From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up-Incorporating and updating articles from the 1967 set and the four supplements (1972, 1978, 1988, and 1995), this new edition is the standard reference book for all questions Catholic. Within its 15 volumes are excellent articles on theology, church history, and canon law; and thoughtful discussions on other religions, other forms of Christianity, and such topics as "Anarchism," "Poverty," and "Prostitution" (seen, of course, in the light of the Catholic faith and intellectual tradition). The entries range from lengthy and somewhat scholarly pieces on historical figures like Aristotle, Napoleon I, or Paul the Apostle to short biographies of the many lesser-known saints and popes and brief, explanatory articles on theological terms like "Joy" and "Hope" as well as many obscure sects and movements. The writing is always clear and, most of the time, quite engaging; black-and-white reproductions are scattered throughout. Numerous articles have been added; some have been eliminated, such as "Pluralism, Political" and, sadly, "Poetry." In addition, some of the supplement entries have not made it into this edition, including one on "Pedophilia." (Recent scandals are mentioned tangentially in their relation to certain dioceses and particular bishops.) However, despite any quibbling about such quotidian mysteries (and quibbling it is-since the set still gazes unblinkingly at the Church's many darker hours, including the Inquisition and the persecution of the Huguenots), this is a great encyclopedia.Herman Sutter, Saint Agnes Academy, Houston, TX
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Published jointly by the Catholic University of America and the Gale Group, this 15-volume reference is a monumental success, destined to be the single comprehensive reference resource on Catholicism. The encyclopedia was first published in 1967 and updated with several supplemental volumes, but the current publishers have created a thoroughly new work by deleting, adding, expanding, and clarifying nearly 12,000 individual articles. Arranged alphabetically, the entries offer up-to-date commentary on the multifaceted religious body of one billion adherents, from its foundations in Judaism to the papacy of John Paul II. A retired professor of religion at Catholic University, Reverend Marthaler accepted the Herculean task of executive editor, working with 200 other distinguished faculty, experts, and religious practitioners worldwide. Their contributions in such fields as ethics, anthropology, spirituality, Scripture, civil law, and the social sciences bring balance and a healthy dose of passion to the text. Readers will find both statistical and cultural information about the Catholic Church in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Zimbabwe, as well as an entry for almost every Catholic diocese and religious organization in the United States. Exhaustive treatment is given to biblical studies, Christology, liturgical practice, and Byzantine Christianity, and ethical and moral issues of euthanasia, abortion, homosexuality, and the human genome are discussed. Also, since Catholicism doesn't exist in isolation, consideration is given to the world's leading religions of Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam, and ecumenical relations with Orthodoxy and Protestant traditions are treated with respect and sensitivity. The individual bibliographies have been expanded and updated for almost every article, and appropriately selected photographs, maps, and tables are included as well. With extensive cross references, a readable two-column layout, and a sturdy binding that will last another 40 years, the encyclopedia is recommended for all libraries. (Volume 15, the index, was not available at the time of this review.)-John-Leonard Berg, Univ. of Wisconsin Lib., Platteville
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.