The end of the school year means the start of summer book clubs! Whether it’s with your church, family, or friends, we have a number of titles that will till the ground for fruitful discussion and reflection. You can see the full list of our book club recommendations here.
In this book, Bishop Robert Barron breaks down four stages—Mission, Minds, Church, and Culture—by which Christians can bring the hope of Christ back into their lives and the world. Emphasizing the importance of the Church’s intellectual and theological heritage in appealing to an educated society, he draws from the early church fathers as well as contemporary theologians and modern media to present a holistic battle plan for our spiritual renewal.
Heidi M. Giebel
Ethical Excellence takes on the daring task of answering the question, why do some people achieve ethical excellence while others fail? Through the combination of philosophy, psychological research, and biographical profiles of moral heroes, Giebel writes one of the most interesting, layered, and thoughtful presentations on ethical living.
Giebel talks more about the book’s creation in this guest blog post.
Edited by Jana M. Bennett and David Cloutier
Naming Our Sins aims to provoke a renewal in how Catholics practice the sacrament of Penance through the specificity and honesty required in giving our sins names. With contributions by many of the current era’s best moral theologians, each chapter takes on a different classical vice, describing the vice, exploring its dimensions in contemporary experience, and moving the reader toward naming specific sins that arise from it.
Written especially for those who are new to Catholic Social Teaching, Counsels of Imperfection is an honest look at the complexities of applying CST to the ever-changing modern world. Hadas tackles a wide variety of topics, from economics to sexuality, giving each their biblical, historical and philosophical background to explain not only the Church’s stance but why it chose its current position and who it is arguing with. Counsels of Imperfection is a book that will enrich discussions and be enriched by the discussion in turn, making it the perfect choice for your book club.
If that intrigues you, check out our interview with Hadas himself.
Pope Benedict XVI
During his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI repeatedly drew attention to the environment, whether it be its preservation or the distribution of its resources. The Garden of God assembles his speeches and writings on how Christians are meant to interact with the world around them, forming a collection that is irreplaceable in its wisdom, variety, and empathy.
If your book club is fiction-only, The Dry Wood is the novel for you! A lost contribution to the Catholic Literary Revival, it captures the vulnerability and hope of a poor British neighborhood as they pray for their passed priest’s intercession for a sick child, providing a profound meditation on the purpose of human suffering. The other books of the Catholic Women Writers series, such as the upcoming The End of the House of Alard, are great choices as well!
Read an excerpt from The Dry Wood here.
If any of these books intrigue you, make sure to check out our full list of book club recommendations.