Spiritual Friendship - Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian
Friendship is a relationship like no other. Unlike the relationships we are born into, we choose our friends. It is also tenuous--we can end a friendship at any time. But should friendship be so free and unconstrained? Although our culture tends to pay more attention to romantic love, marriage, family, and other forms of community, friendship is a genuine love in its own right. This eloquent book reminds us that Scripture and tradition have a high view of friendship. Single Christians, particularly those who are gay and celibate, may find it is a form of love to which they are especially called.
Writing with deep empathy and with fidelity to historic Christian teaching, Wesley Hill retrieves a rich understanding of friendship as a spiritual vocation and explains how the church can foster friendship as a basic component of Christian discipleship. He helps us reimagine friendship as a robust form of love that is worthy of honor and attention in communities of faith. This book sets forth a positive calling for celibate gay Christians and suggests practical ways for all Christians to cultivate stronger friendships.
- Paperback | 160 pages
- 147 x 219 x 12mm | 200g
- 01 May 2015
- Baker Publishing Group
- Brazos Press, Div of Baker Publishing Group
- Ada, MI, United States
- black & white illustrations
Back cover copy
"Courageous and thought provoking. This is a book that challenges all of us--whatever our sexual experience or longings may be--to think more truthfully about the meaning of love and the complex ways in which our communities either stifle or nurture it."
--Richard B. Hays, Duke Divinity School
"Remarkable. Here is a book everyone interested in Christianity, and everyone interested in friendship, can profit from reading."
--Alan Jacobs, Honors College, Baylor University
"An elegant, theologically rich plea on behalf of the love of friendship that uncovers fresh ways to improvise on a lost Christian tradition of committed spiritual friendship."
--Peter Leithart, president, Theopolis Institute, Birmingham, Alabama
"Honest and poignant, Spiritual Friendship is like a conversation with a good friend who has learned much from books but more from loving and being loved by others."
--Eve Tushnet, author of Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith
"Love is the most complicated thing in the world--and even more so for gay and lesbian Christians who have experienced a vocation to celibacy. Hill's is a voice that needs to be heard."
--Benjamin Myers, Charles Sturt University, Sydney, Australia
"Hill not only wants to think about what friendship might mean for a celibate gay Christian but indeed wants to recover a richer, more substantive, and especially more promising understanding of friendship for everyone."
--Paul J. Wadell, St. Norbert College; author of Becoming Friends: Worship, Justice, and the Practice of Christian Friendship
"Hill gives us a glimpse of what we've forgotten--a rich Christian vision of friendship. Whether readers agree or disagree with his theological vision, there is no doubt that this book will be a conversation changer!"
--J. Todd Billings, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan
Table of contents
Part 1: Reading Friendship
1. An Eclipse of Friendship?
2. "I Love You Because You're Mine"
3. The Transformation of Friendship
Part 2: Living Friendship
4. "A Piece of Ice Held Fast in the Fist"
5. Friendship Is a Call to Suffer
6. Patterns of the Possible
An Essay on Sources
About Wesley Hill