OVERRIDE

Jesus

A Meditation on His Stories and His Relationships with Women

Andrew M. Greeley

Forge Books

"We must begin our story of Jesus by granting him permission to surprise us endlessly...." ---from the Introduction
 
Jesus of Galilee taught through stories, which even today contain the power to startle us out of our prejudices and preconceptions. Now Father Andrew M. Greeley, one of America's most beloved storytellers, examines the parables told by Jesus in search of a fuller understanding of the man and his message.
This engaging and informal collection of homilies reveals a Jesus whose simple parables carry profound lessons about the Kingdom of Heaven. Along the way, Father Greeley touches on such provocative topics as the significance of Jesus's Jewish roots, his deep and revolutionary relationship with women, The Da Vinci Code, and The Passion of the Christ. He also singles out the four greatest parables, which best illustrate the infinite love and mercy of the God whose kingdom began with Jesus and continues even today.
As a storyteller, Jesus often surprised his listeners with unexpected twists that challenged them to see the world in a whole new light. Father Greeley's insightful tour of the Gospels provides a fresh look at the parables that strips away centuries of false and mistaken interpretations to get at the essential truth of who Jesus really was and what he believed.

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Introduction
 We must begin a search for understanding some of the stories of Jesus with the realization that he is deliberately elusive, mysterious, enigmatic, paradoxical. Hence we will never finish our search. We will never understand him. He is a man of surprises, appropriate for one who claims to witness a God of surprises. Thus, when we think we at last have figured him out, truly understand him, and can sign him up for our cause, we find that he has slipped away. When we are convinced that we can quote him in support of our own side in any argument, Jesus is out of here. The Jesus
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  • An interview with Andrew Greeley about his book, Jesus

    "We must begin our story of Jesus by granting him permission to surprise us endlessly...." ---from the Introduction

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REVIEWS

Praise for Jesus

"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."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
"Those who consider Greeley the novelist as an unacquirable taste and Greeley the sociologist as an argument that economics isn't the only dismal science may find Greeley the homilist quite something else. Jesus, he says, is best viewed as a surprise and a constant surpriser, from the Annunciation to the Resurrection and beyond, when he appeared to many of his followers as at first unrecognizable and then, suddenly, as the risen Christ. Equally surprising for his ethnicity-, class-, and gender-hierarchalized place and time, he revealed himself risen first to a woman. That, however, Greeley says, wasn't surprising for Jesus, whose relations with women, reviewed in the heart of the book, were, Greeley argues, absolutely equitable, just, and merciful. Proceeding to the parables, Greeley renames some (e.g., 'The Prodigal Father') to emphasize the figure in them whose love reassures us of God's unchanging reality, and discusses others, such as that of the wise and foolish virgins, that urge prompt, fitting response to God's call. As engaging and refreshing as traditional preaching should always be."--Ray Olson, Booklist
"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."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
"Those who consider Greeley the novelist as an unacquirable taste and Greeley the sociologist as an argument that economics isn't the only dismal science may find Greeley the homilist quite something else. Jesus, he says, is best viewed as a surprise and a constant surpriser, from the Annunciation to the Resurrection and beyond, when he appeared to many of his followers as at first unrecognizable and then, suddenly, as the risen Christ. Equally surprising for his ethnicity-, class-, and gender-hierarchalized place and time, he revealed himself risen first to a woman. That, however, Greeley says, wasn't surprising for Jesus, whose relations with women, reviewed in the heart of the book, were, Greeley argues, absolutely equitable, just, and merciful. Proceeding to the parables, Greeley renames some (e.g., 'The Prodigal Father') to emphasize the figure in them whose love reassures us of God's unchanging reality, and discusses others, such as that of the wise and foolish virgins, that urge prompt, fitting response to God's call. As engaging and refreshing as traditional preaching should always be."--Ray Olson, Booklist

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Andrew M. Greeley

  • Priest, sociologist, author and journalist, Father Andrew M. Greeley built an international assemblage of devout fans over a career spanning five decades. His books include the Bishop Blackie Ryan novels, including The Archbishop in Andalusia, the Nuala Anne McGrail novels, including Irish Tweed, and The Cardinal Virtues. He was the author of over 50 best-selling novels and more than 100 works of non-fiction, and his writing has been translated into 12 languages.

    Father Greeley was a Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona and a Research Associate with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. In addition to scholarly studies and popular fiction, for many years he penned a weekly column appearing in the Chicago Sun-Times and other newspapers. He was also a frequent contributor to The New York Times, the National Catholic Reporter, America and Commonweal, and was interviewed regularly on national radio and television. He authored hundreds of articles on sociological topics, ranging from school desegregation to elder sex to politics and the environment.

    Throughout his priesthood, Father Greeley unflinchingly urged his beloved Church to become more responsive to evolving concerns of Catholics everywhere. His clear writing style, consistent themes and celebrity stature made him a leading spokesperson for generations of Catholics. He chronicled his service to the Church in two autobiographies, Confessions of a Parish Priest and Furthermore!

    In 1986, Father Greeley established a $1 million Catholic Inner-City School Fund, providing scholarships and financial support to schools in the Chicago Archdiocese with a minority student body of more than 50 percent. In 1984, he contributed a $1 million endowment to establish a chair in Roman Catholic Studies at the University of Chicago. He also funded an annual lecture series, “The Church in Society,” at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois, from which he received his S.T.L. in 1954.

    Father Greeley received many honors and awards, including honorary degrees from the National University of Ireland at Galway, the University of Arizona and Bard College. A Chicago native, he earned his M.A. in 1961 and his Ph.D. in 1962 from the University of Chicago.

    Father Greeley was a penetrating student of popular culture, deeply engaged with the world around him, and a lifelong Chicago sports fan, cheering for the Bulls, Bears and the Cubs. Born in 1928, he died in May 2013 at the age of 85.

  • Andrew M. Greeley Jane Silvestrii
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Jesus

A Meditation on His Stories and His Relationships with Women

Andrew M. Greeley

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Forge Books

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