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The Catholic Imagination
ISBN 0520232046 / 9780520232044 / 0-520-23204-6
Publisher Univ of California Pr
List price $17.95
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The Catholic Imagination is Andrew Greeley's attempt to summarize what is unique about Catholic culture. "Catholics live in an enchanted world, a world of statues and holy water, stained glass and votive candles, saints and religious medals, rosary beads and holy pictures," Greeley writes. "But these Catholic paraphernalia are mere hints of a deeper and more pervasive religious sensibility which inclines Catholics to see the Holy lurking in creation." In seven chapters, The Catholic Imagination considers some of the central themes of Catholic culture--sacrament, salvation, community, festival, hierarchy, erotic desire, and the mother love of God--particularly as they have been treated by Catholic artists. The book's theological and aesthetic observations gain force from its sociological insights. (Greeley teaches Sociology at the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona.). Read the chapter on "Sacred Desire" first. There's good stuff here on Bernini (later in the book he moves on to Scorsese, Mozart, and others); but even more fascinating is Greeley's empirical evidence that "Catholics have sex more often, they are more playful in their sexual encounters, and they enjoy sex more [than other Americans]." [via]