Vol 42 No 2
New religious books by Australasian authors
The Black Dress: Mary MacKillop’s early years; Pamela Freeman; Black Dog Books, www.bdb.com.au; PB $18.99 ; 270pp; 210x140mm; 2008
Reissue of a novel, first published 2005, for teenage and young adult readers and based on the early life of Blessed Mary MacKillop (1842–1909), the founder of the Sisters of St Joseph. Cover of new edition features photographs of MacKillop. 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. Book was awarded the Young People’s History Prize, 2006 NSW Premier’s History Awards, and named a Notable Book in the 2006 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards. Sydney-based author is an experienced writer for children and young adults.
The Existential Jesus; John Carroll; Scribe Publications; PB $35.00 ; 278pp; 235x150mm; 2007
Rejecting the traditional presentation of Jesus by the Christian Church but believing that ‘Jesus is the core of the Western Dreaming’, the author undertakes a retelling of the first written Gospel, that of Mark, reflecting on its contents in the context of today. Carroll’s Jesus is an existential hero, the West’s great teacher on the nature of being. Part 1 consists of the author’s translation of Mark, each section followed by his interpretation. Part 2 focuses on five characters who represent the different reactions to Jesus (this section also draws on the Gospel of John): Peter, Magdalene, Judas, Pilate, and John. Endnotes; bibliography; index. Author is Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Previous books include Ego and Soul: The modern west in search of meaning (1998) and The Wreck of Western Culture (2004).
The Pastoral Care of Italians in Australia: Memory and prophecy; Anthony Paganoni (editor); Connor Court; PB $24.95 ; 185pp; 210x150mm; 2007
Collection of papers exploring the contribution of Italians to the Catholic Church in Australia. Anthony Cappello’s chapter is ‘A Brief Survey of the Italian Catholic in Australia until the Second World War: An Italian Problem?’ Ilma Martinuzzi O’Brien contributes ‘Italian Australians and the Australian Catholic Church through War, Internment and Mass Migration’. Desmond Cahill contributes ‘From Dagoes to Doers: Accommodating Australia’s Italian Families by Church and State. Christopher J. Monaghan CP considers the biblical perspective on exile, the challenge of whether to assimilate, and the handing on of traditions. Anthony J. Kelly CSsR’s paper is ‘The Italian Experience: Lessons in Catholicity for the Emerging Multi-cultural Church in Australia’. Editor contributes an introduction and conclusion. Each chapter includes endnotes and further reading lists. Foreword by Apostolic Nuncio Ambrose De Paoli; contributor notes; index. Editor is a Scalabrinian now based in Australia who founded the Scalabrini Migration Centre in Manila.
Prayer and Relationships: Staying connected: An Ignatian prespective; Patrick O’Sullivan SJ; David Lovell Publishing; PB $22.5 ; 126pp; 215x140mm; 2008
Inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola, but avoiding Ignatian terminology, the author presents an account of prayer that focuses on the relationships we have in prayer. By making choices that allow space for our relationship with God, we progress in the way of prayer. Author is a Jesuit priest who has been the Society’s Australian Provincial, head of the Jesuit Secretariate in Rome for the Christian Life Communities, Director of Campion Retreat Centre, Melbourne, and is presently spiritual director at Corpus Christi Seminary, Melbourne. Previous books include Sure Beats Selling Cardigans: Fostering our relationship with God (1995) and God Knows How to Come Home: Reflections on an active spirituality for today (1999).
Prince of the Church: Patrick Frances Moran, 1830-1911; Philip Ayres; Melbourne University Publishing (The Miegunyah Press); HB $55 ; 384pp; 240x160mm; 2007
The first book-length biography of Patrick Francis Moran (1830–1911), Australia’s first cardinal. Born in Ireland, after many years in Rome, including during the Roman Revolution of 1848, Moran was made Bishop of Ossory (at Kilkenny, Ireland) in 1872. He was appointed Archbishop of Sydney in 1884 and made cardinal the following year. Moran was vocal on moral and religious issues in Australia and was influential in the movement for Federation. Book was commissioned by the current Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Pell. Account is based on the author’s extensive research in Australia, Italy and Ireland, and Moran’s diaries 1850-1911. Photographs; endnotes; bibliography and iconography; index. Author was head of English at Monash University, and professorial fellow and visiting professor at Boston University. Previous books include Classical Culture and the Idea of Rome in Eighteenth-Century England (1997) and Mawson: A life (2003). He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (London) and the Australian Academy of the Humanities.
