Over the past couple years I have tried to read a book a month that is intentionally outside of my tradition to expand my understanding of Christianity and to better understand the perspectives of other traditions.
Scott Hahn has been the author of several of the books I have read about Catholicism. I picked this book up from NetGalley to review and misremembered the publication date. So it will not be out for another six weeks yet.
This is a very brief book, I read almost all of it in about 2 hours. The first couple chapters are a brief explanation of the role of saints in Catholic theology. This is an expansion of a similar explanation in Hahn’s Signs of Life: 40 Catholic Customs and their Biblical Origins. But I actually think that original shorter explanation was better.
In this new explanation Hahn focuses on the church’s designation of saints as people that are known to be in heaven (having not needed purgatory) and the process that the church uses to recognize saints.
In the earlier explanation Hahn focused on saints as exemplars of our Christian life and how we sought out saints to pray for us (as we would ask a friend or pastor to pray for us.)
In both Hahn was careful to note that the veneration of Saints is not worship, but honor. Worship is reserved for God alone.
Hahn then gives short biographies of several saints starting with Moses and then moving toward modern saints and concluding with Mary. These short biographies were interesting but did not seem to add much if you have any familiarity to the person. (There were a couple that were new to me.)
Overall, while this was readable and brief, it is not a book I would highly recommend. Signs of Life was a broader explanation of Catholic practices and there are a number of books that have good introductions to figures in church history.
An ebook was provided by the publisher through Netgalley for purposes of review.
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