Gustavo GUTIÉRREZ. Spiritual Writings. Selected and with an introduction by Daniel G. Groody. Part of the Modern Spiritual Masters Series. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2011. pp. 256. $20.00 pb. ISBN 978-1-57075-947-5.
Reviewed by Andrew PREVOT, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46545.

This collection of Gustavo Gutiérrez's spiritual writings could also be described as a "Gutiérrez Reader," insofar as it touches on all the central themes of his theology. The bulk of the material is taken from well-known works already available in English. There are several short pieces that cannot be found, or would be more difficult to find, elsewhere (pp. 72-9, 106-7, 190-202, 226-56). But the novelty of the text has to do mainly with Daniel Groody's skillful reorganization of Gutiérrez's multivolume corpus into a handy, one-volume compendium.

This compact paperback could prove especially useful in theology or spirituality courses that are exposing students to Gutiérrez for the first time. The pedagogical question now will be whether to use this synopsis of his writings or to work from one or two of his books in their entirety. Whatever strategy might be preferred in this or that circumstance, it is certainly nice to have the option. The foreword by J. Matthew Ashley and the preface and introduction by Groody are valuable texts in their own right. By providing important biographical, historical, and thematic contextualization, they not only help readers interpret the selections but also make a compelling case for the abiding relevance of Gutiérrez's thought in the twenty-first century.

With this text in hand, there can be no doubt that Gutiérrez's theology and spirituality are deeply intertwined (perhaps even nearly indistinguishable). Although this claim could be defended with virtually any of Gutiérrez's major writings, Groody's composition helps one perceive the connections clearly in all of them at once—and this alone makes the book a remarkable achievement.

TO ORDER BOOKS: - Continuum - Crossroad - Eerdmans Publishing - Liturgical Press - Orbis Books