate a spirituality that is both Christian and Earth-centred, and intelligible to both Christians and non-Christians. The key topics are human death, the human role in the Earth, sustainable living, locating God, the incarnate God, and Eucharist. Each chapter begins with a prayer, and concludes with a suggested focus for meditation. Endnotes; references. Author teaches contextual theology and liturgical studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and is Principal of the Catholic Institute of Theology. He is also Parish Priest of Glen Innes, Auckland. Previous book is Doing Theology Ourselves (1996).

Christian Meditation; ABC Books (ABC Audio); Audio CD [0642589380]; 125x135mm; 2005
Australian audio presentation of Christian Meditation, an approach to prayer developed by Benediction monk John Main (1926-82) from his experiences of eastern meditation, but which he saw as having its roots in the teachings of the Desert Fathers, especially John Cassian. Main was succeeded by Dom Laurence Freeman OSB, now leader of the World Community for Christian Meditation. The recording begins with an introduction to Christian Meditation (CM) by Freeman. A number of Australians experienced in CM then speak about its impact on their faith, relationships and work. They include a married couple, a barrister, and a woman who suffers painful chronic illness. Freeman then introduces a period of CM, with the recording providing a 20-minute period of silence, before Freeman’s concluding prayer. Christian Meditation (CM) makes use of a prayer-word recited silently for periods of 20-30 minutes, twice a day. In addition to the 73-minute CD, the package includes a 4-page booklet.

Deus Caritas Est: God is Love: An Encyclical; Benedict XVI; Peter Byrne (reader); Archdiocese of Melbourne, www.melbourne.catholic.org.au/godislove; Audio 2-CDs [no ISBN]; 2006
Unabridged reading of Deus Caritas Est (‘On Christian Love’), the first encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI. Read by Peter Byrne, a freelance Catholic broadcaster in Melbourne. The first CD presents the Introduction and Part 1 of the encyclical (50 minutes), and Part 2 is on the second CD (59 minutes). Each section of the text begins on a new audio track, allowing ease of access. Produced by the Catholic Communications office of the Archdiocese of Melbourne with technical assistance from Fraynework Multimedia. Printed edition of the encyclical was published in Australia by St Pauls Publications (ISBN 1921032049, $5.95).

Ecumenism and Interreligious Life: Unitatis Redintergratio, Nostra Aetate; Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy; Paulist Press, USA, dist. by Rainbow Book Agencies; PB $29.95 [0809143380]; 303pp; 230x150mm; 2005
First volume in ‘Rediscovering Vatican II’, a projected eight-book series. Each volume will examine one or more Vatican II documents, including their origins, reception in the Church and later relevant developments. This volume considers the Decree of Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) and the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate). The first half of book is based on the Decree on Ecumenism: Part 1 presents the background to the document and what took place at the Council. Part 2 presents a concise summary of the Decree’s major points. The longest section, Part 3 - ‘Implementation’, examines developments since the Council in detail, from Papal and Vatican documents, to official international dialogues, and accounts of ecumenism at the local level, including some Australian examples. The concluding Part 4, ‘The State of the Question’, discusses fundamental issues of current or lasting relevance. The second half of the volume follows the same structure in examining Vatican II and subsequent Catholic teaching and action regarding non-Christian religions. There is a particular focus on Catholic–Jewish relations. Endnotes; guide to further reading; index. Author is an Australian-born cardinal now living in retirement in Australia. He worked in the Vatican diplomatic service for three decades before being appointed President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in 1989, as well as President of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. Another Australian, Maryanne Convoy, is listed as the author of the future volume, Religious Life and Priesthood, in the same series.

Fresh Words and Deeds: The McCaughey Papers; Patrick McCaughey; Peter Matheson & Christiaan Mostert (editors); David Lovell Publishing; PB $35.00 [1863551069]; 224pp; 230x150mm; 2004
Collection of short writings, sermons and commemorations by J. Davis McCaughey, a former Master of Ormond College, Melbourne, the first President of the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA), and a former Governor of the State of Victoria. Topics of the papers include the formation of the Basis of Union of the UCA, literary criticism and the Gospels, the inauguration of the UCA, Mary and the Protestant tradition, and Mary MacKillop. Also includes nine sermons, and seven addresses given on the death of church leaders or theological colleagues, including the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne, Frank Woods. Volume prepared on the occasion of McCaughey’s 90th birthday. Foreword by Hugh Collins, Master of Ormond College; preface by the editors; introductory essay on McCaughey by Harry Wardlaw. Volume complements Tradition and Dissent (1997), a collection of essays, addresses and memorials by McCaughey related to his involvement in university and public life.

