Moving right along - McGreevy's work Parish Boundaries: The Catholic Encounter with Race in the Twentieth-Century Urban North. This is an excellent work, a great example of a "thick description" of a large part of our Nation's history. McGreevy takes the issue of race relations and focus in on Catholics in the Urban North and their reactions and tensions. It is a great reminder that none of us have clean hands, and how systematic racisism can be. It is also a great example of considering closely how one group of people were involved in a larger event. I strongly recommend.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Next up, John Mahoney's The Making of Moral Theology: A Study of the Roman Catholic Tradition. As far as a historical work goes, this one was fine. Mahoney showed the conflicts withing the tradition and the development of moral theology that emerged out of those conflicts. The whole idea of "moral theology" is still a little new to me as a Baptist. We are so focused on the word that the idea of developing understandings of morality seem different. Yet we do have a developing moral theology that has ememrged through our particular readings of scripture. It would not be bad to look at the development of the Baptist moral theology based upon interaction with scripture and see what has changed and what has stayed the same over time.
Posted by Jonathan Malone at 7:14 AM
It’s been a while – I’ll blame Easter. I’m going to try to catch up with the works that I have read/reviewed as best as I can. First, let’s look at What Paul Meant by Garry Wills. Harvey Cox wrote a review of this work that I think was kinder than necessary. After reading Wills’ work, I am left wondering what his agenda might be, and who his audience might be. Wills is trying to make Paul out to be a decent person, but doesn’t use any substantial scholarship or background to support his claim. He continually trashes Luke as historically suspect, unless it supports his own claims that he wants to make about Paul. Wills’ use of scholarship is weak at best (Cox makes this point), and his exploration of issues is surface level and quickly jumps to conclusions. It feels like Wills is making a classic interpretation error, forcing a text (or in this case a cannon of texts around a person) into a category that fits his agenda. Not quite scholarship, nor is it devotional, nor is it inspirational. I wouldn’t recommend the book to anyone.
Posted by Jonathan Malone at 7:11 AM