“Justice and Mercy Have Met” (Martens, ed.)

In January, the Catholic University of America Press released “Justice and Mercy Have Met: Pope Francis and the Reform of the Marriage Nullity Process,” edited by Kurt Martens (The Catholic University of America).  The publisher’s description follows:

With the promulgation of the motu proprio Mitis iudex Dominus Iesus for the Latin Church and the motu proprio Mitis et misericors Iesus for the Eastern Catholic Churches,hfs.bibliometa.jpg both dated August 15, 2015, Pope Francis addressed the calls during the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (October 5-9, 2014) for a simplified procedure for the declaration of the nullity of marriages. Pope Francis introduced a briefer process to be conducted by the diocesan bishop and he simplified the current ordinary nullity process. The new procedural norms went into effect on December 8, 2015.

New legislation always challenges first and foremost the practitioner: how is the new legislation to be understood and applied? Immediately after the new law was made public, a number of articles on this new legislation were published in The Jurist. The School of Canon Law of The Catholic University of America organized a March 2016 Workshop on the very topic of this important procedural reform.

These articles are now brought together in one volume to assist those who work with these norms in the various tribunals dealing with marriage cases. It is hoped that this volume will be of great service to all those who serve the people of God in the ministry of justice, and that these contributions will truly be a help in understanding and applying the new norms.

Lombardo, “Founding Father”

In March, Brill Publishers will release Founding Father: John J. Wynne, S.J. and the Inculturation of American Catholicism in the Progressive Era by Michael F. Lombardo (University of Mary’s, Rome). The publisher’s description follows:

founding-fatherIn Founding Father, Michael F. Lombardo provides the first critical biography of John J. Wynne, S.J. (1859-1948). One of the most prominent American Catholic intellectuals of the early twentieth century, Wynne was founding editor of the Catholic Encyclopedia (1907) and the Jesuit periodical America (1909), and served as vice-postulator for the canonization causes of the first American saints (the Jesuit Martyrs of North America) and Kateri Tekakwitha. Lombardo uses theological inculturation to explore the ways in which Wynne used his publications to negotiate American Catholic citizenship during the Progressive Era. He concludes that Wynne’s legacy was part of a flowering of early-twentieth century American Catholic intellectual thought that made him a key forerunner to the mid-century Catholic Revival.

Pope John Paul II, “In God’s Hands”

In March, Harper Collins Publishers will release In God’s Hands: The Spiritual Diaries of Pope John Paul II written by Pope John Paul II. The publisher’s description follows:

In God's Hands.pngAvailable for the first time in English, the private reflections of the modern pope recently elevated to sainthood—deeply personal writings that reveal a spiritual leader who agonized over his service to God, continually questioning whether he was doing enough.

As the head of the Roman Catholic Church for twenty-five years, from the final decades of the twentieth century to the first years of the new millennium, Pope John Paul II significantly impacted our world. As famous as a rock star, this powerful leader who conferred with numerous heads of state was the ultimate model of wisdom and religious commitment for numerous Catholics around the globe.

Throughout much of his adult life, from 1962 until two years before his death in 2003, John Paul II kept a series of private diaries in which he disclosed his innermost thoughts, impressions, and concerns. Written in his native Polish and never before available in English until now, these journals provide intimate and deeply moving insight into a man, a priest, and a saint’s spirituality and a life devoted completely to God.

In God’s Hands lays bare the soul of this powerful, influential statesman, revealing a devout man untouched by his celebrity status; a selfless servant of God who spent decades questioning whether he was worthy of the role he was called to carry out. Over forty years, from his bishopric in Krakow to his election to the papacy to his final years, one question guided him: “Am I serving God?”

Entrusted to his personal secretary—who defied John Paul II’s instructions to burn them after his death—these notebooks provide us with a privileged glimpse into the life of a humble man who never took for granted his mission or his exalted role in the church and in the world.

Dagnino, “Faith and Fascism”

In December, Palgrave Macmillan released “Faith and Fascism: Catholic Intellectuals in Italy, 1925–43,” by Jorge Dagnino (Universidad de los Andes).  The publisher’s description follows:

This is a study of the Federazione Universitaria Cattolica Italiana (FUCI) between 1925 and 1943, the organisation of Catholic Action for the university sector. The FUCI is 9781137448934highly significant to the study of Catholic politics and intellectual ideas, as a large proportion of the future Christian Democrats who ruled the country after World War II were formed within the ranks of the federation.

