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Priestly Celibacy: Its Scriptural, Historical, Spiritual, and Psychological Roots Paperback – December 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Newman House Pr (December 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970402228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970402226
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,047,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stratiotes Doxha Theon VINE VOICE on November 16, 2009
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A brief yet solid introduction to this important topic. It is a collection of essays written by both Catholic and Protestant authors in favor of priestly celibacy. The essays are of varying depth and quality in my opinion so I think it best to review each essay.

First is an essay on the scriptural basis of priestly celibacy by Dr. Kenneth Howell. This seemed a rather shallow coverage of the topic relying as it does on the gospel account of "eunuchs for the kingdom" as it does. No mention is made of other references that might give further insight and depth to the topic such as Revelation 14:4. It is a good start on the topic but somewhat short of expectations.

Next is an essay on an overview of the historical background related to the church's understanding of priestly celibacy by Fr. Ray Ryland. Fr. Ryland has a reputation for historical depth in such studies and he does not disappoint in this essay. He demonstrates with little room for doubt how priestly celibacy was the norm from the earliest times of the church and not an invention or "imposition" by some later council. The burden of proof lies with those who wish to challenge the status quo and the status quo is clearly with the Latin rite. This is perhaps the most thorough and convincing of the essays and well worth the cost of the book in itself.

Reverend Stravinskas (the editor of the book) contributes a wonderful essay on how celibacy is related to the ontological, as opposed to merely functional, nature of the priesthood. In so doing he shows how the church has viewed the discipline as one that demonstrates a priest is always a representative of Christ even when he is not doing "priestly acts." The difference is subtle but important for understanding the true nature and intent of this discipline.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CDS on January 10, 2009
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As the lengthy title suggests, this book is a collection of perspectives on celibacy. I appreciated the diversity of perspectives, Catholic and protestant, priests and laypeople, married and celibate. Each essay serves to flesh out the historical origins and development of celibacy as well as the theological and psychological underpinnings for the practice today. If anything, I think the psychological chapter was a little weak. However I found much of the historical presentation useful in setting the record straight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Acosta on June 14, 2010
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I highly recommend this book for anyone who may be questioning the Church's rule on celibacy. The views from priests, a minister, and a minister's wife, help to give perspective and depth to the richness and beauty to this particular aspect of religious life.
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By Booth H in Texas on November 19, 2013
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Insightful essays over a controversial topic; should be read by everyone wanting to voice an articulate opinion (either for or against) on the subject.
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