Presences: A Bishop's Life in the City

Overview

Paul Moore was--and remains--a dignified subversive in the great tradition of American iconoclasts, and this disarmingly straightforward book, at once autobiography and testament, is going to be read not only by religious people and by veterans of the struggle yet to come. It's a wonderful book: the story of a life lived well, and wisely, and with courage in the face of challenges political and personal that might have overwhelmed a person of less fortitude. he does not cast himself in a heroic light, yet there ...
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Overview

Paul Moore was--and remains--a dignified subversive in the great tradition of American iconoclasts, and this disarmingly straightforward book, at once autobiography and testament, is going to be read not only by religious people and by veterans of the struggle yet to come. It's a wonderful book: the story of a life lived well, and wisely, and with courage in the face of challenges political and personal that might have overwhelmed a person of less fortitude. he does not cast himself in a heroic light, yet there is heroism in this story, and tremendous anguish honestly recorded, and a gracious sense of self-effacing humor, and the best kind of unfalsified humility.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Once, when his chauffeur drove young Moore past the bread lines of Hoboken, N.J., in the family Rolls-Royce, he was "so embarrassed... that I hid on the carpeted floor." But for an epilogue written in 1995, Moore's memoir begins with his silver-spoon birth in 1919 and closes with his last sermon as Episcopal Bishop of New York in 1989. His crowded lifein which he has somehow found time to raise nine childrenhas been a collision of gilded inherited values with the realities that his religious vocation presented him. After the traditional WASP education at St. Paul's School and Yale, and a near-fatal war wound as a Marine officer on Guadalcanal, Moore joined the clergy, bringing to it an activist social conscience. His story, simply written, relates how he "pushed the edge of the envelope of liberal behavior" but stayed "within the system." In Manhattan, he attempted to turn the "massive pile of stone" of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine into a setting that went beyond liturgical usesto suggest "that God is in the very center of the hustle and bustle, the joys and tragedies, the filth and beauty of the everyday." An unusual cleric in every way, Moore suffuses his story of radicalism with an intense and deeply felt spiritual dimension. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Throughout his long career as Episcopal bishop of New York, Moore fought with untiring zeal for justice and equality as he understood them. Even in retirement his voice continues to be heard on many controversial issues. With a professional life that stretched from the early 1950s through the 1980s, Moore provides a fascinating view of the Christian left in action while offering glimpses of such other leaders as Bishop James Pike and Malcolm Boyd. Along the way, Moore also gives personally revealing descriptions of his childhood, his World War II service, and his family life. He includes a vivid account of his first wife's losing struggle with cancer. The resulting self-portrait is movingly human. Anyone interested in the history of liberal Christian politics in general or the radicalization of the Episcopal church and hierarchy in particular will find this a fascinating autobiography of an important figure.C. Robert Nixon, Lafayette, Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374175672
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 12/1/1997
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.49 (w) x 9.59 (h) x 1.22 (d)

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