In broader terms, this is a contribution to the historiography of Fascist Italy and of Catholic politics and mentalities in Europe in the mid- twentieth century. It sets out to prove the fundamental ideological, political, social and cultural influences of Catholicism on the making of modern Italy and how it was inextricably linked to more secular forces in the shaping of the nation and the challenges faced by an emerging mass society. Furthermore, the book explores the influence exercised by Catholicism on European attitudes towards modernisation and modernity, and how Catholicism has often led the way in the search for a religious alternative modernity that could countervail the perceived deleterious effects of the Western liberal version of modernity.

Ambler, “Bishops in the Political Community of England, 1213-1272”

In March, Oxford University Press will release Bishops in the Political Community of England, 1213-1272 by S. T. Ambler (University of East Anglia). The publisher’s description follows:

bishops-in-englandThirteenth-century England was a special place and time to be a bishop. Like their predecessors, these bishops were key members of the regnal community: anointers of kings, tenants-in-chief, pastors, counsellors, scholars, diplomats, the brothers and friends of kings and barons, and the protectors of the weak. But now circumstance and personality converged to produce an uncommonly dedicated episcopate-dedicated not only to its pastoral mission but also to the defence of the kingdom and the oversight of royal government. This cohort was bound by corporate solidarity and a vigorous culture, and possessed an authority to reform the king, and so influence political events, unknown by the episcopates of other kingdoms.

These bishops were, then, to place themselves at the heart of the dramatic events of this era. Under King John and Henry III-throughout rebellion, civil war, and invasion from France, and the turbulent years of Minority government and Henry’s early personal rule-the bishops acted as peacemakers: they supported royal power when it was threatened, for the sake of regnal peace, but also used their unique authority to reform the king when his illegal actions threatened to provoke his barons to rebellion. This changed, however, between 1258 and 1265, when around half of England’s bishops set aside their loyalty to the king and joined a group of magnates, led by Simon de Montfort, in England’s first revolution, appropriating royal powers in order to establish conciliar rule.

Bishops in the Political Community of England, 1213-1272 examines the interaction between the bishops’ actions on the ground and their culture, identity, and political thought. In so doing it reveals how the Montfortian bishops were forced to construct a new philosophy of power in the crucible of political crisis, and thus presents a new ideal-type in the study of politics and political thought: spontaneous ideology.

Moses, “An Unlikely Union”

In March, New York University Press will release An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York’s Irish and Italians by Paul Moses (Brooklyn College). The publisher’s description follows:

unlikely-unionThey came from the poorest parts of Ireland and Italy and met as rivals on the sidewalks of New York. Beginning in the nineteenth century, the Irish and Italians clashed in the Catholic Church, on the waterfront, at construction sites, and in the streets. Then they made peace through romance, marrying each other on a large scale in the years after World War II. An Unlikely Union tells the dramatic story of how two of America’s largest ethnic groups learned to love and laugh with each other after decades of animosity.

The vibrant cast of characters features saints such as Mother Frances X. Cabrini, who stood up to the Irish American archbishop of New York when he tried to send her back to Italy, and sinners like Al Capone, who left his Irish wife home the night he shot it out with Brooklyn’s Irish mob. The book also highlights the torrid love affair between radical labor organizers Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Carlo Tresca; the alliance between Italian American gangster Paul Kelly and Tammany’s “Big Tim” Sullivan; heroic detective Joseph Petrosino’s struggle to be accepted in the Irish-run NYPD; and the competition between Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby to become the country’s top male vocalist.

In this engaging history of the Irish and Italians, veteran New York City journalist and professor Paul Moses offers a classic American story of competition, cooperation, and resilience. At a time of renewed fear of immigrants, An Unlikely Union reminds us that Americans are able to absorb tremendous social change and conflict—and come out the better for it.

