An Introduction to Catholicism (Introduction to Religion) by Lawrence S. Cunningham
By Lawrence S. Cunningham
The Vatican. The Inquisition. birth control. Celibacy. Apparitions and miracles. Plots and scandals. The Catholic Church is seldom out of the scoop. yet what do its 1000000000 adherents fairly think, and the way do they positioned their ideals into perform in worship, the relations, and society?
This down-to-earth account is going again to the early Christian creeds to discover the roots of recent Catholic considering. It avoids getting slowed down in theological technicalities, and throws gentle on facets of the Church's institutional constitution and liturgical perform that even Catholics can locate baffling: why visit confession? How are humans made saints? what's 'infallible' in regards to the Pope? issues addressed comprise: • scripture and culture • sacraments and prayer • renowned piety • own and social morality • reform, project, and interreligious discussion Lawrence Cunningham, a theologian, prize-winning author and college instructor, presents an outline of Catholicism at the present time that allows you to be essential for undergraduates and lay research teams.
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On a brutal winter's day in 1650 in Stockholm, the Frenchman René Descartes, the main influential and arguable philosopher of his time, used to be buried after a chilly and lonely loss of life faraway from domestic. 16 years later, the French Ambassador Hugues de Terlon secretly unearthed Descartes' bones and transported them to France.
Why might this devoutly Catholic reputable care a lot in regards to the is still of a thinker who used to be hounded from nation to nation on fees of atheism? Why might Descartes' bones take this sort of unusual, serpentine course over the subsequent 350 years—a course intersecting a number of the grandest occasions that you can imagine: the start of technology, the increase of democracy, the mind-body challenge, the clash among religion and cause? Their tale comprises humans from all walks of life—Louis XIV, a Swedish on line casino operator, poets and playwrights, philosophers and physicists, as those humans used the bones in medical reports, stole them, offered them, respected them as relics, fought over them, handed them surreptitiously from hand to hand.
The solution lies in Descartes’ well-known word: Cogito ergo sum—"I imagine, for that reason i'm. " In his deceptively easy seventy-eight-page essay, Discourse at the technique, this small, useless, vindictive, peripatetic, formidable Frenchman destroyed 2,000 years of got knowledge and laid the rules of the fashionable global. on the root of Descartes’ “method” was once skepticism: "What am i able to comprehend for convinced? " Like-minded thinkers round Europe passionately embraced the book--the strategy used to be utilized to drugs, nature, politics, and society. The inspiration that it is easy to locate fact in evidence which may be proved, and never in reliance on culture and the Church's teachings, may develop into a turning aspect in human history.
In an age of religion, what Descartes was once presenting looked like heresy. but Descartes himself used to be a great Catholic, who used to be spurred to jot down his incendiary booklet for the main own of purposes: He had dedicated himself to drugs and the examine of nature, but if his loved daughter died on the age of 5, he took his principles deeper. to appreciate the wildlife one had to query every little thing. therefore the clinical technique was once created and faith overthrown. If the flora and fauna can be understood, wisdom will be complicated, and others would possibly not undergo as his baby did.
The nice controversy Descartes ignited keeps to our period: the place Islamic terrorists spurn the fashionable international and pine for a tradition in response to unquestioning religion; the place scientists write bestsellers that passionately make the case for atheism; the place others fight to discover a stability among religion and cause.
Descartes’ Bonesis a historic detective tale concerning the construction of the fashionable brain, with twists and turns best as much as the current day—to the technological know-how museum in Paris the place the philosopher’s cranium now is living and to the church a number of kilometers away the place, now not in the past, a philosopher-priest stated a mass for his bones.
The Roman Catholic Church in Latin the United States faces major and remarkable demanding situations. so much favourite between them are secularization, globalizing cultural traits, intensifying spiritual festival, and pluralism of many types inside of what have been as soon as hegemonic Catholic societies. The large and unique essays during this quantity determine the ways that the Catholic Church in Latin the US is facing those political, non secular, and social alterations.
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Extra resources for An Introduction to Catholicism (Introduction to Religion)
Of course, the catholicity described in the Church’s own liturgy is a highly refined one. It may seem at variance with the messy realities of the Catholic Church as it is actually observed. It is part of faith that the Church is a The Catholic substance 21 mystery not in the sense that it is a puzzle (although it may well be that for some) but in the sense that something hidden lies behind its human manifestation. Catholics believe that to be the case. They often appeal to Saint Paul’s metaphor that we are part of a body whose “head is Christ” and, in that sense, the deepest meaning of catholicity pertains to faith.
23 24 Roman Catholicism beginnings to constantine It is clear that when Saint Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans he was writing to what he considered to be a single church, if by “church” we understand this to be in Paul’s terms of the Christian assembly or congregation, which was to be the recipient of his letter. A closer examination of the situation in Rome, however, indicates that the Christian presence in Rome after Paul’s death (he, as well as Saint Peter, are presumed to have died in Rome during Nero’s persecution in ad 64) was quite complex and consisted of more than one unified community.
Many thought that the papacy was coming to a sad end. the recreation of vatican city state Leo XIII ushered the papacy into the twentieth century; he reigned from 1878 to 1903. While he followed the policy of his predecessor relative to the new Italian state (he forbade Catholics from voting or taking part in the political life of the Church), he showed himself, in other ways, to be a progressive pope. His most famous encyclical Rerum novarum (1891) was the first great papal encyclical on social justice; he asserted the rights of private property but he also asserted the rights of workers to organize and to be paid a decent wage – with the right to private ownership came the obligation of justice.