The National Catholic Review

Books

  • October 6, 2014

    Among the many plotlines chased by the media before and after the Super Bowl this past February was the news that quarterback Peyton Manning, of the Denver Broncos, didn’t arrange tickets for his own family and friends. That job was given to his younger brother and fellow quarterback Eli, whose New York Giants had lost their first six games on the way to a 7-9 record. Call it brotherly loyalty with just a touch of rub-your-nose-in-it malice.

  • October 6, 2014

    This book is a dry, almost too careful, yet important inquiry into the nature of Muslim participation in American society, particularly in the political and juridical realm. It is written by an accomplished Sudanese-American law professor at Emory University in Atlanta, dedicated to young Muslims in the United States. Despite this hortatory stance (and to some extent because of it), Abdullahi An-Na’im makes a true contribution to the woefully underrepresented...

  • October 6, 2014

    With the ongoing concerns of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops over the contraceptive mandate and the upcoming 2014 Synod of Bishops on challenges facing the family, which will include discussions on contraception, Aline Kalbian’s book is a timely and insightful contribution to this issue. It begins with a methodological explanation of the project (ch. 1), presents an historical overview of the justificatory strategies of Catholic teaching...

  • September 29. 2014

    When reading Israeli history, one cannot but be affected by the tremendous costs the establishment and survival of the Jewish homeland have exacted from generations of “other” people. The daily headlines about the latest settlement construction or the shooting of unarmed protesters tell us the price it continues to exact from Palestinians.

  • September 29. 2014

    In recent presidential elections, it has become obligatory for the candidates to talk about their religious beliefs. This was highlighted in the 2008 interview Barack Obama and John McCain did with the evangelical pastor Rev. Rick Warren, an important moment in that campaign. Obama confessed that selfishness was his greatest moral fault, while McCain acknowledged the failure of his first marriage.

  • September 29. 2014

    In 1999, 350 years after the destruction of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, an extraordinary event took place in Ontario. At sites near the original Jesuit mission remnants of the Huron (Wendat, sometimes written Wyandot) Confederacy from Quebec, Oklahoma, Kansas and Michigan met to rebury their ancestors and rebuild their confederacy.

  • September 22, 2014

    In this erudite, thoughtful, carefully translated but sometimes turgid book, Fabrizio Amerini reviews Thomas Aquinas’s doctrine of the human fetus’s successive ensoulments, in order to “dialogue with the contemporary bioethical debate on abortion.” When, if ever, is a fetus developed enough to be regarded as a “human being” or “human person” with moral dignity, integral and perhaps inviolable rights?

  • September 22, 2014

    In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Catholic intellectuals sought to reconcile their faith with questions posed by modernity that challenged the church’s understanding of the Bible, its history and its relationship with society. These efforts did not sit well with authorities in Rome, who viewed these intellectual endeavors as threatening the foundations of the Catholic faith. Their answer was the encyclical “Pascendi Dominici Gregis,” issued on Sept. 8...

  • September 22, 2014

    In his masterful novel In the Wolf’s Mouth, set in the waning days of World War II, the British novelist and poet Adam Foulds shuns the tropes of historical fiction to pare his story to its essence. You will not learn the military details of the battles fought in North Africa or Sicily. There are no cameo walk-ons by famous military leaders. Instead, through his plain, precise language, Foulds creates a powerful sense of intimacy with his characters as...

  • September 15, 2014

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 31, though not feeling well, was hard at work composing the opera “Don Giovanni” when he was asked to listen to a 16-year-old pianist from Bonn who had traveled to Vienna in the hope of studying with him. The teenager played a prepared song, then improvised at the keyboard. The improvisation impressed Mozart. “Watch out for that boy,” he told the people in the next room. “One day he will give the world something to talk about.” Four...