Putting Life Together: Findings from Australian youth spirituality research; Philip Hughes; Rainbow Book Agencies (Fairfield Press); PB $34.95 ; 215pp; 235x165mm; 2007
Detailed study of the views of Australians aged between 13 and 24 about the world and their relationships with self, society and nature. Examines the influences on the young people’s spiritual and moral development. Based on interviews and surveys from the ‘Spirit of Gen Y’ project undertaken between 2003 and 2006 by the Christian Research Association (CRA) in conjunction with researchers from the Australian Catholic University (including Michael Mason and Ruth Webber) and Monash University. Executive summary; tables and charts (some in colour); references list; index. Author is the senior research officer of the CRA, a research fellow in the Centre for Social Research, Edith Cowan University, and a Uniting Church minister. He is editor and major contributor to Australia’s Religious Communities: A Multimedia Exploration (2004).
This Is You; Gerard Dowling; Spectrum; PB $19.95 ; 69pp; 210x145mm; 2007
Guide to assist readers to reflect on their own human life, appreciating God’s concern for them. Section one considers Your Identity, including personality, emotions, sexuality and talents. Section two considers Your Journey, from birth to old age. Section three considers Your Company, including family, teachers, friends, enemies, and the community of believers. Section four considers Your Destiny, including purpose, prayer, perseverance, and death and eternal happiness. Author is a priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. His radio talkback program, ‘The Family Consellor’, on AM Radio Sport 927, has been broadcast since 1973. He received a Medal of the Order of Australian for services to the community in 1985 and a Medal of Honour in 1995 from the Christophers (USA), ‘which fosters Christ-like contributions to the media’. He has written over 15 books including Seasons of Your Life (1985) and Praying Continually and Never Losing Heart (1998).
Through a Catholic Lens: Religious perspectives of nineteen film directors from around the world; Peter Malone (editor); Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (Sheed & Ward), USA, dist. by Central Book Services; HB $93.95 ; PB $35.99 ; 278pp; 230x155mm; 2007
Volume in ‘The Communication, Culture, and Religion’ series. Collection of studies by an international group of contributors on 19 Catholic film directors, examining the Catholic undercurrents in their films. The directors examined are also from a great variety of countries, and include Neil Jordan, John Sayles, Pedro Almodovar, Luis Bunuel, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Louis Malle, Kevin Smith and Mel Gibson. Editor Malone contributes a chapter on Fred Schepisi. Another Australian contributor, Jan Epstein writes on Andrej Wajda; one of three studies that also consider Catholic-Jewish relationships. Review questions and notes at end of each chapter; notes on contributors; index. Author is a Missionary of the Sacred Heart priest, a former editor of Compass, and has been President of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication. His numerous books include the Lights, Camera, Faith: A Movie Lover’s Guide to Scripture series (2001-2006).
Through Ecological Eyes: Reflections on Christianity’s environmental credentials; Robert Barry Leal; St Pauls; PB $29.95 ; 206pp; 215x140mm; 2006
Series of reflections to help readers re-look at their Christian heritage with ‘ecological eyes’. Opening chapter places Christians in the environment and also links ecology with concern for social justice. Next four chapters consider specific aspects of nature in the Bible, including water, air, earth, fire, animals and birds, and vegetation. Ecology in the Hebrew scriptures is also considered, before author focuses specifically on Jesus. What are the ecological implications of the Incarnation? How are Christ and Creation related? Author also reflects on Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son from an ecological perspective. Concluding chapter presents three figures from the Christian tradition with great environmental relevance: Hildegard of Bingen, Francis of Assisi, and Albert Schweitzer. Endnotes; bibliography. Author is a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Macquarie University, and Vice-Chancellor, University of Southern Queensland. In 2003 he graduated Doctor of Theology from the Sydney College of Divinity and is Leader of Earth Ministry in the Uniting Church congregations of Northbridge and Castlecrag, Sydney. Previous book is The Environment and Christian Faith: An introduction to ecotheology (2004).
