Mark D. Chapman – Vladimir Latinovic (Eds.), Changing the church. Transformations of Christian belief, practice and life, Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.
The volume Changing the church. Transformations of Christian belief, practice and life, most recently published by Palgrave Macmillan represents the important contribution of a considerable number of scholars to a crucial issue: the process of ongoing change that Christian churches must undertake. Change is imperative if churches want to be faithful to their fundamental mission: to give witness to our all-merciful and loving God. The book offers a richness and variety of insights, questions and viewpoints that is impossible to summarize in a few sentences. Suffice it to say that the perspectives from which the issue of change in the churches is treated are: history and theology; society and gender; mission and world Christianity; ecumenical and interreligious dialogue; synodality and participation; ecclesiology.
The main reason that brought these scholars together under the careful guidance of Mark Chapman and Vladimir Latinovic has been the sudden death of a great theologian and friend Gerard Mannion in 2019 at just 49 years of age. It is a fitting tribute to the passion and the vision of change and most of all the magnanimity, literally the greatness of spirit, that characterized his life. As the editors of the book pointed out in the introduction, and all the contributors would wholeheartedly agree, the main legacy of Gerard’s life will be his extraordinary talent to bring an amazing variety of people together to reflect about ecclesiology, ecumenism and dialogue and to enjoy the bonds of fraternity and sorority that are at the heart of Christian faith. We thank God for this invaluable gift in the person of Gerard Mannion and may he rest in God’s eternal and loving embrace.
Gioacchino Campese cs