Liturgical Press Academic Catalogue: SO hard to take seriously...

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Mar 08, 2016

The Liturgical Press Academic catalogue for Spring 2016 sits lonely and forlorn on my desk. I say forlorn, because it is shunned by all the other books, magazines and publisher catalogues which litter the surface. No matter how much I rearrange things, a gap opens up between this and everything else. Apparently opposites do not attract.

Believe me, I understand. It is hard for faithfully Catholic resources to love a publisher whose principal contemporary boast is a “fifty-eight-volume feminist commentary on every book of the Bible” which brings together “the best of current feminist biblical scholarship” to assist “preachers and teachers in their advancement toward God’s vision of dignity, equality, and justice for all.” When did the goal of Bible study change from discerning what God has to say to imposing our own pre-conceived notions on the sacred text?

In fact, throughout the list of new titles, female authors predominate. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, if they are the best authors the Press can find. But if there is no dissident ideology at work in the selection process, then move over, Hans Küng. One’s confidence is not increased by the “People of God” series of books, the most recent of which glowingly profiles Elizabeth Johnson, a nun whose work has been warned against publicly by the Doctrinal Committee of the USCCB.

To be sure, a few men do appear. For example, there is Systematic Theology: A Roman Catholic Approach by Thomas P. Rausch, an appalling Jesuit theologian who is about as far as it is possible to be from both the Magisterium and the authentic theological renewal spearheaded by men such as Henri de Lubac and Joseph Ratzinger. But never fear: There are also male writers in a new compilation entitled Women Deacons? Essays with Answers. (This requires a book?)

It is fortunate that Liturgical Press still publishes new translations of ancient works by acknowledged saints and doctors. Otherwise, I suspect the other materials on my desk would succeed in slipping the catalogue over the edge, and into that strategically placed basket on the floor.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: ForOthers8614 - Mar. 19, 2016 9:09 AM ET USA

    Indeed.