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698BOOK REVIEWS terms of material factors will be insufficient to explain civilization or humanity 's universal impulse toward the transcendent. As Fernando Cervantes points out, a secular view of history cannot comprehend the past as "an organic, intelligible whole" (p. 52). In contrast, Dawson saw history as the constant interpenetration of the eternal with the temporal that reveals an intelligible meaning. A Dawsonian history is open to theological norms and the revelation of the salvific plan,without, however, surrendering specifically historical norms or methods, a point made by Dermot Quinn in his essay (p. 74). Francesca Murphy critiques what she calls a "deep-sea diving" approach to the past, which seeks to recover the lost glories, political or theological, of Catholicism. While useful and important, such archaeological history in fact echoes secular histories that find the reasons for cultural change in political or material terms. "Even if the findings of the Catholic side are true, [such] history is Marxist 'Catholic studies,' not Catholic history" (p. 124). Rather, drawing on Dawson's use of "symbolic" moments (such as the conversion of barbarian kings to Christianity) to dramatize the moral order that those symbols embody, Murphy calls Catholic historians to conceptualize the normal events of the world as infused with the divine. Only then, she argues, can Catholicism present a universal history that supplies the "perceptual apparatus" (p. 130) lacking in its secular counterparts. Eternity in Time is an outstanding collection of essays that challenges secular standards ofvalue in historical study and presents an alternative vision based in Catholic thought. Gerald J. Russello New York Historical Dictionary of Catholicism. By William J. Collinge. [Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements, No. 12.] (Lanham, Maryland:The Scarecrow Press. 1997. Pp. xx, 551. $58.00.) This is a historical dictionary of Catholicism, not "a dictionary of the history of Catholics,"the author tells us in the introduction. He has made an attempt,he says, to encompass all seven of Ninian Smart's dimensions of religion as they apply to Catholicism: practical-ritual, experiential-emotional, narrative-mythic, doctrinal-philosophical, ethical-legal, social-institutional,and material (artifacts). It is an extremely ambitious undertaking but one I believe he has accomplished in a brilliant way. In covering the whole history of the Church, he makes a judicious selection from the enormous mass of facts involved. All in all, a fine summary of the beliefs, rites, events, movements, memorable popes, saints, and other key persons in Catholic history. The summary of church history he provides in the introduction is a model of compression and delineates well the BOOK REVIEWS699 main lines ofdevelopment. An interesting entry is even devoted to the tasks facing it today. The author,who teaches theology and philosophy at Mount Saint Mary's College , Emmitsburg, Maryland, had college teachers, students, and librarians primarily in mind, but the book deserves a wide audience. It is not a dry collection of facts but a lively, well written work, quite honest about the problematic aspects of the Church's history. It should whet the reader's appetite for more information on the topics treated. As I say, he doesn't shy away from the thorny issues but walks bravely, albeit cautiously, over such minefields as the area of sexual morality. On such issues as homosexuality, birth control, and divorce he provides a balanced assessment of the state of the question. His entry on dissent in the Church is a masterpiece of compression. Here he notes how limited private disagreement had been allowed long before the SecondVatican Council by authorized theological textbooks and how this opinion was alluded to by the Theological Commission of the Council. In an interesting observation on the current scene he believes the radical opposition between the world and the Church so characteristic of pre-Vatican Council II days has resurfaced to some extent with Pope John Paul II. He provides a very full bibliography of some seventy-one pages. For anyone interested in the history of the Catholic Church, this is a most useful and up-todate reference work. It has already found a place on the bookshelves above my desk. Thomas Bokenkotter Xavier University Cincinnati, Ohio A History ofHeaven:The Singing Silence. ByJeffrey...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 698-699
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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