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March 14, 1965 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 1965-03-14
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THE MIND OF THE CATHOLIC LAYMAN
by Daniel Callahan. Charles Schrib-
ner's Sons. New York. $1.45. 208 pp.
"THE LAYMAN is called upon to be
vigorous courageous and out-spoken
in secular society-but he is rarely en-
couraged (though he may be permitted)
to be any of these things within the
Church itself. He is told that the Church
approves of the kind of give and take
which prevails in American life-but he
finds that it is hesitant to allow it with-
in the Church." This passage gives, in
a general way, some idea of the conflict
confronting the contemporary Catholic
layman concerning his position in the
Church and his social obligations as a
Catholic. Daniel Callahan's primary aim
in "The Mind of the Catholic Layman"
is to give an analysis of the causes and
nature of this contemporary dissatisfac-
tion on the part of the layman and to
suggest several interrelated means of
resolution which might be acceptable to
laity and clergy alike.
Callahan's approach to the problem is
through a carefully documented histor-
ical analysis of the development, in this
country, of the Catholic Church and the
layman's position within it.
One of the central 'elements of the
present conflict is the nature of the
Catholic hierarchical structure, which is
very often extremely wary of lay inter-
ference in clerical affairs. And, while
highly efficient, its authoritarian and
unreceptive attitude toward lay sugges-
tions, critical or otherwise, has a stulti-
fying effect on the initiative of many lay-
men to support the Church, either finan-
cially or by engaging in Church controlled
Social activity, such as teaching in paro-
chial schools.
Callahan considers this situation to be
the result of two causes. First, the abuses
of the trustee system, through which the
laity did have a good deal of influence,
in the first half of the last century, led
to a drastic reaction on the part of the
Church, which instituted a strict hierar-
chical system from which the laity was
completely excluded. Second, the enor-
mous waves of Catholic immigrants in
the last century and the first two decades
of this century necessitated an efficient
administrative structure in order to ade-
quately carry out even the minimum re-
igious duties of the Church.
Callahan points out that the fact that.
the Catholic Church in America grew
mainly out of these mass immigrations
?xplains to a great extent why the criti-
cisms voiced now by laymen have been
aeard only. rarely before this time. The
Catholic immigrant, usually uneducated
and poor, was only too ready to rely
wholeheartedly upon the parish priest as
a mode of stability and identification in
his new home. Thus arose the Catholic
ghettos in the large Eastern cities, where
the parish priest was looked upon as a
social and economic advisor, as well as
the servant of their religious needs. The
immigrant had neither the means nor the
inclination to question the priest's au-
thority in both secular and religious mat-
ters. Thus, the attitude of the immigrant
only served to support, if not in com-
mission then in omission, the Church's
authoritarian position.
However, with the advent of immigra -
tion laws, the Church has no longer to
deal primarily with an uneducated laity,
underprivileged both socially and eco-
nomically. Since the twenties an educated
generation of Catholics has emerged
which has become integrated with the
Protestant majority; it no longer is de-
pendent socially, economically or intel-
lectually on the immigrant "community."
It is the members of this generation who
are presently expressing dissatisfaction

