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292BOOK reviews Pope PaulVI, several people, including the reviewer, questioned. But the discussion provoked a quip from Roger Aubert: From the perspective of scholarship, he said, the coUoquium was more successful affectively than effectively! That said, this volume remains an important reference for students of the postconcUiar Church. Joseph A. Komonchak The Catholic University ofAmerica Church and Society in the Modern Age. By AU Tergel. Translated by Craig McKay. [Acta Universitatis UpsaUensis: Uppsala Studies in Social Ethics,Vol. 17.] (Uppsala University Press; distributed by Almqvist & WikseU International , Stockholm. 1995. Pp. 275.) This work condenses into one volume Ui EngUsh the gist of the author's four previous volumes in Swedish (dated 1981, 1983, 1987, and 1991).The subject is the history of social Christianity, both Protestant and CathoUc, from the Industrial Revolution to the mid-1980's—more specificaUy Christian social thought or ethics, rather than the practical social movements that have developed under the aegis of the churches.The central issue is seen to be social justice, predominantly in economic terms, and hence in particular the assessments given and the attitudes assumed by social Catholics and Protestants Ui regard to the two dominant economic systems during this period, capitalism and sociaUsm. One can wonder U this smgle-minded approach best serves the cause of historical understanding, especially since the author admits that "the choice between capitaUsm and Socialism or their intermediate forms became steadUy less relevant for the Churches" (p. 268; cf. already pp. 60, 134).These alternatives had been, all the same, prominent enough previously. Confronting them led repeatedly to the quest for a "third way" for a modern political economy; just as regularly it gave rise to the notion that it was not the churches' mission to design an economic system, but to point to possibüities of greater justice to be achieved in actual circumstances, pragmaticaUy. For what readership is this book intended? It lacks aU documentation, referring the reader instead to the four preceding monographs, two ofwhich do not even seem to have been acquired by any Ubrary in the United States. It could perhaps serve as a quick overview of modern social thought in the Christian churches.There is admittedly no other single work that synthesizes its whole territory.1 It is generaUy reüable in its assertions,2 in its judgments fair and evenhanded . However, the novice, for whom such an undocumented overview 'Within the range of the WCC, one can now have recourse to Ans van der Bent, Commitment to God's World: A Concise Critical Survey of Ecumenical Social Thought (Geneva:WCC Publications, 1995). 2But Pope Leo XIII could accept strikes in certain circumstances^ace p. 75. BOOK REVIEWS293 might be intended, would probably not be well served by the excessively curtaUed treatment of any particular school of Christian response described here. Thus, for nineteenth-century CathoUcs, "Uberalism," not capitaUsm, was the social ideology to be opposed. Another example: private property, not further qualified, is most often taken as the key distinguishing feature between capitalism and sociaUsm, in a rather simplistic procedure. Certain generaUzations emerge by dint of repetition, e.g., some characteristic differences between CathoUc and Protestant social ethics as well as some common characteristics.The two stories are related in paraUel and brought together in two chapters about the inteUectuaI exchange which finaUy took place between the World CouncU of Churches and the Roman CathoUc communion for two decades afterVatican Council II. Liberation and Third-World theology gets its due here as weU as in the separate chapters devoted to postconcUiar Roman CathoUcism and to theWorld CouncU of Churches. No reflection on the demise of "reaUy existing" Soviet sociaUsm is attempted, beyond the note that "the Churches are faced with a new economic ideological situation" (p. 272). Paul Misner Marquette University Ancient A Concise History of the Early Church. By Norbert Brox. Translated by John Bowden. (New York: Continuum Publishing Company. 1995. Pp. viii, 184. $18.95.) This lucid and exceUently translated survey of the Early Church spans from its beginning to the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.).The author, Norbert Brox, professor of early church history and patrology in the University of Regensburg , says in his preface...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 292-293
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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