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The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism [Hardcover]

By Richard P. McBrien (Author)
Our Price $ 42.46  
Retail Value $ 49.95  
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Item Number 161445  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   1349
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.42" Width: 6.48" Height: 2.61"
Weight:   3.51 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 31, 1995
Publisher   HarperSanFrancisco
ISBN  0060653388  
EAN  9780060653385  
UPC  099455045001  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

With 1 billion Catholics in the world -- and 57 million in the United States alone -- Catholicism is the world's most familiar religion. Yet many facets of this varied and dynamic tradition remain unknown or poorly understood. Now The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism offers a one-volume comprehensive and authoritative guide to the people, doctrines, history, worship, art, spirituality, literature, theological developments, and changes that have shaped the Church over nearly two millennia.

Led by general editor Richard P. McBrien, bestselling author of Catholicism, an editorial team drawn almost entirely from the University of Notre Dame has collected more than 4,200 entries written by 280 leading experts from around the world and across the theological spectrum, including Benedict Ashley, Gerald O'Collins, Sandra B. Schneiders, Hans Kng, Walter H. Principe, Elizabeth Johnson, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Virgilio Elizondo, Catherine Mowry LaCugna, Robert F. Taft, Peter Hebblethwaite, Dermot A. Lane, Francis A. Sullivan, Robert F. Trisco, and John Strynkowski. A concise reference for understanding Catholic terms such as vigil light and maniple, The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism also offers superb feature-length entries on subjects ranging from the seven sacraments, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Peter, Paul, Augustine, and Aquinas to prayer and Christian spirituality, Catholicism in the United States, women in the Church, and Vatican II.

Treating Catholicism as a unique tradition, community, and way of life, the encyclopedia defines and describes topics such as Eastern Catholicism, canon law, devotions, religious orders and lay organizations, and saints, angels, and archangels. Also included are tables of the liturgical calendar, ecumenical councils, and a list of all the popes, complete with a brief biography of each.

A convenient and reliable source of information regarding every aspect of Catholicism, past and present, The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism covers the controversy and dissent within the Church as well as its teachings and beliefs, providing a balanced and unparalleled resource for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Catholic life.

Buy The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism by Richard P. McBrien from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780060653385 & 0060653388 upc: 099455045001

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More About Richard P. McBrien

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Richard P. McBrien is Crowley-O'Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Educated at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, he has also served as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. A leading authority on Catholicism, he is the bestselling author of Catholicism, Lives of the Popes, and Lives of the Saints, as well as the general editor of The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism. Most recently a consultant for ABC News, McBrien offers regular commentary on all the major television networks. He is also a prizewinning syndicated columnist in the Catholic press.

Richard P. McBrien currently resides in South Bend, in the state of Indiana.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
My problem with this book is putting it down. Not that a three and a half pound book is normally physically difficult to drop, but this tome is so engrossing that long nights quickly pass in the reading of it.

If you must work the next day, struggle not to declare an old night prayer vigil with it, especially if you operate heavy machinery in my area. Seriously, faithful, this large and comprehensive study deserves it requisite ten by seven by three inch space on your bookshelf next to the New Jerome Biblical Commentary and the REv. Father McBrien's other well-known magnus opus Catholicism, along of course with all your hagiography by Sr. Ita Ford, Dorothy Day, the Jesuit Most Rev. and learned Fathers Daniel Berrigan, John Dear, Fr. Ellacuria and Jon Sobrino, alongside of course Fr. Thomas Merton, Fr. Matthew Fox, Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, the Brothers Boff, Father Ernesto Cardenal, Father Hans Kung (represented here with his wonderful questioning in this great Encyclopedia), Sr. Joan Chittister, etc. etc., all available here on this site for less than the price of shipping (except for one of Fr. Sobrino's most intriguing brief articles which here costs over ten dollars a page!). At under ten bucks this Encyclopedia is the best buy on the mighty this site, as well as the most orthodox and comprehensive work on Roman Catholicism. I only wish the Search Inside service were active for this tremendous tome.
extraodinarily comprehensive and thorough  Jun 10, 2006
If you are a fundumentalist/ radical Mother Angelica type catholic you will be hard pressed to appreciate the truth presented in this book about the Roman Catholic Church. As a masters level student in Theology, I am familiar with Mcbriens other publications and I commend Mcbrien for their courage to continue publishing "truth" even at the risk of medieval magisterial papal suppression. This book is an excellent resource for parish catechists and all lay ecclesial ministers.

