Two exciting bits of news to pass along today about my upcoming book, Struggle, Condemnation, Vindication: John Courtney Murray’s Journey toward Vatican II.
First, the book will include a substantial foreword by Drew Christiansen, SJ!
Fr. Christiansen (that’s him in the photo) is currently the Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Global Development at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He is also co-director and senior research fellow of the Program on the Church and the World at the Berkley Center. A mouth-full! Many, however, will remember him for his fine work as editor-in-chief of America magazine, a post he held from 2005 to 2012.
I’ve had a chance to read the foreword Fr. Christiansen prepared for the book, and I’m happy and honored to say it’s good bit more than a cursory “here ya go.” Indeed, if you’re interested in John Courtney Murray or the topic of religious freedom, Christiansen’s foreword alone will be worth the price of admission. (So if you buy the book to read what he has to say about Murray more than for what I have to say, no hard feelings at all!) It’ll be an thrill to have his insights leading off my book!
Second, Boston College professor of theology Cathleen Kaveny has now weighed in on the book. Kaveny is an insightful writer and noted authority on the complex intersections of culture, law, and Catholic faith. Here’s what she has to say:
Barry Hudock’s account of the life and work of John Courtney Murray shows that the development of Catholic teaching on religious liberty cannot be reduced to abstract, numbered paragraphs in an encyclical or catechism. It is a riveting story of clashing personalities, impossible possibilities, and hope against all hope. It is the story of the Holy Spirit at work in the Church.
I’m excited about these words, because Professor Kaveny’s experience of reading the manuscript was apparently very similar to my experience of writing it: Murray’s story is indeed a riveting one, with a fascinating cast of characters living out a drama that is very real.
My sincere and enthusiastic thank-you’s to Professor Kaveny and Fr. Christiansen for their gracious support!