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Both Feet Firmly Planted in Midair: My Spiritual Journey Paperback – September 1, 1998


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Both Feet Firmly Planted in Midair: My Spiritual Journey + The Church and the Homosexual: Fourth Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; 1st edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664258085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664258085
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,275,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John J. McNeill has done a great deal of work on the subject of spirituality and gay and lesbian issues as both an author and a lecturer. He is the author of The Church and the Homosexual; Taking a Chance on God: Liberating Theology for Gays and Lesbians, Their Lovers, Friends, and Families; and Freedom, Glorious Freedom: The Spiritual Journey to Fullness of Life for Gays, Lesbians, and Everybody Else.

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on November 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
John McNeill, a gay-and-proud Christian scholar, made history with his landmark 1976 book "The Church and the Homosexual." "Both Feet Firmly Planted in Midair" is McNeill's autobiography, and this latter book reaffirms his stature as one of the lesbian and gay community's great spiritual voices.
The book begins with McNeill's boyhood in an Irish Catholic family in Buffalo, New York. He vividly describes his experiences as a soldier in Europe during World War II. Particularly harrowing are his memories of slave labor in a German prisoner-of-war camp. We also learn of his academic study of the work of French philosopher Maurice Blondel, his ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood, and his awakening to the world of gay love and sex.
Particularly important are the chapters describing the aftermath of the publication of "The Church and the Homosexual." McNeill was eventually expelled from the Jesuit order. He also writes of his relationships with a number of gay Christian groups and leaders, and pays warm tribute to his lover, Charles Chiarelli.
McNeill's writing style is full of insight and compassion. He is also a delightfully learned and literate writer--the book is spiced with references to and quotes from James Joyce, Kurt Vonnegut, Viktor Frankl, the Roman poet Virgil, and many other authors.
The book's annotated bibliography to the works of its author makes it a valuable reference to scholars.
The people quoted on the book's back cover blurbs describe McNeill as a "gay saint" and a "prophet," and "Both Feet. . ." lives up to these tributes. It is a stirring spiritual autobiography that resounds with moral authority and intellectual depth. McNeill's life story is a convincing testament to the possibility of integrating gay love and sexuality into a committed Christian life.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gary Miller on December 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful to give to any gay Catholic wrestling with his/her sexuality, but it is also good for straight Catholic who are open to learning more about gay life.

I had read The Church and the Homosexual several years ago. Was pleased then and am pleased now with Both Feet. John McNeill was a POW in Germany during WWII. Constantly struggling with his sexuality, he decided to join the priesthood as way to rid himself of these sexual feelings. Over the years, he came to an understanding that sexuality is a gift from God. He critizes the Roman Catholic Church for its anti-sex and anti-gay attitudes.

Imagine my surprise when I came acrossed the name of Howard Wells in the book. McNeill had met Wells during his gay ministry. I knew Wells because he married my partner and I back in the early 70s.

McNeill talks about his feelings when the church silenced him and when he was forced to leave the Jesuits.
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