An Introduction to Catholicism

by Lawrence S. Cunningham

Series: Introduction to Religion

The Vatican. The Inquisition. Contraception. Celibacy. Apparitions and miracles. Plots and scandals. The Catholic Church is seldom out of the news. But what do its one billion adherents really believe, and how do they put their beliefs into practice in worship, the family, and society? This down-to-earth account goes back to the early Christian creeds to uncover the roots of modern Catholic thinking. It avoids getting bogged down in theological technicalities, and throws light on aspects of the Church's institutional structure and liturgical practice that even Catholics can find baffling: why go to confession? How are people made saints? What is 'infallible' about the Pope? Topics addressed include: • scripture and tradition • sacraments and prayer • popular piety • personal and social morality • reform, mission, and interreligious dialogue Lawrence Cunningham, a theologian, prize-winning writer and university teacher, provides an overview of Catholicism today which will be indispensable for undergraduates and lay study groups.

  • Cambridge University Press; February 2009
  • ISBN: 9780511501401
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: An Introduction to Catholicism
  • Series: Introduction to Religion
  • Author: Lawrence S. Cunningham
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press

In The Press

'One of the foremost expositors of Catholicism, Lawrence Cunningham writes with a remarkable clarity and a comprehensive grasp of the Catholic tradition, its history and theology as well as its popular expressions. His book is a rich resource, full of useful information.' Professor Thomas P. Rausch, S. J., Loyola Marymount University