Upon This Rock: The Life of St. Peter

Walter F. Murphy, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $0 (538p) ISBN 978-0-02-588270-6
The difficult task of reconstructing the ambiance of the early Christian era is accomplished in a colorful and credible novel by the author of the acclaimed Vicar of Christ. Murphy cautions in a prefatory note that his characterization of Peter, the disciple chosen by Jesus to be the ""rock,'' the foundation of the Catholic Church, is the ``best fit'' between what little can be gleaned from the New Testament and what scholars have attributed to the people of the time. He draws Peter as a man of conflicting emotions, a man who bears the stigma of betraying the Master, as attested by the Gospels, a man who may also be branded ``the drunkard, the adulterer, the waffler,'' as he is in a fictional dialogue with the latter-day disciple, Paul. The novel is shaped as a chronicle by Quintus, a Greek follower of The Way, who records Peter's struggle with himself and with his floundering leadership. We hear his anger at God caused by his daughter's paralysis; we witness the colloquial repartee between Peter and Paul as they attempt to reconcile Christian Jews and Gentiles. Although some of the author's invention may be controversial, in this robust novel he captures the sweep of events that led to the martyrdom of the first Pope. (November)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 10 pages - 978-0-345-35761-8
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