Wrestling with the Angel: Faith and Religion

Brian Bouldrey, Author
Brian Bouldrey, Author Riverhead Hardcover $23.95 (314p) ISBN 978-1-57322-003-3
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Mass Market Paperbound - 336 pages - 978-1-57322-545-8
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Sadly and somewhat ironically, 25 years after the gay-empowering Stonewall Rebellion, the term ``gay lifestyle'' still connotes narcissism and superficiality in the popular mind. Of course, the diverse reality of the inner and outer lives of gay men defies such reductionism. And this collection of 21 autobiographical essays by gifted gay writers of varied social and racial backgrounds movingly documents the variety of gay spirituality. In total, the essays amply validate the introductory claims by Bouldrey (The Genius of Desire) that ``now more than ever, the issues religion takes up are those most important to gay men'' in ``learning to embrace the whole of their lives.'' How the devastating ravages of AIDS have nurtured this quest for wholeness is eloquently distilled by Mark Doty, Felice Picano and Philip Gambone, while Michael Nava and Frank Browning intriguingly compare t the liberating gay experience of coming out to the Christian experience of being ``born again.'' Others, including Andrew Holleran, David Plante, Lev Raphael, Brad Gooch and Michael Lowenthal, trace the lingering resonances of Roman Catholic childhoods, search for personal meaning in Jewish heritages or define the intersections of physical desire and spiritual longing. Although the essays lack uniform emotional intensity, there is surprisingly no bitterness (not even from an unfrocked Mormon bishop), but there is much thirst for reconciliation in this stellar gathering of revelations about the divine agape that unites all men of good will regardless of their sexual orientation. BOMC and QPB main selections. (May)
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