November 2003


November 2003

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this Issue
‘And they remembered his words’
The Editor

Memory and forgiveness
Denys Turner

We are necessarily selective about our memories, writes Denys Turner, Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. Without hope, we could not bear the reality of the whole truth about ourselves. Neither could we bear ‘the reality of a love wholly unconditional’. That is why we killed the God of love. But ‘it is just through our doing so that he saves us, restores to our cruel, self-tortured memories the certainty of hope’.

Praying for the dead
Eamon Duffy

Why do we pray for the dead? Eamon Duffy, who is Professor of the History of Christianity and President of Magdalene College in the University of Cambridge, looks at the historical development of this church practice and concludes that we pray for the dead because ‘they live in Christ, bound to us in single faith and hope and love, and therefore with a right to a place in our prayers’.

Remembrance Sunday
Noel Mullin

On Remembrance Sunday we pray for all those who have died in war since 1914. Mgr Noel Mullin, who was Principal Royal Navy Chaplain, draws on his personal experience of the Falklands war to reflect on those who died and on ‘our responsibility of remembrance, of intercession and gratitude’.

Sean Connolly

At the end of the Church’s year our attention is focused on the Last Things. Sean Connolly, author of Simple Priesthood, who recently became parish priest in Wymondham in Norfolk, looks at the teaching on heaven and hell with the help of C.S. Lewis, on whom he has just completed a doctorate.

Comforting those who mourn
Angela Cunningham

Bereavement is one of the most stressful experiences we can suffer. Angela Cunningham managed a bereavement counselling service and here she suggests ways in which a community, drawing on the Church’s wisdom, can comfort those who are bereaved, ‘giving those who mourn an ongoing role through the active remembering of prayer’.

Reflections of an ailing prophet
Pat Crowley

Pat Crowley was a priest of the Salford Diocese who died of cancer earlier this year. What follows is an abbreviated version of a reflection Pat struggled to write in the final months of his life. It was a great effort for him as the cancer was draining his strength and weakening his concentration. However, he managed to finish it and was encouraged to discover that many priests and people found it very helpful. It is introduced by Kevin Kelly, friend, parish priest and research fellow in moral theology at Liverpool Hope University College, who also provides endnotes.

Preaching and teaching the Word
Simon Francis Gaine OP

Simon Francis Gaine, who teaches theology at Blackfriars, Oxford, and was until recently Catholic Chaplain to the University of Edinburgh, offers some reflections on the lectionary readings for the Sundays and Solemnities of December.

Postscript: Inconvenient and other truths
Michael D. Phelan


Culture of Life – Culture of Death
edited by Luke Gormally
The Linacre Centre, £17.95
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Authority in the Roman Catholic Church, theory and practice
edited by Bernard Hoose
Ashgate, £45
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Europe: the exceptional case: parameters of faith in the modern world
Grace Davie
Darton, Longman and Todd, £10.95
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A Reason for Living and Hoping: a Christian appreciation of the emerging new era of consciousness
Adrian B. Smith
St Pauls Publishing, £8.99
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