Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition

Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition

by Garry Wills
2.9 18

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Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition by Garry Wills

New York Times–bestselling author Garry Wills provides a provocative analysis of the theological and historical basis for the priesthood

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101606018
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/12/2013
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 714,774
File size: 585 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Garry Wills has written many acclaimed and bestselling works, including What Jesus Meant, Papal Sin, and Why I Am a Catholic. His books have received many awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. A professor of history emeritus at Northwestern University, Wills is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and other publications.

Date of Birth:

May 22, 1934

Place of Birth:

Atlanta, GA


St. Louis University, B.A., 1957; Xavier University, M.A., 1958; Yale University, Ph.D., 1961

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Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Garry Wills always gives you something to chew over. He backs up everything that he puts out there and he challenges you to pour over his ideas and make a decision---do you agree with him or not.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Habakkuk More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
beenblessedx5 More than 1 year ago
He really needs to study the faith he professes to know.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author supports every argument with an of ease of greatness, belonging to both writer and scholar. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eric- Black hair short spikey. Icy bluegreen eyes. Is a de.mon and can create any type of swo.rd drom his hands. Is 6'1" and really should not be made angry. Iss 16. Jenny- Eric's sister. Long brown hair and pale eyes. Is an angel and can make any type of weap.on or healing item. Is 5'9" and is very gentle. Iss 15. She looks up to Eric as he is her older brother.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay blond hair hazel eyes controls the future nd learning to contol ice. Not single. Always has a lnife in her back pocket nevr will not be there
Papabile More than 1 year ago
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.