with their role in the Church. Often the1
layman is as well, if not better, educated
than his parish priest, and he finds no
special reason for considering the priest'sT
opinion on non-religious issues to be bet-
ter than that of a layman specialist. Fur-
ther, the educated layman sees no reason
why he should be excluded from theo-
logical controversy within the Church.
The above sketch of the problem might
lead one to think that Callahan is simply
saying that the cause of the present situ-
ation is the fact that the Church has not
adequately adapted to the rapidly chang-
ing needs of the laity, If this is all he is
saying, then he of course would be giv-
ing an explanation, but neither a novel
nor terribly informative one. And he is
the first to recognize this. This book is
an extremely detailed analysis of the
social, political and economic forces
which have produced the state of affairs
sketched out above.
"The Mind of the Catholic Layman" is
a very valuable book for anyone interest-
ed in the problem it deals with. Needless
to say, many Catholics are concerned with
this problem.
However, I think that many non-Catho-
lics would find this a useful and interest-
ing book. An understanding of the de-
velopment, and present state, of the
American Church is all but necessary to
an understanding of the rationale behind
the Church's position on such contem-
porary public problems as aid to educa-
tion. Further, Catholic theology is in the
main much better understood by the non-
Catholic than is the actual Church struc.-
ture and clergy-laity relationship, which,
contrary to usual opinion, can vary con-
siderably from sub-culture to sub-culture,
as well as from one culture to another.
The Catholic Church today is not the
monolithic structure of opinion which
many non-Catholics take it to be.
-W. J. McLaughlin
THE MOVEMENT: Documentary of a
Struggle for Equality. Text by Lor-
raine Hansberry. Simon and Schuster.
New York. 1964. 127 pages. $1.95.
"ON FEBRUARY 1, 1960, four Negro
students sat- down at the 'white
only' lunch counter of the Woolworth
store in Greensboro, North Carolina.
What followed is changing the entire
nation." These are the words of Lorraine
Hansberry, principal writer of "The
Movement;" what follows her words is
a documentary yearbook of the nation's
civil rights campaign, complete with pic-
tures and text.
Editorially, the book can be called a
near success. Although Miss Hansberry's
writing maintains, for the most part, a
control and a certain objectivity ex-
pected of a journalistic approach, this ob-
pectivity is understandably hard to come
by, as any witness of the struggle can
attest. Occasionally, the book's pace is
broken, and an underlying bitterness in
the form of sarcasm betrays itself.
Italicized quotations from various
speakers and workers involved in the
fight for "Freedom NOW" often empha-
size her point even more cogently than
she can. Journals and letters of jailed
demonstrators, speeches by "Movement"
leaders, writings by old-time abolition-
ists-all contribute to an editorial cur-
rent that runs parallel to the many
photographs.
The photographic content of "The
Movement" comes from several sources,
but Danny Lyon deserves special com-
mendation. His work exceeds the thres-
hold technical requirements for docu-
mentary photography and at times
breaks into something close to artistry.
Overall, the photography in "The
Movement" ranges from good to excel-
lent. If nothing else, the book provides a
graphic presentation of a race-its faces,
its emotions, its customs.
The book suffers occasionally from the
inclusion of symbolic, uncaptioned pho-
tographs of public officials and authority
figures. There is an assumption of evil
in a picture of a Mississippi cop which
is unjustifiable in a documentary.
Miss Hansberry sums up the book
photographically and editorially in her
closing remarks:

They stand in the hose fire at Bir-
mingham; they stand in the rain at
Hattiesburg. They are young, they
are beautiful, they are determined.
It is for us to create, now, an
America that deserves them.
-Robert B. Ellery

THE ERIC DOLPHY MEMORIAL ALBUM.
Vee-Jay 2503.
THE TRAGEDY of an untimely death
of an important artist is usually
compounded by the deluge of unrepre-
sentative, poorly prepared material that
producers release to the public. In this
case, however ,the Vee-Jay people have
provided listeners with a good, sometimes
excellent collection of work by the late
Eric Dolphy.
Dolphy was one of the only original
instrumentalists jazz has produced in the
sixties. A tireless experimenter, - Dolphy
had been one of the prime movers in
the current avante garde movement dub-
bed the "New Thing." He was one of the
first to try to unlock jazz from the
overworked framework it has fallen into.
Unlike his bop, neo-bop and post-bop
predecessors, Dolphy employed a harsh
tone, the bass clarinet and multi-ton-
ality; but his major influence perhaps,
was his insistence in the belief that
contemporary musicians should be inter-
ested in all music, and that the goal of
the improvisor was to create rather than
incorporate. What Dolphy played was
music. He left the labeling up to others.
This collection, apparently one of his
last recording sessions before his death
in Europe last December at age 36, show-
cases Dolphy in three different settings

