Today’s book review is going to be a little different than my other ones. I am going to be talking about a book looking at other books. It is Jesuit Fr. John A. Hardon’s book, “The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan,” published by Doubleday. Fr. Hardon is a Jesuit who received a doctorate in theology from Gregorian University in Rome. He is a founder of the Catholic Home Study Institute, and is also the author of many Catholic reference books such as the “Modern Catholic Dictionary.”

There are 2 editions of this book, the first one published in 1989 and the second one in 1998.  The 1998 edition has been ordered and is on the way to the library as I write this, but we do have the 1989 edition available. While ordering the book, I noticed that the difference between the 1998 and 1989 editions seems to be that the newer edition focuses more on modern (relatively speaking) authors and works, seeming to be more of a continuation and emphasis on the area that was not covered by the first edition.

Now, onto the book. The author starts at the beginning, discussing the Bible. He follows that with writers from the Age of Persecution and Age of Patristics, all the way to the modern day authors. In Fr. Hardon’s opinion, these are the writers that came before, that one can build his or her Catholic knowledge on.
This book does not contain the actual works. Rather, he has a page or so synopsis of the author, and why he/she is important to the reader and to the Church. He then gives some information on their most popular works, or the ones Fr. Hardon thinks are necessary reading. Although he goes through all the periods of the church, by far he has the most authors in the “Modern Age,” although that includes everybody from 1800 on, definitely the Modern Age in church history. In all, he writes about 104 different people.

If you are not sure where to begin reading about some of the great figures of the Catholic church, here is a book to get you started.

As always, if you have any ideas and comments for things I could change, please let me know. If you have any books that you have read or have read the books I mention, please leave a comment. We here at Salzmann also want to know what people are reading. Comments are always appreciated – anything I can do to make this better I will strive my best to accomplish.

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