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Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith Hardcover – September 6, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
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“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
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."
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a catholic convert this book was most helpful in better understanding many of the traditions and deepen my appreciation of their richness and biblical basis.Published 2 days ago by JT
Bishop Barron is brilliant and his way of explaining the Catholic faith is uplifting, inspiring and extremely interesting. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
An enlightening tour through the heart of the Catholic faith.Published 1 month ago by Former Student
Excellent. Robert Barron is a deep and profound thinker with the ability to explain complex religious philosophy to even the simple minded. Read morePublished 1 month ago by MBF6
A beautiful journey of hope. A hope we all yearn for and a redemption we all seek, ultimately leading to the discovery of the love that never fails and is always available. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lance