Barry Hudock's account of the life and work of John Courtney Murray shows that the development of Catholic teaching on religious liberty cannot be reduced to abstract, numbered paragraphs in an encyclical or catechism. It is a riveting story of clashing personalities, impossible possibilities, and hope against all hope. It is the story of the Holy Spirit at work in the church.
M. Cathleen Kaveny, Darald and Juliet Libby Professor, Boston College
This is an extraordinarily important bookarguably the most important study of the thought and influence of John Courtney Murray in forty years. Hudock elucidates how Murray's contribution to North American and world Catholicism transcends the tired political labels of our time, so that both Catholic "liberals" and "conservatives" have benefited from his forceful defense of religious liberty and freedom of conscience. A must read.
Mark Massa, SJ, Dean and Professor of Church History, School of Theology and Ministry, Boston College
Fifty years after the declaration Dignitatis Humanae of Vatican II was promulgated and during a time of debate on religious liberty in the United States, Barry Hudock's book on John Courtney Murray provides readersand especially American Catholicswith a valuable contribution for understanding not only the issue of freedom but also the key role of theology and theologians for the church and for our society at large.
Massimo Faggioli, Author of Sorting Out Catholicism: A Brief History of the New Ecclesial Movements, Director, Institute for Catholicism and Citizenship, University of St. Thomas
Barry Hudock's book offers a much-needed retrieval and a clear synthesis of the distinctive American contribution that John Courtney Murray's ideas on religious freedom made to the church and to the global community of nations. At a time when religious freedom has reemerged as a key and controversial issue within the United States and around the world, Hudock's timely study of Murray's work unquestionably demonstrates that the subject of religious freedom cannot be reduced to yard signs or sound bites. . . . A must-read for all entrusted with the power and responsibility to wrestle with the difficult task of reconciling religion and society and Church and State relations, especially theologians, bishops, political leaders, and judges.
Miguel H. Diaz, PhD, US Ambassador to the Holy See, Ret., John Courtney Murray University Chair in Public Service, Loyola University Chicago
In Struggle, Condemnation, Vindication, Barry Hudock sets readers straight about how recently the Catholic church came to accept religious freedom at all, and the fierce battles that preceded such acceptance. He weaves several plotlines into his narrative of the months and years leading up to the passage of Dignitatis Humane, [and] concludes that understanding the truth about God and God's revelation to humanity is sometimes a struggle,' even for those whose job it is to discern it.' Somebody should send a copy of this book to each of the U.S. Bishops."
Marian Ronan, National Catholic Reporter
Concerned that most younger Catholics are unfamiliar with Murray and his achievement, Hudock wants to make Murray's work better known to them and to the larger community. This is a valuable book for anyone interested in Murray, but I think it will be especially so to readers new to the man, for whom it will serve as a good introduction.
William Gould, Fordham University, Journal of Jesuit Studies