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Separated Brethren: A Review of Protestant, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox & Other Religions in the United States Paperback – September, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor; Revised edition (September 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193170905X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931709057
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,494,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
"Separated Brethren" was first published 40 years ago and has been revised and updated twice since then. That this book is still around is proof of its being an excellent one-volume reference guide on religious denominations in the United States; I myself found this title very instructive and well-written. The book mostly concerns Christian denominations not in union with the Roman Catholic Church, yet author William J. Whalen includes non-Christian religions as well, such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, the Baha'i faith, and the better-known cults. Given the fact that Mr. Whalen is Catholic and Our Sunday Visitor is a well-known Catholic publishing house, the book compares the beliefs of the "separated brethren" to Catholic teaching, yet it is remarkably objective at the same time. Mr. Whalen does not fall into a condescending or critical mode; he simply discusses the origins of the different churches and describes their beliefs. He will at times provide slightly droll commentary on teachings that appear odd to mainstream Christians, especially teachings from denominations that claim to be Christian such as the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses. A lot, though, has happened in the non-Catholic religious world since this third edition of "Separated Brethren" came out in 1979; take, for example, the merger of two major Lutheran churches in the United States; the establishment of ultra-traditionalist Catholic groups which have separated from Rome; the rise of Messianic Judaism; renewed debates in the larger Protestant denominations on matters of morality; increased defections of conservative Anglicans/Episcopalians into the Catholic Church; and the role of the Orthodox churches in a post-Communist Russia and Eastern Europe. All these events, plus the hopelessly outdated church figures some 20-plus years old, make it necessary for the book to be revised as soon as possible.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
preface 7
I. America's religious panorama 9
II. basic differences between Catholicism and Protestantism 18
III. the Lutherans 25
IV. the Presbyterians 39
V. the Espiscopalians 49
VI. the Methodists 60
VII. the Baptists 72
VIII. the Disciples of Christ and the Churches of Christ 81
IX. the United Churchmen 89
X. the Quakers 96
XI. the Perfectionists 104
XII. the Pentacostals 108
XIII. the Seventh-Day Adventists 117
XIV. other Protestants 125
the Moravians 125
the Mennonites 127
the Reformed 130
the Christian Reformed 131
the Brethren 131
the Salvationists 134
the Convenanters 136
XV. the Unitarian Universalists 138
XVI. the Eastern Orthodox 145
XVII. the Old Catholics 152
XVIII. the Cultists 167
the Swedenborgians 168
the Spiritualists 169
the Unity School of Christianity 171
the New Thoughters 173
the Worldwide Church of God 175
the Hare Krishnas 177
the Scientologists 178
the Moonies 179
XIX. the Mormons 184
XX. the Jehovah's Witnesses 198
XXI. the Christian Scientists 207
XXII. the Jews 218
XXIII. the Muslims 226
XXIV. the Baha'is 230
XXV. the Buddists 238
church membership statistics 241
general bibliography 247
index 249
252 pages total
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a sweeping, informative, wide survey of every major branch of Christianity (and several other non-Christian religions) practicing in the United States. This book is written, assuming a knowledge of Roman Catholic Chrisitianity (theology & ritual), which is used as the basis of comparison to all of the other denominations and sects of Christianity. This book primarily focuses on the differences these religions have from Latin Rite Roman Catholic Christianity. This perspective is due 1) to the author's background, 2) to the Roman Catholic publishing house which publishes this book, and 3) to the historical fact that the world's branches of Christianity formed in some way, directly or indirectly, as a reaction to (Western European) Roman Catholic Christianity, to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, or to pre-1054CE (CE=Christian Era) unified Catholic-Orthodox Christianity.
Although this book assumes familiarity with both pre- and post-Vatican II Latin Rite Roman Catholic Christian theology & rituals, it is easily accessible by Catholic Christians practicing non-Latin Rites, Eastern Orthodox Christians, High Church Anglican Christians, and other Christians whose theology and/or rituals resemble Catholic or Orthodox Christianity's. This book is also accessible (with only slight mental translation) to Protestant denominations and sects, especially those readers who are well-versed in the history and theological underpinnings of their own faith.
This book is "catholic" in that its perspective is that the Christian denominations and sects are all branches of one worldwide Christian church (presumably implying the divergent "separated" and convergent "brethren" in the title).
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Graas on August 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
Of all the books on my shelf, Wm. Joseph Whalen's Separated Brethren is among the most instructive and the least dispensable. This is the first book I bought after converting to Catholicism, but that is not why I treasure it. Its pages are now yellowed and its cover worn, but I treasure it because it has everything I want in a book. It is concise, easy to read, gripping and addresses an issue that anyone who seeks truth should examine if he is truly sincere in his search. Which Church is the true one? Whalen answers this clearly by presenting the facts of history.
Whalen's Separated Brethren is not apologetic in style, but it is apologetic in effect as it enumerates with certainty the post-apostolic origins of non-Catholic, Christian religions. Like Foxe's Book of Martyrs? Read this. You will be blown away when you see the other side of the coin. Are you a Christian who would like to see the early Church restored? Read this and find that She never died. She is, perhaps, unrecognizable, but only because She has grown more wise and beautiful.
Whalen also brings together in one volume the teachings of all the mainline Protestant traditions, as well as some cults and some non-Christian traditions. I would like this book to be in the hands of every Catholic who thinks that it doesn't matter which church you go to. They are NOT all the same.
A quote from "Critic" on the back cover calls this book "a masterpiece of synthesis." Well said.
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