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Faithful Dissenters: Stories of Men and Women Who Loved and Changed the Church [Paperback]

By Robert McClory (Author)
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Item description for Faithful Dissenters: Stories of Men and Women Who Loved and Changed the Church by Robert McClory...

Faithful Dissenters tells the stories of people who took risky stands and sometimes paid heavily. Yet the benefits of their dissent have unquestionably enriched the church and all of us.

Publishers Description
Faithful Dissenters tells the stories of people who took risky stands and sometimes paid heavily. Yet the benefits of their dissent have unquestionably enriched the church and all of us. They include:
-- Catherine of Sienna
-- Thomas Aquinas
-- Matteo Ricci
-- Hildegard of Bingen
-- John Henry Newman
-- Mary Ward
-- Yves Congar

All of these men and women had one thing in common: they loved the church. And the church they helped change now holds all of them in high esteem.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Faithful Dissenters: Stories of Men and Women Who Loved and Changed the Church by Robert McClory has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Publishers Weekly - 09/25/2000 page 111
  • Booklist - 10/01/2000 page 305
  • Publishers Weekly - 09/22/2000

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Orbis Books
Pages   180
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.24" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.54"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 27, 2000
Publisher   Orbis Books
ISBN  1570753229  
ISBN13  9781570753220  

Availability  0 units.

More About Robert McClory

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert McClory was an author, journalist, professor, and former Roman Catholic priest. He was the author of six books and a staff writer for the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Defender and a regular contributor to US Catholic Magazine, National Catholic Reporter, Chicago Magazine among others. He served as a professor emeritus at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Robert McClory currently resides in the state of Illinois. Robert McClory was born in 1932.

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1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > History
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Church History
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

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Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about Faithful Dissenters: Stories of Men and Women Who Loved and Changed the Church?

Diverging Views  Jan 9, 2007
I was impressed with the persons portrayed in this book because they somehow knew that having a differing opinion or way of accomplishing their goals from those in power, namely, the hierarchy, did not make them "heretics" or disloyal to the Church. They kept on being loyal, but also stayed the course and in the ensuing years their legacy has been a boon and blessing to the church.
Let's get real ...  May 1, 2003
Robert McClory, a journalism professor at Northwestern University, has assembled a multifaceted group: saints and scholars, men and women, who were able to change officially established positions of the Roman Catholic Church. At least, that is the author's thesis.
This is a book with a mission: to bolster the position of those who dissent from the magisterium. Like many defenses of dissent, the arguments in this study are based on misunderstanding - or is it misrepresentation? - of facts.
While the book gives the impression of precise documentation (it contains more than 200 endnotes), the vast majority of its citations are from secondary sources, even when the corresponding primary sources are in the author's own language (e.g, the works of John Henry Newman and John Courtney Murray6)! The result is that his arguments are based on evidence that is at best hearsay, at worst tainted.
Even more disappointing, the author's citations of magisterial documents (e.g., the documents of Vatican II) contain numerous ellipses, i.e., omissions that may easily corrupt the significance of the original text. To cite but a single example: in dealing with Newman the author cites Lumen Gentium 12 and 35 (page 52 and note 20); one need only compare the text provided by the author with the text as given in the Abbott translation used by the author, to see how the author has misrepresented the intent of the Council.
Curious too is the author's treatment of Newman's treatise on the consultation of the laity, which appeared in 1859; how the author concluded that this essay dissents from Vatican I's 1870 definition of infallibility boggles the mind.
One can go on and on, but to what end? Dissent is important to the Church; it provides a dynamic prod that encourages sincere men and women to investigate the profound depths of divine revelation. According to the Epistle to the Galatians Paul disagreed with Peter, discussed the matter with him, and then Peter acknowledged Paul to be correct. Through Peter's decision Paul was vindicated and schism avoided.
This book is neither theologically nor historically accurate. It is based not on acceptable scholarship but on popular opinion.
Orthodoxy and Rreedom within the Catholic Church  Feb 27, 2001
Catholics often struggle with the issue of orthodoxy and dissent. Few Roman Catholics agree with all of the Church's teachings, even though they may be deemed to be "orthodox." The discomfort of such dissent is made worse by the Church's doctrine of "infallibility." What then is the real of freedom -- of belief and of practice -- within the Catholic Church?

