Follow Your Conscience: The Catholic Church and the Spirit of the Sixties, Peter Cajka (The University of Chicago Press). While Catholics for centuries have viewed personal conscience as a powerful guide for moral decision-making, Cajka, an assistant teaching professor of American studies, argues that the Catholic case for conscience rights arose from draft protests during the Vietnam War, when many believers started to question the moral authority of the government and other institutions. This questioning had radical effects on American society, influencing not only Christianity but also government, law, health care and other aspects of American culture. Contemporary debates over political power, religious freedom, gay rights and more, Cajka writes, are deeply infused with the language and concepts outlined by those Catholic pioneers of conscience he considers here.
Portraits of Wollstonecraft, Eileen Hunt Botting (Bloomsbury Academic). English writer and philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft died at age 38 in 1797, but her reputation as an international feminist icon has only grown in the centuries since. Her landmark work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and her other contributions to theories of women’s rights continue to shape human rights debates today. This two-volume set, edited by political science professor Eileen Hunt Botting, includes more than 100 responses to Wollstonecraft’s life and writing, documenting her influence from the 18th century to the present.
REAL Presence: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter?, Timothy P. O’Malley ’04, ’06MTS (Ave Maria Press). Nearly 70 percent of Catholics in one recent survey don’t believe that the bread and wine presented during the celebration of Mass are actually the body and blood of Christ, but rather are symbols. In this concise volume, O’Malley, a theology professor and director of education at Notre Dame’s McGrath Institute for Church Life, introduces readers to Catholic teaching on the real presence and transubstantiation based on doctrines from the early Church to today. The teachings demand of each worshipper self-knowledge and the poverty of confessing we are not God, the author writes.