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Acts of Faith, Acts of Love: Gay Catholic Autobiographies as Sacred Texts Paperback – Apr 19 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; New edition edition (April 19 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826418368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826418364
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 1.8 x 20.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,845,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Acts of Faith, Acts of Love is an important text...this text is consistent with others in the genre and provides an intellectually and emotionally rewarding experience.' (Conscience Magazine)

'Acts of Faith, Acts of Love is an important text…this text is consistent with others in the genre and provides an intellectually and emotionally rewarding experience.' (Sanford Lakoff Conscience Magazine)

About the Author

Dugan McGinley teaches religious studies at Temple University and serves as music director and liturgist in a number of Roman Catholic parishes in Philadelphia.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
Dr. McGinley's book is a scholarly, reasoned, and balanced view of current Catholic teaching and actual pastoral practice regarding homosexuality, and the divergence and contradictions between the two. McGinley argues that people cannot be separated from their acts, particularly in the Catholic frame of reference, and so the "love the sinner, hate the sin" ethic is a total contradiction for the gay community.The bios he selects to make his points are a variety of styles and backgrounds, and richly descriptive of the humanity of their writers. This is not a sensational volume, and may prove to be a disappointment to those looking for a "tell all" type missive. It is thought-provoking, and will hopefully provide the jumping-off point for honest discussion among Catholics.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
love and salvation Feb. 23 2006
By S. Southall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The naturalness of gay love and desire is witnessed in this book through generously given insight into the hearts of gay people. The author interprets written texts of 40 men identifying as both Catholic and gay, including some who have left the Church after suffering disciminatory love, exclusion, and personal injury. He sets the words and stories of these writers---their acts of love---in illuminating context, witnessing to the intimate connection between love and salvation. The Church claims to love gay people, while judging gay expressions of love, apparently without reference to the lived experience of gays. The author fully documents the mechanics of these arguments, and the power relationships permitting them to prevail. (He also discusses the role of gay priests, and injustices done to them.) As a theology student, I find this thoroughly researched and sensitively written book a valuable resource, revealing what has been hidden, giving voice to those silenced, and understanding to the movement of the Holy Spirit through hearts and bodies and acts of love.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A promising start May 11 2004
By "jroland631" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dr. McGinley's book is a scholarly, reasoned, and balanced view of current Catholic teaching and actual pastoral practice regarding homosexuality, and the divergence and contradictions between the two. McGinley argues that people cannot be separated from their acts, particularly in the Catholic frame of reference, and so the "love the sinner, hate the sin" ethic is a total contradiction for the gay community.The bios he selects to make his points are a variety of styles and backgrounds, and richly descriptive of the humanity of their writers. This is not a sensational volume, and may prove to be a disappointment to those looking for a "tell all" type missive. It is thought-provoking, and will hopefully provide the jumping-off point for honest discussion among Catholics.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Acts of Faith, Acts of Love ; a book by Dugan McGinley Nov. 9 2004
By L. Kemena - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
To err is human, to codify the error is institutional Catholicism. Witness Galileo.

Dugan McGinley, author of Acts of Faith, Acts of Love, speaks to the issue of sexual orientation and the institutional Catholic church. Rather than dialogue, gays have faced a monologue of condemnation from the Vatican. McGinley, yet another fine theologian in flight from staid Vatican corporate culture, points to the impossible dichotomy of Catholic teaching which broadly condemns gays under the cover of politically savvy pastoral window-dressing. The Vatican calls upon gays to " be" moral rather than calling them to a higher moral standard. McGinley won't let the Vatican "love the sinner, hate the sin" because in the end, this reasoning promotes bigotry. Sexual orientation is not about what we do, it is about who we are. Using this paradigm, whether unwittingly or premeditatedly, the institutional Catholic church continues to inspire violence and hatred against gay people.

McGinley illuminates the specific voice of gay men in Catholic contexts. He validates the issue of gender and rather than ignoring or giving short-shrift to lesbian Catholics, simply states that this group also deserves an in-depth review and analysis - and alludes to the notion that a female author may be better suited to such a project. One can't help but feel McGinley's personal connection in this book - particularly in his Acknowledgments and Preface which outline his own journey in writing. The topic of gay men in the Catholic church is close to his heart and his book resonates with genuine experiences - not the least of which is his own.

While many have described the odyssey of gay men within the Catholic church, most of the writings have focused on the autobiographical as the primary interest. McGinley selects printed autobiographies of gay Catholic men to share with his reader. However, he asks us to look beyond the power of these stories to the revelatory lessons we might extract from these acts of literary courage. In the end, McGinley is not only interested in the lived life - he is also dedicated to pondering the reflected life. Thus, we are drawn to patterns, commonalities, and logic in the lives gay men who are also Catholic - how they have survived and how they serve as prophetic voices in the Catholic church. In the name of holism, science, mental health and spiritual wellness, McGinley claims the birthright to full human identity: sexual, spiritual, active and contemplative.

