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Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith Hardcover – September 6, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Image; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307720519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307720511
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Clarity, intelligence, passion and elegance – these are the marks of a writer in top form, and Father Barron brings all these gifts to bear in this extraordinary reflection on the Catholic faith. If you read one book this year on what Catholics believe and why, this is the book to read – and to share with others.” –Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap, Archbishop of Philadelphia

“Father Robert Barron’s Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith takes a path less traveled in leading us to explore the faith through stories, biographies, and images. In these pages, we meet the “Word made Flesh” not only in theological formulations, but also in saints and poets, cathedrals and chants, priests and prophets. What makes Catholicism so compelling are the ways in which Father Barron shows how the Incarnation goes on in the true, the good, and the beautiful.” – Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York
 
Catholicism is one of the most significant efforts ever to advance what Pope John Paul II called ‘The New Evangelization.’” –George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope and The End and the Beginning
 
“Prepare yourself for an entrancing tour of the many facets of Catholicism.  From Her art to Her architecture, Her theological riches, to the inspired personalities that have filled Her pews, the Catholic Church is laid bare by a priest who is more than up to the task. Like the Faith it seeks to capture, it is a journey that will leave you full – and then hungering for more.” –Raymond Arroyo, New York Times Bestselling Author of Mother Angelica and host of EWTN's The World Over Live
 
“Father Robert Barron is a brilliant academic, a popular writer, a seeker and a seer. In Catholicism he illuminates truths that have the power to set us free. It will be a benchmark book for years to come.” –Michael Leach, author of Why Stay Catholic?
 
“When Father Barron is talking, I can't stop listening. Whatever he writes, I can't put down unfinished. He loves the people he addresses. He writes about what matters to us. To read him is to be loved in word after word. In these pages, heart speaks to heart.” –Mike Aquilina, co-author of The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition

“Father Robert Barron’s great gift is to wed intellectual depth with clarity and vividness of expression. His Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith is a superb exploration of the Catholic vision that seamlessly unites theological reflection and masterpieces of architecture and art. The story he tells comes truly alive in his portraits of concrete men and women who, in every age, have lived the journey of faith to the full. –”Rev. Robert Imbelli is Associate Professor of Theology at Boston College

About the Author

Father Robert Barron is the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, the Rector of Mundelein Seminary,  and the host of CATHOLICISM, a groundbreaking, award winning documentary about the Catholic Faith. He received a Master's Degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America (1982) and a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris (1992).

He has published numerous books, essays, and articles on theology and the spiritual life. He has also appeared on several media outlets including NBC, PBS, FOX News, CNN, and EWTN. His website, WordOnFire.org, has reached over 3.8 million people and his weekly YouTube videos have been viewed over nine million times. His pioneering work in evangelizing through the new media led Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, to describe him as “one of the Church's best messengers."

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Customer Reviews

The book was written very well and at the same time was quite informative.
Robert W. Karausky
He offers up a piece of the joy, peace, love and understanding that Our Lord wants us to all share in fullness.
Jim
For instance, one of the most complex chapters concerns the existence and character of God.
Brandon Vogt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

270 of 275 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Vogt on September 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When defining Catholicism, many first turn to its unique practices and characters--the Mass, the sacraments, Mary, priests, and the Pope. Others point to its intellectual traits--its distinctive apologetics, theology, and philosophy.

In his new book, Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith (Image, hardcover, 304 pages), Fr. Robert Barron explores these typical characteristics but doesn't stop there. He looks through many more lenses to reveal the core of Catholicism.

Barron is not just concerned with what's good and true about the Catholic tradition but also what's beautiful. The Catholic faith is not just a matter of the mind and the soul but of the body and the senses. Therefore if we want to fully understand "the Catholic thing", we need to gaze on art, history, culture, music, literature, and architecture:

"In order to grasp (Catholicism) more fully, we have to read the Gospels, the Epistles of Paul, the Confessions of St. Augustine, the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas, The Divine Comedy of Dante, Saint John of the Cross' Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Story of a Soul of Therese of Lisieux, among many other texts. But we also have to look and listen.

