Black Legends and the Light of the World (Dr John Rao)
From a review by Timothy Cullen of the Remnant Newspaper:
'Those who find large historical tomes intimidating and unexciting will be pleasantly surprised by Dr. John Rao’s Black Legends and the Light of the World, recently released by The Remnant Press. This sweeping historical opus colorfully chronicles a great deal of the history of the Church and her growth while interweaving an important philosophical message which constitutes the twofold central theme of this magisterial work: “the need to take the complete message of The Word Incarnate in history seriously in order to fulfill the corrective and transforming message of Christ; and the recognition that taking that message of the Word is of supreme benefit for natural as well as for supernatural life” (p. 610).
'As Dr. Rao explains: “The full message of the Word can only be learned on the intellectual plane by a study of the pre-Christian world and the ‘Seeds of the Logos;’ through an examination of the Fathers, Late Antiquity, the Middles Ages, the Renaissance, and the Revolutionary Era; by means of consulting popes, councils, speculative and positive theology; and through meditation upon the practical mistakes that have been made by believers throughout the entire life of Christendom and the pastoral successes that their longtime labors have obtained. In short, a solid academic knowledge of the Word comes only with immersing oneself in the whole of the Tradition.” (610-11).
'Black Legends is a ringing indictment of those throughout history who would distort the true Catholic teaching so as to serve the interests of secular power, to serve the “Grand Coalition of the Status Quo,” as Dr. Rao colorfully refers to those whose eyes are on the mundane here and now as opposed to the eternal hereafter. Rhetoricians are rightly criticized not in the sometimes soporific style of some academics, but rather in a reader-friendly colloquial tone in which the author states in the first person his strongly held convictions.'
Paperback, 678 pages. Price: £24.95 plus postage
'Based on years of research, study and public presentation, this comprehensive survey of Catholic Church history is both fascinating and unique. Dr. Rao's work has always been filled with solid history and genuine insight. In this new book, he gives us a superb chronicle of the centuries of tensions and triumphs, and does so from a persuasive new perspective. This is the teacher and historian at his best.'
—Dr. David Allen White,
'Before we find ourselves in the situation in which no-one can appreciate the worth of history as a subject because no-one has read any, Dr. John Rao has intervened with this magnificent study. It assumes no previous knowledge, and can be read by anyone of good will. This should be required reading for anyone concerned about the situation in the Church and the world.'
—Dr. Joseph Shaw, University of Oxford
'We live on the edge of chaos, and meanwhile conservatives long for a world that no longer exists and liberals bounce from one thing to the next. Something categorically different is needed if we are to avoid the chaos conjured by a world of willfulness. That something different is a determination to use all of the tools that Faith and Reason offer to make the necessary transitions one at a time with the care that only supernatural hope makes possible. John Rao excels as a guide to believers in the Word incarnate who believe that the power of the supernatural to transform all of creation is by no means finished.'
—Prof. Patrick McKinley Brennan, Professor of Law
'John Rao unequivocally demonstrates what Hilaire Belloc remarked in "The Free Press" (1918) that "truth has a power of its own." Legends and myths ("black legends" and "good stories", as Rao calls them) have ultimately no power in front of Veritas, and melt like wax when exposed to the sun. Aside from ripping the veil away, Rao also identifies the motives behind the formulation of these evolving legends and myths. Black Legends is marvelous addition to the bookshelf of the thinking Catholic.'
—Prof. Benoit Roisin, Dartmouth College
'Black Legends aims at the transformation of the Word in all aspects of life—religious, philosophy, arts, science, politics, society. The result Dr. Rao calls pax Christi. Dr. Rao wants Catholics that grasp the imperative character of the Truth for transforming nature and life to honor their Creator. Nothing is of greater importance in these days of a dark age.'
—Dr. Friedrich Romig,
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