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Ave Maria Press Releases New Book by Notre Dame Theology Professor

October 14, 2010

Notre Dame, IN—For most of his professional life, University of Notre Dame
professor Lawrence Cunningham has kept notebooks filled with memories, ideas, verses, and reflections on the things that captured his attention on a given day. Now, for the first time, Cunningham has selected and compiled notes from his many volumes to comprise Things Seen and Unseen.

This window into the mind and heart of an exceptional theologian reveals insightful, spirited, and often wickedly funny commentary on the messy, comic, tragic, and ultimately beautiful realities of the diverse landscape of contemporary Catholicism. Cunningham writes in the introduction, “Keeping this log has been one of the few disciplines I have maintained with some regularity over the years. Reading journals and diaries of other people has always been a pleasure to me, so it struck me that others might like a peek into the vagrant workings of one theologian’s mind.”

Scholarly, popular, and personal in equal amounts, Things Seen and Unseen considers the legacy of such spiritual figures as Simone Weil, the interplay between religion and pop culture where Christmas and Easter are concerned, and the always difficult balance between family and work. Cunningham also addresses such thorny issues as the quality of Church leadership, the commercialization of spirituality, and the sad contrast between the ideal of Christian charity and the pettiness that can pervade everyday church life. In all things, Cunningham inspires readers with his deep love for and steadfast devotion to the Catholic Church. According to James Martin, S.J., author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, “Lawrence Cunningham is that rare person: a renowned scholar who not only writes beautifully, but whose essays, reviews, and books are useful. Reading Cunningham is like listening to an exceedingly wise, articulate, provocative, funny and, above all, compassionate man who passionately wants you to meet the God he knows so well.”

About Lawrence S. Cunningham

Lawrence S. Cunningham is the John A. O'Brien Emeritus Professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. A leading US scholar and award-winning professor, Cunningham is best known for his work in the areas of systematic theology and culture, Catholic spirituality, and Catholic saints.

Cunningham has edited or written over twenty-five books and is the Christianity editor of the forthcoming Norton Anthology of World Religions. His most recent books are Things Seen and Unseen and An Introduction to Catholicism. Cunningham has won three Catholic Press Association awards for religious writing and has been the “Booknotes” columnist for Commonweal for over ten years.

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