A commendable study geared toward specialists.


God and the Human Environment

Ikenna presents an erudite and orderly study of Catholic environmental teachings, with an emphasis on how these teachings can be applied to the nation of Nigeria.

The author opens with a discussion of the papal encyclicals, which he repeatedly refers to throughout the work, in addition to Synod documents, Episcopal letters, and other official church teachings. Ikenna introduces both the primacy of creation and a call for respect for human life as foundational for approaching environmentalism. In fact, at its heart, Ikenna notes that the environment is an ethical issue and should be seen as such by the church, society, and individuals. With this background, he points out the four most pressing types of pollution in Nigeria: soil, water, air, and, somewhat surprisingly, noise. He thoroughly documents the causes of these issues (ranging from industrial waste to poor agricultural practices) and looks closely at the ways the challenges to Nigeria’s environment also cause spiritual, economic, political, cultural, and health problems. Ikenna describes potential pastoral responses to these environmental crises, including the fostering of individual commitments to the environment, better education, and an integration of science and faith. Interestingly, he uses Asia as a case study in how the church can best aid people in curbing various types of pollution. Throughout this work, the author takes an academic approach, incorporating a wide range of studies, facts and figures, and citations from various authors. His level of intellectualism, however, does push the book toward the realm of specialists. It’s hard to imagine the average reader handling such sentences as, “The Christian view continues to hold that the human person is ontologically and axiologically different from other creatures in a biotic unity of differentiated value.” Despite the book’s less-than-approachable characteristics, it will prove thought-provoking for Catholic theologians and activists.

A commendable study geared toward specialists.

Pub Date: July 17, 2015


Page Count: 227

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2015

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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