Skeptic in the House of God

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Rutgers University Press, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 171 pages
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James L. Kelley, a skeptic about religion, writes with insight and humor of his life as a member of St. Mark's, an Episcopal church that welcomes doubters without pressuring them to compromise their intellectual integrity. When Kelley first visited the church, he was well into his forties and searching for a respite from urban malaise. At the same time, he found himself filled with disquieting questions: How could he reconcile his convictions with the central purpose of the church - to worship a God he didn't believe in? Could he say the prayers and sing the hymns while remaining an honest skeptic? After fifteen years of full participation in a church that is open not only to skeptics but also to gay men and lesbians, blacks and Jews, where members are invited to critique Sunday sermons, and where hymns are rewritten to reflect feminist concerns, Kelley found that his agnosticism remained but his skepticism about church participation had disappeared. Modern urban life can be a sterile, isolating experience, yet in St. Mark's Kelley discovered a place of vibrant community, honest inquiry, and support over the hard places in life.
 

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Skeptic in the house of God

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In 1982, attorney Kelley joined St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. Despite his self-proclaimed skepticism about its central religious tenets and his doubts that this club would accept him ... Read full review

Contents

Skeptic on the Edge
1
First Sunday
7
A Good Catholic Boy Goes Wrong
15
First Year
23
People
35
LiturgyThe Words and the Music
43
Chapter? A Spectrum of Beliefs
51
Chapters The Gospel According to St Marks
65
Women at St Marks
103
Gays and Lesbians at St Marks
111
Community Life
119
Spirituality
127
My Brothers Keeper
135
Divorce
145
Aging and Dying
153
Afterword Finding an Open Church
161

Whos in Charge Here?
73
Christian Education Student
85
Christian Education Teacher
93
Suggested Reading
171
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