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The Spirit of Catholicism (Milestones in Catholic Theology) Paperback – November 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Series: Milestones in Catholic Theology
  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824517180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824517182
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #903,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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Customer Reviews

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See all 12 customer reviews
I found that the book was well written and easy to move through.
John G. Hilliard
Whether you are a Catholic seeking to know more about your ancient faith or a non-Catholic seeking to learn about Catholic beliefs, Adam's book is required reading.
Aquila
Wanting to read a book over and over, perhaps, should be a test for what constitutes a really great book!
Kim Davies

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Aquila on October 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is considered to be the best available by respected converts such as Thomas Howard and Scott Hahn. Adam covers all the most important points in a short book, and he covers them very well. This is a brilliant description of what Catholicism is all about -- a must-read for Catholics and non-Catholics alike, particularly for those who believe that the Church is nothing more than a tyrannical, despotic body that kills reason and self-discovery in the name of absolute obedience. One of the strengths of this book is that Adam frequently quotes the leading Protestant thinkers of his day in order to show the limitations of Protestantism generally. To his credit, Adam is never judgmental or hostile to non-Catholics. On the contrary, he goes to great lengths to show just how open-minded the Church is regarding non-Catholic (and non-Christian) beliefs, and what is positive and helpful about them. I was very surprised to find how little I knew about the complexities of, for example, the Church's position on salvation through the Church, and the role of individual conscience and freedom in faith. Adam shows, very convincingly, that the Catholic Church is exceedingly fair, open, reasonable, and caring in its approach to these controversial and widely misunderstood issues. His approach is always positive, hopeful, and logical. His arguments are iron-clad, rooted in Scripture, and absolutely devastating. Adam's book is extremely valuable and must be read if one wishes to gain a real understanding of Catholicism in a short book. Whether you are a Catholic seeking to know more about your ancient faith or a non-Catholic seeking to learn about Catholic beliefs, Adam's book is required reading.Read more ›
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Carl E. Olson on July 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
That such a book could have been written nearly 50 years before Vatican II is an amazing testament to the insight and understanding of the brilliant German theologian Karl Adam. This work beautifully explains the many facets of Catholic doctrine and shows how they are so tightly and organically intertwined. Particularly helpful is Adam's explanation of Catholic soteriology and sacramental life. He avoids the more technical theological language without sacrificing precision or detail, plus rightly emphasizes the Biblical nature and core of Catholic doctrine and dogma. A must buy for anyone wishing to more deeply appreciate and comprehend the riches of the Catholic Faith.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book helped me immensely with my apologetics "homework", especially concerning communion of the saints and other issues that are so alien to Protestants. The book is extremely well written and contains so much information that I haven't found in one source anywhere else. If you are sitting on the theological fence then this book is a MUST read!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mark E. Rhodes on April 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
German theologian Karl Adam makes here the best case I have yet found for the following proposition: The Catholic faith not only speaks to all people, it speaks to each part of every person. Adam knew, and showed, how rich the Catholic faith is, from art and literature to intellectual and architectural cathedrals; from piety and community to mysticism. Each part of a person is addressed: the intellectual, the affective (or emotional), and the imaginative. And each part is brought together with the others to form a beautiful, brilliant, and vibrant whole.

Adam shows the teachings of the Church as lived realities. They are beautiful, intellectually sound, and viscerally charged. lamentably, contemporary writings about the Church's loveliness tend to fall miles beneath the august standard here set.
Though written in the 1920s, this book's appeal is not primarily historical. It presents a fresh vision of what the Catholic life may yet again be, and inspires one's journey toward that lovely horizon.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By John G. Hilliard on April 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I picked up a copy of the original 1935 version of this book and gave it a chance. This is not an area that I normally read so at first I did not know what to expect. I am also not an overly religious person so I do not have a large stock of other books to compare it to. I found that the book was well written and easy to move through. I was concerned it would be a little high handed, but it was not. It was full of information that was beneficial. You certainly gain a positive view of the church from the book and it has spurned me on to look for more titles on the subject. If you are like me, a first time reader in the area this was a good way to start.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tom Perna on June 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Spirit of Catholicism is by far one of the best books I have read on the Catholic faith. When I first read it, as a graduate student at Franciscan University of Steubenville, I could not put the book down and often found myself pumping my fist in the air over what Karl Adam said about the Catholic faith. The message of the text inspired me so much that I titled my first blog post in January - The Spirit of Catholicism. Karl Adam begins the book by asking the fundamental question, What is Catholicism? From that point forward, Adam opens for the reader the organic development and beauty of the Catholic faith. The Church is not a static institution, but it grows, it has life through Jesus Christ. This book has brought many people to Catholic Christianity, notably, Scott Hahn, Fr. Ray Ryland, and Dr. Thomas Howard. My good friends, Gary and Gayle Somers, also speak how this text was a major factor in their conversion as well. This is a must read for all Catholics. If you know someone who is on the brink of conversion, give them this book and you will join them at the next Easter Vigil. When I give talks on Theology, this is one book I tell people they should read. One of my favorite lines from the book is - "Twelve simple, uneducated fisherman, revolutionized the world, and that with no other instrument than their new faith and their readiness to die for that faith."
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