Principles of Change by Kristina R. Olsen

Principles of Change by Kristina R. Olsen

Principles of Change: Teresa of Avila’s Carmelite Reform and Insights from Change Management

Kristina R. Olsen

This book draws from organizational change management principles to examine Teresa of Avila’s 16th-century reform of the Carmelite Order. During the last twenty years of her life, Teresa addressed the problems she saw in the Carmelite monasteries of her day, including ineffective administration, overcrowding, and laxity in spiritual practices. By returning to the original purpose and written Rule of the Carmelite founders, Teresa launched a reform of the Carmelite Order using principles similar to those used in change management and information technology (IT) adoption today. This book examines her reform in light of change management theory and practice, in order to shed light on what made her reform successful and how we might apply her approach to the management of change in spiritual and secular organizations today.

Paperback $14.95 | Kindle $9.99

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OTHER ACADEMIC BOOKS

Principles of Change by Kristina R. Olsen

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Principles of Change by Kristina R. Olsen

The Battle for the 20th Century Mind by Ronda Chervin

The Battle for the 20th Century Mind

by Ronda Chervin

TBA
 
 
Paperback: $19.95 | Kindle: $9.99

Reviews

A review of Dr. Ronda Chervin’s, The Battle for the 20th Century Mind (St. Luis, MO: En Route Books and Media, 2022) by Francis Etheredge

Ronda Chervin sets out her course through the 20th Century as a dialogue between notable pairs and herself; however, on occasion there is more than a notable pair. Chervin begins the book with James Dewey (1842-1910) and William James (1842-1910) and ends it with Albert Camus (1913-1956) and C. S. Lewis, which makes it slightly out of sequence as she precedes these two with Sartre (1905-1980) and St. John Paul II. I not only like and admire the range of her “pairs” but appreciate, too, her plan to recover from her “opponents” what he or she has to offer. In this same style of pithy comment and argument Chervin proceeds promptly and at a reasonable pace through her period companions. Each person is introduced within the framework of a reasonably brief but apposite cameo and, as far as one can tell, a fair assessment, neither omitting nor exaggerating key facts and works. Furthermore, there are often a range of excerpts from the people under consideration and, therefore, Chervin’s book starts to serve the purpose of a reader, too: a book giving actual samples of a variety of works.

The book as a whole, we begin to realize, is not a strictly chronological account of thinkers through the 20th Century; rather, it is thematic, introducing us to a range of themes and thinkers, beginning with “Religion of Experience vs. Religion of Doctrine” and ending with “Evil as Proof of Atheism vs. God as the Answer to Suffering”. At the same time, Chervin provides a variety of resources to help the interested reader or actual student of philosophy, giving a mixture of primary and secondary sources. There is a particularly attractive set of excerpts from the work of St. Edith Stein which pertains very much to the present day need to understand the equality and complementarity of the sexes; and, in a different but equally exemplary way, there is the prolife work of Joan Andrews. In other words, this book easily suffices as an introduction to both the general reader and to the student who needs an overview of the background to contemporary thought.

While Chervin specifically recommends another of her books on ethics (cf. p. 116) there are excerpts and themes which apply, directly or indirectly to human nature and moral action; for instance, as regards those who want to permit euthanasia or even seek it, there is the work of Viktor Frankl, who ‘thought there were many layers where illness could arise, and that one of them was due to failure to find meaning in life’ (p. 100). Furthermore, there is a substantial treatment of the theme of freewill vs determinism with numerous excerpts from von Hildebrand.

In general, however, this book would work well with one of the many introductions to “perennial philosophy”, the philosophy that integrates truth with truth throughout the ages and constantly draws on reality as it exists, not confusing “what is the effect of the fall of man” with what in fact points to the enduring reality to be redeemed. At the same time, we could say, the book tends towards the possibility of a new synthesis, taking from each author what can be recognized as part of a renewed understanding of the nature of reality and the human person.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ronda Chervin has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Fordham University and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. She is a convert to the Catholic faith from a Jewish but atheistic background. She has been a professor at Loyola Marymount University, St. John’s Seminary of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Our Lady of Corpus Christi, and Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut. More than sixty books of hers have been published by Catholic presses in the area of philosophy and spirituality. Dr. Ronda presents on EWTN and Catholic radio. Her many books include Quotable Saints, Seeking Christ in the Crosses & Joys of AgingCatholic Realism and Voyage to Insight.

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Paperback $19.95 | Kindle $9.99

Review of the First Edition

“The Teilhard Review — A Journal Bridging Science and Religion”
Autumn 1993 (Book Review Section–page 33 – Reprinted from Author’s website)

Coinciding with the preceding book review, [note: other books were reviewed in this British publication] the arrival of this book from America also pursues the quest for “ultimate explanations”. This approach however, is through the development of philosophy, culminating in Teilhard de Chardin. I am going to straight away nail my colours to the mast, and say that I feel this book provides what we all need so much at the present moment, namely, an advanced primer to Teilhard’s thought. Provenzano, who works at the California Institute of Technology, focuses his book on getting philosophy to measure up to providing answers to the “Big Questions”–What is it all about? How should we live? The criteria that he uses to examine each philosopher’s stance are:

  1. A philosophy should rest on a fundamental insight that is intuitively pleasing.
  2. A philosophy should be internally consistent.
  3. It should not contradict the findings of modern science.
  4. It should reinforce the notion of the importance of the individual person.

With these criteria in mind, he commences to chart the evolutionary development of philosophy from Thales in the seventh century B.C. to Aquinas, Kant, Darwin, Kierkegaard, and Ayer in the twentieth. All in all, he examines thirty three major philosophers en route. But, he leaves the “piece de resistance” to the last–Teilhard de Chardin who he maintains, provides a breakthrough in relating philosophy to the “Big Questions”. He provides an immediately understandable portrayal of the key concepts of Teilhard’s thought and of its implications. This summary is without doubt the clearest that I have read on Teilhard. He then continues in truly evolutionary manner, to develop those concepts a little further into what he calls, The Philosophy of Conscious Energy. This he bases on four assumptions:

  1. The Law of Consciousness and Complexity is the most fundamental law in the universe.
  2. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the universe except energy, in one form or another.
  3. The transformation of energy from one form to another, sometimes results in differences so great that the two forms are actually two distinct states of energy. This transformation must be thought of as a change of state.
  4. All “laws” are potentially state dependent as a consequence.

From here he moves out to chart his philosophical system as moving through four states of evolutionary development–from Radiation to Matter, to Conscious Energy to Self–Conscious Energy. He applies his criteria (see above) to his own philosophical thought and makes therefore very clear links with everyday living. This ranges from putting the social crimes current in our lives such as drugs, into an explanatory context of consciousness–(because society has reached a state of higher consciousness, some wish to reduce consciousness and this is evil at a higher state)–to understanding the reason for evil; to explaining the drive for scientific research; to understanding God’s “composition”; to the immortality of the soul. In short, a mind blowing book, yet very practical in its charting of implications, an extremely rare combination.

Reviewer: Tom Baxter, editor

TESTIMONIALS

“The Philosophy of Conscious Energy provides a way to understand how an immortal soul, as understood by Scripture and theology, could emerge through an evolutionary process. That’s because it is a process of increasing consciousness and complexity guided by God, who is the author of the Law of Consciousness and Complexity.” — Deacon Ron Morgan (2021)

“Provenzano has written an interesting and thought-provoking book on a fascinating part of philosophy, namely consciousness.  I benefited greatly from his summary and categorization of the main philosophers in history which comprises the first half of the book.” — Dave Palmer (2021), Dave Palmer Summa Theologica YouTube Channel

“[Provenzano] provides an immediately understandable portrayal of the key concepts of Teilhard’s thought and of its implications. This summary is without doubt the clearest that I have read on Teilhard.” — Editor, The Teilhard Review (1993)

“According to Provenzano, ‘What is it all about?’ and ‘How should we live?’ are the ‘Two Big Questions’ philosophy should answer if it is to benefit the human race…Conscious Energy is a challenging and thought-provoking work that once again places ‘The Two Big Questions’ at the center of philosophical inquiry.” — Bodhi Tree Bookstore, Los Angeles (1996)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joe Provenzano has an M.S. in physics. He has spent much of his life studying the great philosophical thinkers and the tough philosophical and theological questions. Joe also authored How to Believe in God and Science — In Three Easy Steps and co-authored The Fallen Angel Model — Deeper into the Mysteries with Deacon Ron D. Morgan and Dan R. Provenzano (Joe’s son) who has a Ph.D. in physics. Joe may be reached at joepro@proandsons.com

