Sunday, March 12, 2006

Catholic books, Left and Right

The New York Times has reviews of books by two Catholic writers from different ends of the political spectrum. First is CRUNCHY CONS by Rod Dreher:
"To us, to be a committed conservative today is to go against the grain of the broader, lifestyle-libertarian culture," Dreher writes. "And to be devoted to things like preserving the environment, resisting television and the depredations of big business, and encouraging sustainable development is to pitch one's tent off the Republican reservation." The core of the crunchy-con perspective is that "industrial capitalism and conventional left-wing bohemianism are two sides of the same coin." Both glorify consumerism and individual choice above all else, at the cost of undermining traditional mores and ways of life.

Read more here. Free registration required (and worth it.)

Then we have WHAT JESUS MEANT by Garry Wills:
"To read the Gospels in the spirit with which they were written, it is not enough to ask what Jesus did or said," Wills writes. "We must ask what Jesus meant by his strange words and deeds." Or, more precisely, what the Gospel authors meant; as the Gospel of John acknowledges, the scriptures were composed "that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name."

The whole review is here.