cover image Jesus: A Meditation on His Stories and His Relationships with Women

Jesus: A Meditation on His Stories and His Relationships with Women

Andrew M. Greeley, . . Forge, $17.95 (172pp) ISBN 978-0-765-31776-6

Father Andrew Greeley is well known for his sometimes spicy murder mysteries and his always progressive view of religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular. It comes as no surprise that he would pen this delightful exploration of Jesus' relationships with women. Focusing largely on the parables, the book brings fresh meaning to these familiar stories, infusing them with what Greeley terms "the good news of a Great Surprise," the marvelous revelation of God's love and acceptance of women in a largely male-dominated society. Many of the women are unnamed—the Samaritan woman, the woman at the well, etc.—and some are named, like Mary of Magdala, who may have had a romantic relationship with Jesus. Greeley is certainly a prolific author—he's written some 50 works of fiction and more than 100 works of nonfiction—and this book illustrates why he is so popular. He takes the familiar—in this case, the parables of Jesus—and infuses it with new life and meaning. He leaves behind the dour, solemn proclamations of the church fathers and reminds us that "Jesus delights in surprising those he loves." In fact, Greeley's observations go far beyond Jesus' relationships with women, reminding us that God's love extends to even the least of us. (Mar.)