Monday, October 7, 2013
Book Review 5: Covenant and Communion
I have to digress already. Last year I had this book fall into my lap:
In C&C, the author condenses what must be well-over a million words and several decades of Benedict's God-thinking into about 200 pages. Hahn quotes St. Jerome in the opening chapter's title: Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ, and writes, "How we read and interpret the Bible directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, the sacraments, and the liturgy." The rest of the book shows us what Benedict understands about those things, and also how the Bible shaped his thinking. Hahn provides just enough commentary and guidance such that the reader can understand big chunks of the Pope's original prose on its own terms. At the same time, by following Benedict one sees how he directly uses the Word itself as the primary written testimony of Catholic faith- say, as opposed to the Catechism, or a Bible study guide, or any number of other books that often mediate between an individual and Scripture.
And Benedict thinks big: C&C isn't about apologetics, doesn't focus in detail on discrete topics. Its God-scope is universal, as broad and deep as can be managed in a small package. It's the whole Faith; the whole Bible; the whole time.
Read Covenant and Communion: it's not the usual.