The Trinity: Nexus of the mysteries of Christian faith; Anne Hunt; Orbis, USA, dist. by Rainbow Book Agencies; PB $34.95 ; 270pp; 235x155mm; 2005
First volume in the ‘Theology in Global Perspective’ series. Author of two earlier books on the Trinity, Hunt explores the interconnection of the mystery of the Trinity and the other great mysteries of Christian Faith, synthesizing the tradition and her and other theologians’ work in this area. Chapters include: Faith Seeking Connections; the Development of Trinitarian Theology in the Patristic and Medieval Periods; Contemporary Approaches to Trinitarian Theology; Trinity and Christology; Trinity, the Paschal Mystery and Soteriology; Trinity and Creation, Evolution and Ecology; Trinity and Church; Trinity and World Religions; Trinity, Grace and the Moral Life; Trinity, Spirituality and Worship; and Trinity and Eschatology. Preface by series editor, Peter C. Phan. Footnotes; further reading lists for each chapter; bibliography; glossary; index. Author is Rector of the Australian Catholic University, Ballarat, Victoria. Previous books include The Trinity and the Paschal Mystery (1997) and What Are They Saying About the Trinity? (1998).
Understanding the General Instruction of the Roman Missal; Gerard Moore; St Pauls; PB $25 ; 132pp; 230x150mm; 2007
Commentary on and exploration of The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM, 2002 edition). Author’s primary goal is to reveal the underlying principles and theologies that shape the GIRM. Chapters are Principles of Interpretation, Theological Themes, The Mystery of the Church, The People of the God Arrayed Hierarchically, and The Eucharistic Celebration. Endnotes. Author is Associate Professor and Director of Research at the Sydney College of Divinity. He has a doctorate in theology from the Catholic University of America, Washington DC, has been a member of the National Liturgical Commission of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, and been a consultant to the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL). Other publications include Eucharist and Justice (2000) and Why the Mass Matters (2004).
Unintelligent Design: Why God isn’t as smart as she thinks she is; Robyn Williams; Allen & Unwin; PB $17.95 ; 171pp; 195x130mm; 2006
Author uses facts from nature and science for a no-holds-barred attack on the Christian fundamentalist theory of Intelligent Design (ID). He sees ID as at odds with the true purposes of science and religion. The bulk of the book, Part 1, is devoted to this critique of ID, concluding with a chapter specifically on ID in Australia. The final two chapters, which form Part 2, are a more general critique of belief in God, including autobiographical material by the author. Author has presented science programs on ABC radio and television since 1972. He is the first journalist to be elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. Other books include Future Perfect (2007).
Why the Church?: An agreed statement of the Australian Anglican–Roman Catholic Dialogue; St Pauls/Broughton Publishing; PB $4.95 ; 31pp; 180x115mm; 2007
Document written jointly by members of the Australian Anglican–Roman Catholic Dialogue (AustARC) with the aim of articulating ‘a positive appreciation of the Christian church in today’s Australia’. Afterword by AustARC co-chairs, Graeme Rutherford and David Walker. List of AustARC members.
Witness to Wonders: Healings and miracles today; John Rea SM; Comsoda Communications, dist. by Rainbow Book Agencies; PB $17.50 ; 158pp; 210x140mm; 2005
Autobiographical account by a New Zealand-born Marist priest of his experiences of the use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially the gift of healing. He first discovered the power of prayer with faith on a missionary journey to Fiji, and his healing ministry has taken him to the Pacific Islands, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Europe and Australia. Also tells of author’s involvement with Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Includes texts of numerous healing prayers by author. Foreword by Cardinal Thomas S. Williams, Archbishop of Wellington, New Zealand. Photos.
Kevin Mark manages the Australasian information in the Global Books in Print database and is former religious publisher for HarperCollins Publishers.