Category Archives: Books

Proclaim Liberty: Notes on the Next Great Awakening in America –Carl Anderson’s new book

Proclaim Liberty.jpgCarl Anderson, Supreme
Knight of the Knights of Columbus, published Proclaim Liberty: Notes on the
Next Great Awakening in America

Anderson’s “eBook shows how Catholics — by voting
in a manner consistent with Catholic social teaching — can transcend our broken
politics and excessive partisanship. It lays out a roadmap to truly
transforming our country.” Moreover, Proclaim Liberty brings together “the issues
confronting us in political races and ballot initiatives large and small into
focus, using the lens of Catholic social teaching.”

Carl Anderson’s new work
complements the US bishops’ document Forming Consciences for Faithful
, in which they call “Catholics to form their consciences in the
light of their Catholic faith and to bring our moral principles to the debate
and decisions about candidates and issues.”

More information, as well as links
to eBook sellers, is available here.

Remembering the Future…John Zizioulas’ new book

A new book is available from the eminent theologian and bishop, John Zizioulas, Remembering the Future: An Eschatological Ontology (T&T Clark International, Continuum, 2013). I very much enjoy the thinking and the challenge of Zizioulas.

From the publisher…

Remembering the Future An Eschatological Ontology Zizioulas.jpgThe predominating concept in theological ontology is
that of a protological ontology which defines being itself as being defined by
the past. The future of things in this perspective is defined by its origins
and the “given” or the “factum”. In this major new book
John Zizioulas shows that eschatology can have important implications for
ontology, i.e. for being itself. The world was created with a purpose and the
end which would be greater than the beginning. This is the view of the Fathers,
such as Irenaeus and Maximus, who made the end the “cause of all
being”. The implications of such an idea are revolutionary, both
historically and experientially. It represents a reversal of the ancient
philosophical idea of causality as well as of our common sense rationality,
according to which the cause precedes chronologically as well as logically. It
is the opposite of protological ontology, which makes the past decisive for the
future. Eschatological ontology, therefore, is about the liberation of being
from necessity, it is about the formation of being. Man and the world are no
longer imprisoned in their past, in sin, decay and death. The past is
ontologically affirmed only in so far as it contributes to the end, to the
coming of the kingdom. The eschaton will ‘judge’ history with this criterion
alone. The last judgment as part of the eschaton represents an ontological, not
a moral event. Zizioulas shows how this eschatological ontology permeates
Christian doctrine, particularly that of creation and ecclesiology. He also
points out some of its ethical implications.


John Zizioulas, Metro.jpg

John D. Zizioulas, 81,
Metropolitan of Pergamon, was Professor of Systematic Theology at the
University of Glasgow and Visiting Professor at King’s College, London. His
thinking is widely respected across confessional lines. The key points of his
thinking, I believe, are freedom (human and divine), ontology and otherness (personhood),
communion theology, one and the many, and the contours of Christian unity.
Zizioulas is the author at least 8 books and numerous articles. He is the
Orthodox voice in ecumenical discussions especially between Rome and
Constantinople. Since 1986 John Zizioulas has been a bishop.
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Introduction to the Devout Life –De Sales lasting legacy

Devout Life.jpg

Good books are one thing. Books considered “classic,” that is, those books that can withstand the test of time are not only an excellent resource but a true companion for one’s journey. No doubt, our human and spiritual needs mature over time, but a classic continues to give insight and guidance. Wisdom collected from a true living experience is hard to underestimate. The Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales, bishop and Doctor of the Church, is one such book. It is not to be missed by any person wanting to know the Christian life better, and how to live it coherently. The book is about the universal call to holiness.

The Introduction to the Devout Life was an instant success from the moment it rolled off the printing press. In the Saint’s own time the book was revised a few times.

If you ask yourself: What do I need to do be better Christian? How do I live my life with all its complexities and remain faith to the Gospel and the Church? Do I have to be a priest, sister or brother to be a good Christian?  How does one live a Christ-centered life? Then this book is for you.

“The writings of Francis de Sales, filled with celestial doctrine are a bright light in the Church, pointing out to souls an easy and safe way to arrive at the perfection of a Christian life” (Breviarium Romanum, 29 January, lect. VI).

Anton Baumstark: On the Historical Development of the Liturgy

The decision to publish this book in English is exceptional. Anton Baumstark is a pivotal figure in 20th century liturgical studies and widely considered a genius. He set the world on fire for his keen understanding of the sacred Liturgy, both of the East and the West as he offers a lens –a method– for understanding historical (organic) development in the Tradition of the Church. Baumstark keeps the reader grounded in asking the questions which keep us close to the theologia prima, the sacred Liturgy. The serious student in liturgical studies will pay close attention to On the Historical Development of the Liturgy and Comparative Liturgy.

The Forward is written by Archimandrite Robert F. Taft, SJ, from whom I was first introduced to Anton Baumstark.

From the publisher, Liturgical Press:

Baumstark Cover.png

Anton Baumstark’s On the Historical Development of the Liturgy (1923) complements his classic work, Comparative Liturgy. Together they lay out his liturgical methodology. Comparative Liturgy presents his method; On the Historical Development of the Liturgy offers his model.

This book was written for one audience and valued by another. Written to lead adherents of the nascent German liturgical movement to a deeper religious appreciation of Catholic worship, its methodology and scope have won the appreciation of liturgical specialists for nearly a century. In describing the organic growth of the liturgy, its shaping and distortion, Baumstark’s reach extends from India to Ireland, Moscow to Axum, Carthage to Xi’an. He discusses the influences of language, literature, doctrine, piety, politics, and culture. While his audacity can be breathtaking and his hypotheses grandiose, his approach is nevertheless stimulating. In this annotated edition, Fritz West provides the first English translation of this work by Anton Baumstark.

Trained in classical and oriental philology, Anton Baumstark (1872-1948) was prodigious as a scholar studying the literature, art, and liturgy of the whole church–Oriental, Eastern, and Western. Comparative liturgy, his method for studying the historical development of the liturgy as an organism, has had a lasting influence, notably on the liturgical study of the Christian East. Fritz West, a liturgical scholar ordained in the United Church of Christ, has written numerous articles on liturgical methodology, the three-year lectionary, and worship in his Reformed tradition. He has published two books, The Comparative Liturgy of Anton Baumstark and Scripture and Memory: The Ecumenical Hermeneutic of the Three-Year Lectionaries.

Infinity Dwindled to Infancy –reviewed by George Weigel

Infinity -ETO.jpeg

Over the summer Jesuit Father Edward Oakes published his latest book, Infinity Dwindled to Infancy.

I posted a blog piece about the Infancy here.

Father Oakes’ book was reviewed by George Weigel on First Things: read it (actually, read the review and the book).
You can now get the book in paper and on Kindle at Amazon.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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