Reviews of books written on subjects/themes of interest to ICN readers - reviewed from a Catholic/Christian perspective.

Oxford: Medieval monastic manuscripts brought to life through digitization project

The University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries and the German library, Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, have announced a new collaborative digitization project that will open up repositories of medieval manuscripts from German-speaking lands. The three-year project will ensure that more than 600 western medieval manuscripts from both libraries' remarkable collections are made freely av...

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Pamphlet: Saint Patrick - An Ancient Saint for Modern Times

Saint Patrick - An Ancient Saint for Modern Times - Messenger Publications. Edmond Grace SJ.

'Christ in hearts of all that love' ( Saint Patrick's Breastplate )

Fr Grace's pamphlet is welcome. It is a step towards getting rid of so much nonsense that has surrounded Saint Patrick in recent times. He chips away at the accretions that have accumulated around the authentic imag...

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Booklet: 40 Days and 40 Ways by Fr Henry Wansbrough

The joyful season of Lent is on our spiritual horizon. In recent times Lent has had a bad press. The thought of six weeks of penance depressed many. Giving up things with the prospect of failure and then having to go through the torture of going into the dark confessional and confessing, did not inspire. Lent had been infiltrated with Jansenism and Narcissism . Lent had lost it's intended joy. ...

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Launch of The Way of Ignatius - A Prayerful Journey Through Lent' by Gemma Simmonds CJ

Gemma Simmonds CJ

St Paul's Bookshop in High Street Kensington was packed last Monday, for the launch of Sr Gemma Simmonds CJ's new book: 'The Way of Ignatius - A Prayerful Journey Through Lent', published by SPCK. Extracts from the book will be heard throughout Lent on the on-line prayer app and website 'Pray As You Go'.

In her introduction, editor Rima Devereaux said the book has a unique emphasis on the...

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Cancer and Christian spirituality book wins major award; nominated for a second

A book on cancer and Christian spirituality by spiritual theologian and leukemia survivor, Anthony Maranise - reviewed last year on ICN - has won a major award in the USA and has now been nominated for a second award.

Cross of a Different Kind: Cancer & Christian Spirituality (2018) was declared winner in the Religion - Christianity category of the 15th Annual Best Book Awards convene...

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Book: Sent to Proclaim the Gospel - Honouring the Legacy of St Paul VI

Sent to Proclaim the Gospel - Honouring the Legacy of St Paul VI by Jim McManus C.Ss.R. Redemptorist Publications, pbk, 164 pages, 2018, £12.99

Pope Paul VI's great Encyclical Evangelii Nuntiandi, [EN], on evangelisation, written in 1975, is the spark of this book, which is timely, coming soon after his recent canonisation. In seven chapters the author spells out what the univer...

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New book on Pedro Arrupe - first responder at Hiroshima, founder of JRS

Pedro Arrupe SJ

This man may be declared a saint - the cause for the beatification of Pedro Arrupe SJ will be launched in Rome in early February 2019. Yet few people outside religious life are aware of this extraordinary individual, who was a prisoner of Imperial Japan, a first responder when the atom bomb fell on Hiroshima, a pioneer of Catholic social justice and founder of the Jesuit Refugee Service.


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Book: The Golden Rhinoceros: Histories of the African Middle Ages

The Golden Rhinoceros: Histories of the African Middle Ages, by FX Fauvelle, publisher: Princeton University Press.

Too little is known of the pre-colonial history of Africa, partly because there are almost no surviving accounts written by Africans, and partly because Europeans refused to believe there were sophisticated empires on the continent before they arrived.


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Book: Smile of Joy

Smile of Joy (Mary of Nazareth) by Thomas Casey SJ. Messenger Publications. GK Chesterton maintained in (What's wrong with the World .. 1910 ) that it was not that Christianity had failed but that it had never been tried. As a young priest I was stunned when my cousin aimed a similar arrow at me. "Do you know what is wrong with you priests ?" and before I had time to answer...

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Book: The Man Behind the Menu by Greg Watts

This romp through the world of celebrity chefs, trendy restaurants and foodies, by Catholic author Greg Watts, follows the career of gastronomic wizard Frank Darley. Not content with his prime time TV show, series of best-selling recipe books and swarms of admiring fans - he has set his sights on the prestigious Golden Pan award - and devised an audacious plan with which he hopes to defeat all ...

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Book: Food Most Royal

The book - 'Food Most Royal: Nurture for Posterity' - resulted from an urgent ongoing appeal from farmers in Nigeria when in the 1970s they begged for help because their land was dying and their yams were rotting. The terms care of the earth and food security used so often in Laudato si and commonplace now, were not used in the 1970s; but farmers saw exactly what was happening. It was my privil...

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How to look at Stained Glass - (a guide to the Church Windows of England)

How to look at Stained Glass - A guide to the Church Windows of England by Jane Brocket. Publisher: B Tauris. London, New York.

A Christmas Star. At the risk of being accused of using cliché may I say that this book is a must for your Christmas gift list. The words quoted in the book- "Bless the Lord all you works of the Lord " (Bk of Daniel) - are an accurate s...

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Book: Echo Hall by Virginia Moffatt

The 100th anniversary of the end of World War I is an appropriate time to review a book which explores the impact of war on families, and celebrates the actions of conscientious objectors and anti-war activists. At the beginning there is a quote from war correspondent Robert Fisk, talking about standing on the paving stone in Sarajevo where a gunman fired the fatal shot that sent his father to ...

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Booklet: Stories of the Great War

This Sunday commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. These stories, collected by Eileen Boland, who was married to the CTS general secretary, come from the first year of the War, when British involvement was mostly limited to the men of the Regular Army and the Territorial Force.

Many of the stories concern French clergy in uniform; the anti-clerical governmen...

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