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  Book Notes    
         
   

A Voice of Their Own: The Authority of the Local Parish
By Rev. William A. Clark, S.J.

Much of what the Church is, does and teaches unfolds at the local level where most Christians form their understanding of it. In light of three parish studies, Rev. William A. Clark, S.J., in A Voice of Their Own (Liturgical Press), examines community, intimacy and authority—and claims that a fundamental aspect of ecclesial authority resides in the local community. He incorporates theological challenges and supports for this view found in the works of Rev. Karl Rahner, S.J., Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and Walter Cardinal Kasper—and concludes that a deeper appreciation for the practical authority of local communities can help ground a much-needed renewal of the church’s self-understanding.

Fr. Clark is an assistant professor of religious studies at Holy Cross.

 

A Voice of Their Own

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Never Enough
By Joe McGinniss ’64

Never Enough (Simon & Schuster), by Joe McGinniss ’64, is the dramatic true story of the wealthy and successful Kissel brothers—who both end up murdered. Robert, an investment banker, was drugged with a milkshake and bludgeoned to death by his wife, Nancy, in their Hong Kong apartment. The public was engrossed by the ensuing “milkshake murder” trial that revealed lurid details of the couple’s troubled marriage. Less than a year later, Robert’s brother Andrew, a Connecticut real estate tycoon facing prison for fraud and embezzlement, was also found dead—stabbed in the back in the basement of his mansion; the case remains unsolved. In this compelling narrative, McGinniss explores his darkest and most disturbing subject yet: a smart and beautiful family so corroded by greed that it destroys itself from within.


McGinniss is the author of 10 books, including The Selling of the President, Fatal Vision and Blind Faith.

  Never Enough
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The Possible Dream: How the 2004 Red Sox Reversed History
By Vin Femia ’72

Since 1918, Boston Red Sox fans have endlessly discussed and debated why their team came so close so often but—until 2004—always fell short of the World Series Championship. In The Possible Dream (Chandler House Press), Vin Femia ’72 tells readers what kept the Red Sox from winning all those years, and what changed in 2004 that resulted in the long-awaited—and deeply savored—championship.

Femia is vice president of engineering at Sepaton, Inc., in Marlborough, Mass.

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Ceremony to Commodity
By Susan Rodgers, Anne Summerfield and John Summerfield

Songkets are one of Asia’s most spectacular traditional, hand-loomed textiles. In Gold Cloths of Sumatra (Koninklyk Instituut Voor Taal Land), Susan Rodgers, Anne Summerfield and John Summerfield combine the interpretive approaches of textile scholarship and cultural anthropology to explore songket aesthetics, as this remarkable shining gold cloth moves beyond ceremonial contexts to become a “hot item” as a marketable commodity, for sale as heritage textile and collectible. Chapters focus on contemporary songket craft by Minangkabau, Palembang and Jambi weavers, set against a background of 19th-century songket weaving excellence. As commodities, present-day Sumatran songkets show high levels of weaving creativity and technical brilliance, making them a resilient art.

Rodgers is a professor of anthropology at the College.

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What if Holden Caulfield Went to Law School?: Selected Legal Fiction and Nonfiction
By Stephen M. Murphy ’77

What if Holden Caulfield Went to Law School? (LawyersWriting), by Stephen M. Murphy ’77, is a compendium comprised of short stories, essays, book reviews and author interviews relating to legal fiction. In addition to some of Murphy’s own compelling fiction, this volume includes many of his thoughtful reviews of the works of fellow lawyer-authors, including Sheldon Siegel, Alafair Burke and D.W. Buffa. It also contains insightful interviews with many of these same lawyer-authors.

Murphy, a practicing civil litigator, is an officer of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and editor in chief of its Trial Lawyer magazine. He is the author of Alibi and Their Word is Law: Bestselling Lawyer-Novelists Talk About Their Craft.
 

What if Holden Caulfield Went to Law School

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Piety and Plague: From Byzantium to the Baroque
Edited by Rev. Thomas Worcester, S.J., and Franco Mormando

From earliest antiquity through the first decades of the 18th century, plague was one of the enduring facts of everyday life on the European continent. It represents one of the most important influences on the development of Europe’s society and culture. In order to grasp the changing circumstances of the political, economic, ecclesiastical, artistic and social history of that continent, it is important to understand epidemic disease and society’s response to it. Piety and Plague (Truman State University Press), edited by Rev. Thomas Worcester, S.J., and Franco Mormando, draws extensively upon a wealth of primary sources, both printed and painted—and includes ample bibliographical references to the most important secondary sources, providing much new insight into how generations of Europeans responded to this dread disease.

Fr. Worcester is an associate professor of history at Holy Cross.

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Perspectives on Violence and Violent Death
Edited by Robert G. Stevenson ’67 and Gerry R. Cox

The need to have a better understanding of violence, to become aware of the many forms of violence, and to learn how to survive in the aftermath of violent death are the focus of Perspectives on Violence and Violent Death (Baywood Publishing Company, Inc.), edited by Robert G. Stevenson ’67 and Gerry R. Cox. This timely, interdisciplinary collection presents the latest research by international experts on the causes, effects and responses to violence. It is filled with guidelines and practical suggestions for families, schools and communities either coping with or preparing for violence in their particular settings.

Stevenson is an assistant professor of behavioral and social sciences at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. He has published five books and more than 60 articles on loss and grief.

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The Return of Christian Humanism: Chesterton, Eliot, Tolkien, and the Romance of History
By Lee Oser

In The Return of Christian Humanism (University of Missouri Press), Lee Oser argues that the Christian humanist occupies the radical middle between church and state, past and future, faith and reason. Writing at the interface of literature and religion, he challenges the assumption that Christian orthodoxy is incompatible with humanism, freedom and democracy. He argues that contemporary academic culture has overlooked Christianity’s gifts to literature and civilization. Oser maintains that Christian humanism encourages a genuine diversity of thought based on reason, nature and the accomplishments of artistic genius.

Oser is an associate professor of English at the College.

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