Earthly Mission

The Catholic Church and World Development

By Robert Calderisi
(Yale University Press, Hardcover, 9780300175127, 278pp.)

Publication Date: October 2013

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Description

With 1.2 billion members, the Catholic Church is the world's largest organization and perhaps its most controversial. The Church's obstinacy on matters like clerical celibacy, the role of women, birth control, and the child abuse scandal has alienated many Catholics, especially in the West. Yet in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the Church is highly esteemed for its support of education, health, and social justice. In this deeply informed book, Robert Calderisi unravels the paradoxes of the Catholic Church's role in the developing world over the past 60 years.
Has the Catholic Church on balance been a force for good? Calderisi weighs the Church's various missteps and poor decisions against its positive contributions, looking back as far as the Spanish Conquest in Latin America and the arrival of missionaries in Africa and Asia. He also looks forward, highlighting difficult issues that threaten to disrupt the Church's future social role. The author's answer to the question he poses will fascinate Catholic and non-Catholic readers alike, providing a wealth of insights into international affairs, development economics, humanitarian concerns, history, and theology.




About the Author
Robert Calderisi studied at the Universities of Montreal, Oxford, Sussex and London. A 1968 Rhodes Scholar, he first visited Africa in November 1975. He has had a thirty-year career in international development, principally at the World Bank, where he held several senior positions. He is the author of" The Trouble with Africa". From 1997 to 2000, he was the Bank's international spokesperson on Africa. He has lived in France, the Ivory Coast, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and the US. He is now a consultant and writer, splitting his time between Montreal and Paris.
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