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Book reviews

Christian Smith and his fellow sociologists delve into the lives of 18-23 year olds to discover habits, patterns, and mindsets that perpetuate negative behaviors in emerging adults. They explore morality, consumerism, substance abuse, premarital sex, and political apathy. They document interviews and conversations from this age group that show very candidly the young adult position on these topics. They provide minimal solutions, but instead highlight the need to engage the problems developing in this phase of life.
February 1, 2012

The French movie “Of Gods and Men” (2010) narrates the true story of nine Trappist monks, living in the monastery of Tibhirine, Algeria. Over the years they have established a deep friendship with the Muslim population of the village, taking part in every aspect of the village’s life. In 1996 the monks get caught in the conflict between the corrupt and militant Algerian government and the Armed Islamic Group, a terrorist organization.

June 20, 2011
Dr. Brant Pitre is one of the brightest up-coming Catholic biblical scholars in this generation. He has an unprecedented grasp of ancient Judaism and current biblical scholarship which is reflected in his latest book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist.
April 28, 2011
If you’re reading this reflection online, then it’s safe to assume that you are probably on Facebook. And if you plan to watch the Academy Awards this Sunday night, then it’s probably also safe to assume that you’ve seen, or at least heard of, The Social Network, the semi-factual film about Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
February 25, 2011
When I read the book What’s Your Decision, co-authored by J. Michael Sparough, SJ, Jim Manney, and Tim Hipskind, SJ, I thought to myself: “Too bad that a few years ago, when I had to make important decisions for my life, the book wasn’t out yet!” But it’s a book not only for the big decisions in life, like: Should I take on the new job? Do I want to become a priest or get married? Is it better to break up with my boyfriend? It is a book for everybody who is convinced that God is active in our lives and cares about what we are doing. It’s a book for all those who desire to choose the good, to discern God’s will and to become “free enough to make the best choices.”
July 8, 2010
What do you really want to do with your life? Who do you want to be in your life? How does God speak to you about your life? This volume, like the Catholics on Call program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, raises these important questions.
June 7, 2010
Perhaps you’ve heard it before: “I’m not religious; I’m spiritual.” “I participate often in social justice movements, so my private life doesn’t matter.” “I have no time to pray because I’m too busy trying to be a good person and that’s what matters most!” Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, in his work The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality, proves that it all matters most.
May 6, 2010
Finding My Voice written by Beth Knobbe is one of several books from the Called to Holiness series designed to help nurture the spiritual life of young women today.
March 26, 2010
Are you struggling to maintain healthy relationships with the pressure of secular society? This book offers practical advice on how to gain the “strong and deeply powerful relationships we crave” with spouse, parents, sibling and friends.
February 4, 2010
Christian Smith is the Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame. He has led the National Study on Youth and Religion and in 2005 published Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (Oxford University Press). That important work summarized an extensive study of the spiritual inclinations and aspirations of young people 13 to 18 years old. Five years later, Smith surveyed the same group of young people, who were by then 18 to 23 years old. In conjunction with Patricia Snell, he has recently published the results of this survey in Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults (Oxford University Press, 2009).
December 4, 2009
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