on December 31, 2009
John Allen is always excellent and in his book he outdoes himself. Balanced, nuanced, the consummate journalist, he never reduces positions to caricatures but comes across as genuinely interested in honesty and truth. In this book the gifted writer considers important trends in the Catholic Church today and considers what they may mean for the Church's life in the decades to come. This could easily be a fluffy exercise in wishful thinking or armchair theorizing but Allen has done his work meticulously: this book could be read as an introduction to the Catholic faith, to global politics (especially issues of identity and social justice), to the state of thorny bioethical questions and to important contemporary Catholics, plus much more. I have been studying theology for years and keeping abreast of Catholic matters but I learned something on every page - events, people, books, movements. I cannot recommend it highly enough.