A Long Way from Tipperary: What a Former Monk Discovered in His Search for the Truth

John Dominic Crossan, Author HarperOne $23 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-069974-1
Famous for his popular studies of the historical Jesus, Crossan here considers a question that many readers have long entertained: how did Crossan's own life shape the way he thinks Jesus lived? An intriguing question, but not one Crossan answers satisfactorily. The memoir fails to draw compelling connections between Crossan's own life and his Jesus, a radical egalitarian and social revolutionary. But if it does not do much to illumine his historical reconstructions of Jesus, it does offer a fascinating glimpse into the Roman Catholic Church--and particularly the Roman Catholic priesthood--in the years surrounding Vatican II. The Irish Crossan was sent to boarding school as a child, and entered the Catholic priesthood. For a while, the priesthood was a good fit--the Church sent him all over the world to study, encouraging his intellectual bent. He eventually left the priesthood because he knew that the Church would constrain what he could say as a scholar. (He now identifies with the Catholic tradition, but eschews the Catholic hierarchy, and never goes to church.) Occasionally an irksome self-importance sneaks into this memoir; Crossan never tires of informing us that he was featured on the cover of the Chicago Tribune magazine or interviewed by Terry Gross, and an entire chapter discusses his adventures as a ""talking head."" While this becomes tedious, readers who are curious about the thinkers and writers who are shaping contemporary religion won't want to miss this book. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/03/2000
Release date: 07/01/2000
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-06-197826-5
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