New York: Philosophical Library, 1984. First edition. Octavo, original green cloth, green top edge, original dust jacket. Minor blemishes to textblock edges. A nearly-fine copy. Item #384
CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM, AND OUR BLESSED MOTHER First edition in English of this work of Mariology by two Lebanese Carmelites—a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary as "a luminous point where Moslems and Christians may converge in brotherhood." The primary author, Fr. Nilo Geagea—clearly inspired by "Nostra Aetate (the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on the Church's Relation to Non-Christian Religions)—seeks ecumenical common ground in the text of the Koran. The text consists of three sections: Chapter One. Analysis, Chapter Two. Synthesis, Chapter Three. Conclusion. The text is accompanied by footnotes, along with an extensive Bibliography, an Index of Authors Mainly Quoted, an Index of the Main Arabic Words, and a general Index. The text was translated and edited by Fr. Geagea's fellow Lebanese Carmelite, Fr. Lawrence T. Fares. Fares prefaces the text with "A Word to the Reader" dated, "Detroit, October 11, 1982, the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Vatican II council." A short (and cautiously optimistic) Introduction by the Rev. Alex J. Brunett (of the National Association of Diocesan Ecumenical Officers) is bookended by two brief conciliar statements on the relationship between Christianity and Islam, including a short passage from Nostra Aetate: "Upon the Moslems...the Church looks with esteem. They adore one God...they also honor Mary, His virgin mother; at times they call on her, too, with devotion." The dust jacket features a portrait of Mary—seated on a prayer rug cradling an infant Jesus within the protective frame of tree and spring. The jacket drawing is reproduced as the frontispiece, along with a captioned note by the artist (Jerry McDonald, OFM) explaining the symbolism of the image. Published by the Philosophical Library, the book is unaccompanied by approbations, but the back panel prints a variety of "international comments" from (evidently all Catholic) reviewers.