THE CATHOLIC CULT OF THE PARACLETE by

THE CATHOLIC CULT OF THE PARACLETE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here is a sociological description, derived from a survey of participants in 155 prayer groups, of American Catholic lay people involved in the Charismatic Renewal. It stresses that the movement is a cult rather than church or sect, its leanings toward heterodoxy, its membership fluid, its stress on personal salvation over social action, its emphasis on such phenomena as a spirit baptism, speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing, exorcism. But all of these topics are handled quite superficially without any critical quest for real understanding. The graceless writing is as tedious as an obligatory term paper. Even the sociological analysis seems strained at points, as when it distinguishes shades of heterodoxy according to respondents' holding of one, two, or three heterodox positions. Fellow Jesuit Donald Gelpi, in his Introduction, may well be right in thinking that Fichter's survey will be instructive for charismatics, especially in highlighting problem areas, but a spirited account of the Renewal it is not.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Sheed & Ward