Ecumenism and Charismatic Renewal: Theologian and Pastoral Orientations by Cardinal Suenens Malines Document (Durton, Longman and Todd. £1.95).
THIS paperback (108 pages) continues the study entitled "Theological and Pastoral Orientations on the Catholic Charismtic Renewal: 1974" known as the "Malines Document."
Its author has resigned from his See to devote himself to his topic. The book carries weight in that sense.
Readers wishing to evaluate the relation betweem ecumenism and the Charismatic Renewal in a Catholic perspective would do well to read the book.
The author admits the delicacy of the task he undertook, and its complexity. What he has produced is inteded to be a start-, ing point for serious discussion.
He expresses gratitude to scholars with ecumenical and charismatic experience who have helped him, in his endeavour ro draw together powerful currents of God's grace which are uniting to renew the Church.
I lis preface is a clear and down to earth statement of what is meant by 'ecumenism, unity and renewal. It is worth spending time studying. This well-researched and annotated book is not only attractively laid out but is surprisingly easy to read for one on such indeterminate themes as it discusses.
After clarifying ecumenism in the first chapter he locates the charismatic movement in that current in chapter two. Then, after a chapter on the Holy Spirit, he speaks of the conditions for authentic ecumenism, and this leads him to deal clearly with the mustery ()I the Church.
Chapter five on authentic charismatic renewal is worth reading on its merits, for its wise guidelines. The rest of the book is made up of pastoral and spiritual guidelines.
In this day and age when ecumenism and the charismatic issue are so much to the fore, this book was a most important contribution to make.
A People for His Praise by John Gunstone (Hodder & Stoughton: £3.25) THE author has already produced several books on prayer, liturgy and the charismatic movement. His pastoral experience as a member of the Church of England clergy has embraced a wide field from Dorset to Manchester.
This paperback of 1980 pages deals with such matters as personal renewal, the local Church, prayer groups and pastoral leadership, as well as congregational life and worship; together with mission, healing, and ecumenism. It is a wellbalanced book that will supplement the one by Cardinal Suenes (Maines Document 2), giving an Anglican point of view on the same subject.
As John Gunstone says "The forward surge of the charismatic renewal has thrown up a pile of fascinating books." He hopes in this one to contribute something new. He has in mind charismatic renewal as it affects the oridnary congregation. The entire book is so attractively written that even those who are not "charismatically inclined" will find it instructive.
F. Leo Smith SDS