A105

New Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Teachings, History, Organization, and Activities of the Catholic Church and on All Institutions, Religions, Philosophies, and Scientific and Cultural Developments Affecting the Catholic Church from Its Beginning to the Present. Prepared by an editorial staff at the Catholic University of America. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1967.15 v. il. LC 66-22292.
Find a copy

This work acknowledges its lineage to The Catholic Encyclopedia (Preface), but it is an entirely new work. It contains some 17,000 signed articles, each with a bibliography. In the tradition of the older work the N.C.E. covers not just Catholic topics but many general subjects from a Catholic point of view. Over 4,800 scholars contributed to the work and their names and qualifications are listed in the last volume; many of them are non-Catholics. "There are, however, some startling omissions," as one reviewer points out, "Congar, Rahner, Weigel, Diekmann, Schillebeeckx, J. C. Murray, Gilson, Maritain" (Choice, IV [June, 1967], p. 390). Over 300 maps and 7,500 illustrations are included. Biography is a strong point although no living persons are included. The last volume contains an extensive bibliography of the reference and other works most frequently cited (pp. 207-26), and the computerized index compiled by Sister Claudia Carlen, I.H.M.

A comparison of the older work with the new will reveal a tendency to shorten historical articles and articles dealing with older topics. This, of course, is what one hopes for in a new work so that current issues may be treated at greater length, but it should serve to warn librarians not to discard the older work too hastily.

For extensive appraisal of the Encyclopedia's theological aspects see the American Ecclesiastical Review (CLVIII [September, 1968], pp. 161-71) and the Catholic Biblical Quarterly (XXIX [October, 1967], pp. 661-5) for the scriptural contents.

Library Journal described the articles as "uniformly excellent, both in scholarship and readability. There are fine articles on art, music and architecture and an especially complete coverage of Scholastic philosophy. The many Biblical articles, … 140 pages, make up a complete Biblical encyclopedia… . A credit to American Catholic scholarship" (Library Journal, XCII [April 15, 1967], p. 1618). Daniel Callahan, on the other hand, criticized the work for the "consistently overlooked… discrepancy between ideal and reality in Catholic life and institutions" and for its inclusion of "a vast amount of straight 'secular' material" such as anthropology and the nature of nuclear energy (New York Times Book Review, September 10, 1967, p. 8).

The ecumenical tone of the work was strongly praised by the Times Literary Supplement (September 28, 1967, p. 899).

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License