Sunday, June 22, 2014

Catholic Review: Let's Not Forget About God

Let's Not Forget About God: Freedom of Faith, Culture, and Politics by Cardinal Angelo Scola, translates by Matthew Sherry, June 3, 2014. 128 pages. Published by Image. Source: publisher.
Born out of a speech celebrating the 1,700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, in which emperors Constantine I and Licinius granted Christians legal rights, this book by Cardinal Angelo Scola gives attention to the crisis of religious freedom in the twenty-first century. Let’s Not Forget God outlines how Christianity has been at the center of creating a pluralistic society, from the Roman Empire in 313 to the American Revolution in 1776. This bold vision of freedom brings religion into the realm of public debate without allowing the state to banish or control it. “The question of religious freedom,closely connected to that of freedom of conscience,” writes Cardinal Scola, “is revealing itself today to be crucial not only to the development of Western societies but also to the peaceful evolution of their relationships with Asia, Africa, and Latin America.” Let’s Not Forget God is both a portrait of the history of religious freedom and a testament to its potential for spreading peace.
First Sentence:
The seventeenth centenary of the Edict of Milan brings back to our attention the issue, more relevant than ever, of religious freedom.

For being a short book, coming in at just 128 pages, Let's Not Forget About God packs a series punch as it forces the reader to take into context both the historical relation of religious freedom and that of where we stand now. When you look at it, in some ways there is more, and, yet again less religious freedom than in previous centuries.

From a historic standpoint, I enjoyed learning more about the Edict of Milan and the impact that it had on not just Christianity but on the world at that point in time. Why, because in some cases when the Edict of Milan and the changes in brought forth are talked about, one tends to just be told about how it benefited Christianity and not the full impact that it had and how every thing didn't just turn all sunny over night.
   Let's Not Forget About God was also interesting because you can see how crucial the ability to have the freedom to worship and profess one's beliefs is still today; as well as the persecution that is still rampant within the world...even that of the United States. Yes, our very ability to act on our beliefs and to remain true to the teachings of the Church is in jeopardy, even here. One just needs to look around to see that.

I really enjoyed how Cardinal Scola covered the varied aspects of religious freedom-freedom of faith, culture, and politics. As when you think about it, freedom cannot be limited to the narrow scope that we are seeing in our world today.
    It was interesting to see his thoughts on what religious freedom actually means and the benefits that it proposes for not just those who profess a belief in God, but how it can help shape the social and politic realm as religion is a big factor in the culture of many peoples. It gives one pause to look outside of what one would think is for their person good and to see the big picture and how the squelching of religion is just one more step down the road of fewer freedoms for all in all things.

The only problem I have with Cardinal Angelo Scola's writing would be...there are some Latin phrases used throughout the book that were lacking in translations. I don't know about you, but Latin is one of the languages that I have yet to learn-it's on my list though. Even though some of them were translated in the notes section of the book, I think it would have been more beneficial to readers if all the Latin/Italian phrases had been translated so that the reader, me included, could have had a better idea on the context in which is stood.
   That aside, Let's Not Forget About God leaves one with much to think upon. Which in my books is a good sign.

Final Verdict: Let's Not Forget About God- A short yet heavy book about religious freedom and how it plays a role not only in history but in the world we know today.

Let's Not Forget About God earns

this book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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