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A Long Way from Tipperary: What a Former Monk Discovered in His Search for the Truth
     

A Long Way from Tipperary: What a Former Monk Discovered in His Search for the Truth

by John Dominic Crossan
 

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I have spent thirty years reconstructing the historical Jesus. I have done so self-consciously and self-critically and have tried to do the same on reconstructing myself. But what justifies this memoir is how my own personal experience, from Ireland to America, from priest to professor, from monastery to university, and ... from celibacy to marriage,

Overview

I have spent thirty years reconstructing the historical Jesus. I have done so self-consciously and self-critically and have tried to do the same on reconstructing myself. But what justifies this memoir is how my own personal experience, from Ireland to America, from priest to professor, from monastery to university, and ... from celibacy to marriage, may have influenced that reconstruction. Where has it helped me see what others have not, and where has it made invisible to me what others find obvious?-from A Long Way from Tipperary

From his upbringing in Ireland to front-page coverage in the New York Times and mention in cover stories in Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report, John Dominic Crossan-who has courageously pioneered the contemporary quest for the historical Jesus-has dared to go his own way. In this candid and engaging memoir, the world's foremost Jesus scholar reveals what he has discovered over a lifetime of open-eyed, fearless exploration of God, Jesus, Christianity, and himself. Crossan shares his provocative thinking on such issues as how one can be a Christian without going to church; whether God is vengeful, or just, or both; and why Jesus is more like Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. than like the Pope or Jerry Falwell.

Raised in the traditional Irish Catholic Church, Crossan inherited a faith that was "accepted fully and internalized completely but undiscussed, uninvestigated, and uncriticized." A dauntless spirit whose imagination was ignited not by piety but by the lure and challenge of adventure, he became a monk to travel and explore the world, unaware that his most thrilling quests would be scholarly and spiritual. "God had going the best adventure around," Crossan confesses.

Because he could never subject his theological convictions and historical findings to the restrictions of the Church, Crossan chose to leave the monastery and priesthood. Speaking of this time in his life, Crossan writes, "Not even a vow of obedience could make me sing a song I did not hear." But he never abandoned the Roman Catholic community or tradition and never lost his faith. He has devoted his life and career to a reexamination of what he calls "necessary open-heart surgery on Christianity itself."

Editorial Reviews

Oregonian
While Crossan has been engaged in what he calls 'open heart surgery on Christianity,' his critics have assumed he has no heart at all. In A Long Way from Tipperary, he bares it and affirms that it is still Christian.
Michael Farrell
Crossan applies the same intellectual curiosity and cool objectivity to his own life that he has spent half a lifetime applying to the life of Jesus. Central to his personal search is whether his background as Irishman and erstwhile monk contributed to his recognition of Jesus, beneath layers of gospel revisionism, as a controversial peasant agitator who championed the downtrodden. Not your average autobiography, this book zigs and zags more than somewhat between the quotidian and the holy in search of their missing links.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Famous for his popular studies of the historical Jesus, Crossan here considers a question that many readers have long entertained: how did Crossan's own life shape the way he thinks Jesus lived? An intriguing question, but not one Crossan answers satisfactorily. The memoir fails to draw compelling connections between Crossan's own life and his Jesus, a radical egalitarian and social revolutionary. But if it does not do much to illumine his historical reconstructions of Jesus, it does offer a fascinating glimpse into the Roman Catholic Church--and particularly the Roman Catholic priesthood--in the years surrounding Vatican II. The Irish Crossan was sent to boarding school as a child, and entered the Catholic priesthood. For a while, the priesthood was a good fit--the Church sent him all over the world to study, encouraging his intellectual bent. He eventually left the priesthood because he knew that the Church would constrain what he could say as a scholar. (He now identifies with the Catholic tradition, but eschews the Catholic hierarchy, and never goes to church.) Occasionally an irksome self-importance sneaks into this memoir; Crossan never tires of informing us that he was featured on the cover of the Chicago Tribune magazine or interviewed by Terry Gross, and an entire chapter discusses his adventures as a "talking head." While this becomes tedious, readers who are curious about the thinkers and writers who are shaping contemporary religion won't want to miss this book. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061978265
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/20/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
674,434
File size:
529 KB

Read an Excerpt

I have spent thirty years reconstructing the historical Jesus. I have done so self-consciously and self-critically and have tried to do the same on reconstructing myself. But what justifies this memoir is how my own personal experience, from Ireland to America, from priest to professor, from monastery to university, and ... from celibacy to marriage, may have influenced that reconstruction. Where has it helped me see what others have not, and where has it made invisible to me what others find obvious?

What People are Saying About This

Michael Farrell
Crossan applies the same intellectual curiosity and cool objectivity to his own life that he has spent half a lifetime applying to the life of Jesus. Central to his personal search is whether his background as Irishman and erstwhile monk contributed to his recognition of Jesus, beneath layers of gospel revisionism, as a controversial peasant agitator who championed the downtrodden. Not your average autobiography, this book zigs and zags more than somewhat between the quotidian and the holy in search of their missing links.
— (Michael Farrell, editor of The National Catholic Reporter)
John Shelby Spong
A great narrative! This book gives the reader a rare insight into one of the great figures of contemporart Christianity as well as an awareness of the events that moved his life. Dominic Crossan has helped a generation of Christians to separate the essence of their faith from the traditional trappings. This book invites us all to walk with him into new, scary, and exhilarating places on our eternal pilgrimage into the mystery of God.
— (John Shelby Spong, author of Here I Stand: My Struggle for a Christianity of Integrity, Love and Equality)
James Carroll
John Dominic Crossan has shows his many readers how to think critically and constructively about our faith. This moving book displays the large heart and humane history that have made him a prophet of the real meaning of Jesus. We are more in his debt than ever.
— (James Carroll, author of An American Requiem)

Meet the Author

John Dominic Crossan, professor emeritus at DePaul University, is widely regarded as the foremost historical Jesus scholar of our time. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Historical Jesus, How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian, God and Empire, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, The Greatest Prayer, The Last Week, and The Power of Parable. He lives in Minneola, Florida.

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