Seduced by Grace: Contemporary spirituality, Gay experience and Christian faith by Michael Bernard Kelly
Foreword by The Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG
In these collected writings – essays, articles, letters, talks – Michael Kelly invites us into an intimate exploration of the inner wisdom and radical challenge of Christianity. In reflections that take us from the fields of Nicaragua to the ‘War on Terror’, from the joy of erotic pleasure to the challenge of rebuilding the church, Kelly gives voice to a spirituality of desire, grounded in justice and love.
Michael Kelly is a freelance writer, activist, counsellor and educator, known internationally for his ministry in spirituality, sexuality and human integration.
Seduced by Grace presents Michael Kelly’s collected writings and lectures, composed over a ten year period. Exploring contemplative spirituality, erotic grace, prophetic activism, gay experience, and the soulful challenges of contemporary living, this collection is a major contribution from the author of The Erotic Contemplative lecture series.
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‘With a subtitle such as this you might think this collection of essays and reflections (many of which were published in The Age) is heavy going. In fact, it’s anything but that. Although Michael Kelly is dealing with weighty and contentious issues – revolving round the plight of today’s gay and lesbian Christians – his writing is learned and perceptive, often conversational in tone. The pieces vary in mood, from the quiet and contemplative as in ‘On the Peninsula, alone with God’, to the more assertive and argumentative and more speculative portraits of a very human Jesus in ‘Could Jesus have been Gay?’ and ‘Jesus Gloried in a Woman’s Touch’. Above all, there is a spirit of optimism running through most of the collection, perhaps best exemplified in his portrait of S Francis of Assisi (an excellent piece of writing), whom he sees as emblematic of the kind of saint the modern church is so sadly in need of.’ — Steve Carroll, The Age
‘Every chapter of this book is an invitation. It’s thoughts and stories carry you over and over again into a deeper place …’ — Rev. Dorothy McCrae-McMahon
‘Michael Kelly writes with great precision and poignancy of a yearning which everyone shares. A yearning for love, both physical and spiritual. A yearning for completion. In this wonderful collection of essays, Kelly seduces the reader with his insights into those fleeting moments in which we encounter the greatest mystery of all’ — Dr Fiona Capp
‘These are the passionate despatches of a reporter from one of the most hostile – for gay men and women – regimes on earth: the Catholic church. Michael Kelly has come out but stayed in. His indictment of the church is stark but his vision of what it might become has the power to move even hardened atheists.’– David Marr