Books

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


Book: Who made us? - Bill Bryson's The Body

The Body by Bill Bryson. Publisher: Doubleday, £25

Bill Bryson has produced another best-selling tome, explaining human biology in a breezy and accessible manner. He amazes the reader with extraordinary facts about how superbly adapted our bodies are: Darwin would approve. The reader marvels at the complexity and brilliance of organs or bones they never previously considered. It...

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New book of Pope Francis' reflections on environment

The Vatican publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, today published a new book of Pope Francis' thoughts on the environment, including a previously unpublished text: 'Our Mother Earth: A Christian reading of the environmental challenge'.

The book also includes a preface by Bartholomew, the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, that retraces the stages of their collaborati...

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Book: Stations of the Infancy

In his Introduction the author mentions two saints, separated by centuries and nationality, who believed that "the most distinguishing belief of the Catholic Church was not the resurrection but the incarnation - that the Son of the almighty God had become fully human". The two saints were St Alphonsus Liguori, founder of the Redemptorists, who composed Stations of the Infant Jesus, and our most...

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Book: Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa

Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa by Tobias Hagman and Filip Reyntjens, publisher: Zed Books, London.

Anyone who instinctively thinks the governments of prosperous nations should give 0.7% of their GDP (a goal promoted by Tony Blair, David Cameron and others) in foreign aid should read this book. Far from spreading democracy and prosperity, government-to-government development a...

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Newman: A short biography

John Henry Newman, one of the most important and controversial figures in the religious history of England in the 19th century, will be declared a saint on 13th October 2019, the first English saint to be canonised since 1970.

Author Fr Michael Collins has written Newman: A Short Biography, an essential, accessible biography of the new saint that opens a window into the heart and mind of ...

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Book: Milkman by Anna Burns

Milkman is set in a Catholic/Republican enclave in an unnamed Northern Ireland town in the 1970s. However, at its heart is the poisonous effect of gossip, and the intimidation of civilians by paramilitary/military forces. For this reason, it could be set in a war-torn African or Latin American village, as Islamic State-held community, or the People's Republic of China. Anna Burns brilliantly po...

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Book: STOREY: A priest for his time

STOREY: A priest for his time by Peter Roebuck; Bookcase; £15; Pp 260

Many Sunday evenings in my early teenage years I would get on my bike and pedal a couple of miles outside our normal parish to go to Benediction at the Catholic church in the city centre of Kingston upon Hull. Those were the days of fasting from food and drink from midnight before communion, so there were no e...

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Book: Seeking Justice in the World

Seeking Justice in the World (Summaries of Papal Justice Encyclicals) by James Patrick Hynes

"No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or put it under a bed: No, he puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in." Luke Ch.8v16. When it comes to social teaching we have partially, at least, failed the light test. James Patrick Hynes in this excellent publicat...

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Prayerbook for prisoners launched

Fr Paul Douthwaite

The Catholic Truth Society launched a prayer book for prisoners at the National Roman Catholic Prison Chaplains Training Conference yesterday.

In a statement, the publishers said: "Supporting prisoners is a key part of our mission to evangelise and the CTS are constantly being asked by prisoners for materials that will help them to learn how to pray or discover more about their faith.

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Booklet: Saints of North America

Saints of North America, by Jean Olwen Maynard, CTS Publications.

St Therese of Lisieux who is one of the great lights of our modern world would be thrilled with this 'North American ' story. The people described here are living examples of her 'little way'. Or to put it another way, her spirituality was a reality in their lives. For them as for Therese, God was not a set of rul...

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Book: Stations of the Resurrection: From Easter to Pentecost

Stations of the Resurrection: From Easter to Pentecost by Richard Q Greatrex

The author of this profoundly stimulating volume reckons that often folk are so weary after 40 days of Lent that the 50-day season of Eastertide gets too little attention. As we live in a resurrection world he wants to offer the reader Stations of the Resurrection. This he does with depth and relish, pro...

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Pope Francis: Popular movements 'a source of moral energy'

Pope Francis has written the preface to a new book: 'The Emergence of Popular Movements: Rerum Novarum of our time' which compiles five years of research into thousands of new movements and associations, which he says act as "a lever for profound social transformation."

Published in Spanish by the Vatican Publishing House (LEV) and prepared by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, ...

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Book review: African Catholic

African Catholic - (Decolonization and the Transformation of the Church) by Elizabeth A Foster, Harvard University Press.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations." Matthew Ch28 v.19.

It was in 1958 that I began my missionary training. We students were somewhat bemused when one of our formation team reminded us that ' our job was to get ourselves out of a job'. What ...

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Book: Words out of Silence

Words out of Silence by Jill Segger - Published by Ekklesia -

In these turbulent times, as the President of the United States frequently demonstrates, anyone with access to the internet can comment on events as they happen. But as the speed and ease of communication has increased, so the space and time for careful consideration seems to have diminished. Instant opinions become ever more ...

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