Sunday, August 4, 2013

Book Review: Catholic Dictionary by John A. Hardon, S.J.

ISBN: 9780307886347
Published: June 2013
Publisher: Image
Synopsis from publisher:
John Hardon's comprehensive, one-volume work of reference defining the key
terms of Catholicism; updated to include the most recent developments in the
Catholic Church.
Clear, concise, and faithful, with over 2,000 entries, Catholic Dictionary is the essential Catholic lexicon in the areas of faith, worship, morals, history, theology, and spirituality. Now revised to include the statements of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II, new movements and devotions, and other recent developments within Catholicism, this edition brings the legacy of Father Hardon into the contemporary era. A worthy companion to Catechism of the Catholic Church and Scott Hahn's Catholic Bible Dictionary, this book is an essential resource for the Catholic reader.


I think this book is a wonderful book for any Catholic to have around.  It explains what many Catholicism-related terms mean, and many of the definitions are in depth.  Some definitions are only a few sentences while others are multiple paragraphs, depending on how much detail is needed to explain the term.

I didn't sit down and read the book from front to back, although I was tempted to.  I did, however, spend a lot of time flipping through and reading various definitions, and I'm really impressed with this book.  I will definitely enjoy having it around, so that I can use it to look up any terms when I need to.  It's true that the Internet can often be used for those cases nowadays, and it's what I would have done before.  However, I like the idea of having this book, as sometimes it can get confusing when you look up certain terms on the Internet.  This way I can look in this book and get at least an idea of something.  Then, if I want to look at it more in depth, I can Google it.

I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting from this book, but it definitely trumped my expectations.  Even though many of the entries are relatively short, I would almost think of it as an encyclopedia than a dictionary, as most of the entries are longer than your typical dictionary entry.  They're all very good explanations for the various terms that you may hear when reading about or discussing Catholicism.

I think this is a great resource for any Catholic to have around, especially if you read a lot of Catholic literature and may come across terms you don't know.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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