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Everyman's Theology

Item Number: 2432

Catalog Code: ET-DIS

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Everyman's Theology

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Fr. Leo von Rudloff, OSB


Why did yesterday's average layman know his faith better than many a priest today?

One reason: this ernormously popular primer on Church doctrine, hailed as "a complete course in theology" for ordinary Catholics

Good catechetical materials weren't hard to come by sixty years ago, when this book first appeared in English. Still, Catholic reviewers lavished it with praise. Why? Simply put: nothing else compressed so much sound doctrine into so brief and readable a book. Amazed scholars who translated the volume noted that this was nothing less than: "a complete treatise on all of the dogmatic truths of our religion"

Do you know the Faith as well as yesterday's Catholic "everyman"?

Take this quiz to find out. Answers in Everyman's Theology. In parentheses we have added the grade level in which children were expected to know the answer when this book was originally published.

  • What is the traditional term used to describe the union of Christ's human and divine natures? (9th grade)
  • Which three sacraments imprint an "indelible character" on the soul of the recipient? (5th grade)
  • Name at least five of the 14 attributes of God. (10th grade)
  • True or false?: "All sins committed after baptism can be forgiven in the sacrament of penance." (5th grade)
  • How does the "cosmological" argument for the existence of God differ from the "teleological" argument? (College)
  • What are the gifts that man possessed when first created, but lost due to Adam's sin? (11th grade)
  • What are the four degrees of theological certitude? (10th grade)
  • What does it mean to say Scripture is "free from error"? (6th grade)
  • Explain the three-fold symbol under which papal primacy was promised to Peter. (9th grade)
  • What are the three conditions that constitute a mortal sin? (4th grade)
  • How does God employ angels in the government of the world? (4th grade)
  • Name the three elements which all seven sacraments have in common. (6th grade)
  • Name two of the four results of the Redemption. (6th grade)
  • Name two of the four effects of Extreme Unction which help us to attain Heaven. (5th grade)
  • Describe at least one aspect of (1) what the damned soul in Hell feels, and (2) what he knows. (5th grade)
  • Cite at least one Scripture reference evidencing each of these sacraments: (1) Confession (2) Holy Orders (3) Extreme Unction. (6th or 7th grade)
  • True or false?: "Christ died for all men -- including those who lived under the Old Law." (6th grade)
  • What are the five requirements of a good confession? (6th grade)

APPENDIXES: Summary of Principal Doctrines with Their Degrees of Theological Certitude * Classic Proofs for the Existence of God * St. Paul's Hymn of Praise * Dogma and the Ecclesiastical Year * Remarks on the History of Dogma * Study Outline * Bibliography * Index But what made it novelty was that it could be fully digested over the course of few evenings. With matchless clarity and concision, Fr. Leo von Rudloff, OSB, explains every doctrine from Creation to the Last Judgment, omitting nothing of importance. Some topics (a mere fraction of the total):

Gifts of the Holy Spirit * Mortal and Venial Sin * Revelation and Faith * The Teaching Office of the Church * Infallibility * Ordinary and Extraordinary Magisterium * Sources of Faith * Formulas of Faith: Symbols or Creeds * God: Nature and Attributes * Divine Will * Economy of Creation * Angels * Original Justice * Sin of Adam * Mother of the Redeemer * Redemptive Act * Risen Redeemer * God the Sanctifier: The Holy Spirit * Christ and the Holy Spirit * The Holy Spirit in Man * Grace * Good Works * Virtues * Holy and Sanctifying Community: The Church * Four Marks of the Church * Church Militant, Suffering and Triumphant * Communion of Saints * The Sacraments in General * Baptism * Confirmation * Penance * Holy Orders * Matrimony * Extreme Unction * Indulgences * Relics * Death and Particular Judgment * Eternal Death: Hell * Eternal Life: Heaven * Purgatory * Sainthood * The General Judgment * Anti-Christ * Second Coming * End of Time

"One of the most important books on Catholic doctrine published in America"
- Ave Maria

"Start[s] from the beginning to trace the intricate fabric of Catholicism, briefly yet essentially complete, a book without a lot of unnecessary verbiage. ... It is a digest of the voluminous Summa. It is an introduction into the beautiful study of theology. But more importantly, it introduces every Catholic to a fuller and more intelligent possession of his faith."
- Ave Maria (1942)

"Excellent ... there has been packed an incredible amount of theological fact and discussion, presented in simple language with blueprint clarity. It is comprehensive in scope, yet it manages to give a satisfyingly detailed treatment of matters of greater practical concern to the average Catholic."
- Sign

"It is a tribute to the author's skill that in so short a space he could sketch so complete and clear a picture of the wonderworld of God's riches and kingdom. ... A characteristic feature of Father Von Rudloff's work is his skilful use of the quotations from the New Testament."
- Thought

"Reaches deeply into the wealth of Catholic dogma. Written especially for the layman, it covers the entire range of theology ..... It shows how logically related each part is and how perfectly each doctrine fits into one pattern. The author is not content to explain the formal terms of that dogma; he shows how essential it is to Catholic thinking and living. ... Someone once said that the most convincing argument for Catholic doctrine is simply to manifest its essential beauty. Father Leo does this masterfully. His language is simple and easy to grasp. ... the meaning, significance, the profound beauty and poetry, the life and spirit of Catholic dogma is seldom understood or appreciated. Father Leo has done a masterful job in revealing just this."
- Commonweal

"A very useful aid in the fulfillment of the serious obligation, incumbent upon all Catholics, of keeping themselves thoroughly instructed on the truths of faith, and of having a ready answer when their non-Catholic neighbor asks an intelligent question concerning these truths."
- William A. Griffin, Bishop of Trenton, from his Foreword

"He has clearly and cleverly attained his stated purpose of presenting Catholic theology in understandable language for the layman .... On the other hand, Everyman's Theology will find favor with many priests because it can be a 'refresher course' in dogmatic theology. The Appendix is particularly valuable because it contains a list of the principal teachings of the Church with a notation of their degrees of theological certitude, a brief summary of the proofs for the existence of God, and a study-club outline."
- Ecclesiastical Review


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