How the Church has changed the world

by Anthony Esolen

Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism



This book was a gift from a friend of mine. Most especially I love the title of the book as the Catholic Church has provided the backbone of many people’s lives. It is the glue that holds us all together in the realization of the good that goes on around us and how people make the choice to include God most sincerely in their lives. This book is Volume I of a series, it covers December 2013-2015 of a new column called “How the Church Has Changed the World”. It is a beautiful compilation of Professor Anthony Esolen. This volume which comprises the first two years of the column, responds to a steady flow of requests to make his essays available again. They are back, as the saying goes, by popular demand. These 25 essays touch on the arts and sciences, civilian life and government, the realm of ideas and practical works of mercy. The Church, according to Professor Esolen displays how the Church is truly the leaven and the soul of human society in its renewal by Christ and transformation into the family of God (Gaudium et Spes).


The book is one that can be read in vignettes or in total as the stories make the reader want for more. It is a wonderful book to give to another as it is a way to evaluate one’s life and move forward with the Holy Spirit in bringing the goodness of the Church to all. It includes struggles, temptations and constant reflection on how people figure out their lives with Christ. In a world that is often filled with frenetic energy, these vignettes give us an opportunity to live a life in union with the Holy Spirit each day for the moments we need to connect with our God.

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