Church and Revolution

Church and Revolution

by Thomas Bokenkotter
     
 

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From the author of the bestselling "Concise History of the Catholic Church" comes a fascinating overview of the Church's involvement and response to political revolution, featuring opinions by such prestigious Catholic writers as Dorothy Day, Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, and Lech Walesa. 15 photos.

Overview

From the author of the bestselling "Concise History of the Catholic Church" comes a fascinating overview of the Church's involvement and response to political revolution, featuring opinions by such prestigious Catholic writers as Dorothy Day, Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, and Lech Walesa. 15 photos.

Editorial Reviews

Patrick Allitt
...[A] bundle of reports on the author's wide range of reading in modern history.
Books & Culture: A Christian Review
Library Journal
Beginning with a chapter on the French Revolution, Bokenkotter (Concise History of the Catholic Church) traces the development of Roman Catholic social thought as it was transformed from a reactionary conservatism to something much more progressive by the middle of the 20th century. Focusing on the many historical figures who influenced these changes--Daniel O'Connell, Frederick Ozanam, Bishop Henry Edward Manning, Albert de Mun, Don Sturzo, Michael Collins, Jacques Maritain, Dorothy Day, Oscar Romero, Lech Walesa, and others--Bokenkotter explores the embodiment of social ideals. In addition, he analyzes some secular movements--from Marxism to philosophical personalism--that contributed, negatively or positively, to the development of Catholic social conscience. -- Carolyn M. Craft, Longwood College, Farmville, Virginia
Kirkus Reviews
An ambitious but disjointed exploration of social justice in the Catholic Church. How did the Roman Catholic Church, which before the French Revolution was one of the world's most conservative (and landed) institutions, become the 20th century's most vocal advocate for the poor? This is the opening question of Bokenkotter's new book (he's the author of Essential Catholicism). His approach differs slightly from more traditional examinations of Catholicism's social transformations; he narrows his lens to individual activists who have pushed the Church to this relatively new stance for human rights. The book adopts a roughly chronological approach, profiling more than a dozen Catholic activists, such as Italy's Don Sturzo, an outspoken opponent of Mussolini; Michael Collins and the Irish quest for independence; and America's own Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker movement. At its best, this multibiography format is so broadly based that it offers a rudimentary introduction to the history of modern Western civilization. At its worst, the collection suffers from chaos, with biographical tidbits referring only tangentially to Catholicism and even less to other chapters. Bokenkotter's biographical sketches are impressively researched in secondary sources but neglect primary investigations into these thinkers' complex intellectual development. Then, too, the book ends abruptly with Lech Walesa and the Solidarity movement for Polish workers. There is no conclusion to tie the tome's many disparate threads together, no effort to analyze some of its lingering questions: what intellectual and religious commitments link these very different activists to one another? In whatdirections might the Church have headed without them? Would Vatican II, for example, have ever occurred? Why is violence embraced by some justice activists and eschewed by others, like Day? This is valuable for its short biographical sketches, but its disunity leaves the reader wishing for more intellectual meat.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385487542
Publisher:
The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/28/1998
Pages:
596
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Bokenkotter is the author of the bestselling A Concise History of the Catholic Church. With a doctorate in history (Louvain University) he teaches at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He is also the pastor of Assumption Church there and is active in the social ministry, running a soup kitchen that he founded twenty years ago and a transitional living facility for homeless women and children.

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