Book Reviews by Dr Pravin Thevathasan
Not As the World Gives
Our current secular culture is incapable of building relationships as there is too much focus on the primacy of autonomy. The only model for evangelization is the Trinity because the Trinity gives and receives. Only by giving and receiving are we fulfilled.
The author states that there cannot be peace without justice and no justice without goodness. The search for justice found in the Ten Commandments is balanced by the Beatitudes. The vision of Moses is balanced by the vision of Jesus.
These reflections are not merely theoretical. On the liturgy, the author writes: "A leading anthropologist writing at the end of the 1960s, Mary Douglas, argued that the contempt for ritual forms leads to privatization of religious experience, thereby to secular humanism." A certain liturgical horrizontalism leads to the cultivation of warm feelings and little else. In contrast, an authentic liturgical renewal calls for a full integration of the sacred and the secular.
In the chapter on Gay unions and marriage, the author writes that marriage re-definition was inevitable in consequence of the widespread promotion of contraception and easy divorce. Perhaps it has less to do with minority rights than with a drive by the state to control reproduction.
The author has brilliantly argued that creative justice only occurs when we fully integrate the social doctrine of the Church into our lives.