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Dogma and Preaching
All of us have at one time or another wrestled with the problem of evil; few of us have not experienced in themselves the predicament of Job. Others have been consumed by the question: What is time? Some have cried that more attention be given the individual, specifically to women. Still others harbor a deep fear of the word "Americanize."
In one way or another the foregoing questions and voluminous others of equal rank are the basis of problems that worry the modern world. Whether we realize it or not they are the kind of questions to which we would like answers in order to make life worth living.
Fortunately, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger has proposed a series of incisive meditations that go a long way in facing questions that besiege the modern mind. Beginning with a consideration of his personal Christology the author clearly and calmly unfolds against the backdrop of the liturgical year the drama in which the modern soul finds itself.
In consideration of Jesus, the author proposes the question: What does it mean to be human? On Good Friday he examines Auschwitz, Vietnam and evil. On Easter he asks how them mystery of death and resurrection become the central focus of all religions. What meaning can be attached today to such phrases in thr Creed as: "He ascended into heaven?" Is Henri Bergson's comment (in contemplating the vast technological development our century has seen) that the human race has too big a body for its soul really a true statement?
Does Pentecost bring to mind the mistake of the Tower of Babel and its implications for today's world? Did John the Baptist whose Advent call for metanoia rang so loud and clear experience his own dark night of the soul? Does the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven relate in any way to the current cultivation of youth?
Dogma and Preaching in Matthew O'Connell's English translation is a clear meditation on the modern world and on the only force capable of bringing forth uplifting progress. For all who are readers and Christians and non-Christians, this volume sweeps away many cobwebs and light dark corners. It brings light to darkness; it brings hope to despair. It speaks the life-giving word to deadening silence.
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