From Publishers Weekly
Part apologetics and part history, this book digs into the Catholic roots of contemporary culture. Foley, who holds a doctorate in Catholic theology and is a professor at Baylor University, researched extensively for this project. It is not a collection of trivia, but rather a compendium of etymologies and concise historical facts about the Catholic foundations of architecture, music, literature, science and recreation. The breadth of material is impressive and includes topics as varied as the creation of the pretzel, the origin of modern opera, the foundation of modern genetics and the development of sign language. As Foley argues in his introduction, this diversity should not be a surprise, for "there is something intrinsic to Catholicism that lends to it a vibrant dynamism." Foley's work highlights that, at its best, Catholicism affirms the beauty of the world and encourages searching for the holy in daily life. Foley's language can be preachy and catechetical; these passages are the weakest in the text. But when he focuses on the history, Foley's collection of theological facts makes for a fascinating and informative read.
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Did you know that the origins of Groundhog Day stem from a Catholic tradition? Or that the common pretzel was once a Lenten reward for the pious? Why Do Catholics Eat Fish on Friday is a fascinating guide to the roots of all-things-Catholic. This smart and concise guide will introduce readers to the hidden heritage in many commonplace things that make up contemporary life. The reader-friendly format and the illuminating entries will make this guide a perfect gift for Catholics and anyone who loves a bit of historic trivia.
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