Popes and Politics: Reform, Resentment, and the Holocaust (Handbooks of Catholic Theology)

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9780826413857: Popes and Politics: Reform, Resentment, and the Holocaust (Handbooks of Catholic Theology)

In the last three decades, many books have been published on the role of the Vatican in the modern world. Popes and Politics shows that many recent authors, whether devoted or antagonistic to the papacy, have been guilty of factual disstortions and biased interpretations that lead to a flawed picture of the church and its relation to contemporary society.Among the authors analyzed are James Carroll, John Cornwell, Margherita Marchione, Ralph McInerny, Michael Phayer, Garry Willas, Susan Zuccotti. Lawler cites "chapter and verse" to illustrate that many of these critics are doing to the church what the church historically did to the Jews—methodically scapegoating an imaginary enemy.Though in the recent past the central themes of Popes and Politics have often been exhaustively (and exhaustingly) analyzed, the treatment in the present book is fresh and original. To consider only one issue—the pope and the Jews—in addition to a re-assessment of Pius XII, Lawler also treats of the takeover of the Shoah for Catholic purposes; the connection of saturation bombing to the pope's "silence"; the significance of Hochhuth's other play, "The Soldiers"; the possibility of a Polish "holocaust; the reticence about "speaking out" by the head of the worldwide Anglican communion; the conflicts over both German and Israeli revisionist historians; the curious parallels between the Bermuda and the Wannsee conferences; the denigration of Pacelli and of Ben-Gurion—and many other non-stereotypical perspectives on this crucial moral issue of our time.The second part of the book—a discussion of the self-regulating principal of reform—is replete with intriguing and informative lessons, quotations, and anecdotes concerning some of the most fascinating and tragic figures in modern religious history: de Lamennais, Newman, Loisy, Montalembert, D÷llinger, Rosmini, Acton, Blondel, Maritain, Bernanos, Congar, HSring, and several popes—to mention only a few.In the context of a reform that goes beyond "the politics of rancor," Popes and Politics treats also of church governance, structures of sin, intellectual freedom, gender conflicts, episcopal synods, sexual vs. social morality, signs of the times, and doctrinal claims.

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About the Author:

Justus George Lawler has been the editor of five publishing imprints and of four journals; he has taught at St. John's University and St. Mary's University in Minnesota, and Loyola University and Xavier University in Chicago. He is author/ editor of more than a score of books on religious-cultural issues.

Review:

"This is vintage Lawler....certain to be recognized as both controversial and worthy of the widest dissemination."—Charles E. Curran, author of Faithful Dissent

"What is not debatable is that this book will be of importance to everyone concerned with the future of institutional religion."—Margaret A. Farley, author of Personal Commitments

"A must read for those who want to get beyond much widespread misinformation and into the heart of the issues."—Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, author of Foundational Theology

"A book that informs, fascinates, and enriches. Lawler is a scholar who is so erudite and so balanced in all his research that he stands above and apart from any attempt at labeling him either a 'conservative' or a 'liberal.'"—John F. Morley, author of Vatican Diplomacy and the Jews during the Holocaust

"A brilliantly argued book, which requires several readings to grasp its balanced content. Recent years have witnessed numerous books on papal topics, which Lawler here critiques with scholarship and passion. The text is artistically written. Recommended for all academic collections."—John-Leonard Berg, Choice, March 2002

"Lawler has written a very good book attacking today's most famous Catholic lefties for vitriolic bias and shoddy scholarship. One need not share all, or indeed any, of Lawler's reform agenda to admire the intellectual vigor, unflinching honesty, and puckish wit of his assaults on Wills and his cohorts."—Michael Potemra, National Review, May 6, 2002

"Popes and Politics by educator and papal expert Justus George Lawler is a meticulous, scholarly accounting that responds to many previously published works about the Vatican and the papacy. A brilliant, intense, and persuasively argued study, Popes and Politics covers a range of critical topics. Highly recommended as an inherently engaging and informative study, and a seminal contribution to Papal Studies and Holocaust Studies supplemental reading lists and academic reference collections."—Midwest Book Review, June 2002

"Profound and original meditation on the interplay of theological conviction and political reality"
—Jerusalem Post, August 30, 2002

"Lawler's own scholarship and mastery of the history of the past two hundred years of the Catholic church are certainly impressive...What is undeniable is that this volume marks a real contribution to the ongoing conversation in and beyond Catholicism about the future of the church...Graduate students of theology/religious studies with a good grounding in church history will benefit from the book, which should certainly be on the shelves of every college library."—Donald G. Clifford, American Catholic Studies Vol. 114, 2003

“Lawler has written an original book that stretches the mind and, in its final chapters, the imagination. It is a major work on vital issues.” —America

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Lawler, Justus George
Published by Continuum International Publishi (2002)
ISBN 10: 0826413854 ISBN 13: 9780826413857
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