AGAINST THE GOAD by James H. Mullen
Kirkus Star


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Only once in a decade does a good convert story which has wide appeal come along. One of this type was Dr. Herbert E. Cory's The Emancipation of a Freethinker which will soon be re-issued in paper back. Now ten years later, James Mullen, a professor of industrial relations at Temple University, explains in Against the Goad the involved road that led from religion to religion until he finally found ""something wonderful I didn't know existed"" in Catholicism. Mr. Mullen attended his Presbyterian mother's church regularly in childhood, less frequently in high school, infrequently in college, and only twice a year during service days in World War II when he considered himself a ""baptized pagan"". Naval duty, immediately after V-J day, gave him the time and opportunity to begin serious reading in literature and philosophy. This brought him eventually to a belief in Christ, but convinced him for the time being that true Christianity must lie somewhere outside the bonds of formal religion. Marriage to an intelligent, sympathetic Catholic girl sent him on a quest for a church he could accept. At all times he positively rejected what he considered the monolithic, authoritarian Catholic Church. Mr. Mullen takes a long and tortuous route into the Church, and he writes unemotionally, intellectually and brilliantly about it. His exploration into the attitudes about the Church which exist in various strata of our society is splendid. This is a book for non-Catholics seeking information about the Church, for recent converts, and always a book for Catholics who can find in it a deepened appreciation for the ""miracle"" they possess.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1961
Publisher: Bruce