Why Priests? by Garry Wills
A Failed Tradition

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...I remain unsure about the effect of Professor Wills’ determined argument deployed against the Vatican and nearly two millennia of dominance by Rome and its clerical class...
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

New York Times–bestselling author Garry Wills provides a provocative analysis of the theological and historical basis for the priesthood

In a riveting and provocative tour de force from the author of What Jesus Meant, Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Wills poses the challenging question: Why did the priesthood develop in a religion that began without it and, indeed, was opposed to it? Why Priests? argues brilliantly and persuasively for a radical re-envisioning of the role of the church as the Body of Christ and for a new and better understanding of the very basis of  Christian belief. As Wills emphasizes, the stakes for the writer and the church are high, for without the priesthood there would be no belief in an apostolic succession, the real presence in the Eucharist, the sacrificial interpretation of the Mass, and the ransom theory of redemption. This superb study of the origins of the priesthood stands as Wills’s towering achievement and will be of interest to all inquiring minds, believers and non-believers alike.
 

About Garry Wills

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GARRY WILLS has written many acclaimed works and is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books. He is professor emeritus of history at Northwestern University and lives in Evanston, Illinois.
 
Published February 12, 2013 by Penguin Books. 321 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Mar 03 2013
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Why Priests?
All: 4 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
on Dec 23 2012

A comprehensive, critical exploration of the origin and meaning of priesthood and a formidable volley lobbed at tradition.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Randall Balmer on Feb 15 2013

If some elements of Wills’s thesis sound familiar, they are. In the not-so-distant past, another formidable thinker and critic — someone who also favored Augustine over Aquinas — mounted a similar case.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jan 14 2013

One cannot help but be impressed with this brilliant work written by a scholar whose love for the Church compels him to make it better.

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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by John L. Murphy, Ph.D. on Feb 12 2013

...I remain unsure about the effect of Professor Wills’ determined argument deployed against the Vatican and nearly two millennia of dominance by Rome and its clerical class...

Read Full Review of Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Reader Rating for Why Priests?
63%

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