Enda McDonagh, one of Irelands most distinguished theologians, is Professor Emeritus of Moral Theology in St Patricks College, Maynooth. His contributions to theology and to Irish intellectual life in general were celebrated by his peers by a theological conference in his honour at the college in 2008. His very generous decision to contribute his entire library to the Galway and Mayo Institute of Technology was also celebrated at a weekend held in Castlebar. The contributions to both of these events are brought together in this celebratory volume.
The contributors include: Archbishop Michael Neary, John F. Deane, Nollaig O Mura?¡le, Nuala Bourke, Seán Freyne, Brendan Hoban, Stanley Hauerwas, Patrick Hannon, Charles Curran, Vincent MacNamara, Joseph OLeary, Linda Hogan, James F. Keenan SJ, Raphael Gallagher CSsR, Noel Dorr, Stanislaus Kennedy, Patrick OBrien, Anne Harkin-Petersen and Mary Gordon.
Patrick Hannon, a priest of the diocese of Cloyne, is an emeritus professor of moral theology at Maynooth. He holds a doctorate in Law from Cambridge and is a member of the Irish Bar. He was formerly chairman of the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace. Previous publications include Moral Decision Making (2005) and Moral Theology: A Reader (2006), both published by Veritas.
The book is a collection of essays, and responses to essays that further explores themes that Enda McDonagh has written and spoken about. Here too pieces by Stanislaus Kennedy, Patrick OBrien, Anne Harkin-Petersen and Mary Gordan, dealing with the marginalised with poetry and art are most interesting. It is always hard in a short space to deal with a multi-authored work. All the reviewer can really do is to urge readers to read them. To many they may provide some consolation that religion lives in the hearts of the people and not in the duplicities of those that claim to lead them.
And as for hope in the future, I am reminded (in contrast to Bergmans bleakness) of those memorable lines from G. M. Hopkins himself, which epitomise the hopes held by so many:
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings
- Peter Costello, The Irish Catholic, 11th March 2010