Rarely does a book come along that so succinctly explains the decline of modern culture, articulates a defense of the Church's teachings, and offers a hope-filled path for building a civilization grounded in Catholic truth.
In these pages, Dr. Ryan Topping does all three, pulling back the curtain on the false philosophies of the secularists and showing that in the West today the most formidable threat to freedom is not failing economies or Islam, but secularism. Our best defense, he claims, is a vibrant Catholic culture, and our best hope for creating it lies in the principles found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
This book takes you on a masterful journey through the relevant portions of the Catechism, distilling sophisticated theological concepts into words that are simple, clear, and direct, while unpacking its core teachings on faith and morals that nurture true civilizations.
In Rebuilding Catholic Culture, you'll also discover sensible ways to begin restoring Catholic culture — right now — in your own life and family, and in our larger communities as well: in the theater, the classroom, in our hospitals, and even in the public square.
This profoundly accessible book will renew your confidence in the world-transforming character of our Creed and in the potency of our Faith to shape and redefine the culture of the West.
"This book deserves to take its place among the Catholic classics."
Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P.
Prior of Blackfriars, Cambridge
"This extraordinary book should be read by every Catholic parent, pastor, educator, politician — in fact, everyone."
Author of A Father's Tale: A Novel
"This profound work of scholarship is a delight to read. It is shot through with gentle humor, and has a Chestertonian sense of paradox and irony. His exposition of the liturgy is particularly powerful."
Fr. John Saward
Oxford University, and author of Sweet and Blessed Country
"Ryan Topping wields the Catechism as a weapon of wisdom with which he demolishes the nonsense of the worldly philosophies and the sophistries they espouse."
Writer-in-Residence at the Thomas More College of Liberal Art
This book whets the appetite for more. With refreshing clarity, the writer both entertains with wit and enchants with visions of beauty and truth. The book is quite accesible without sacrificing substance, providing a solid catechesis. Through art, poetry and literature, Dr. Topping shows the breadth of Catholic culture and gives hope for its renewal. As he says eloquently, "the soul requires truth to be wrapped in the garment of beauty." Topping's book both does this and points to the Catholic Church's future witness.
This is one of the most helpful books I have read for uncovering tacit assumptions of our times, tracing their historical roots, and offering hope. Topping has a special ability to pin abstract ideas in concrete examples, making it down to earth, while at the same time, pointing to heaven. A joy to read.
This book provides a clear roadmap to all Catholics who are serious about their beliefs (or at least serious about getting serious) and want to know what next to do. Topping goes through what it is Catholics stand for in such a way that they can forge a path onward, even in a world where many say faith and God are irrelevant. He puts the faithful back in touch with their roots by going through the Catechism in a refreshingly clear way.
The writing is accessible and his insights worth committing to memory. All source material is well referenced, thus providing the readers who are emboldened by Topping's call to action with lots of choices for further reading.
This is a great read for anyone who is trying to make sense of what it is to be Catholic these days. It reads easily and it sticks with you once you're done.
Using different sections of the Catechism, Dr. Topping divides his chapters into topics such as the Creed, Sacraments, and Prayer. He then explains how these topics shaped the world once, with the hope and possibility that they will again. Each chapter also eloquently and seamlessly serves as a stepping stone to lead you to the next chapter. At first glance in the Table of Contents, one might thinks this book is just a series of essays under a common theme. Instead, it is a carefully woven tapestry that provides a fuller picture the further you read.
The book also references Vatican II heavily, which isn't shocking as the Catechism was a direct result of Vatican II. As pointed out by the author, one can see the previous influence of Catholic culture in our artwork and architecture, and even in our literature with works such as "The Lord of the Rings." However, the most interesting chapter to me concerned the family. It was both fascinating and depressing to see how far society has fa
1. On Faith: How Catholics Believe
2. On the Creed: Why Christology Matters
3. On Worship: How Liturgy Transforms
4. On Sacraments: When the World Is Enchanted
5. On Virtue: How Character Forms Conscience
6. On Law: What Love Commands
7. On the Family: How Love Grows
8. On Prayer: What Christ Pleads
About the Authors
Islam at the Gates
Reflections on the Christian Life
Catholics and the Culture War
Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know
Mystery and Destiny of the Church
Canon Law Explained
Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching