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The Catholic Worker Movement: Intellectual And Spiritual Origins [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   358
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.72" Width: 6.12" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2005
Publisher   Paulist Press
ISBN  0809143151  
EAN  9780809143153  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Brings to life the philosophers, theologians, economists, and saints who influenced Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in the development of the ideas and spirituality that supported their radical following of the Gospel in the movement they founded.

Publishers Description
This book is essential reading for understanding the legacy behind the Catholic Worker Movement. The founders of the movement, Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin met during the Great Depression in 1932. Their collaboration sparked something in the Church that has been both an inspiration and a reproach to American Catholicism. Dorothy Day is already a cultural icon. Once maligned, she is now being considered for sainthood. From a bohemian circle that included Eugene O'Neil to her controversial labor politics to the founding of the Catholic Worker Movement, she lived out a civil rights pacifism with a spirituality that took radical message of the Gospel to heart. Peter Maurin has been less celebrated but was equally important to the movement that embraced and uplifted the poor among us. Dorothy Day said he was, "a genius, a saint, an agitator, a writer, a lecturer, a poor man and a shabby tramp." Mark and Louise Zwick's thorough research into the Catholic Worker Movement reveals who influenced Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day and how the influence materialized into much more than good ideas. Dostoevsky, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Francis of Assisi, Therese of Lisieux, Jacques and Raissa Maritain and many others contributed to fire in the minds of two people that sought to "blow the dynamite of the Church" in 20th-century America. This fascinating and detailed work will be meaningful to readers interested in American history, social justice, religion and public life. It will also appeal to Catholics wishing to live the Gospel with lives of action, contemplation, and prayer.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Great subject, unreadable book  May 6, 2008
I was so excited about this book, being a fan of the Zwicks' newspaper and the authentic philosophy of the Catholic Worker movement. I'm sad to say it read like an undergraduate thesis - an undigested compilation of quotations and bland abstractions. There is great material here and the Zwicks deeply understand and live out the Catholic Worker movement. The book just needs a lot of editing and rewriting to be palatable to this lay reader.
A Wonderful Book on the Catholic Worker Movement  Apr 12, 2008
Mark and Louise Zwick, who operate the Catholic Worker Hospitality House in Houston, Texas, have written a wonderful scholarly book about the Catholic Worker movement and Dorothy Day. They convincingly show that Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin were influenced by powerful intellectual and spiritual sources, including St. Teresa of Avila, Jaques and Raissa Maritain, and Emmanuel Mounier. Clearly, Day and Maurin were grounded in more than the emotions of the moment--they drew heavily from the intellectual and spiritual roots of Catholicism, going back as far as St. Francis of Assisi.

Anyone who has read the works of Dorothy Day will be interested in this terrific book by Mark and Louise Zwick, impressive not only for its scholarship but also for the fact that it was written by people who carry on the work of Dorothy day, Peter Maurin and the Catholic Worker movement.

Richard Fossey
University of North Texas
A Case of Truth in Packaging  Aug 30, 2006
It is rare nowadays to find a book which is completely faithful to the claims implied by its title. This is one of those rarities.
Catholics in this generation, even those who are reasonably well-informed on most things, often have an erroneous notion as to what the Catholic Workers are all about, and the answer to "what they are all about" must begin with their intellectual and spiritual origins. Those who are ill-informed of the movement will be surprised by the content of these foundational elements. Those who are more at home with the movement will be edified by the summary given in this book.
One caveat: If your motive for reading this book is to reinforce your political views, and if you are a modern American "liberal", you will throw it down in disgust. If you believe that capitalism can do no wrong, you will do the same. But if you want to read about how Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin attempted to follow Christ through the institution of the Movement, then you will find what you want, and be edified in the process.
excellent introduction to the profound roots of this important movement  Dec 12, 2005
As someone who has walked with the Catholic Worker movement for many years and now teaches a university course (in Seattle) on the movement, I found the Zwicks' book an essential volume for understanding this powerful and profound movement.

Many books, including those written by Dorothy Day herself, offer anecdotal histories of the movement, placing it in its cultural and historical context. Others (such as Rosemary Riegle's "Voices") offer fascinating collections of memories from those who have been touched by the CW over the decades. But no book previously has grounded the movement so profoundly in the depth and sweep of Catholic and philosophical tradition. Each chapter is like a glass of wine to savor.

Another reason I find this so helpful: many current CW houses understand the need to feed the poor or work for peace, but have little understanding of how centrally Christian Dorothy and Peter were. "Spirituality" is sometimes seen as an option in today's CW houses. But for the founders, there was no movement apart from the witness of saints, intellectuals, mystics and other faith heroes throughout the ages.

This book may well be the inspiration you need to find your nearest CW house and serve a meal or offer an hour in the name of the Prince of Peace.
Know the Seeds of the Movement   Dec 5, 2005

In the 1990s, a prominent American Catholic journal pronounced, "the Catholic Worker movement is dead," a decade and a half after the death of the movement's renowned co-founder, Dorothy Day. Such a sweeping declaration not only overlooked the fact that hundreds of Catholic Workers, including authors Mark and Louise Zwick, were active in catholic Worker ministries across the country, but also denied the theological and intellectual contributions the Catholic Worker movement has made, and continues to make, to American Catholicism.

In fact, Day believed that her influence would reach its fullest prominence after her death, prophetically reflecting, "but unless the seed fall into the earth and die, there is no harvest. And why must we see results? Our work is to sow. Another generation will be reaping the harvest."

In The Catholic Worker Movement, Mark and Louise Zwick present the seeds of this Movement, proving that it is still vibrantly alive and allowing for its continued fruitfulness. While dozens of books have been written about Dorothy Day and her movement, the Zwicks are unique in focusing not the history of the movement, nor its works, but its deep, and often overlooked, philosophical roots. It is precisely this philosophy which made the movement effective and influential, and which beyond all else let it withstand the test of time while countless other visionary communes have failed.

Although the book duly discusses the undisputed the basic tenants of the Movement, especially the last third of Chapter 25 of Mathew's Gospel-the "corporal works of mercy"- they show that the intellectual roots also go deeper. Chapters are dedicated to separate themes including personalism, non-violence, monastism, and the teachings of the Saints.

The product of over a decade of work, few could have done a better job tracking the movement's philosophical origins than the Zwicks, who received a deep schooling in both Catholic Worker thinking and practice through their 25 years of running a Worker house of hospitality and newspaper out of Houston, TX. In diving into the original sources of the Worker's philosophy, they revive many forgotten, out of print, and unpublished sources.

The book does of good job of reestablishing the intellectual contributions of Peter Maurin, the often forgotten half of the Movement's founders. It displays Peter's gift in his vision of radical Christianity that he painted vividly with Great Catholic thinkers and his immense intellectual grasp of society and the Church. Even those that would dismiss Peter Maurin and his eccentric personality traits had to admit, "He knew his stuff."

As the Zwicks note, co-founders Day and Peter Maurin saw the Worker as an evangelical movement to create a new renaissance in the Church, if not the world. Since 1933, "Catholic Workers" committed to communal living and voluntary poverty in "houses of hospitality" where they practiced "personalism" by feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, protesting against war and injustice, and publishing a Christian newspaper. In doing so they found a full integration of theology and practice.

The problems of the book are also some of its strengths. The meticulous research and explanation of influence on Catholic Worker thought can be long, detailed, and in some rare cases tangential. Yet, in doing so, it provides ample starting points for continued reading. Thus The Catholic Worker Movement is a must read for anybody interested in understanding the roots of this movement and feasting on a harvest of insights into life, justice, and social change.

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