We must consult the Cathedral of Chartres, the Sainte-Chapelle, the Arena Chapel, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, Bernini's Ecstasy of Saint Teresa; the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Grunewald's Crucifixion in the Isenheim Altarpiece, the soaring melodies of Gregorian chant, the Masses of Mozart, and the motets of Palestrina."

In his Catholicism book, as well as in his epic ten-part film series with the same name, that's exactly what Barron does.
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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful By E. G. Lewis on September 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In his book, Catholicism -- A Journey to the Heart of Faith, Fr. Robert Barron has dug deep into the treasure of Catholic thought. He articulates the Catholic approach and perspective to Christianity extremely well, explaining the multitude of ways...art and architecture, liturgical practices, sacraments and saints, great theologians, and so on that can lead us to an understanding of God.

No book on Catholicism would be complete without a discussion of the two uniquely Catholic concepts: The Mass and Mary. Each has a full chapter devoted to it. He follows the steps, symbolism and meaning of the Mass in great detail and addresses what he calls fallen mankind's solitary boast, Mary, the Mother of God.

There are two recurring themes in the book, both of which I found to be insightful. The first of these is the noncompetitive nature God. On the surface, simple logic leads one to realize that God has no reason to be jealous of the feeble little creatures He created. However, the idea is seldom articulated as well as Father Barron has done. The second idea is equally subtle. So much so, in fact, that it has been reduced to the trite expression, "God is love." We so often say it, but never plumb the depth of its meaning and implications. I also enjoyed his discussion of the Communion of Saints and the individuals he chose to illustrate God's hand working in human lives.

In the first chapter Barron says that he hasn't written "a plodding theological study" and the rest of the book delivers on that promise. Though Catholicism draws from the great reservoir of Catholic theological writings, it never becomes dry and inaccessible. I highly recommend this interesting and educational book to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Anne Gomes on September 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fr Barron's work is a masterpiece. It is accessible for someone looking to understand the historic Catholic Church better. It is inspirational for someone looking at the Catholic Church seriously, whether they are already Catholic or considering a journey to the Catholic Church. More than those, it is an excellent outline for a lifetime of study of the fullness of the Christian faith and the Church founded by Jesus.
The book documents the foundations, Traditions, traditions, works, trials and history of the Catholic Church in the whole world. Fr Barron presents an excellent introduction to classical education to a world that is technically educated, but culturally illiterate, educated by mediocre music and tv sitcoms.
If you read this book, chapter by chapter and delve into the original sources for each of the subjects Fr Barron presents, you will come out a better educated, analytical person with a broad understanding of western and eastern civilization, history and philosophy, art and architecture as well as the basics of the Catholic faith.
Excellent resource for RCIA, Church History, Western Civilization, Philosophy and art.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By David Withun on November 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Although Fr. Barron clearly, as the title itself indicates, intended this book to be an introduction to Catholicism, I think that what he has written here is an excellent introduction to Christianity as a whole. And I say that in spite of the two swipes (on pages 3 and 164) he takes at the Orthodox Church, of which I myself am a member. Other than perhaps his understanding of the interrelations of the three divine persons in the Trinity, which seems to be based largely around the filioque, and, of course, his discourse on papal infallibility, there was hardly a thing I could find with which I disagreed. In fact, that may be the greatest message that I took away from the book, probably contrary to Fr. Barron's desires: that perhaps East and West aren't so different after all.

Fr. Barron is, in turns, poetic and intellectual throughout the book. His initial descriptions of the Incarnation (pages 9-10) and the liturgy (pages 172-4), for instance, are so beautiful they could easily become verse. And his discussion of God (chapter 3), for example, wonderfully breaks down very difficult and rather heady concepts in language that anyone can understand. Adding to the beauty of the book are the black and white photographs of some of the most beautiful sites in Christendom sprinkled throughout the book and the wonder-evoking set of color photographs in the center.

Also contributing to the excellence of this book are the numerous short quotations, bits of wisdom, and anecdotes sprinkled throughout. For these, Fr.
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