Interreligious Dialogue: The Official Teaching of the Catholic Church (1963-1995)

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Interreligious Dialogue: The Official Teaching of the Catholic Church (1963-1995).

Commissioned by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and edited by Francesco Gioia. Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 1997. Pp. 694. $69.95.

In our contemporary world of religious pluralism, the growth of interreligious dialogue has resulted in a veritable library of literature. The present encyclopedic volume brings together all the dialogue documents that constitute "the official teaching of the Catholic Church," covering over three decades (1963-1995). It is a comprehensive collection edited by Francesco Gioia, who has served with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID, a Roman office established by Pope Paul VI in 1964 for the purpose of promoting Catholic involvement in interreligious relations). An earlier Italian edition covered the years 1963-93; a French edition is in preparation.

The book contains ten parts: (1) introductory matters; (2) Vatican Council II (7 entries); (3) solemn magisterium-encyclicals and apostolic exhortations (19 entries); (4-6) magisterium of Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II (89, 2, and 199 entries respectively); (7) Roman curial documents (12 items); (8) legislative documents (3 items); (9) International Theological Commission statements (4 items); and (10) geographic and analytic indexes (2 sections). Selection was rigorously limited to interreligious texts (excluding ecumenical documents and those covering relations with the Jewish people). And yet, over 300 entries are presented-an indication of the church's commitment to the missionary apostolate of interreligious dialogue.

The book has many fine features: an attractive and comprehensive presentation, two extensive indexes, clearly readable print, and a durable binding. …