Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Garry Wills: Why Priests?

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Garry Wills has either done it again and written a great book or, if you're not in school and not that interested in scholarly stuff, not done it at all. I feel like once again I've been suckered by a title: "Why Priests? A Failed Tradition" totally plays on those of us who are interested in why the priesthood is, well, a failed tradition. The thing is that "Why Priests?" isn't really about the failed tradition, it's about how Christianity didn't prescribe priests and how that came later. So maybe it should have been called "Why Priests? A Made Up Tradition" or "A Tradition Destined to Fail" or "Christianity: A Priestless Tradition" or any such descriptive and not tricky title.

I love Garry Wills and was stoked to hear about this book. "Bomb Power" totally changed the way I look at things and Wills is really good at making otherwise unapproachable subjects approachable. Except when he's not. I read a lot of books like "Why Priests?" in college: they dive deeply into texts from the Bible and other early religious texts and they're great, if you are studying religion. I'm not studying religion anymore, I'm learning about it and trying to apply it to real life. Honstly, I gave up after 100 pages. If you're looking for a readable book on priests or Catholicism or anything like that, this isn't it.


Anonymous said...

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Katrine Cohen, editor