A New Textbook: Christ’s Church & World Religions

My latest book contribution has recently been released.  This one is a high school textbook for World Religions classes.  Actually, as its title Christ’s Church and World Religions clarifies, it’s not just about these religions but also about understanding and evaluating them in light of Jesus Christ and the teaching of the Catholic Church. Following the teachings of our popes and the Second Vatican Council, it also explores how studying these traditions can enrich the faith of Christians.

I authored the main essays that comprise the body of this volume, which also includes  supplementary materials composed by teachers for use in the high school classroom.  There’s also a separate teacher’s guide authored by experienced high school teachers.  I can’t recommend this text highly enough to those who have high school kids, to homeschooling families, to and really anyone who wants a basic introduction to this subject that follows the bishops’ guidelines for its teaching.

PS: The book’s title speaks of world religions, but it is also a book about ecumenism, as it includes chapters that treat Protestant and Orthodox Christianity.  And, as a bonus, it also treats atheism as a religious phenomenon!

The Reception of Vatican II off the press this week

I am pleased to announce that a volume to which I have contributed, The Reception of Vatican II, edited by Matthew Lamb and Matthew Levering, has been published this week by Oxford University Press.  This book, a sequel to Lamb and Levering’s previous volume Vatican II: Renewal within Tradition, is a “Vatican II after 50 years” project, looking at how the 16 conciliar documents have been received–interpreted and implemented–over the past five decades.  It is thus a milestone work that helps us to see what impact Vatican II has had on the Church (retrospect) and how it ought to continue to be received as our century progresses (prospect).

My essay in this book is chapter 11 on the Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio.  Here’s the description for our volume on Amazon:

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From 1962 to 1965, in perhaps the most important religious event of the twentieth century, the Second Vatican Council met to plot a course for the future of the Roman Catholic Church. After thousands of speeches, resolutions, and votes, the Council issued sixteen official documents on topics ranging from divine revelation to relations with non-Christians. But the meaning of the Second Vatican Council has been fiercely contested since before it was even over, and the years since its completion have seen a battle for the soul of the Church waged through the interpretation of Council documents. The Reception of Vatican II looks at the sixteen conciliar documents through the lens of those battles. Paying close attention to reforms and new developments, the essays in this volume show how the Council has been received and interpreted over the course of the more than fifty years since it concluded.

The contributors to this volume represent various schools of thought but are united by a commitment to restoring the view that Vatican II should be interpreted and implemented in line with Church Tradition. The central problem facing Catholic theology today, these essays argue, is a misreading of the Council that posits a sharp break with previous Church teaching. In order to combat this reductive way of interpreting the Council, these essays provide a thorough, instructive overview of the debates it inspired.