Thursday, May 28, 2009


I will post links to reviews, excerpts from longer ones and shorter reviews in toto under this heading.

A Feather Adrift: Reasonable and Holy — Sherry

...The book itself is less than 200 pages, but it is literally bursting with excellent exegetical scholarship. It is most clear that Tobias Haller is an excellent mind, and has thoroughly, carefully, and with great insight examined the biblical field as it relates to this subject.

I suspect that it will go down as one of the “classics” in the field, and will be used by countless colleges and universities as a primary text for discussion. I know that it has served me well in deeply enlightening me on the nuances of argument to be made. I have always felt slightly unsatisfied by the arguments so far, and Tobias has given me a real sense of feeling grounded in truth here.

It can serve as well for a text in our various churches when and if we choose to address the issue. And I submit, that we must address it. We are faced with a deep unfairness here. Our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers are enormous assets to our ecclesial life, and we squander their gifts and talents at our peril. It is what Jesus would do I submit. This book helps us get where we need to be, and does so with gentle tenderness.

Father Gregory writes:
This appears to be a slim paperback that should make easy reading. Except that it doesn’t. Fr Tobias has written one of those increasingly rare (and annoying!) books that inspires questioning and demands reflection. Every time I begin to read more of it I find myself stalled at a word, a phrase, a question which requires thoughtful consideration, even some research in other works or, worse, some serious critical thinking. It’s not at all the standard theologically and historically quasi- or semi- or totally illiterate case for the prosecution or the defence which the subject usually seems to inspire. Nor, like the standard works, is it mind-numbingly dull. Its approach is not only scholarly but spiritual, almost meditative. It blends theology and Scripture and history and anthropology and law with deep pastoral concern, and is pleasantly spiced with gentle wit. It applies gentle reason to a subject that more than many requires it.


Grandmère Mimi said...

Fr. Gregory, I quite agree. I thought I'd be finished with the slim paperback by now, but I'm only halfway through.

I like the boxes, or the asides, or whatever they are called. I also appreciate the humorous touches.

Lynn said...

I'm relieved to hear that others couldn't whiz through this wonderful book at their normal pace. I finished the book this afternoon, and I'm not quite sure what type of comments I could even begin to make at this time. Tobias, I wasn't unfamiliar with much of the material you presented, but you had me thinking in a different way. Thank you.

I think many people would do well to read this with a reading partner or group, and allow for plenty of discussion after each section. The format is perfect for this thanks to Tobias' thoughtful organization and discussion questions. For the record, that type of group learning usually drives me crazy.

On the lighter side: the best humor in the book is probably Jacobs' comment about hiring an intern (zip over to page 113, top right :-)

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Thanks, Lynn. That is exactly the kind of engagement I was hoping for. Neither the "issue" nor an appropriate response will be easy. Discussion groups would be ideal!

PS, I'm encouraging folks to post review comments at Amazon and other on-line bookdelers.