on three different instruments.
On Fats Wallers' "Jitterbug Waltz,"
Dolphy is heard on flute with a quintet.
The rhythm is scattered, the texture
thin, and the two together provide a
thick haze that proves to be a menace
to the soloists. Only trumpeter Woody
Shaw, Jr., manages to emerge over Eddie
Kahn's over-recorded bass.
"Music Matador" fares a 'ittle better.
Here, Dolphy's bass clarinet soars, growls
and honks its way in rollicking fashion
over - the calypso framework. Altoist
Sonny Simmons and flutist Prince Lasha
also have bright moments. They follow
Dolphy's lead with exciting, intense solo
spots.
The second side of the album, how-
ever, is of real significance, a great tri-
bute to Dolphy's artistry. "Alone Toge-
ther" is a thirteen minute tour-de-force
duet by only Dolphy and bassist Richard
Davis. It is a remarkable unfolding of
Dolphy's musical philosophy and virtuo-
sity. It seems to encompass the: entire
Dolphy, and it is probably the most val-
uable work by him that has been thus
far released.
The final number "Love Me" finds
Dolphy unaccompanied on alto saxo-
phone. It is at times eerie, wonderfully
warm, angry, lilting, humorous. It ends
with a groan.
.-David Berson

Vol. VI, No. 6

Sunday, March 1 4, 1965

MAGAZ IN E

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The Theology of Tillich

(Continued from page seven)
the God beyond all our comfortable cer-
tainties and "beliefs." He is the only real
God, who is Nameless, and who appears
when all our "faith" has been dissolved in
desperation and meaninglessness. "The
courage to be," says Tillich, "is rooted
in the God who appears when God has
disappeared in the anxiety of doubt."
("Courage To Be," 190)
While this may sound at first like
double-talk, it is really a profound state-'
ment of Tillich's concern to open the
eyes of modern men to the God beyond
supernaturalism (theism). True faith in
God, for Tillich, does not consist in what
we believe about God or in our capacity
for believing something at all. Rather,
it is "the state of being grasped by the
God beyond God .. .. It is the situation
on the boundary of man's possibilities. It
is this boundary . . . . It is without a
name, a church, a cult, a theology. But it
is moving in the depth of all of them. It
is the power of being, in which they par-
ticipate and of which they are fragmen-
tary expressions." (Ibid., 189. See the
whole section "Theism Transcended," pp.
182-90)
Why should one open himself to this
God of the depths, who shatters our com-
fortable "religious" securities, dissolves
the content of our pet doctrines, makes
us depend on His possession of us rather
than our possession of Him, and breaks
down all our possibilities of being super-
ior to others?
The answer is that the God of theism
is of our own creation, projected from our
own need to defend ourselves against the
insecurity of being finite, and our only

real hope must lie in the "God beyond
God," who is the ground and depth of
life itself. The best name for the Ultimate
God, Tillich suggests, may simply be
"Hope:"
The name of this infinite and inex-
haustible ground of history is 'God.'
That is what the word means, and it
is that to which the words 'Kingdom
of God' and 'Divine Providence' point.
And if these words do not have much
meaning for you, translate them, and
speak of the depth of history, of the
ground and aim of our social life,
and of what you take seriously with-
out reservation in your moral and
political activities. Perhaps you
should call this depth hope, simply
hope. For if you find hope in the
ground of history, you are united
with the great prophets who were
able to look into the depth of their
times, who tried to escape it, be-
cause they could not stand the hor-
ror of their visions, and who yet had
the strength to look to an even deep-
er level and there to discover hope.
("The Shaking of the Foundations,"
p. 59)
Many are not sure if. hope is possible
in our times, and the traditional re-
ligious symbols by which past ages were
able to perceive the ground of hope have
lost their power for many people. Tillich
knows that hope is not easy for modern
men. But he believes that hope is es-
sential for man's life and that hope is
still possible. His work of theological re-
construction is a monument to his faith
that modern men are still willing to
enter the depths to recover hope.

~1
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Page Eight THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

4.

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