Pillars of Flame

Power, Priesthood, and Spiritual Maturity

Maggie Ross

Sep/2007, 272 Pages, Paperback, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9781596270640



Is the priesthood a power to be exercised, or a call to share in the broken Christ? Ross sets modern questions about ordained ministry in the Church within a much wider context, encouraging us to reflect anew on the relationship between administrative power and spiritual authority within the Church, and to redefine the priesthood.

She minces no words in her critique of the contemporary Church, and goes on to propose changes so sweeping and fundamental that we sense what a truly Christian Church would be.

Maggie Ross is a writer and translator well known for her insights into ancient spiritual texts and practices. A professed solitary under vows to the Archbishop of Canterbury, she is the author of The Fire of Your Life and Seasons of Death and Life. She lives in Oxford, England.

"A passionate and searching book which unsparingly sets the Gospel in judgment over the popular Christian idolatries of our time."—Rowan Williams

"Maggie Ross taps wellsprings of mystical depths and writes with the passion of a pamphleteer. Even those who disagree with her answers will find her questions challenging."—David Steindl-Rast, OSB

"A serious attempt to distinguish between what is essential and what is merely customary in our common life of faith. There are jolts of recognition as she highlights our grasping and the use of the institution for our glory and power. A useful and fascinating book."—The Living Church

"Pillars of Flame is a thoughtful challenge to the dominance of male power in the church. It is a challenge that comes from the spirit and heart -- one the reader must take seriously because the questions the author raises come from scriptural and patristic thought."—The National Catholic Reporter

"There are no priests in the four Gospels or the genuine letters of Paul. That fact should make us rethink entirely the concepts of Christian ministry and community. Maggie Ross gives us a good way to start."—Garry Wills, author of What Jesus Meant

"Like a jeweler taking out and displaying a dark and incandescent stone, so Maggie Ross holds up to us Christ's priesthood, made alive among all his faithful by baptism. As she shows us this flashing jewel, we are summoned to the self-emptying that is central to our vocation and brought back to what we had once known, but forgotten, our priesthood to be. I am grateful to have my imagination once again set on fire."—James Alison, author of Undergoing God: Dispatches from the Scene of a Break-In

"Maggie Ross argues cogently and persuasively that we should provide the world with the paradigm of the self-emptying leadership of Christ – not self-serving, not self-aggrandizing, but poured out in selfless service of others."—Archbishop Desmond Tutu, from the Foreword

Click For a Book Preview


You May Also Like

The Fire of Your Life

Maggie Ross$19.95

Together and Apart

Ellen Stephen, OSH$20.95

A History of the Church in England

J. R. H. Moorman$44.95

My Faith, My Life, Revised Edition

Jenifer Gamber$22.95

Deacons and the Church

John N. Collins$25.95