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Cenlamor & Miras, A Basic Course in Canon Law

April 13, 2007

I am reviewing a book for Studia Canonica (St. Paul University, Ottawa) but I am so pleased with it that I want to comment on it even before my more formal review comes out, presumably some months from now.

Available in the original Spanish, El Derecho de la Iglesia: Curso basico de Derecho canonico, 2d ed (Eunsa, 2005) 573 pages, or in Italian, Il Diritto della Chiesa: Corso di Diritto Canonico (Santa Croce, 2005), 528 pages, this is as splendid an overview of the place of law in the life of the Church as I have seen since the revised Code appeared in 1983.

Unlike many other excellent studies of modern Church law, this work, drafted by two canonists from the University of Navarra in Spain, is written not only for students of canon law, but also for the general student of ecclesiastical life, particularly theology students who, truth to tell, typically know far too little about the legal system of the great organization within which they will work.

Drs. Daniel Cenlamor and Jorge Miras write from a thoroughly modern vantage point (for example, they frequently highlight the relationship between the 1983 Code and the Second Vatican Council) but they do it in such a way that anyone familiar with the pre-conciliar tradition can immediately see how the strengths of that tradition have been preserved in modern law.

For now, let me say only: this book has to come into English, the sooner the better!

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