The National Catholic Review

Books

  • December 22-29, 2014

    Antonin Scalia did not grow up the son of typical Italian immigrants. Unlike most of us, whose fathers were brick-layers and masons, carpenters, steel-workers and coal-miners, his father was a university professor. As Scalia has said, he was not the poor son of immigrants who had to lift themselves up by their bootstraps.

  • December 22-29, 2014

    When Pope Francis, during his recent visit to the Holy Land, spontaneously got out of his jeep in Bethlehem, touched his forehead to the security wall that separates Jews from Arabs and silently prayed for the suffering of Palestinian children, the gesture was widely seen as an expression of his love for humanity. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, was reportedly taken aback and asked the pope to visit a memorial to the Jewish victims of...

  • December 22-29, 2014

    Almost invariably, most of us go through life as if death is something that happens to other people. Yet every day that passes means we have one less day to live. Death is Time’s shadow. Gnosticism and acedia assure death’s prominence in Modernism.

  • December 8-15, 2014

    The Pacific theater of World War II is often thought of as a forgotten war. But anyone who reads Richard Flanagan’s sixth novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, will not soon forget it.

    Set in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, the story expertly blends fact and fiction as it brings to life a gut-wrenching and soul-changing experience. That is not an exaggeration, and this book is not for the faint of heart.

  • December 8-15, 2014

    After endless news articles, interviews, and collections of the pope’s own words, is there anything new to learn about Pope Francis? The answer, as demonstrated by the sharply conflicting interpretations of his role in the Synod on the Family, is clearly yes.

  • December 1, 2014

    The study of Catholic women religious is “hot.” Academic and non-academic writers, documentary filmmakers and the media are producing and publishing materials in record numbers highlighting the lives and work of American Catholic sisters/nuns. Even funding agencies and foundations are beginning to open their pockets (just slightly) to support academics and independent scholars who are pursuing the many narratives that trace the historical and contemporary...

  • November 24, 2014

    Gerald O’Collins, S.J., has written a delightful memoir on his years in Rome at the Gregorian University. With Rome’s history in mind, he shares a series of personal and touching stories to explain the matrix that generated his theological and spiritual writings. Yet they communicate not only one man’s experience but represent the essences of persons and institutions, what the sociologist Max Weber called “types.” I advise anyone in Rome to get to know a...

  • November 24, 2014

    History happens. In 1960 as John F. Kennedy ran for President, I headed to graduate school to study American political history. J.F.K. enchanted me; after that no president won my heart. Catholicism filtered—sometimes shaped—my judgments about politics and presidents. And, I have to admit, my judgments about politics and presidents sometimes filtered my understanding of faith and my judgments about my church. The dialogue of faith and culture, so beloved by...

  • November 17, 2014

    A friend who sits in the legislature of my home state, Washington, recently told me he was thinking about sponsoring a bill calling for a constitutional convention and asked me what I thought. Although the framers provided for this process to amend our charter of government, throughout American history all attempts to make that happen have failed to garner the requisite support from two-thirds of the states. Most thoughtful observers have feared that this...

  • November 17, 2014

    These two books have at first sight little in common, other than the fact that they are written by two prominent Jesuit theologians. In Spirituality Seeking Theology, Roger Haight, S.J., attempts to reach behind or beneath established Christian doctrines of creation, incarnation, trinity and eschatology to bring out the original and enduring spiritual meaning and...