A Very Kind Review of “Gay and Catholic” at Shored Fragments

A Very Kind Review of “Gay and Catholic” at Shored Fragments December 4, 2014

plus some other book, apparently other people also write books (why?):

I try to keep up with books addressing human sexuality from a theological/Christian perspective. The general flow of publications reminds me of an exchange from an old BBC Radio 4 drama:

‘He made pork pies the way Wagner wrote semiquavers.’

‘You mean they were good?’

‘Not often. But there were an awful lot of them…’

A minority of the books published simply repeat already well-rehearsed arguments and so contribute nothing to the debate; most of the rest could not be described anything like so positively. This is true on every side of the debate: much heat, little light, and less understanding tend to characterise contributions, which are nonetheless routinely praised to the skies around social media by the partisans of whichever position they champion, before they, thankfully, disappear almost without trace remaining.

That the past couple of months have brought the publication of not one but two books in the area that are really very good, then, had me watching the end of the road for four blokes on odd coloured horses. The world does not seem about to end, but the fact remains. Robert Song and Eve Tushnet have not just added to my (short) list of books worth reading in this area, they have moved towards the top of it. The books are very different: Song is academic, Protestant, and revisionist; Tushnet popular, Catholic, and traditional. Regardless, both make a genuine contribution, and both need to be read.


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