December 2001


December 2001

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A space for growth
The Editor

CHildhood and Jesus
James Francis

What does Jesus say about children? James Francis, until recently Senior Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies in Sunderland University, examines the Gospel texts and shows how they 'point to truths about God whose Kingdom it is ... and about identifying with children, the weak and the dispossessed as itself the way of the Kingdom'.

The metaphysics of the manger
John Saward

What was the child-God of Bethlehem taught us about children? John Saward, who is Senior Professor at the International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria, explains how 'thier simplicity reveals the nature of faith and their wonder discloses the destiny of reason'.

Ruth Burrows

Why did St Thérèse have such a devotion to the Child Jesus? Ruth Burrows (Sr Rachel of the Quidenham Carmel), author of many books on prayer, shows how it could reveal a divine truth: ‘the inexpressible nature of God’s tender, compassionate love for us, which will stop at nothing but which will pour out its all to us and for us’.

Protecting our children
Angela Hazelton

Child abuse is found in every stratum of our society. Angela Hazelton, who co-ordinates the work of Child Protection in the three dioceses of Arundel & Brighton, Portsmouth and Southwark, suggests ways in which 'the Church can create conditions where children are safer and risks are significantly reduced'.

Telling our children the story
Dwight Longenecker

Dwight Longenecker is the editor of a book of conversion stories called The Path to Rome and author of Listen My Son - a devotional commentary on The Rule of St Benedict for parents. Here he explains how a wider appreciation of story can help to keep the faith alive.

Teaching children to be human
Richard Pring

In this review article Richard Pring, who is professor of Education in the University of Oxford, discusses two recent books which examine a Christian understanding of children,. He concludes by stressing the need 'to reappraise the theological traditions in which childfen and their education are given a distinctive significance, a dignity, a destiny, a place within divine schme of things'.

Axioms of faith: finding a language of belief
Anna Nussbaum

What is it like for a young person to be a Catholic in the States today? Anna Nussbaum is a senior student at Palmer High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Here we present her answer which won the Commonweal Younger Writer's Contest this year. Being Catholic, she says, 'gives me courage to ask hard questions because I am not alone'.

PASTORALIA - Our Lady's Cathechists
Harry Curtis

Harry Curtis is a priest of the Birmingham archdiocese, teaching dogmatic theology at Oscott College. He is the Spiritual Director/ Director of Studies for Our Lady's Cathechists and has experience both of training parish cathechists and as a diocesan direcor of RE. Here he explains what OLC is and how its members have a useful part to play within parish life.

PASTORALIA - Preaching and teaching the World
Derek Lance

Derek Lance, a priest of the Diocese of Northampton and university chaplain, offers his reflections on the lectionary readings for the Sundays of the month of January.

New Testament chronicle
Henry Wansbrough OSB

In this annual overview of books on the New Testament, Henry Wansbrough, who is Master of St Benet's Hall, Ocford, and a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, makes a selection among the many books recently published.


Matthew, Poet of the Beatitudes
H. Benedict Green
Sheffield Academic Press, £50
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Jewish Law in Gentle Churches, Halakhah and the beginning if Christian public ethics
Markus Bockmuehl
T&T Clark, £24.95
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The Gospel of Mark, a socio-political commentary
Ben Witherington III
Eerdmans, £24.95
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Trustworthy and True, the Gospels beyond 2000
Adrian Graffy
Columba Press, £7.99
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The Birth of Jesus, biblical and theological reflections
George J. Brooke
T & T Clark, £9.95
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Ressurection People, studies in the resurrection narratives of the Gospels
David Catchpole
Darton, Longman & Todd, £14.95
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974