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Authors explore theological, populist roots of Christmas traditions


This is the cover of "Christmas: The Sacred to Santa" by Tara Moore. The book is reviewed by Mitch Finley. (CNS)

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"Joy to the World: How Christ's Coming Changed Everything (and Still Does)" by Scott Hahn. Image (New York, 2014). 192 pp., $23.

"Christmas: The Sacred to Santa" by Tara Moore. Reaktion Books (London, 2014). 224 pp., $30.

In his slim volume, "Joy to the World," Scott Hahn -- a former Presbyterian who has become one of today's most prominent Catholic authors, professor of theology and Scripture at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, and McEssy distinguished visiting professor in biblical theology at Mundelein Seminary -- reflects on the meaning of Christmas.

Masterfully leaving behind the academic theologian's technical language and tendency to ask questions the average person is likely to find boring, Hahn speaks from his own experience and to the experience of the average person. At the same time, in everyday English he shares with readers insights from his many years of study -- biblical and theological.

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