The Scientist — Dan R. Provenzano has a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology. Dan works with lasers and fiber optic sensors.

danpro3@gmail.com

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by Dr. Michael J. Healy

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TESTIMONIALS

“Professor Michael Healy has prepared a very accessible and usable introduction to the thought of Pope John Paul II which students and teachers alike–and even the interested general reader–will find to be a very good beginning in trying to understand and appreciate the author of one of the most profound and prolific teaching pontificates in the history of the Church. One would have to plow through many volumes to acquire what careful reading and study of this volume alone provides. Not least, the “primer” provides a clearer idea of what the student of John Paul II’s thought should go on to acquire and study.” – Dr. Kenneth D. Whitehead

“Karol Wojtyła was very gifted as a speaker but, alas, when he made philosophy he was extremely technical and rigorous. So much so that a familiar story in the milieu of Cracow was that all priests who in life had neglected their intellectual formation, before entering in Heaven, should have to pass an examination on The Acting Person (the philosophical masterpiece of Wojtyła). For some of them it might take even one hundred years. Now their task has been enormously facilitated (and their penance correspondingly cut short) by this “primer” of Prof. Michael Healy Sr.. Prof Healy has assimilated the spirit of Wojtyła so much in depth that he succeeds in rendering it in a smooth, plain and easy expression. He is really the St. John the Baptist of Wojtyła : he prepares the way leading to our author and makes the paths straight. The book is good for the students who try to find a path leading into the complex conceptual construction of Wojtyła but is useful also to advanced scholars who want to better appreciate the particular and inimitable flavor of Wojtyła’s philosophy.” – Dr. Rocco Buttiglione

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Michael J. Healy served as Dean of the Faculty (chief academic officer) under Fr. Michael Scanlan, TOR (President) at Franciscan University of Steubenville from 1986-2000. During the 2002-2003 academic year, he served as interim president of Ave Maria College while on leave of absence from Franciscan University. He then returned to Franciscan to resume his position as full professor of philosophy, where he specializes in philosophy of the person, ethics, existentialism, and philosophy of religion. He has a special love for Kierkegaard, von Hildebrand, and Wojtyla interpreted in light of and in dialogue with the philosophia perennis. His favorite author in the Thomistic tradition is Josef Pieper. His favorite course is The Nature of Love, wherein he uses the works of all four of the above. Dr. Healy earned his B.A. from Loyola University of Los Angeles (1972, now Loyola Marymount University) and his M.A. (1975) and Ph.D. (1978) from the University of Dallas.

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TESTIMONIALS

“What is knowledge? If you think there is an easy answer to this question, then you have not read Plato, and you have certainly not read Plato‘s notoriously intricate and profound dialogue Theaetetus. This commentary—learned but not pedantic, Christian but not sectarian, rigorous but not stifling, profound but not obscure—is like having a master teacher and philosopher at your side as you read.” – Thaddeus Kozinski, author of Words, Concepts, Reality: Aristotelian Logic for Teenagers

“While The Theaetetus is not one of Plato’s most popular works in the standard repertoire of philosophical study, the topics dealt with in this dialogue could not be more timely in a culture of relativistic attempts at thought. Opinion, knowledge, truth, falsehood, being, wonder and whether ‘man is the measure of all things’ are all topics of eminent importance now (as always), and Spun’s commentary is the perfect guide to this dialogue, those profound ideas, and the answers developed by later thinkers.” – Matthew D’Antuono, author of A Fool’s Errand, The Wise Guy and the Fool, and Philosophy Fridays

“Alfred North Whitehead has stated that all philosophy since Plato is a series of footnotes on his thinking. Brandon Spun has provided an important footnote in plumbing the depths of Plato’s Theaetetus. His meticulous scholarship offers the reader an effective antidote in combating the relativism and skepticism that has captured today’s universities.” – Dr. Donald DeMarco, author of In Praise of Life and How to Flourish in a Fallen World

“Brandon Spun’s Three Acts about Plato’s Dialogue the Theaetetus is a masterpiece. It is erudite, clear, interesting and as delightful to read as it will be delightful to teach. I highly recommend it to students, philosophy teachers, and anyone eager to learn more about Plato and about truth.” – Dr. Ronda Chervin, Ph.D., emerita Professor of Philosophy, Holy Apostles College and Seminary, and author of numerous books about Catholic thinking.

