|Subline||Gays and lesbians reclaiming the spiritual journey|
|Date Added||10 Feb 2009|
- Reviewed in INSPIRES, the magazine of the Scottish Episcopal ChurchReview by The Rev Kelvin Holdsworth - www.thurible.net
So very much of what is said about gay people and religion is said by straight people. Straight people sometimes seem to be obsessed by gay people in the church. This is a book that is a little different, in that it is a book about spirituality written by a gay man for gay people.
One of the central themes in this book is the idea that gay people in themselves have a great and distinctive potential for discovering and sharing the spiritual. This is not merely about coping with the church, it is about getting to know God.
The author describes a mystical spirituality and provides meditations, exercises, rituals and prayers which gay people might use in order to foster spiritual discovery. This is a practical spirituality which many helpful suggestions.
The author of this book is a member of an ecumenical Christian religious order. He is a social worker and a counsellor and obviously has great experience in meditation. He has written a book which will make many think. This is not a justification for the acceptance of the visible presence of gay and lesbian people in Gods church rather it is a tool for those very people to work with.
Do gay and lesbian people have or need a distinctive spirituality? That is only one of the more interesting questions that is posed by books like this one but which get drowned out by the noise of the current rather narrow debates about human sexuality.
The Anglican churches around the world are supposed to be engaged in a process of listening to lesbian and gay voices. In the curious absence of that process, both internationally and here in Scotland, we might as well do some reading, the better to pass the time. This book should be on the reading list. (Posted on 04/12/2012)
- Reviewed in Coracle magazineReview by Graeme Brown
There are some people who mark the margin of a book to draw attention to a passage to which to return, and I have made more marks against passages in this book than against those of any other for many a long day.
Its title suggests that it may have more to say to gays and lesbians on a path of true spirituality, but, as a heterosexual person, I, too, found this book most illuminating at a number of levels. At one level, because the issue of homosexuality has become one of the most contentious within the Church today, it is very helpful for the rest of us to have the opportunity to read the mature and balanced reflections of someone of that Tribe a description of gay and lesbian people used affirmatively by Urs Mattmann. Meeting with folk of the Tribe and immersing ourselves in their literature is the very best way of deepening our understanding of one another, and this book offers the wise and perceptive reflections of a gay man on issues of embodied spirituality.
At another level, the aim of the book is to help gays and lesbians, and, indeed, all of us, to discover for ourselves a life path of personal growth and spiritual development, and, to aid this, there are offered at the end of each chapter questions to ponder, suggestions for action, meditations and prayers for those who may be seeking to discern their own path. A number of these have been used in workshops, seminars and retreats conducted by Urs Mattmann and provide wise suggestions and practical guides for further reflection and action.
Many will, I believe, find this book both stimulating and liberating and will be encouraged to come in to who we truly are. (Posted on 04/12/2012)