Email this review


As the author of this book is the leader of Italy's Christian Democratic party and at one time served as Premier of Italy a book from his pen deserves notice, even though this was written as a doctrinal thesis twenty years ago. When Fanfani writes of Capitalism he is referring not only to an economic system but to ""the capitalistic spirit"". By this latter term he means the use of economic instruments and processes to achieve economic ends without any reference to moral sanctions or ethical ideals. Thus defined it is relatively easy to demonstrate that ""capitalism"" and ""Catholicism"" are completely incompatible and inevitably hostile to one another. It is not so easy to prove satisfactorily that Protestantism encouraged this ruthless amoral ""Capitalistic Spirit"" and yet this is Fanfani's thesis. At the conclusion the author is at considerable pains to explain why it is that countries of north-western Europe, predominately Protestant, have been so much more prosperous than the countries in the South, --Italy and Spain, for instance, which are predominantly Catholic. His explanation is that the dominant element in Mediterranean Europe are ""dolichocephalic indi urections and the Sinful nature of man, sometimes at the risk of forgetting what manner of Man it was that was crucified and rose again. In these Sprunt Lectures For 1954 Professor Hunter shows himself to be a scholar of the front rank and one whose theological orientation is in the line of the Barth-Brunner-Niebuhr way of thinking. The book is divided into two parts:- I- An Exposition of the Gospel according to St. Paul and II- The Gospel according to St. Paul for today. In the second part the author contends that Paul's teaching regarding ""The Fall"" ""The Wrath of God"" ""Original Sin"" are applicable today. He also stresses Paul's teaching regarding the Cross, the Resurrection, the Church and the Second Coming. It is rather an austere conception of Christianity Hunter gives us, but he makes a good case for such an interpretation of Paul's teaching and for the need of just such a message today. Primarily of interest to theologians and New Testament scholars, although preachers will discover valuable emphases in the book.

Publisher: Sheed & Ward