Zaccheus Press--A New Book from a New Publisher


I arrived home yesterday to find waiting for a me a delightful surprise. I had just received a copy of a new book from an new Catholic Publisher--Zaccheus Press.

Being the inveterate reader I am, I couldn't wait to plunge into A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist by Abbot Vonier. Also being an editor, I couldn't resist taking in the overall package. And let me say I am extremely pleased.

Generally I've become used to preconciliar books being published in less-than-handsome volumes. For example nearly everything of St. Louis de Montfort and St Alphonsus di Liguori is published in editions that have 19th century typefaces--crowded, dark-looking, fragmented letters, relatively poor printing. Don't get me wrong--no matter what the typeface or printing quality these volumes are worth having. Sophia Press, on the other hand produces some very handsome, but often bowdlerized and reedited versions of classic works.

The editor of this work assures me that it is completely intact. It has not been abridged, although spellings have been changed to conform to modern American English usage and a few other things have been updated. The most distressing thing about Sophia Press materials is the insistence upon eliminating that most valuable tool for any study, apologetic, or reference usage--the index. Contra Sophia's policy, the editors at Zaccheus have done the laborious work of adding an index to Abbot Vonier's book.

I haven't read the entire work--it is slow going, requiring some careful reading and thoughtful consideration. Moreover, I am not competent to judge the contents of the work. However, it is sufficient to me to know that Avery Cardinal Dulles considers the work "essential," Peter Kreeft recommends it to our attention and Father Aidan Nichols, O.P. gives it a resoundingly solid introduction.

If you are interested in understanding Catholic Doctrine, I recommed that you look at this book. While densely packed and written, the prose is exemplary of the clarity that often accompanied the best work of the eary Twentieth Century--Fr. Knox, Fr. Benson, Hillaire Belloc, and C.S. Lewis.

Moreover, apart from any considerations of the merits of the individual work, the foundation of another press dedicated to publishing solid Catholic works and explications of Catholic thought must be greeted by at least a small welcoming cheer. And a book so handsomely produced as this--well-bound with good cover and solid introductory and concluding materials is a welcome addition to any library.

Check it out at their site. The price is reasonable and the book has been so far very enlightening and very interesting. In addition to being a guide to the understanding of Catholic thought concerning the eucharist it also makes for a very interesting introduction to a small portion of Thomistic thought. Well worth your time and attention. And the publisher is interested in feedback to help him continue to improve the books he is presenting. So buy, read, and comment in order to get the kind of Catholic Books you want to see in the future.

Later: (Note for Erik). Fr. Nichols refers to Abbot Vonier's work as a "semiotic" theology of the Eucharist. I thought you might find that interesting, seeing as he likely was ignorant of Saussure but contemporary. This work is slightly later than The Course which, if I recall is 1916, 1918.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on January 7, 2004 4:04 AM.

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