Anthony de Mello: His Life and His Spirituality

Overview

The publication of the Notification concerning the writings of Father Anthony de Mello, S.J., issued by Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 24 June 1998, was a shock to Christians, as well as to non-Christians, all over the world. People, who had known Father Anthony de Mello (1931-1987) personally or through his writings, were at a loss as to why a solemn notification was needed to warn Catholics against a person in whom they had recognised a healthy ...
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Overview

The publication of the Notification concerning the writings of Father Anthony de Mello, S.J., issued by Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 24 June 1998, was a shock to Christians, as well as to non-Christians, all over the world. People, who had known Father Anthony de Mello (1931-1987) personally or through his writings, were at a loss as to why a solemn notification was needed to warn Catholics against a person in whom they had recognised a healthy sanctity rather than a danger to the faith.

In this book, Anand Nayak gives a short biography of Tony de Mello and then outlines his spiritual teachings. Having pointed out the context of de Mello's work, and the various particular approaches which he adapted, the author then turns to a detailed examination of the Notification and its approach to Fr de Mello's work. He points out clearly the weaknesses and misunderstandings that underlie the document. A final chapter looks at various responses across the world and tries once again to put Anthony de Mello in context as a teacher, a prophet and a healer.

About the Author:
Anand Nayak is professor of Missiology and Comparative Religions at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The Vatican, in its concern to protect lay Catholics from the influence of misleading and heretical teachers, sometimes mistakenly condemns the work of those who are neither misleading nor heretical. Nayak's (missiology & comparative religions, Univ. of Fribourg, Switzerland) book on Anthony de Mello, S.J., the well-known Indian Catholic spiritual teacher, forthrightly opposes the Vatican's ill-considered notification of June 24, 1998, condemning de Mello's teachings and trying to reduce his influence. Besides the fact that de Mello had died the previous year and was thus unable to defend himself, the notification based its criticisms on texts erroneously attributed to him. The notification is especially significant because it was issued on the authority of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and now Pope Benedict XVI. For the book's first third, Nayak, a former Jesuit priest and disciple of de Mello, gives an informative biography of de Mello and a précis of his teachings. He then systematically dismantles the notification and its accompanying explanatory material. Unfortunately, this latter portion is dull reading and will be of little interest except to scholars of religion. For academic libraries only.
—James F. DeRoche

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781856075602
  • Publisher: Columba Press
  • Publication date: 10/12/2007
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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