“The famous quote from Socrates: ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’, has special application to this commentary by Brandon Spun on Plato’s Dialogue ‘Theaetetus’, in which Socrates begins to examine the question “What is knowledge?” For us humans to live is to know. So, in the context of this question what Socrates affirms might just as well be put: ‘The knowledge that we acquire without subjecting its fundamental meaning to intelligent examination (and in debate with others, to cross examination, as Socrates insisted on) is not worth knowing’. That is what Socrates, Plato and Aristotle meant by engaging in philosophy. The sad situation of modern education, then, has to be that the mountain of scientific and technical knowledge that we have accumulated, useful as it may be in particular ways, but lacking not just wisdom but even a desire for it (philo-sophia), is truly not worth knowing in the condition in which we possess it. At the end we ask: what does it all mean for human life? That is why modern ‘educated’ youth feel so frustrated, and rebellious. This does not mean that there is no worth in such science and technology, but it needs to be grounded on the more fundamental knowledge of wisdom. That is what the whole effort of the Socratics was about. More relevantly to the Christian, we know that even these geniuses cannot carry us to the knowledge that finally satisfies. It is only by our Christian Faith (and grace) that we can have practical wisdom, even at the level of reason, concerning the meaning of life and how we should live, as Aquinas shows.  Socrates only begins the examination, which is what Aristotle meant by Dialectic. But the aim of philosophy is to obtain what true knowledge is. The point of Socrates’s statement is that if we do not seek, we will not find. As for embarking on the particular enquiry regarding the nature of knowledge, Plato’s Dialogue is as good a place to start as any. If Brandon’s book does nothing more than encourage us, especially our youth, to recover Socrates’ desire to examine what is most important in life to understand, then it has done a great service.” – Dr. Donald Boland, author of Economic Science and St. Thomas Aquinas: On Justice in the Distribution and Exchange of Wealth and The Thomist Tradition: Avoiding Scylla and Charybdis

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

​Brandon Spun was born in Penn Valley, PA during a snowstorm in February. He grew up on Long Island, NY, and received an undergraduate degree in English and Philosophy from SUNY Geneseo. He holds an MA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s in Annapolis, an MA in Philosophy from Holy Apostles College and Seminary, and he is currently enrolled as a doctoral candidate in Humanities at Faulkner University. His intellectual interests include literature, ancient philosophy, ethics, and the Liberal Arts in general. A few idiosyncratic favorites include Russian Authors, Edith Nesbit, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Jane Austen. He has two children and lives in Tennessee. He is currently the Dean of Academics at New College Franklin where he has taught for over a decade.

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by Dr. David J. Keys

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Hardback $21.95 | Paperback $16.95 | Kindle $9.99

TESTIMONIALS

“The author’s profound devotion to the Eucharist comes across plainly in the pages of this text. In a clear and straightforward way, Dr. David Keys welcomes the reader along a step-by-step journey into a deeper appreciation of this mystery of faith. He places the tools of logic and science at the service of a faith seeking understanding. His explanation of the sacrament’s meaning and application to daily life inspires a deeper love for Jesus Christ truly present in the Eucharist.” – Fr. John O’Brien, S.T.D., Academic Dean, St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, CA

“Dr. David Keys explains the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist in a comprehensive and comprehensible way. A must-read for anyone desiring to understand the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.” – Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP, co-author with Dr. Ronda Chervin of Catholic Realism: A Framework for the Refutation of Atheism and the Evangelization of Atheists

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Dr. David Keys has a PhD in physics from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri (1984), and a master’s degree in theology from Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio (2012). For thirty-eight years, he worked in the field of Medical Physics, being involved in the physics of radiation for diagnostic imaging and for the treatment of cancer patients. Having completed his degree in theology, he has now left Medical Physics and has become a Catholic speaker and author with an interest in the synthesizing of science with religion.

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