Book Review

Books depict leaders through their own words and those of followers

By Henri J.M. Nouwen with Philip Roderick
Wm. B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, Mich., 2007), 52 pp. plus CD $20

The spiritual lives and teachings of Father Henri Nouwen and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta -- both of whom died more than a decade ago -- continue to inspire and produce a healthy literary legacy.

Beloved: Henri Nouwen in Conversation with the Rev. Philip Roderick and What Mother Teresa Taught Me by Maryanne Raphael weave together Catholic spiritual values with a broad ecumenical appeal. Both Nouwen and Mother Teresa are popular contemporary mentors of the Christian faith.

Nouwen and Mother Teresa were compassionate contemplatives who struggled constantly to creatively link "doing" and "being" into their spiritual vocations.

"Beloved" is the text of an interview that Rev. Roderick -- an Anglican priest and retreat master based in Oxfordshire, England -- conducted with Nouwen in 1992. It appears now in book and CD format, providing the options of reflective reading and listening.

Book Review

Books on globalization keep readers current, raise questions

GLOBALIZATION, SPIRITUALITY AND JUSTICE: NAVIGATING A PATH TO PEACE, by Daniel G. Groody. Orbis (Maryknoll, N.Y., 2007). 280 pp. $24.

"Globalization" is shorthand for "a free-market economic system operating worldwide" -- with all the implied benefits and inequities.

As the phenomenon of globalization expands in influence everywhere, Christians are improving their capacity to understand and influence these developments. They do this with enhanced spiritual and social scientific awareness and skills.

The books under consideration help us to pray responsibly, think wisely and act with integrity as we confront the world's poverty, its injustices and the need for human freedom. Both books take seriously the Christian faith and current global realities. Each links theological reflection and spiritual discernment with the worlds of politics, economics and law.