October 2001


October 2001

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Yearning for truth
The Assistant Editor

Nicholas Lash

It is incumbent on all Christians to try to make their faith intelligible. Nicholas Lash, Emeritus Norris Hulse Professor at Cambridge University, shows here how theology, as a wisdom, helps them to do this. He concludes ‘those who refuse to do theology — to read, think, discuss — simply do not, in fact, care about the truth of Christianity…’

Why study theology?
Margaret Atkins

Margaret Atkins explains how she turned to theology to escape the narrow restrains of her secular study. Shw now teaches theology at Trinity and All Saints College in Leeds and here describes the kind of students who enrol and how theology should be taught. She ends with a health warning: 'Once theology has got under your skin in this way, it is there to stay.'

Satisfying the thirst for God
Sean Connoly

Sean Connoly is a priest of the Diocese of East Anglia now doing graduate studies in Oxford. Here he explains how his own conversion gave him a thirst for God and a need to articulate his faith. He offers some practical suggestions for parish ministry, for 'If we make the theological formation of the laity a priority I think we will be surprised just how thirsty people really are to grow in their understanding of Scripture and Tradition'.

Only connect
Dermot Power

When the theology of 'book learning' connects 'with culture and with the reality of people's lives and experience... it stays faithful both to its tradition and to the present... it keeps us alive!' To Dermot Power, a priest of the Westminster Diocese, currently chaplain to St Mary's School, Ascot, there are theologians who embody this methodology and he explains how their work is liberative.

Priesthood: dying and rising
Anthony L. Wilcox

In the chairman's opening address to this year's National Conference of Priests* Anthony Wilcox, parish priest of the Sacred Heart, Henley-on-Thames, urged closer friendship and co-operation between brother priests to meet the serious challenges of the secular world. 'We today can only survive as a brotherhood of priests if we invest our time in each other.'

Preaching and teaching the world
Terry Tastard

Terry Tastard, who is parish priest of St Mary and St Joseph, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, offers his reflections on the lectionary readings for the Sundays and Holy Days in the month of November

Pastoralia: A font for Boxmoor
Joe Norton

At a time when many parishes begin to prepare their catechumens for baptism next Easter, it may be opportune to consider how the adult baptisms themselves will be conducted. This article describes how parishioners in Boxmoor, Hertfordshire, went about the task of constructing a font for adult baptisms during the Easter Vigil liturgy.

Theology as prayer and play
Tina Beattie

Tina Beattie began her theological studies at Bristol University while she was bringing up four children. Here she describes what theology means to her and explains that 'while I enjoy academic research and debate I prefer to write for "ordinary" people rather than theologians'


The Meeting of Religions and the Trinity
Gavin D'Costa
Orbis Books, £
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Catholics: Britain's largest minority
Dennis Sewell
Viking, £20
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The McDonaldization of the church: spirituality, creativity, and the future of church
John Drane
Darton, Longman and Todd, £9.95
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Soil for the Seed
Jim Gallagher SDB
McCrimmon Publishing Co. Ltd., £
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On scorn
Lucy Beckett