by J. DOMINIAN
Beyond die Information Given by Jerome S. Bruner (6eorge Allen & Unwin, f5.85) For a considerable period the psychological world of childhood was dominated by Freudian theory. By focusing on the Oedipus Complex not only did Freud startle the world with his sexual theories but also turned attention on a period of growth in human development which had remained absolutely obscure until then.
His dynamic theories held sway for many decades until, in the thirties, another psychologist called Piaget began his studies on the cognitive aspects of child development.
The child's growing capacity to deal with the world around it in terms of its intellectual development has been the alternative predominant theory of childhood psychology.
Cognitive psychology is attracting more and more attention, and this book brings together the extensive writings of Jerome S. Bruner, who was for many years Professor of Psychology at Harvard and is now Watts Professor of Ex= perimental Psychology at Oxford University.
Bruner has certainly been influenced by Piaget, whose thought he extends in a number of original ways. The book puts together a number of his studies centred on child development.
It should be stressed that the papers are highly technical, but would certainly hold the interest of psychologists and educationalists who are involved in this fascinating field.
The author, Fr Ripley, formerly Superior of the Catholic Missionary Society. ex-RAF chaplain and now a parish priest in Lancashire. is too well known to need introduction.
In this hook he has crowned his own many labours in the service of his Master, the GodMan Christ. His theological expertise is beyond criticism, and he has a wide pastoral experience not given to every theologian.
Every Catholic, clerical or lay, ought to read this book. In no other can he so clearly and pleasantly revise the teaching and practice of the Faith, as he is bound to do from time to time. It is not too much to say that many a sermon which says too little in too many obscure words could be improved in presentation and content if the preacher, in preparing it, had a look at this book.
The laity are seeking the true teaching of the Church amid the obscuring fogs of false teaching and misty verbiage. They will find it here.
Since the Catholic Religion is
life to he lived and not just an association to which one lends One's name, Fr Ripley is right to call his book—This Is The Faith. For in it he explains with great clarity and simplicity of language, all the theory and practice of the life of practising Catholics. This is a remarkable achievement in a little over 300 pages.
All through he shows the derivation of doctrine and Catholic practice by constant reference to the Bible and to the teaching of the great Councils -notably that of Trent and Vatican I and II — together with the constant instructions imparted to the faithful by the Vicar of Our Lord.
There are two appendices: one which forms a remarkable survey of the life and trials and triumphs of the Church century by century, and the other a compressed statement of the great heresies which have opposed Truth since the first ages of the Church.
This is an excellent hook, but — what is better — it is also a very useful book which can enlighten and strengthen our faith in practice, and at the same time prove of considerable help to those outside the Church who are seeking God. It is not too much to say that every Catholic family should possess a -opy. and read it.