McClory's Faithful Dissent is a wonderfully written story of individuals over the past two millenia who were faithful both to the essence of the Church as they understood it -- but also to their own consciences and values. The dissenters that McClory desribes all stood their ground despite the overwhelming opposition of the church hierarchy which claimed its own position as the only possible orthodoxy. What they share, in addition to their vision and courage, is the fact that their positions have been vindicated and are now accepted as the church's current reigning theology.

John Henry Newman, for example, when attacked for calling for consultation with the laity on critical issues of education, used his considerable scholarship about the Arian heresy of the 4th Century to make his case. He showed that the religious establishment accepted the Arian belief that Jesus was not truly human -- and it persecuted those within the church, mostly the common people, who believed deeply that he was both God and human who never followed the hierarchy into the Arian heresy. Eventually the popular theolgy of the average believer became orthodox Roman Catholic doctrine. Newman's conclusion: history shows that doctrines are not true just because the hierarchy contends that it is. Rather, what is required is a more complex, more interdependent -- and ultimately more mysterious -- "conspiratio" or cooperation betgween clergy and laity.

Faithful Dissenters shows how many of the reforms of Vatican II were possible because individuals within the Church had the vision and courage to oppose its previous narrow bounds, often a considerable personal price, thus creating the intellectual and moral basis for reform.

I recommend this book highly.

Men and Women Who Loved and Changed the Catholic Church  Jan 4, 2001
In Faithful Dissenters, Robert McClory has done a masterful job of bringing to light and to life the history of "faithful dissent" within the Catholic Church. He accomplishes this by focusing on the fascinating lives of seventeen men and women who were moved to dissent from a prevailing church doctrine or practice of their day, and whose efforts substantially contributed to effecting a significant change in that doctrine or practice. These men and women all shared a deep love for the Catholic Church, and remained faithful members, even in the face of rejection and even persecution by church authorities. Sometimes the desired changes took place within the lifetime of the dissenter. John Courtney Murray, a Jesuit theologian who died in 1967, strongly supported religious freedom and the separation of Church and state. He was heavily criticized for his writings in the thirties and forties, and ultimately silenced in the fifties for his opposition to Vatican doctrine on religious freedom and church-state relations. Before he died, however, his position on these issues were essentially adopted as church doctrine by Vatican II. Ives Congar, a Dominican theologian who lived during the same period, but whose interest lay in promoting dialogue among the Christian churches also suffered rejection and silencing during the thirties, forties and early fifties, but lived to see his support of ecumenism adopted as church policy by Vatican II. Congar was even named a cardinal of the church shortly before his death. Others dissenters did not live to see the changes they sought for their church happen in their lifetimes. More than 300 years passed after the death of Galileo before the official Church recognized the freedom he sought for scientific exploration. Anyone who is interested in how individuals can effect change within an entrenched institution will want to read this book.
"Faithful Dissenters" for Non-Catholics Too!  Dec 11, 2000
As a non-Catholic, I read the list of the persons Bob McClory detailed in his book about those who challenged perspectives of the Roman Catholic Church and wondered what I might glean from digging into the text. Other than Hildegard of Bingen, and Galileo, the names and their stories were strange to me. Yet, the questions and issues that surfaced as I started through the journeys of McClory's chosen dissenters contributed to an appreciation for those who pose tough and penetrating questions for all of us, regardless of one's denominational background. There is a certain recklessness about the way in which many in today's culture challenge normative thought. McClory presents the reader with models for dissension that work to change from within and that provide deep integrity to the change process as a result. McClory has a gift of providing scholarly background to his analysis that those unfamiliar to the language of the church can appreciate. For anyone interested in the changing dynamic of today's religious thought, this book makes a powerful contribution.

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