The Future of Jesus: Boyer Lectures 2005; Dr Peter Jensen; ABC Books; PB $22.95 [0733317499]; Audio 3-CD $34.95 [064258981X]; 144pp; 210x135mm; 2005
Each year the ABC invites a prominent Australian to present the result of his or her work and thinking on major social, scientific or cultural issues in the series of radio talks known as the Boyer Lectures. The Boyer Lectures for 2005 were presented by Peter Jensen, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney. Jensen argues that Jesus is the most influential person who has ever lived, and has significantly shaped Australian society. Yet with growing secularisation of Western society, people lack even basic knowledge about Jesus. The talks aim to provoke the listener, whether Christian or otherwise, to come to a fresh understanding of Jesus, especially through reading the Gospels. Jensen argues that Jesus remains of vital importance to Australian society. The talks have been published as a set of 3 compact disks (3 hours duration), and in book form. Author was Principal of Moore Theological College for 15 years before election as Archbishop of Sydney in 2001. Other books include At the Heart of the Universe: What Christians believe (2003).

The Honey and the Fires: Ancient stories retold for our times; Robert Pulvers; Alice Pulvers (illustrator); ABC Books; HB $29.95 [0733317456]; 236pp; 180x130mm; 2006
Retellings of popular biblical stories for modern readers. With the exception of ‘The Good Samaritan’, the stories are from the Hebrew Bible. Stripped of their religious elements, the stories are retold for a secular audience and emphasise the heroic actions of individual men and women. For example, the story of the great flood is reimagined as Noah anticipating the environmental destruction brought about by humankind and building the ark to rescue his family and the animals. Born and raised in the USA, but an Australian citizen since 1976, author has published more than 25 books, and is a playwright, theatre director and translator. Other works including the autobiography The Unmaking of an American and play General MacArthur in Australia.

The Incredible Da Vinci Code; Frank Mobbs; Freedom Publishing; PB [no ISBN]; 57pp; 210x150mm; 2005
Concise guide for readers of the controversial, international bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown. Mobbs discredits the claims by Brown of an historical basis to his novel, by focusing his critique on three matters: Mary Magdalen, the Gnostic writings, and the Roman Emperor Constantine. He concludes with a brief literary evaluation. Map; index. Author is a retired lecturer living in Sydney, who has a MA from Oxford, a Masters in Theology from Birmingham and a PhD from Sydney. Previous books include Beyond Its Authority? The magisterium and matters of natural law (1997).

Journey Begun, Destination Unsighted: The ecumenical movement in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, 1960-1990; Mary Leonora Moorhead; David Lovell Publishing; PDF $0.00 [1863550259]; 128pp; 210x140mm; 2005
History and examination of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne’s involvement in the ecumenical movement, including the Victorian Council of Churches (VCC), and its relationships with other churches. Appendix gives details of the Ecumenical Summer Schools between 1974 and 1990; bibliography. Released in book form by David Lovell Publishing in 1991, and long out of print, it has now been made available as a set of six PDF files reproducing the book, with the publisher’s permission. These are downloadable without charge from the website of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne: www.melbourne.catholic.org.au/eic/eic-articles.htm. Text is an edited version of the author’s thesis submitted to the Melbourne College of Divinity for a Master of Theology degree in 1990. Author, who died in 2005, was Secretary General of the VCC from 1982 to 1988.

Mixed Marriages: Catholic/Non-Catholic Marriages in Australia; Dr Abe W. Ata; David Lovell Publishing; PB $30.00 [1863551085]; 116pp; 230x150mm; 2005
Scholarly study of marriages between Catholics and a person from another Christian church. Examines the dynamics of such intermarriages, their demographics, characteristics, forces behind them, and the adjustment and complications they involve. Also examines attitudes to discrimination and to children. Afterword by Fr Ian B. Waters: ‘The Catholic Church and Mixed Marriage’. Charts; bibliography. Bethlehem-born, Palestinian Christian author has taught in Australian, American, Jordanian, Palestinian and Danish universities, and is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Advancement of Research, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, where he also lectures in psychology. Other publications include Religion and Ethnic Identity (3 volumes, 1989-90), Bereavement and Health in Australia (1994), and Intermarriage Between Christians and Muslims: A West Bank study (2000).

Movies that Matter: Reading film through the lens of faith; Richard Leonard SJ; Loyola Press, USA, dist. by John Garratt Publishing; PB $34.95 [0829422013]; 197pp; 215x140mm; 2006
Suggests a way of ‘reading’ movies as Christian believers. Introduction proposes general guidelines before discussing 50 movies that, for the author, have ‘illuminated my faith, challenged, entertained, and consoled me’. Movies range from those with an obvious religious dimension such as The Mission, The Name of the Rose, Romero, The Passion of the Christ, to less obvious choices including Finding Nemo, The Truman Show, Gallipoli, and Unforgiven. Each movie is presented in a separate chapter, beginning with the movie title and general information such as names of starring actors, the director, running time, and year of production. A short list of thematic terms (such as ‘conscience’, ‘justice’, ‘image of God’) is given (and these are indexed). An essay of around three pages is then supplied, generally briefly recounting the movie’s story and focusing on one or more aspects that relate to religious themes. Each chapter concludes with questions for individual reflection or group discussion. Author is an Australian Jesuit, film critic and director of the Australian Catholic Film Office. His reviews are published in the Australian Catholic press. Previous book is Beloved Daughters: 100 years of papal teaching on women (1995).

