> Skip to content
  • Published: 26 February 2014
  • ISBN: 9780143124399
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $26.99

Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition



WhyPriests? 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.

In his provocative tour de force, Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Wills challenges the very basis of the Christian priesthood.
In this riveting examination of the theological and historical foundations for the priesthood in Christianity, Garry Wills asks some charged and stirring questions: Why did the priesthood develop in a religion that began without it and, indeed, was initially opposed to it?  Wills is not opposed to the priesthood; in fact, as a young man he studied at a Jesuit seminary.  Nor does he advocate its elimination.  But the stakes 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.  Why Priests?, a New York Times bestseller, argues brilliantly and persuasively for a radical reenvisioning of the role of the church as the Body of Christ and for a new and better understanding of the central tenets of Christian belief.
'[Garry Wills is] one of the country's most distinguished intellectuals [and] also one of its most provocative.'  The New York Times Book Review
'Wills draws on his expertise in classical languages and his wide reading in ecclesiastical history to argue that the Catholic/Orthodox priesthood has been one long mistake.'  The Washington Post
'Pulitzer Prize winner Wills, a venerable voice on church history, thought, and practice, provides a stunning critique of the Roman Catholic priesthood.'  Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 

  • Published: 26 February 2014
  • ISBN: 9780143124399
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $26.99

Also by Garry Wills

See all

Related titles