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Whose Church?: A Concise Guide to Progressive Catholicism (Whose Religion? Series) [Hardcover]

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Pages   178
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.44" Width: 5.68" Height: 0.74"
Weight:   0.64 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2008
Publisher   New Press
ISBN  1595583351  
EAN  9781595583352  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Noted social ethicist Dan Maguire explains what Catholicism actually says about good sex, women's equality, social justice, and the environment.
""All the world's major religions started out powered by the left-wing passions of justice, hope, and compassion...targeting exploitation of the have-nots by the haves.""from "Whose Church?"
In the spring of 2007, Daniel C. Maguire was condemned by U.S. bishops for his progressive writings, because, the "New York Times" reported, Maguire's pamphlets on abortion and same-sex marriage "are written in a very popular and lively style, and from what the bishops knew, they were very widely distributed." Praised by "Ms."magazine as one of "40 male heroes who took a chance for women," Maguire is a noted theologian and ethicist whose controversial views and irreverent style have rankled conservatives for nearly thirty years. In this pithy guide to progressive Catholicism, Maguire shows how tragically far conservative Catholic politics have strayed from the best Catholic social teaching.
"Whose Church?" takes special aim at the "pelvic politics" that have dominated official Catholicism, skewering the Church hierarchy's rigid positions on sex and reproduction and revealing a "spiritually healthy" alternative approach that is fully in line with Catholic tradition. "Whose Church?" offers deeply informed and incisive theological arguments in favor of gender equality, affirmative action and antiracism, opposition to war, and the fight against poverty and economic inequality.
Full of humor, passion, and intolerance for injustice, "Whose Church?" is a manifesto for Catholics and for progressives everywhere--showing the way forward at a criticaljuncture in the history of the U.S. Catholic Church and in progressive politics more generally.
About the series: Titles in the "Whose Religion?" series will spark a spirited and substantive public debate over Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, and Islam and where each stands on today's most pressing issues: poverty, the environment, war, sex, race, and women's equality. In these books, noted progressive religious leaders present persuasive and profound examinations of religious belief, justice, and public policy in America.
Debunking widely held assumptions about these religions as inherently conservative on current issues, the books in "Whose Religion?" will offer powerful intellectual and inspirational tools for anyone grappling with a religious framework, whether to chart their own personal spiritual and moral course or to challenge the religious right and its co-option of religion for political gain.

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More About Daniel C. Maguire

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Daniel C. Maguire is Professor of Social Ethics at Marquette University. He has written several books, including most recently, On Moral Grounds: The Art/Science of Ethics and The Moral Code of Judaism and Christianity.

Larry L. Rasmussen is Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary. He is the author of several books, including most recently, Earth Community, Earth Ethics and Moral Fragments & Moral Community: A Proposal for Church in Society.

Daniel C. Maguire has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Sacred Energies
  2. Suny Series, Religious Studies

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Does he have the truth?   Nov 8, 2008
Whose church is it? It belongs to and was founded by Jesus Christ, and it is a sad to read this book and see how little Maguire is touched by the white-hot fire of God's love and mercy which is the heart of the church.

Instead he complains about all the things he feels are wrong with the church. It "strangled free inquiry" (p 3) and teaches "sex is dirty, spirituality sublime" (p 11). Heaven only knows how we got one billion Catholics. Virgin births?

But of course he is wrong, as he would learn if he investigated. The Church has always taught sex is good; from the 2nd century on the church condemned the Gnostics for teaching sex was bad. But certainly it does say spirituality is better. Sex on earth is only a partial good, just like all the partial goods that exist here. Only in heaven will we achieve true joy.

Maguire seems outraged that the church dares to teach that premarital sex and adultery are sins. "This arbitrarily and arrogantly limits...the advantages of sexual activity" (p 18).

Yes, all around us we see the advantages of that sexual activity. The fifty million babies killed by abortion. The over 30% illegitimacy rate. The huge number of marriages wrecked on the shoals of sexual freedom. And let's not forget the children, about 50% of whom will grow up in a single parent family for at least part of their lives. Statistics show these children will be at great risk of suicide, emotional problems, school problems, criminal activity, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity and alcohol abuse.

Some advantages.

He writes that ,"The goal of biblical morality is the total elimination of poverty" (p 118). Wrong. The first commandment and the goal of the church and the bible and all tradition is to love God. It is an abomination that there are children starving in this world, and I am glad Maguire wants to help the poor. But he has missed the entire point of the bible and the church if he thinks the main goal is ending poverty.

"Religion would seem to have more problem than cure (p 143) he says. If your goal is perfect freedom in this life to do whatever you want, then perhaps he is right. But never does he seem to wonder if God has given us rules. Not the church. God. And that only God's way leads to true happiness.

Maguire makes so many errors in this book I can hardly begin to mention all of them here. Again and again he makes huge mistakes--claiming that the church once supported same sex marriage, for example. He appears to want to follow every liberal fad. Never to listen to what the church has teaches. Suffice to say, he needs to pray, to consult a priest, and to read deeper.
A Review of a Life Time of Scholarship  Oct 9, 2008
First off, let me confess that I am an unabashed fan of Dan Maguire both as a writer and as a person. That said, I loved this book. In many ways it is a synopsis of his life's work, which is considerable. From his work on Affirmative Action to his views on Abortion, its all in this book in an easy to read format. And it is all argued with the same dispassionate Thomistic logic that his longer works contain. If you are attracted to people who "speak truth to power", then this is a great book for you.
Not up to This Author's Own Academic Standards  Jul 28, 2008
I have read other books by the author in which I have learned a great deal but this breezy, satiric piece does not measure up to his own academic standards. I also attended lectures by Professor Maguire when I was a student at Catholic University.

Maguire says the church is hung-up on "pelvic issues" but his book constantly refers to sex. He falls into the same trap of the extreme right when he jumbles birth control and abortion, giving explicit approval to both as if they were on the same ethical plain.

Maguire claims that Mary is more important then Jesus in Catholic tradition. I my opinion this is an exaggeration. He says that Israel and the Church made God and the Son of God a man implies a rejection of the Incarnation. His statement that Jesus is no more connected to the Vatican than Running Bull is to the Bureau of Indian Affairs is really a denial of the work of the Holy Spirit in the history of the Church.

Maguire does have some appealing things to say about militarism and poverty and ecology. I share most of McGuire's political opinions against war and violence. I thought his application of just war theory to our times was excellent. Yet every time he says something astute about an issue he has to refer back to his criticism that the Catholic Church authority is hung-up on abortion. I consider militarism, poverty, and the ecological crisis important moral issues. I also consider widespread abortion to be a grave moral evil. Does the author advance his cause by playing one set of evils off against another?

Even in Maguire's last chapter on ecology he manages to digress on the subject of abortion referring to earlier theologians. Who cares what some theologians in the Middle Ages, who had limited if not erroneous knowledge about biological development of the embryo, had to say about this issue? I never heard of any theologian in the Catholic Church, even to this day, speak forcefully against torture. Does that make it acceptable?

This author is grounded in theology and the history of ethics; I dare say he wrote this book in an evening. Sadly I cannot recommend it. I wish I had my money back.

PS: This review is not revenge for a bad grade as I never had Professor McGuire for an accredited class.


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