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Intellectual Appetite: A Theological Grammar

By Paul J. Griffiths,  William K. Warren Professor of Catholic  Theology
Catholic University of America Press, 2009
Paperback, 248 pages, $24.95

Traditionally, Christian thinkers have described the positive pursuit of knowledge as “studiousness” and the bad as “curiosity.” The goal of the good is contemplation of a gift; the ends of curiosity are aimed at control and ownership of intellectual property.

Griffiths’s Intellectual Appetite is a study of the difference between the two, with special attention to the question of ownership. What, he asks, is it like to think of yourself as the owner of what you know, and how might it be different to think of what you know as a gift given to you?

Praying for England:
Priestly Presence in Contemporary Culture
Praying for England:
Priestly Presence in Contemporary Culture

Edited By Samuel Wells, Dean of Duke Chapel and  Research Professor of Christian Ethics and Sarah Coakley
Continuum, 2009
Paperback, 208 pages, $29.95

This collection of essays on Anglicanism today reflects on the role of Christian priesthood in contemporary British culture. The authors argue that some functions of the priest remain vital, even — or perhaps especially — in a culture that seems to ignore the church. As a mediator before God of society’s losses, joys, and ever-present anxieties, the priest continues “praying for England” in decisive but often uncelebrated ways.