It is interesting to note that this generation of gay men within Catholicism is still looking for the possibility of dialogue with the Vatican. To date, Cardinal Ratzinger and others have had none of it. Just as the sciences moved forward with Galileo leaving Vatican astrologers to the dustbin of history, the Catholic church is increasingly irrelevant on a myriad of human issues. We simply tune out Catholic rhetoric. McGinley shows that as Catholic church structure continues to disrupt one's spiritual relationship with God - whether by virtue of scandal, stubborn antiquation or premeditated campaigns against a minority group - traditional Catholicism will be discarded. Without substantive change on a variety of fronts, the Catholic church is becoming increasingly anachronistic - and for millions, it already has no pragmatic place in daily life.

Advocating lifelong celibacy as the only moral pathway for all gays, American Archbishop Charles Chaput has recently written that "homosexual activity is not just morally wrong but destructive, because it leads the person away from God and the authentic". Yet to follow Chaput's demands for lifelong gay celibacy (and anything beyond a handshake puts this vow in jeopardy) denies sexual and spiritual maturation - and arguably, salvation - for all gay people. Chaput can barely exact celibacy from his own priests within a mighty corporate structure of support. McGinley's shared autobiographies ring truest here. Most gay men have neither the "charism" nor a sustainable infrastructure for lifelong celibacy. Furthermore, because all human beings come to appreciate God's love personified through their most loving human relationships, Chaput's call to gays for lifelong abstinence from intimacy is hollow and spiritually damning.

McGinley's book also shows how the recent priest pedophile scandals have been metamorphed into an anti-gay agenda. Rather than bringing more transparency and honesty into Vatican corporate structure, these scandals have been used to justify more anti-gay hatred and violence. These crimes clearly point to a problem in church organization that apparently feeds sexual misconduct - that's the real point.

McGinley gives voice to a group of faithful gay men, a group that has faced relentless persecution by the Catholic church. As McGinley writes: "In the collision of moral and pastoral rhetoric, it seems the church is more than happy to take advantage of gay people and to use their talents as long as they do not act like full human beings." The denial of full humanity to any group of people is a Catholic tragedy. McGinley abhors the Catholic separation of spirituality and sexuality - for it is a full personal amalgam that is necessary for moral maturity. At the Eucharistic table, we should not seek refuge as disjointed furtive pieces. Rather, we pray as a whole person created by God.

No one is holding their breath for change in the Vatican - but McGinley is convinced that change is on the wing and history is with him. McGinley and other theologians will hold the Catholic church accountable for either their growing irrelevancy or eventual compelled apology regarding sexual orientation. Some may find the notion of a future apology implausible - and gays may wait for centuries like Galileo. In the meantime, God offers grace every day to all - ALL. Gay Catholics love and live their faith every day and offer their poignant witness to the Vatican.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Acts of Faith, Acts of Love, Gay Catholic Autobiographies as Sacred Texts by Dugan McGinley Aug. 10 2005
By Jim Marion - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book, in itself, is a great act of faith in the Holy Spirit and an act of love for both the Catholic Church and for queer Catholics who have been so hideouly oppressed and lately even scapegoated by that same institution. McGinley's writing is superb, at times lyrically beautiful. His scholarship is immense. For example, he understands postmodernism so well he actually transcends it. And his compassion is so real that, at times, it is almost heartbreaking. McGinley is absolutely convincing that there can be no adequate Christian theology on sexuality, and specifically on queer sexuality, without taking into account the real life-in-Spirit experiences of sexually active Christians. I am profoundly grateful to the author for offering us this book. Jim Marion, author of "Putting on the Mind of Christ, The Inner Work of Christian Spirituality."
Much needed contribution July 11 2010
By F. M. Ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dugan McGinley set himself an impossible task in trying to explain indirectly to a 'Vatican audience' the spirituality and completeness of gay theology. Can God make a white blackboard? or as Kathleen Hughes puts it `'reconciliation cannot happen in a community where the majority believe they don't need it and that the minority don't deserve it`' (P.161) Dugan relies on the stories of very enlightened and spiritual prophets. They come across as great people, who have for the most part come to terms with their personal brokenness that arises from a broken church. They stand bigger than the problem.
However Ratzingerism has dominated the Vatican for a number of decades and this book will not shift mentalities there. It will be very useful to theologians and the LBGT community searching for the meaning of their lives. There are beautiful stories of love, and I can imagine heterosexuals thinking 'I wish I had said that'! Thanks Dugan. Am I right in thinking that Cardinal Ratzinger used the same publisher?


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