The Secret Love Letters of Saint Paul by Bern CallahanThe Secret Love Letters of Saint Paul by Bern Callahan

The Secret Love Letters of Saint Paul

byBern Callahan

Paperback | September 15, 2015

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The Secret Love Letters of Saint Paul interweaves two stories. Soon after the death of Jesus, the Apostle Paul profoundly changes Christianity to include pagans as well as Jews. Paul's story is a tale of radical change and passion told from the point of view of Timothy, his lover. In 2026, Finn McDonagh's story begins with his rediscovery of secret letters from Paul to Timothy. The Letters take him into intrigue, secrecy, and maneuverings within the the Vatican.
Title:The Secret Love Letters of Saint PaulFormat:PaperbackDimensions:410 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.91 inPublished:September 15, IncLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1634904834

ISBN - 13:9781634904834


Rated 5 out of 5 by from A truly spiritual novel I really enjoyed this novel. It raises important issues and questions that aren't really being asked often enough. It challenges many assumptions and conventional ideas people have about the Church (specifically) and religion (generally), but in a respectful and sympathetic manner. Callahan’s protagonist is a priest, devoted to his faith (as opposed to one going through a crisis of faith) and this enables him to walk an intelligent middle line. Its setting in the not-too-distant future makes for a very optimistic story. Callahan is a writer who has clearly done his research – in fact, one of my few criticisms is his inclusion of footnotes which, ironically, detract from the credibility of the narrative itself, whose strength is already entirely convincing. Convincing enough, at least, to make me want to do my own research into the question raised by the text. This is a story about people, about emotions, about belief. Clearly, the author has an agenda; it is an important one. I am convinced that “all religion is a story,” and this one speaks. Another aspect of this novel that readers should be prepared for is the writing of male-male erotica. This is very important aspect of this novel, especially as it is set within the world of a Church that has such a negative attitude toward sexuality, especially that which is not “hetero-normative.” However, to the open-minded reader, Callahan’s “love scenes” are educational, about sexuality in Hellenic times, and also in our own. It could help readers who don't understand to at least WANT to understand. This is truly a spiritual novel. It opens doors upon our notions of faith and religion, but also upon our notions about our true selves. It challenges us to ask what belief is, what love is. Yet it does this without any sense of intrusion. Its characters have desires and drives that are only hinted at, not acknowledged directly. Finn, the focalizing character does not fully recognize the work his discoveries are doing upon him. For the reader, they are shadows: “repressed content” that we hope will be given voice. And they are, though Callahan does not explicitly state them. This tacit internal conflict is an excellent underpinning to the very theme this novel explores about the letters of Saint Paul and what they might really mean to say about the nature of love in our lives - spiritually and carnally. The Secret Love Letters of Saint Paul raises big questions about church doctrine about love, non-hetero-normative love especially, as well as for the Church’s doctrines about celibacy. Should the truly loving human being - who carries the "spark" and its longings within him - to accept such doctrines? Does sexual renunciation actually amount to the renunciation of union with God?
Date published: 2016-01-18