Theology & Spirituality
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- Webmaster Deacon Mark
The Bible (VSI Series) by John Riches
I once heard someone say that studying the Bible was similar to learning lots about the Queen, but not actually knowing the Queen. Of course, the two things go hand in hand to some extent, but this book is more like the first kind of knowledge. Having said that, some of this knowledge is quite fascinating.
The author quite bravely raises the fact that the Bible has many times been mis-interpreted, and worse than that, used as a justification for doing evil. On the other side of the coin, he cites stories of people who have been inspired to overcome evil and injustice with the help of the Bible.
Tell me something I don’t know, I hear you say. Yes, unless you’re a theologian this book will be full of things you don’t know about the Good Book!
The Mass by Lucien Deiss C.S.Sp.
Father Deiss was for ten years a professor of Theology and Scripture at the Grand Scholasticat de Chevilly-Larue. He worked for the reform brought about by Vatican II and participated in the ecumenical translation of the Bible. With a background like that you might expect this text to be heavy reading, and perhaps overly academic. As one of the reviewers quoted on the back cover says though, this book is a ‘little gem’.
The book starts with a brief overview of the mass and then looks at each part of it in turn. The origins of many elements of the mass can be traced back to the ancient Jewish liturgy, and some of the links make fascinating reading. Other parts of the mass (obviously) have later origins and these are all described in a way that helps understanding of the reforms made in the past few decades.
Some people claim that they miss some of the ‘mystery’ that the mass previously had. In order to have a rich experience of the mass though, you need to have a good understanding of exactly what happens and why. This slim book will give you that understanding and more.