From today until October 15, the Patheos Book Club will be taking in-depth looks at three books, Father Robert Barron’s Catholicism: a Journey to the Heart of the Faith, Brandon Vogt’s The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet, and Richard J. Foster’s Sanctuary of the Soul; a Journey into Meditative Prayer
I confess, I know nothing about Sanctuary of the Soul, although it looks very interesting (and I will check it out) but that’s only because for the past few weeks I’ve been concentrating on asking various Catholic bloggers, priests and writers to “take and read” Catholicism, (which I called a true “Course in Revolution” here) and Church and New Media, which I have mentioned numerous times on this blog.
If you have not had the opportunity to look at either of these books, this is a perfect time — because we have book excerpts! If reading Chapter One of Catholicism does not convince you that the book is a rare mix of accessibility and power, then perhaps my lengthy interview with Father Barron, on the ongoing process of Incarnation that is Catholicism, whet your appetite. Or, take a look at Tim Muldoon’s really helpful and impressive review.
For those who have been accessing Catholic new media for a while but have been too afraid to dive in and perhaps bring a new voice to the mix, you might be emboldened after reading this excerpt from Vogt’s Church and New Media. If you’re wondering what can possibly still be said about the topic, take a gander at Kathy Schiffer’s thorough and enthusiastic overview. And don’t miss my interview with this charming and smart young up-and-comer, where he discusses what inspired the book, and who is profiting from it. Hint: it’s not him — at least not materially.
Throughout the next two weeks, the book club will be rolling out reviews and roundtable discussions on all of these books, and they will be sure to pique your interest. Look for contributions by some of your favorite writers.
And, if I can make a personal recommendation, don’t forget to check out the complete DVD series of Catholicism, produced by Word on Fire. Some PBS venues will be broadcasting the first five episodes, but the whole set could be a great “family” or “parish” Christmas gift. I will be giving these books and the DVD series to appropriate recipients, this year. I cannot think of anything better, really.