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Pope John Paul II pointed out that it is through the arts that religious truths are made tangible "making perceptible...the world of the spirit, of the invisible, of God."
The Catholic Spirit: An Anthology for Discovering Faith Through Literature, Art, Film, and Music takes up this charge and presents the truths of Catholicism in the context of the arts: great artwork, literature, music, and Church writings. The Catholic Spirit sends teens on a journey through classical works like Flannery O'Connors "Parker's Back, Gerard Manley Hopkins' "God's Grandeur," Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam, and Gregorian chant, along with modern classics like "A Woman's Prayer" by Dorothy Day and films like Cool Hand Luke and On the Waterfront.
Organized around chapters that follow the structure of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the text includes primary source material from varying periods of Church history with contextual and background text to help students understand their significance.
Several additional research opportunities are included to further the students' study of the key teachings of the Church through reading, viewing, and listening to classical period pieces. An online teacher resource also indexes the material to themes in the new curriculum framework.
Among the authors and works included in the text are the following:
- Parker's Back: Flannery O'Connor
- Where God Is, Love Is: Leo Tolstoy
- Our Lady's Juggler: Anatole France
- Marble Floor: Pope John Paul II
- Letters to Abbe Belliere: St Therese of Lisieux
- Welcome Morning: Anne Sexton
- The Hint of an Explanation: Graham Greene
- God's Grandeur: Gerard Manley Hopkins
- Les Miserables: Victor Hugo (translated by Isabel Florence Hapgood)
- The Merit of a Young Priest: Yaffa Eliach
- The Trouble: J.F. Powers
- Meditation: John Henry Cardinal Newman
- Hail Mary: John Fante
- A Woman's Prayer: Dorothy Day
And Much More!