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Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith Paperback – October 20, 2014
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"This book was a real grace for me, as it will no doubt be for many others trying to live as disciples of Jesus." --Peter Steinfels, Codirector of the Center on Religion and Culture, Fordham University
"Eve Tushnet puts a human face on Church teaching." --Rev. Louis Cameli, Author of Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality
"Full of wry humor, practical advice, humility, and best of all, deliciously pungent word craft…. Part memoir, part guidebook, and honest to the core." -- --Simcha Fisher, Author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning
About the Author
Tushnet blogs regularly at The American Conservative and Patheos. Her work has been published by the Atlantic, Weekly Standard, Commonweal, and First Things, and she has written for the Washington Post "On Faith" blog and the New York Times "Room for Debate." She has spoken on being gay and Catholic at Carnegie-Mellon University, Georgetown University, Princeton University, Fordham, among others. She has also addressed a group of campus ministers in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and spoken with Interfaith Voices, a syndicated public radio show. Tushnet contributed an essay on gay Catholic life to the 2008 anthology Faith at the Edge, and has essays forthcoming in books from Fordham University Press and Notre Dame University Press.
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Top Customer Reviews
Tushet, as a gay Catholic convert, quickly realized she wasn't going to wind up in a marriage or a monastery, and had to work on figuring out *how* to live a vocation not to singleness, generally, but to sacrificial love.
Our church and our culture doesn't offer very many models for profound relationships outside of the romantic realm--dismissing people as "just friends"--so Tushnet draws on historical records of vowed friendship, interviews with people living in intentional community, and her own experiences offering radical hospitality to give her readers vivid icons to guide them in their own discernment.
Since I read this book, I've been recommending it frequently, to plenty of people that are neither gay nor Catholic. The problem that Tushnet is working on is central to a life well lived.
No matter one's beliefs about the topics Eve writes about, her tone and rhetorical posture provide a beautiful example of how to speak about contentious subjects with grace and nuance.
Though I'm a crumb-scrounging schismatic (read: Protestant :P), this has easily become my favorite book about faith and sexuality, and I can't recommend it highly enough.
This is not to say, however, that Tushnet’s book is without real virtues. First of all, she is a fine writer, and the first part of the book, her conversion story, is a delightfully thoughtful and funny account of her entrance into the Catholic Church. The second half of the book, on living a life of fidelity to Christ, helpfully emphasizes the idea of vocation, defined not as a calling to the religious life but as a mission to live as a disciple of Christ, regardless of one’s station in life. Tushnet opened my eyes to the real difficulties facing same-sex-attracted Christians trying to live out their vocations while remaining celibate. She rightly laments the failure of many Catholic institutions to provide pastoral help for such people, especially the young.
But these real strengths (and others) are unfortunately outweighed by what I can only regard as her rejection of a good chunk of Catholic teaching on sexuality, a rejection which colors many of her suggestions in the book. Of course, Tushnet doesn’t see it that way, insisting that she accepts church teaching and is only dissatisfied with the way that teaching is presented.Read more ›
Eve Tushnet's reflections on how Catholics and other Christians who uphold a traditional Christian sexual ethic can move from focusing on what gay people ought *not* to do to embracing a "vocation of yes" -- embracing God's call to us to love and be loved -- have permanently shifted the way I think about homosexuality and the way I am trying to live my life. I can't say enough good about this book, and I expect to return to it over and over again.
That is how Eve Tushnet opens the seventh chapter of Gay and Catholic, titled "Friendship in Theology and History." That's also the part where my jaw hit the ground and stayed there. Her book is packed with brilliant insight and fascinating memoir, but her ruminations on spiritual friendship put her book above and beyond what the title suggests. Far from being a niche book for a niche market, this is a book for everyone, gay or straight, Catholic or non-religious. If you are a human being living on earth and have contact with other human beings, then you need to read this book, particularly the sections on friendship -- a type of relationship that has deteriorated rapidly in Western culture. Eve Tushnet goes a long way toward reminding us of the depth and and importance of same-sex friendship, especially for gay people.
That's not to say that the rest of the book isn't good -- the rest of the book is pretty spectacular, actually. Her retelling of her childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood is self-aware, honest, and unflinching. And despite the fact that I come from a vastly different background and am living a very different vocation, I was surprised to find that her writing about living a vocation was hands-down the best thing I've ever read on the subject. It was practical, honest, mercifully unflowery, and full of things I needed to hear.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book because before being about sexuality, or community, or even larger theological discourses, it is about the vocation to love which lies at the heart of the Catholic... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Katherine
Well sculpted and articulated opinion piece. I do not think that Ģod wills punishment for being gay.Published 10 months ago by BJ
I, too, wanted to like this book, and I was excited by the first few chapters. Then the troubles began. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Margeaux
Excellent book. I am neither gay nor Catholic, but I found this book to be well-written and incredibly insightful. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Whitney
Not gay or catholic? Read this anyway! I learned a lot about myself and found new ways of giving friendship, rather than taking friendship. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Yvonna Graham
While I am not same sex attracted, I wanted to read this book because I suspected at least some of what Eve Tushnet would have to say would speak to me as a divorced Catholic... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mary Pamela Hauser Olarte
This is partly a book review and partly a reflection on our need to live gracefully.
I just read Gay and Catholic by Eve Tushnet, who is (let’s see if I can say it all... Read more