***This is just to signal a classic and a must read, and at the same time to decry the poor continuation of the debate on the Romanian editorial scene.
There have been few, if any, more challenging publications in post-communist Romania than this impressive volume on the social thought of the church. An absolute first for the theological and, for that matter, political, culture in Romania, this book comprises articles and essays (written by Orthodox and Catholic authors) that aim at analyzing the status of the complex relationship between society and the church/religious community in contemporary Romania and Europe.
Although originally intended by its Romanian editor, the professor Ioan I. Ică jr. of the University of Sibiu, to be a mere translation of a volume published in Ukrainian at Lviv in 1998, the project was gradually both enlarged and radically changed. As a result, only some of the original contributions have been kept, while many others have been added in this enriched and particularly contextualized Romanian volume.
As it is, the book represents a collection of 30 texts, arranged in 9 sections: I. On Principles (V. Soloviev, M. Vulcănescu, O. Vuia, M. Şora); II. Official Documents of the Church (Centesimus annus encyclical, 1991, and Fundamentals of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church, 2000); III. Theoretical Fundamentals (L. Padovese, A.M. Baggio, S. Bernal, P. Donati); IV. Church and State (F. Rouleau, T. Baconsky, R. Preda, T. Špidlík); V. Capitalism and Liberalism (M. Novak, M. Schooyans); VI. Globalization and its challenge (R. Dahrendorff, S. Zamagni, R. Petrella, I.I. Ică jr); VII. European Integration (O. Clément, J. Ratzinger); VIII. The Romanian Context (I.I. Ică jr, T. Langa, T. Baconsky); Diagnosis and Imagining (G. Lafont). These sections are preceded by two representative excerpts from discourses of Patriarch Teoctist of Romania and Pope John Paul II (both occasioned by the latter’s visit to Romania in 1999) and by two introductions of the editors.
***There is a rather severe contrast between this solid volume and the more recent, disappointing attempts to tackle the issue, such as, for instance, Humanitas Publishing House’s unbalanced volume „Pentru un creştinism al noii Europe” (2007). One hopes that the promising journal „Inter” will be able to carry on the discussion to better ends.