Dennis M. DOYLE, Timothy J. FURRY, and Pascal D. BAZZELL, editors. Ecclesiology and Exclusion: Boundaries of Being and Belonging in Postmodern Times. New York: Orbis Books, 2012. Pp. 327. $38.00 pb. ISBN 978-1-5705-982-6. Reviewed by Peter BEISHEIM, Stonehill College, North Easton, MA 02357

This is a collection of papers presented at a conference on Ecclesiology and Exclusion held at the University of Dayton in late April 2011. In light of the present day polarization and the too quick to exclude the “other” in our society and in the Catholic Church, the book is a welcome read on a terrible development. The book is dived into six parts.

The first part titled Ecclesiology and Exclusion in a Postmodern Context examines the ideas expressed in Gerard Mannion’s Ecclesiology and Postmodernity with a response by Mannion. Reading Mannion’s book would be extremely helpful in this context. In part II, Exclusion and Marginal People, three of the four papers focus naturally on immigrants, but the fourth examines exclusion and the homeless population. Part III examines Exclusion and Racial Justice with a focus on Bryan Massingale’s work, Racial Justice and the Catholic Church. Once again it would be helpful for the reader to be familiar with Massingale’s book. Part IV, Exclusion and Gender, is similarly structured a text in Phyllis Zagano’s Women & Catholicism: Gender, Communion and Authority. She, like the other authors, is provided the opportunity to respond to her paper. This section also includes a paper addressing the Church and homosexuality.

The eight papers contained in Parts V, Exclusion and the Church and VI, Exclusion and Sacramental Practices address the lived reality of actual and threatened sacramental exclusion. These sections of the text address the form of ecclesial exclusion that most people are aware of because of the public and reported conflicts between Catholic Bishops and Catholic politicians. The value of this publication is the opportunity to expand awareness and knowledge of the multidimensional facets of exclusion. The text concludes (Part VII) with papers focusing on Exclusion and Ecumenical Reality.
The reader may find that all the papers are not “equal”, in style, analysis, insight or whatever, but as a whole the focus on exclusion is timely, necessary and catalytic. The book is an excellent resource for classroom discussions, but more importantly for campus-wide discussions.