Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Book Review Coming Soon.......

I am looking forward to reviewing this new book by the late Catholic Dominican theologian Yves Congar which is being published this month by Liturgical Press. Congar was one of the most influential theologians in the Catholic Church and whose writings have continued to inspire both clergy and laity alike. His emphasis on the renewal of liturgy as well as a rethinking how power and authority are expressed are certainly food for thought as we seem to continually struggle against rampant clericalism, abuse of power and authority by bishops and clergy, and often get stuck in the quagmire of liturgical rites and rubrics which are in need of reform and renewal. My Orthodox brothers and sisters are encouraged to look to the writings of Congar too, since his love for Eastern liturgy and theology is found throughout his own writings as well.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Vatican II and hopefully Congar's journals will feed and nourish us as we continue to deal with issues which Vatican II dealt with 50 years ago.

Below is information about the book:

At the beginning of the meeting Cardinal Ottaviani said that, to speed the work up, the experts will speak only if they are asked a question. At my side, Rahner was champing at the bit, and said to me ‘what are we doing here . . . ?’” (Wednesday 3 June 1964)

Yves Congar, OP, was one of the most important and influential theologians of the twentieth century. Much of this influence came as a result of his role as theological advisor to the bishops who participated at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). After working under a cloud of ecclesiastical censure and suspicion in the decade prior to its start, Congar was, from beginning to end, an influential day-to-day participant in the council’s work. He also managed to keep detailed personal notes throughout the time.

At long last, the council diaries of Yves Congar are available in English! This material is a treasure trove of information and insight for anyone interested in the history of that council and its remarkable and historic teaching. It provides a window into the council’s workings and the development of what would become a series of historic documents and declarations. It also offers Congar’s own down-to-earth and personal perspective on many of the other remarkable figures who played a role in the council.

Yves Congar, OP, who died in 1995, was a French Dominican widely recognized as one of the most important Roman Catholic theologians of the twentieth century and a major influence upon the theology of the documents of Vatican II. Congar drew from biblical, patristic, and medieval sources to revitalize the discipline of contemporary theology. He was an early advocate of ecumenism and also contributed to shaping the theological agenda of the twentieth-century liturgical movement. He was named a cardinal in 1994 by Pope John Paul II. Liturgical Press has also recently published At the Heart of Christian Worship: Liturgical Essays of Yves Congar and Congar’s classic work True and False Reform in the Church.