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In this highly readable introduction to Catholicism, author Daniel Donovan focuses on characteristic features of the Catholic experience of Christianity, on things that make being Catholic distinctive. While exhibiting an ecumenical sensitivity and a keen awareness of the core of faith common to all Christians, this book was written to respond to those who ask: "Why Catholicism - what is distinctive about it?" In formulating his answer to this question, the author hopes to help people appreciate some of the singular riches of Catholic tradition and Catholic life.
"Catholicism...is a living community of faith, a community with its own distinctive rituals and structure, its own patterns of individual and collective religious life, " writes distinguished theologian Daniel Donovan. What is unique about the Catholic experience of Christianity? What features set it apart from other Christian religions? Donovan explores these questions and more here, offering readers the fruit of his experience from a lifetime of theology and teaching.
In eight chapters, Donovan draws attention to certain emphases and characteristics of Catholicism which have influenced and continue to influence the way in which Catholics experience and think about their faith. These include: sense of community; the historical dimension of Catholicism; the objective nature of faith; liturgy and sacraments; ordained ministry; and tension between universal and particular. A final chapter reflects on all the themes and relates them to the concrete experience of individual Catholic believers.
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