978-0-06-069974-1 / 0060699744

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

by Crossan, John Dominic




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About the book:

"[I]f people have had enough chicken soup for the soul, how about some Irish stew for the mind?" asks John Dominic Crossan, in the introduction to his meaty new memoir, A Long Way from Tipperary: What a Former Irish Monk Discovered in His Search for the Truth. Crossan burst into the public eye in 1991 with the publication of his best-selling The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant. In this and subsequent books, Crossan's historical research has demonstrated the follies of both secularist denial and fundamentalist distortions of Jesus' significance. Tipperary is Crossan's memoir of the ways that his personal experience "from Ireland to America, from priest to professor, from monastery to university, and ... from celibacy to marriage" have influenced his evolving understanding of who Jesus was. Crossan's struggle has always been to find a way of understanding Jesus that engages "both reason and revelation, both history and faith, both mind and heart". Here is his description of his ideal readers:

They are ... dissatisfied, disappointed, or even disgusted with classical Christianity and their denominational tradition. They hold on with anger or leave with nostalgia, but are not happy with either decision. They do not want to invent or join a new age, but to reclaim and redeem an ancient one. They do not want to settle for a generic-brand religion, but to rediscover their own specific and particular roots. But they know now that those roots must be in a renewed Christianity whose validity does not reject every other religion's integrity, a renewed Christianity that has purged itself of rationalism, fundamentalism, and literalism, whether of book, tradition, community, or leader.
Those who recognise themselves in this passage will find hope and courage in Crossan's book. --Michael Joseph Gross

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