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Portraits of Spiritual Nobility

Portraits of Spiritual Nobility

By Tracey Rowland

174 pp

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About the Book

In this refreshing volume of stories, homages, and reflections, Tracey Rowland—former Dean of the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne, perceptive writer on Karol Wojtyła and Joseph Ratzinger, and an important theologian in her own right—shows us how the mysteries and morals of Catholicism can be translated into real-life models of spiritual nobility who respond to the demands of charity: “Fundamentally, chivalry is about people with strength and power using whatever gifts they have acquired from nature or education to help those weaker than themselves.” This, then, is the antithesis of the survival of the fittest.

Here we catch glimpses of the Faith permeating and elevating the lives of individuals in our day who “are not afraid to lead, not afraid to stand out from the crowd, who don’t put their own personal safety and comfort above their social responsibilities.” According to Rowland, we ought to focus more on goods of excellence than on goods of efficiency; on raising our fellows up to the heights instead of settling for the lowest common denominator. Without cultural and spiritual wealth, we are bankrupt, with nothing to offer the impoverished denizens of a world gutted of meaning. The Catholic Church will flourish again not by chasing after each passing fad in a desperate bid for relevance, but by developing anew the life-changing culture and education that was once her world-spanning beacon.


“The calm and hopeful tone of these articles by Tracey Rowland will be much appreciated at this time when the Church is widely under attack. The author is a philosopher and theologian of remarkable competence, enabling her to pose a challenge to our secular world of totalitarian political correctness and materialism which allows little space for the genuinely spiritual or for truth.”


Bishop Emeritus of Christchurch

“An insightful vademecum to adopt a Christ-like posture that sees the world with rancor-free noblesse! With elegant quill the cosmopolitan theologian Tracey Rowland sharpens our mind to discern the good and noble in life. These vignettes are most timely as we witness tectonic shifts altering irrevocably values and institutions that have underpinned civilization for the last centuries.”


University of St. Mary/Mundelein Seminary

“Besides being a theologian of international repute, Tracey Rowland is a master story-teller. This colourful collection combines the best of her many talents: deep learning, critical historiography, and dry wit. Few can spin grand narratives with ever an eye out for crucial incidentals. Rowland can. I warmly commend it.”


author of Holy Eros: A Liturgical Theology of the Body

About the Author

Tracey Rowland holds the St. John Paul II Chair of Theology at the University of Notre Dame (Australia) and is an Honorary Fellow of Campion College (Sydney) and a member of the International Theological Commission. From 2001 to 2017 she was the Dean of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family (Melbourne).

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