The Blackwell Companion to Catholicism

The Blackwell Companion to Catholicism

The Blackwell Companion to Catholicism

The Blackwell Companion to Catholicism

Synopsis

The Blackwell Companion to Catholicism offers an extensive survey of the history, doctrine, practices, and global circumstances of Roman Catholicism, written by a range of distinguished and experienced Catholic writers.
  • Engages its readers in an informed and informative conversation about Roman Catholic life and thought
  • Embraces the local and the global, the past and the present, life and the afterlife, and a broad range of institutions and activities
  • Considers both what is distinctive about Catholic life and thought, and how Catholicism overlaps with and transforms other ways of thinking and living
  • Topics covered include: peacemaking, violence and wars; money, the vow of poverty and socio-economic life; art by and about Catholics; and men, women and sex

Excerpt

James J. Buckley, Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt, and Trent Pomplun

The Blackwell Companion to Catholicism is a volume in the series of Blackwell Companions. We intend this volume on Catholic life and thought to be neither a theological dictionary nor an encyclopedia on matters Catholic. A companion, in its etymological sense, is someone who joins us at the table, someone with whom we share bread, and someone whose conversation we enjoy. The companions in this Companion, then, seek to engage their readers in an informed and informative conversation about Roman Catholic life and thought.

The essays in this Companion are addressed to educated persons who wish to broaden and deepen their knowledge of Catholic life and thought–whether because they are Catholic or because they have an interest in matters Catholic for personal or other reasons. We hope that the combination of brief surveys and detailed analyses will make the book useful for beginners as well as interesting for those who already know a good deal about Catholicism.

Many readers of this Companion will no doubt browse its essays and read only those that interest them. Other readers will use it as an overview that, read in its entirety, can guide them through Catholic life and thought. To help these readers we have organized this Companion around two distinctions. The first is the distinction between time and space, and the second is the distinction between theory and practice. Parts I (Catholic Histories) and II (Catholic Cultures) address the first distinction. Parts III (Catholic Doctrines) and IV (Catholic Practices) address the second distinction. We have tried to develop a common structure within each section, even as we allowed authors freedom to develop their topics in ways they saw fit.

Thus we asked the authors in Part I (Catholic Histories) to keep in mind the other sections of the Companion, and therefore to describe the cultures, thoughts, and practices of Catholicism historically. The essays in this first Part, and indeed in the Companion as a whole, try to walk the line between general introduction and specialized study. We asked the authors to provide a brief survey of the time period being discussed as well as a more in-depth discussion of a person, movement, debate or . . .

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