Renewing Our Hope: Essays for the New Evangelization

by Robert Barron
Catholic University of America Press, 2020
eISBN: 978-0-8132-3306-2, Paper: 978-0-8132-3305-5

In a time of discouragement, how can the Church renew itself and its outreach to all people? Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, insists that a "dumbed down" Catholicism cannot succeed in today's highly educated society--instead, the Church needs to draw upon its great theological heritage in order to renew its hope in Christ.

With Renewing Our Hope: Essays for the New Evangelization, Bishop Barron traces this renewal through four stages. "Renewing Our Mission" lays out the challenges that call for Catholics to become more aware of their own intellectual resources in encountering the "Nones." "Renewing Our Minds" showcases the importance of theological reflection as a font of wisdom and sanity in the Church, touching on Thomas Aquinas, Hans Urs von Balthasar, the recently canonized John Henry Newman, and Pope Francis. In "Renewing the Church," he proceeds to look at how Scripture, the family, the seminary, and Catholic college graduates can each contribute to this renewal. Finally, in "Renewing Our Culture," he returns to the judgments Catholics must make in assessing contemporary culture, specifically, family life, liberalism, relativism, and (surprisingly) the beauty of cinema.

Bishop Barron, known as the host of the Catholicism PBS video series, was previously rector and professor of systematic theology at Mundelein Seminary outside Chicago, Illinois. He demonstrates again in Renewing Our Hope his ability to make the fruits of his wide reading accessible to a broad audience, while still giving his academic colleagues much to consider.
Foreword by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio
Preface by Bishop Robert Barron
Part 1: Renewing Our Mission
Chapter 1: Looking for the Nones
Chapter 2: Evangelizing the Nones
Chapter 3: Thomas Aquinas and the New Evangelization
Chapter 4: Jacob’s Ladder: A Homily for the Ordination of Dominican Priests
Part 2: Renewing Our Minds
Chapter 5: How Von Balthasar Changed My Mind
Chapter 6: Why the Divine Simplicity Matters
Chapter 7: The One Who Is, The One Who Gives: Derrida, Aquinas, and the Dilemma of the Divine Generosity
Chapter 8: John Henry Newman and the New Evangelization
Chapter 9: Gaston Fessard and the Intellectual Formation of Pope Francis
Part 3: Renewing Our Church
Chapter 10: Examining the Sexual Abuse Scandal with Biblical Eyes
Chapter 11: Optatam Totius and the Renewal of the Priesthood
Chapter 12: Imago Dei as Privilege and Mission
Chapter 13: Greatness of Soul
Part 4: Renewing Our Culture
Chapter 14: Education in Virtue, Love, and Mission: A Reflection on Chapters Seven, Eight, and Nine of Amoris Laetitia
Chapter 15: Liberalism and Catholicism—Why the Disconnect?
Chapter 16: Relativism and Its Discontents
Chapter 17: Christ in Cinema: The Evangelical Power of the Beautiful
Works Cited

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