Reading Assignments: June 2008 Archives

Here and There

|
  • The review you've all been waiting for: Adoremus on Piero Marini's A Challenging Reform. The review is surprisingly gentle, but definitely negative.
    It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the book serves more as a "J'accuse" than a simple memoir. Bitterness and even rancor bleed through the text on many a page. Compared elsewhere to a spaghetti western with heroes wearing white hats and villains wearing black, the account is reminiscent likewise of a medieval chronicle, in which history, hagiography, and moralizing all conspire to tell a plangent, nay at times even maudlin, tale.

    Marini portrays Bugnini in glowing terms as the tireless visionary and dauntless reformer who, advancing an agenda of inculturation and purportedly vindicating the cause of national episcopal conferences the world over, battles the prejudices of the Roman Curia enthralled by the ultimate foe, the Council of Trent. Time and again throughout the chronicle Trent rears its hydra-heads to threaten authentic liturgical reform. Its tinpot army is the Roman Curia, in the vanguard of which march and fight the Congregation of Rites, founded by Sixtus V in 1588 and dissolved by Paul VI in 1969.

  • The Betrayal of Judas

    When the Gospel of Judas was unveiled at a news conference in April 2006, it made headlines around the world -- with nearly all of those articles touting the new and improved Judas. "In Ancient Document, Judas, Minus the Betrayal," read the headline in The New York Times. The British paper The Guardian called it "a radical makeover for one of the worst reputations in history." A documentary that aired a few days later on National Geographic's cable channel also pushed the Judas-as-hero theme. The premiere attracted four million viewers, making it the second-highest-rated program in the channel's history, behind only a documentary on September 11.

    But almost immediately, other scholars began to take issue with the interpretation of Meyer and the rest of the National Geographic team. They didn't see a good Judas at all. In fact, this Judas seemed more evil than ever. Those early voices of dissent have since grown into a chorus, some of whom argue that National Geographic's handling of the project amounts to scholarly malpractice. It's a perfect example, critics argue, of what can happen when commercial considerations are allowed to ride roughshod over careful research. What's more, the controversy has strained friendships in this small community of religion scholars -- causing some on both sides of the argument to feel, in a word, betrayed.

Bookmark and Share

Miscellany

|
  • James Wood presents the standard case against God based on the problem of evil under the guise of a review of Bart Ehrman's latest. I obviously don't agree with Wood, but it's an argument no Christian should ignore, and Wood presents it better than anybody.

  • Sandro Magister describes a pilgrimage to St. Peter's tomb.

    Imagine that it is night, as in the photo above. We're walking down a little path flanked by Roman tombs of the second and third century after Christ. We're at the bottom slope of the Vatican Hill. A short distance away is the imposing obelisk that stood at the center of the stadium of Caligula and Nero. That's where the apostle Peter was martyred. And along the path stands the monument marking the place where he was buried.

  • Ross Douthat ably explains why it was incredibly stupid for Douglas Kmiec's chaplain to deny him Communion.

Bookmark and Share

Pages

Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Reading Assignments category from June 2008.

Reading Assignments: May 2008 is the previous archive.

Reading Assignments: August 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.