One of the most vital lessons a lecturer has to communicate to students is the importance of using quotations properly - setting them in context and using them in a way that avoids distorting what the author is saying or misrepresenting his or her position. Only then is it possible to engage in informed analysis and debate, with the level of integrity and truthfulness that good scholarship entails.
I have become aware in recent months that people have been cherry-picking some of my work for quotations which give a highly distorted account of what I am arguing and why. I have therefore decided to make chapters from some of my books available here, for those who want a more accurate and contextualised account of my theological ideas. Critical debate is vital for the development and correction of academic ideas, and I am always grateful when people take the time and effort to engage with my work, however critically, if they do so from an informed position and using reasoned arguments.
The links below will take you to chapters from two of my academic books. I have always been committed to making my work available to non-academic as well as to academic audiences, which is why I spend a great deal of my time talking to parish groups and other similar communities and organisations, and writing for publications such as The Tablet. The texts below were written primarily for an academic readership, and I'm aware that they are heavy-going for those not used to engaging with this kind of writing. Nevertheless, I hope that people who are interested in quoting from my work or arguing with my ideas will read my writings before doing so, and that is why I have decided to make these chapters available here.
GOD'S MOTHER, EVE'S ADVOCATE: A Marian Narrative of Women's Salvation (London and New York: Continuum, 2002):
This book is based on my doctoral thesis, which used French critical theory as a way of reading patristic and contemporary writings on Mary and Eve. The link provided here will take you to two chapters:
Chapter Three, 'The Female Body and the Sacramental priesthood in Neo-Orthodox Catholic Theology'
Chapter Eight, 'Eve, Mary and the Priesthood'
NEW CATHOLIC FEMINISM: Theology and Theory (London and New York: Routledge, 2006):
This continues the work of God's Mother, Eve's Advocate, by offering a critical engagement with both feminist theory and the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar. The link will take you to the final chapter, which offers my own interpretation of the sacramentality of the Mass in engagement with relevant theological and liturgical sources:
Chapter Fifteen, 'Redeeming Sacramentality'.