Graziano, “In Rome We Trust”

In March, Stanford University Press will release In Rome We Trust: The Rise of Catholics in American Political Life by Manlio Graziano (American Graduate School, Paris). The publisher’s description follows:

in-rome-we-trustOn the heels of an extremely lively U.S. presidential election campaign, this book examines the unusually serene relationship between the chief global superpower and the world’s most ancient and renowned institution. The “Catholicization” of the United States is a recent phenomenon: some believe it began during the Reagan administration; others feel it emerged under George W. Bush’s presidency. What is certain is that the Catholic presence in the American political ruling class was particularly prominent in the Obama administration: over one-third of cabinet members, the Vice President, the White House Chief of Staff, the heads of Homeland Security and the CIA, the director and deputy director of the FBI, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top military officers were all Roman Catholic. Challenging received wisdom that the American Catholic Church is in crisis and that the political religion in the United States is Evangelicalism, Manlio Graziano provides an engaging account of the tendency of Catholics to play an increasingly significant role in American politics, as well as the rising role of American prelates in the Roman Catholic Church.

Cossar, “Clerical Households in Late Medieval Italy”

In February, Harvard University Press will release Clerical Households in Late Medieval Italy by Roisin Cossar (University of Manitoba). The publisher’s description follows:

clerical-householdsRoisin Cossar brings a new perspective to the history of the Christian church in fourteenth century Italy by examining how clerics managed efforts to reform their domestic lives in the decades after the arrival of the Black Death.

Priests at the end of the Middle Ages resembled their lay contemporaries as they entered into domestic relationships with women, fathered children, and took responsibility for managing households, or familiae. Cossar limns a complex portrait of daily life in the medieval clerical familia that traces the phases of its development. Many priests began their vocation as apprentices in the households of older clerics. In middle age, priests fully embraced the traditional role of paterfamilias—patriarchs with authority over their households, including servants and, especially in Venice, slaves. As fathers they endeavored to establish their illegitimate sons in a clerical family trade. They also used their legal knowledge to protect their female companions and children against a church that frowned on such domestic arrangements and actively sought to stamp them out.

Clerical Households in Late Medieval Italy refutes the longstanding charge that the late medieval clergy were corrupt, living licentious lives that failed to uphold priestly obligations. In fashioning a domestic culture that responded flexibly to their own needs, priests tempered the often unrealistic expectations of their superiors. Their response to the rigid demands of church reform allowed the church to maintain itself during a period of crisis and transition in European history.

“Marian Devotions, Political Mobilization, and Nationalism in Europe and America” (Di Stefano & Ramón Solans, eds.)

Last month, Palgrave MacMillan released Marian Devotions, Political Mobilization, and Nationalism in Europe and America edited by Roberto Di Stefano (University of La Pampa) and Francisco Javier Ramón Solans (University of Münster). The publisher’s description follows:

marian-devotionsThis volume examines the changing role of Marian devotion in politics, public life, and popular culture in Western Europe and America during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book brings together, for the first time, studies on Marian devotions across the Atlantic, tracing their role as a rallying point to fight secularization, adversarial ideologies, and rival religions.

This transnational approach illuminates the deep transformations of devotional cultures across the world. Catholics adopted modern means and new types of religious expression to foster mass devotions that epitomized the catholic essence of the “nation.” In many ways, the development of Marian devotions across the world is also a response to the questioning of Pope Sovereignty. These devotional transformations followed an Ultramontane pattern inspired not only by Rome but also by other successful models approved by the Vatican such as Lourdes. Collectively, they shed new light on the process of globalization and centralization of Catholicism.

“‘Pouring Jewish Water into Fascist Wine'” (Maryks, ed., trans.)

In January, Brill Publishers will release “Pouring Jewish Water into Fascist Wine”. Volume II: Untold Stories of (Catholic) Jews from the Archive of Mussolini’s Jesuit Pietro Tacchi Venturi edited and translated by Robert Aleksander Maryks (Boston College). The publisher’s description follows:

Brill_logoThe aim of the second part of the project on the impact of the racial laws under the Mussolini regime is to offer the reader a critical edition and an English translation of 139 letters that were exchanged between the victims of those laws (and their relatives and friends) and the Jesuit Pietro Tacchi Venturi (1861–1956) who interceded with the Fascist government in order to circumvent or alleviate various provisions of the 1938 anti-Jewish legislation.

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