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Amrutha: What the Pope's Man Found out About Law of Nature Paperback – August 11, 2011
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About the Author
Dr John Wijngaards combines unusual qualities as a spiritual writer, professional journalist and international college lecturer. He published twenty-one religious books some of which have been translated into fifteen major languages. Best known are: Background to the Gospels, Inheriting the Master's Cloak, How to Make Sense of God, God Within Us and the Ordination of Women in the Catholic Church. Wijngaards also published fiction. He created nine stories for the Walking on Water series, such as My Galilee My People, Together in His Name and I have no Favourites. His novel For the Sake of his People narrated the quest for peace in war-torn Northern Ireland. His script for Journey to the Centre of Love received the Grand Prix Award at the International Catholic Film Festival at Warsaw in 1995. To counteract the damage done to people by the sexual ethics of official Roman Catholic teaching, John Wijngaards founded the website www.thebodyissacred.org. His novel AMRUTHA is a natural extension of his effort to make church authorities change their outdated stand. Details about his campaign for reform in the Roman Catholic Church can be found in Wikipedia.
Top customer reviews
Amrutha's an intriguing title for a truly intriguing book. The subtitle, What the Pope's man found out about the Law of Nature, is a little odd, but tells me, accurately, there'll be Catholicism and nature here. But there's so very much more; topics as diverse as the ordination of women and the Catholic view of homosexuality; narratives as different as ancient Papal teachings and the stories of Hinduism; cultures from Rome to India to mysterious tropical islands; action scenes that travel from contemplative walks to strangers stranded at sea... all told with the gentle humor, haunting spirituality, and honest curiosity of Yann Martel's Life of Pi. What more could I want?
The story begins with a priest compelled to defend a nun as the Catholic Church contemplates her excommunication. She teaches contraception as protection from AIDS but the Church has determined it goes against "natural law." Monsignor Shamus McKenna's defense leaves him tasked with determining the true nature of women, in order to ensure the proper application of law. His misadventures takes him halfway round the world as he seeks the best subjects to study; and the story, told by someone who calls the Monsignor "my father," leaves the reader constantly guessing where the exploration will end.
To write about Papal encyclicals, the Church's views on nature and nurture, the place of women in society, sex, morality and more, and make it all wholly engaging and entertaining is no small feat. At 531 pages, this is no small book either, but it's highly recommended--a perfect blend of serious thought, gentle humor, curious coincidence and haunting mystery.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Bohlsen PR in exchange for an honest review.