Saints and Schemers: Opus Dei and Its Paradoxes-Joan Estruch, Elizabeth Ladd Glick

  • Title: Saints and Schemers: Opus Dei and Its Paradoxes
  • Author: Joan Estruch, Elizabeth Ladd Glick
  • Released: 1995-09-21
  • Language:
  • Pages: 320
  • ISBN: 0195082516
  • ISBN13: 978-0195082517
  • ASIN: 0195082516


From Publishers Weekly The controversial history of the Catholic secular institute, Opus Dei, founded in Spain in 1928, is the subject of this investigation by Estruch, a professor of sociology at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Drawing on interviews with members and former members, the author presents a history of enigma, paradox and obfuscation, dominated by cult-like devotion to the founder, the late Monsignor Jose Maria Escriva de Balaguer, a Basque prelate who in 1992 became a candidate for canonization. Estruch has assembled massive research for this volume, first published in Spain in 1993, that parallels that country's progress in the second half of the 20th century. Writing as a social scientist, Estruch seeks to follow the tortuous paths the founder followed to establish an elitist, influential (some would say secretive) religious group. Opus Dei enjoyed the support of Franco, clashed with the Jesuits and currently flourishes internationally as the first Personal Prelature of the Pope. Tendentious and repetitive, this effort to uncover the so-called "ecclesiastical mafia" will be of interest to students of contemporary Catholicism.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

"Joan Estruch goes a long way toward explaining the notoriety that has plagued Opus Dei since its inception...His methodology and his tone are balanced and evenhanded....the narrative fascinates....Estruch charts the history of Opus Deis in extraordinary detail."--Michael Sean Winters, The New Republic

"This significant book tells a story that is fascinating in itself. Beyond that, it places the story in the context of the modernization of Spain and it contains highly intriguing insights into the unintended consequences of religious movements."--Peter L. Berger, Director, Institute for the Study of Economic Culture, Boston University

"This timely book should be essential reading not only for watchers of the Catholic Church but also for sociologists of religion. It carefully dissects a 'total institution' within catholicism and it clearly explains why Opus Dei has become such a controversial feature of the Church's struggle to come to terms with tradition and modernity....A model investigation of an omnipresent Catholic movement."--Jim Beckford, Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick