by PETER GRACE
AUCKLAND — The 10th book in a Dominican Series was launched at St Columba Centre in Auckland on September 25.
The book, From North to South: Southern Scholars Engage with Edward Schillebeeckx, consists of eight chapters contributed by four New Zealand and four Australian theologians.
Edward Schillebeeckx, born 1914 and died 2009, was a Dominican priest and theologian. His output, surveyed in various bibliographies, has been the subject of many studies and controversies.
Jo Ayers, of niche New Zealand publisher Accent Publications, thanked everyone for attending and outlined the format of the evening.
The editor and several New Zealand authors — Sr Helen Bergin, OP, Fr John Dunn and Fr Neil Darragh — spoke about their contributions to the book. Sr Helen was editor and also contributed a chapter. Attendees were told that the other New Zealand contributor, Fr Phillip Gibbs, was in Papua New Guinea.
Sr Helen outlined the genesis of the book. She had been a fan of Schillebeeckx for a long time, she said — as had Frs Darragh and Dunn.
“Because we used to bring Edward Schillebeeckx up in conversation quite often, we decided, ‘Why don’t we do something like contribute a chapter to a book’?” she said.
It had taken four years, but From North to South was the result.
“We have taken Schillebeeckx’s theology and said, ‘How can we do something that’s theology and do something slightly different than if you were in the Northern Hemisphere’?” she said. The book was a lot of fun, Sr Helen said.
After Sr Helen and Frs Dunn and Darragh had spoken, the CEO of the publisher ATF, Hilary Regan, spoke.
The evening ended with a few words and a prayer from the Bishop of Auckland, Bishop Patrick Dunn, the blessing of books and light refreshments.