New Under the Sun: Jewish Australians on religion, politics and culture; Michael Fagenblat, Melanie Landau & Nathan Wolski (editors); Schwartz (Black Inc.); PB $34.95 [1863952381]; 392pp; 230x155mm; 2006
Collection of original essays that celebrates Australian Jewish life while also addressing its challenges, limitations and failures. The 33 essays, including one in photographs, are grouped into five sections: Belonging, Politics, Seeking, Memory, and Responsibility. Reconsiders Jewish identity and the experience of being Jewish in contemporary Australia. Essays include ‘The Holocaust and Political Identity: A personal account’ by Robert Manne, ‘Zionism and the Media’ by John Safran, ‘Interfaith Dialogue and the State of Israel’ by Peta Jones Pellach, ‘The Eclectic Spiritualist’ by Ruth Ostrow, ‘Imaging Terror: Art and the Holocaust’ by Andrea Goldsmith, and ‘We Too Have Been Strangers: Jews and the refugee struggle’ by Marcus Eienfeld. Introduction by editors; glossary; notes on contributors. Editors are graduates of the Jerusalem Fellows program of the Mandel School for Social and Education Leadership and co-founders of Darsheini, the community learning program of the Australian Centre for the Study of Jewish Civilisation, Monash University. They also lecture at Monash University.

Pastoral Care in Hospitals; Neville A. Kirkwood; Continuum (Morehouse), USA, dist. by Allen & Unwin; PB $29.95 [0819221910]; 320pp; 230x150mm; 2006
Second edition of a book first published by E. J. Dwyer in 1995 and awarded the Australian Christian Book of the Year Award in 1996. It is a practical guide to the art of hospital visitation, with separate sections for lay visitors, lay pastoral workers, clergy visitors, and (new to this edition) professional hospital chaplains. Each section concludes with supplementary resources, such as a guide to nonverbal communication indicators, Jesus as a theological model, and examples of patient’s and visitor’s prayers. Foreword by Ron Davoren CP, Coordinating Chaplain, Royal Melbourne Hospital. Bibliography. Author is an ordained minister who has had 20 years experience as a hospital chaplain in Australia. He has a doctorate of ministry from the San Francisco Theological Seminary. Other books include Pastoral Care to Muslims (1991) and A Hospital Handbook on Multiculturalism and Religion (2nd ed., 2006).

Sanctuary: Where heaven touches earth; Trisha Watts; Gabrielle Lord; Willow Publishing; PB $29.95 [0958150710]; CD $29.95 [no ISBN]; 226pp; 230x150mm; 2005
Resource for prayer written by a well-known Catholic singer/songwriter and a writer of best-selling crime novels. Provides 28 ‘prayer rituals’ that could be used, for example, by gatherings of friends, groups within parishes, or by secondary school students. Each account begins with an introduction to the theme, and suggestions for ‘Setting the Space’, such as the use of light and candles, fabrics and other decorative or symbolic objects. The ritual itself begins with a welcome and ‘Invocation for the Land and its First Peoples’ (a choice of three are provided in the book), followed by an opening prayer. Typically a song or psalm is followed by a reading from scripture, then a brief song or chant. After a period of silence, there are community prayers, then another song and a closing prayer. Specific rituals incorporate other actions, reflections or prayers relevant to the theme. At the back of the book are full lyrics and music scores for the 60 brief songs and chants used. Companion compact disk of the same name, sold separately, contains recordings of all the songs and chants. Watts is a singer/songwriter whose music collections include Prophets of Hope, Take Shelter and Deep Waters. Lord is an awarding-winning crime writer, whose novels include Fortress, Whipping Boy and Lethal Weapon. She has also written an earlier spirituality book, Grace of Angels (1996), and the humorous guide Growing Up Catholic (1986).

Soul Sisters: Modern prayers for modern women; Lucia Nardo; Michelle Anderson Publishing, www.michelleandersonpublishing.com; PB $19.95 [0855723599]; 139pp; 210x135mm; 2004
Collection of the author’s original prayers, which relate to everyday concerns of modern women. Each begins ‘Dear God’ and ends with ‘Amen’, but they are not based in any specific faith tradition, so they can be adapted according to one’s own spiritual beliefs. Topics include children, family, relationships, dealing with technology, health issues, and work. Poetic in style, the prayers cover both serious and humorous ground. Author presents her approach to these prayers in an introduction. She has a degree in Social Work from the University of Melbourne and a Master in Business from RMIT University. Previous book was Heart to Heart: A survivor’s guide to heart surgery.

Strangers to the City: Reflections on the beliefs and values of the Rule of Saint Benedict; Michael Casey; Paraclete Press, USA, dist. by Rainbow Book Agencies; HB $45 [1557254621]; PB $29.95 [1557254605]; 226pp; 200x135mm; 2005
Volume in the ‘A Voice from the Monastery’ series. Author, an internationally renowned scholar on the Rule of St. Benedict, reflects on a number of the monastic means to holiness proposed in the Rule that he considers especially relevant for today, including for those who live outside monasteries. The chapters are Distinctiveness, Asceticism, Leisure, Reading, Chastity, Dispossession, Antecedent Willingness, Mutuality, Generativity, Christ, Contemplation, Holiness, and Perseverance. Intended for a general readership. Endnotes. 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).