In a riveting and provocative tour de force from the author of What Jesus Meant, Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Wills poses the challenging question: Why did the priesthood develop in a religion that began without it and, indeed, was opposed to it? Why Priests? argues brilliantly and persuasively for a radical re-envisioning of the role of the church as the Body of Christ and for a new and better understanding of the very basis of Christian belief. As Wills emphasizes, the stakes for the writer and the church are high, for without the priesthood there would be no belief in an apostolic succession, the real presence in the Eucharist, the sacrificial interpretation of the Mass, and the ransom theory of redemption. This superb study of the origins of the priesthood stands as Wills’s towering achievement and will be of interest to all inquiring minds, believers and non-believers alike.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||8.90(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Michael Prichard has recorded well over five hundred audiobooks and was named one of SmartMoney magazine's Top Ten Golden Voices. His numerous awards and accolades include an Audie Award and several AudioFile Earphones Awards.
Date of Birth:May 22, 1934
Place of Birth:Atlanta, GA
Education:St. Louis University, B.A., 1957; Xavier University, M.A., 1958; Yale University, Ph.D., 1961
Table of Contents
Key to Brief Citations xi
I Priest Power: The Eucharist 5
1 A Priestless Movement 7
2 Holy Men 20
3 The Eucharistic Miracle 34
4 Explaining the Miracle: Aquinas 43
5 Explaining the Miracle: Augustine 54
II Jesus the Non-Priest 69
6 Killer Priests 71
7 The Melchizedek Myth 82
8 Higher Melchizedeks 96
9 Melchizedek and Jesus 107
III Letter to Hebrews 117
10 What Is It? 119
11 What Does It Mean? 130
12 A New High Priest 142
IV Jesus as Sacrifice 159
13 Human Sacrifice 161
14 Who Killed Jesus? 173
V Jesus as Rescuer 189
15 The Saving Trinity 191
16 Christ as Comrade 203
VI Monopoly on the Sacred 215
17 Priestly Imperialism 217
18 The Lord's Supper(s) 241
Appendix I Translating Hebrews 263
Appendix II Letter to Hebrews 271
What People are Saying About This
"Clearly a thought-provoker destined to inspire debate." -Library Journal
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
All catholocs should read this with an open mind , mosyt what we have been taught about the catholic church has come from the institutional church, in which we are made to believe all we learn is the true word of God and we may be in a state of sin if we think otherwise, As an 80 year old Catholic, i welcome scholarly disussion such as prposed in this book, I too have known many priest's whohave had a major positive impact onmy life. And i sincerely thank them,
Gary Wills' newest book," Why Priests?", is a work of courage and erudition. While many of the points have begun to be discussed in the past 40 years, he brings them together in a clear and compelling format. This format should be a "jumping off" place for all scholars and hierarchs concerned with Christian survival. About 25 years ago, the Jesuit theologian, Bernard Lonergan, stated that what was troubling the Catholic Church was not a crisis of faith, but a crisis of culture. Professor Wills shows how the Church departed from its founding principles under the stress of late Roman Empire and medieval pressures. Since that time it can be shown that the ordinary lay Catholic was not provided with very many facets of spirituality. This ordinary Christian simply attended what had become a clericalized liturgy as an observer and listener. Gary Wills has accepted the renewal challenge of Vatican II and laid it at the feet of the present day leaders. Will they accept it?
Mr. Wills does an excellent historical presentation of priesthood, especially from the Letter to the Hebrews. Overall there appears a mild axe grinding however. I did not feel this in any of his other books. In a way he attacks the clerical culture throughout.
Unless you're a theologian, or in divinity school, or something like that... this is not the book for you. You can't get much drier than this book! He spends too much of the book diving DEEP into the book of Hebrews. I am still reading this, if for nothing else, but just to see when he will get back to his point (or get back to it, as the case may be; frankly, I've forgotten.) He spends an entire section (three chapters) on the book of Hebrews; that is in addion to the 3 of 4 chapters in the previous section. Also be aware that most of the bibical quotes are his own traslation from greek.
Despite his seminary training Wills has a paucity of knowledge about othodox Cathocism. He as a moral issue with the Church and in this pseudo intellectual vent inflicts his revenge on the Chrch he does not really know
He really needs to study the faith he professes to know.
I am Catholic and proud of it. Dont bash a religion because some people might actually practice it in a different way than you. Everyone is different. Lets just embrace it instead of bashing it people. I love being different! Just a philosophy for the day...
More anti-Catholic junk. A thorough reading of scripture and the Church Fathers demonstrates the priesthood has existed from the beginning, although it may have been called by a different name. Again, we are assaulted by shoddy scholarship and told it's "the truth". Furthermore, I offended that it's in the "Catholicism" category. Don't waste your time reading this collection of personal bias.
The author supports every argument with an of ease of greatness, belonging to both writer and scholar.
For an author who "seemingly" write from the Roman Catholic perspective, this particular volume of his really "sucks"! It doesn't take much to hear his "let's get back to go" and forget everything that has happened in between. It could have been a good "development-of-doctrine" ... but NOT with his "ass-backwards" presentation and conclusions separate from our Church's practice. Regrettably, the RATING DISTRIBUTION doesn't have a negative number.