If you can handle the truth, buy this book. Otherwise spend your money on beads and leaflets
A waste of money  Sep 11, 2005
I own two of McBrien's books (Catholicism & Encyclopedia). They look very serious on Catholicism, but they are NOT. They contain a lot of McBrien's thoughts about what should be Catholicism. In other words, McBrien wishes the Catholic Church to conform to his opinions. A waste of money. If you want to know about Catholicism, buy the Catechism of the Catholic Church instead. For more detailed review on McBrien's books, go to and search for McBrien.
McBrien and His Team Have Performed a Great Service  Aug 5, 2003
Since I received this book from this site last week, I have had real trouble setting it aside. Not only does it contain a staggering amount of information; it also is beautifully produced and intelligently written.

First, it is huge, a good thing for any encyclopedia -- 1300 pages and over 4,000 entries. It is full of pictures: photos of important individuals and sites, reproductions of famous artwork, and explanatory drawings. Major topics, such as each of the sacraments, are covered in long, well-organized essays. And all the details indicate that this project was undertaken with the seriousness and dedication it deserves: the entries are cross-referenced, helpful bibliographies follow many entries, boldface subheads break up and organize the longer entries, bylines are provided after the more analytical entries, a complete list of contributors with their affiliations is provided, pronunciations are given for unfamiliar terms -- I could go on and on.

But most impressive to me is the care with which the entries are written. The writing is aimed at the intelligent non-specialist, someone who has the curiosity and mental vigor to want to hear the various sides of difficult issues. Clearly, some this site reviewers were distressed that the book does not simply say, "The Church teaches X," and leave it at that. The book *does* say where the Church stands on various issues (insofar as it has taken a stance), AND the book *also* tells us what other opinions have been and are held by important thinkers and in repsected circles.

Take for example the entry on homosexuality, which other reviewers here have singled out. It was written by Michael Place, Research Theologian to the Curia, Archdiocese of Chicago. The entry expressly tells us that "Traditionally Catholic teaching has grounded its understanding of human sexuality in the Genesis vision of man and woman," and that "On several occasions the Church's hierarchical magisterium has rejected" liberal doctrines in this area. And, for those who want to know more than what the "blackletter law" is, the entry also discusses those liberal doctrines and how attitudes about, and scientific understanding of, homosexuality have developed.

Some Catholic readers apparently do not want the added information; they would prefer a series of cut-and-dried pronouncements without a dangerous idea in sight. Perhaps some Catholic readers also would prefer that a Catholic encyclopedia proclaim in no uncertain terms why their priest or their co-parishioners are heretical corner-cutters. To its credit, that is not what this book provides.

If you want to *understand* Catholicism rather than put your God-given reason on autopilot, this book is for you. Buy it. It is well worth every penny.

Compliments RP McBrien's "Catholicism"  Sep 1, 2001
If you didn't like his book "Catholicism" there's a good chance you won't like this rare assest. A rare asset since Fr. McBrien unabashedly states that it is truly comprehensive...and it is.
While purusing it at Borders, I looked up several rather arcane topics I didn't think would be included and which I would be hard pressed to fine info on...voila...all were there. I also like the staggering list of contributors...of all faiths and persuasions.
I looked at the "Catholic Encyclopedia" which was next on the shelf, and found in banal, definitely not worth the price. Incidently I didn't buy it as I wanted to check the price at this site...a $14 SAVINGS! I would have bought it from this site, but a friend knew I wanted it and purchased it for me. It's a great asset and I will use it in conjunction with my well thumbed and underlined "Catholicism" and "Good News Bible." Oh yes, those reviewers that panned it should be right at home with Archbishop Pilarczyk and Fr. DiNoia along with the NAB...zzzzz

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