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Almost Catholic: An Appreciation of the History, Practice, and Mystery of Ancient Faith [Hardcover]

By Jon Sweeney (Author)
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Item description for Almost Catholic: An Appreciation of the History, Practice, and Mystery of Ancient Faith by Jon Sweeney...

An insightful analysis of the Catholic tradition looks at the history of the Catholic church, its spiritual practices, its tenets and beliefs, and the rituals of worship and discusses such topics as saints, liturgies, papal authority, and more.

Publishers Description
Jon Sweeney, a self-described "evolved Protestant" and noted religious writer, has long been fascinated by the Catholic Church. However, it wasn't until he was a young missionary in the Philippines that he truly began to understand the Church's traditions, mysteries, and religious beliefs and its hold on those who follow the tradition. As he explains, Catholic spirituality is all about responding to the fundamental mystery of Jesus, the incarnation, and what it all meant in the beginning as well as what it means today.

In "Almost Catholic, " Sweeney offers an appreciation of Catholicism, weaving in the story of his own explorations with those of others who have also been attracted to this tradition. He finds himself drawn to the Church's ancient and medieval traditions out of a desire to connect with the deepest and widest paths on the way. Two millennia of saints and practices and teachings and mystery form a connection for him to the very beginnings of Christianity.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Almost Catholic: An Appreciation of the History, Practice, and Mystery of Ancient Faith by Jon Sweeney has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Reference and Research Bk News - 05/01/2008 page 33
  • Publishers Weekly - 12/03/2007 page 68
  • Library Journal - 03/01/2008 page 87

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Jossey-Bass
Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.22" Width: 5.84" Height: 0.89"
Weight:   0.77 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 25, 2008
Publisher   Jossey-Bass
ISBN  0787994707  
ISBN13  9780787994709  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jon Sweeney

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jon M. Sweeney is a prolific author who wrote Born Again and Again, named one of the Best Books of 2005 by Spirituality & Health magazine and honored with an Award of Merit by Christianity Today, and Light in the Dark Ages: The Friendship of Francis and Clare of Assisi, a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club. He writes for the website, and his articles have been published in a variety of magazines including Catholic Digest, The Lutheran, The Merton Seasonal, and Spirituality & Health.

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Reviews - What do customers think about Almost Catholic: An Appreciation of the History, Practice, and Mystery of Ancient Faith?

must read  Sep 1, 2009
we all come from the early church and this sure helps explain some old myths we have been feed
Crucifixes, Rosaries, Stations of the Cross, Novenas and Merton, St. Francis, Chesterton, O'Connor  Aug 30, 2009
Author John M. Sweeney has written an excellent book, "Almost Catholic," that should find a home with non-Catholics, lapsed Catholics, and Catholics "in good standing" alike. Sweeney's family was originally Roman Catholic but found it was not easy being Catholic in Kansas in the 1800s so they became evangelical Protestant. Today, Sweeney is an Episcopalian. He admits that his family's Catholic history may be haunting him.

The book is composed of six sections:
* Definitions and language which includes "The Eleven Steps to Becoming a Truly Catholic Christian."
* The Catholic Imagination" which explores a particular way of seeing the world - God is here in sacred places and spaces.
* What it means to be Catholic which is to fully embrace the Incarnate Christ - the Crucifix, the Stations of the Cross, and relics, "bones and bodies."
* Physical connections to spiritual reality which includes the Rosary, Novenas, Icons/Images, Confession, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
* A reflection by the author on his faith journey which includes chapters on Thomas Merton, St. Francis of Assisi, G.K. Chesterton, Flannery O'Connor, and the Roman Catholic Catechism.
* Practices that pull us together which include the Sacraments, Sacramentals, and Blessings, which are being rediscovered today by many outside the Catholic Church.

Sweeney, who has thought deeply about the Catholic tradition, wrote this with the hope others would learn as he did about the jewels that lie below the surface. Non-Catholic religious leaders have confused the matter by preaching that being Catholic is primarily about that outer crust of religious observance. As the reader will learn, there is much beauty to uncover and there are many elements of Catholicism that have the potency for non-Catholics and for uncommitted Catholics as well as for Catholics who believe they are well formed.

Catholic Christianity for everyone  Jun 2, 2009
The engaging and always intelligent Jon M. Sweeney does it again with this enchantingly readable appreciation of the beauty, mystery, and depth of the Catholic faith. Raised as a fundamentalist Christian, the author is now an Episcopalian who can convey the riches of the Church better than most Roman Catholic writers. This is not a book just for Protestants. It is a book for anyone interested in the timeless allure of Catholicism -- particularly lapsed or almost-lapsed Catholics who are thinking -- Why bother??? After reading this book, you'll never ask that question again...Highly recommended!
Excellent Read  Apr 21, 2009
I thought this was a refreshing book about how an evangelical was enriched by the catholic tradition. Too often present day Christians think their tradition goes back to the founding of their particular group when in fact we share a longer tradition with others. If you read Richard Foster or many other spiritual writers they will consult both catholic and protestant writers and mystics. I an a United Methodist and I have been informed by Anglican and Catholic heritages as well as my own Wesleyan heritage. This writer communicates to Protestant readers the practices of Roman Catholics that we could learn from and benefit from ourselves.

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