Monday, March 15, 2010

Book Recommendation: The Mass and Modernity

Soon after I returned to the Catholic Church, my good friend, Keith Cassidy, bought me a gift: the book The Mass and Modernity: Walking to Heaven Backward (Ignatius Press, 2005) by Fr. Jonathan Robinson. I'm just getting around to reading it, and I am floored on how good it is!

This is truly an amazing book. The author, well versed in the history of philosophy, makes a convincing case that changes in the Church's liturgies often have more to do with the prevailing philosophical trends than with actual theological insights. Here's what the Ignatius Press website says of the book:
Many in the Church have accepted modernity in their effort to speak to the modern world, and not nearly enough attention has been given to trying to disentangle the complex of ideas and half-formulated convictions that constitute this mind-set which is in fact contrary to Christianity.

The first aim of this book is to examine the origins and present day influence of modernity, and then to argue that there is nothing in the Christian's concern for the modern world that requires accepting this damaging mind-set in connection with the highest form of worship, the Mass.

The second aim of the book is to show that that the sources of a genuine liturgical renewal are to be found in a heightened sense of the centrality of the Mass and a return to a theology compatible with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

I highly recommend this book.

1 comment:

carl said...

It is a really good book, with some invaluable and surprising insights. I interviewed Fr. Robinson about the book back in December 2005.