292 pages; $14.95.
Soft Skull Press, Brooklyn, NY, 2006.
All copies offered below are first editions signed by the author, Elizabeth Adams
COMMENTS ON GOING TO HEAVEN
Elizabeth Adams has chronicled for the Church now, and for generations to come, the amazing journey of Bishop Gene Robinson…[her book] is a must read for every Episcopalian and is an important addition to the discussions that continue within the Global Anglican Communion about the rightful place and full inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in its life, mission and ministry.
The Rt. Rev. John Chane, (former) Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington
“a hefty, thrilling and remarkable book”
Cate McMahon, NH Episcopal Life
As a window on Episcopal polity it's without equal...Adams writes from a perspective sympathetic to Robinson, but she does well to describe opponents in a fair light. This is no black and white, good guys-bad guys tale. ..it's nice to see it reported fairly here.
...it's less a biography... than it is a fine piece of journalism describing the death-grip of heterosexist patriarchy. Solid, insightful and original reporting on the hidden drama of church politics.
This is a detailed book of 300 pages; and it is interesting to see Bishop Robinson portrayed as less arrogant and more cautious than some media profiles have suggested.
The book is also a fascinating portrait of small-town American Anglicans coming to terms with being a branch of a much larger Church that they knew little about.
Leigh Hatts, Church Times (UK)
This biography is a great step toward clarifying precisely who Gene Robinson is and what he stands for.…[it's] not a salacious account of some flash-in-the-pan controversy; instead, it's the spiritual biography of a thought-provoking, deeply prayerful bishop.
The Rev. Chris Tessone, priest and theologian
The struggle among the Anglicans is a reflection of the larger struggle in modern life between the fundamentalist's rigidity and the progressive's openness. Between believing, on the one hand, that God stopped speaking to us when the last jot and tittle of the Bible had been recorded and, on the other hand, that God is still speaking to us today, in myriad ways.
Would that all those who need to hear this message were able to! Fortunately, I think, Gene Robinson's ministry and Going to Heaven together will help carry the word to those who need to know that God loves them. That is the final story here, that the word is going out: "God loves you, and loves you as you are.”
Tom Montag, The Middlewesterner
Going to Heaven has been one hell of a roller coaster ride…I was hooked from the first chapter - and I rode the ride all the way through to the last page.
I am saying, after reading this riveting book, that I could identify 100% with so much of it that it scared me. Bishop Robinson is kin, we are connected by a fine line of life, faith, belief and struggle. And for that I am grateful for having had the opportunity to read this amazing story of triumph.
Gene speaks to us when he says that we are all God's children, he loves each and very one of us, no matter what. We are worthy of God's love - because he created us to be exactly who we are today. And that message resonated within every fibre of my being.
The Tao of Jeremy
The narrative voice – the coolly passionate, unifying force in the entire book—is that of a girl deeply moved by the laying on of hands, yet struck by her exclusion from meaningful participation in her church because of her gender; and pondering for the next forty years the consequences of such separation…
Going to Heaven captures a watershed moment in the life of the church. Elizabeth Adams informs and inspires as she reveals to us the inner workings of the Episcopal Church and one of its most controversial figures.
Rev. Canon Joyce Sanchez, Diocese of Montreal
“Unobtrusively beautiful writing... The inspirational story here, to me, is the story of people determined to do the right thing, the vestries and volunteers who worked to make "a church with no outcasts," and the clergy who understood, however uncomfortably, that a church of Jesus has to be a church of radical inclusion.
Dale Favier, Mole
My consideration of the man would have been weaker - perhaps even skewed - had I not read this wonderfully well-written and enlightening book.
Everyone interested in the current conversation regarding religion and sexuality should read this book before they speak the name of Gene Robinson.
Shawn Anthony, Lo-Fi Tribe
Going to Heaven
The Life and Election of Bishop Gene Robinson
with historical photographs from Bishop Robinson's own archive,
and documentary photography by Jonathan Sa'adah
It may be a uniquely American success story: not long ago, who would have thought that the son of tobacco sharecroppers in Kentucky could become an Episcopal bishop? No one could have predicted that this boy, born poor, ill, and given little chance of survival, would in fact be elected and ordained 56 years later as the first openly gay bishop in Christendom, and find himself at the center of unprecedented positive and negative reaction in the religious world and beyond.
Gene Robinson’s life is a compelling story of challenges overcome by hard work, intelligence, humor, love, and deep faith. It is also a story of one man’s journey into his own “otherness”; of courage found and integrity retained; and the emergence of a ministry that speaks to countless people who believe in a Gospel of love and inclusion, and want the church to reflect that vision.
Through a lively text based on extensive interviews with Bishop Robinson, his closest associates, family, colleagues, and observers, and illustrated with photographs from all phases of his life, this book paints a portrait of Bishop Robinson not as a symbol but a human being who is, as he puts it, “neither the angel nor the devil some would make me out to be.” It illuminates his life; his struggle with—and eventual acceptance of—his sexual orientation; his calling to become a priest and later a bishop.
It tells the story of the critical, central events of his election and consecration amid intense opposition, huge security concerns, and media attention. The book follows him through the next two years as he juggles dual roles—Bishop of New Hampshire, and symbol of gay achievement and the progressive church— while the opposition stirred by his election creates increasing pressure for schism in the Episcopal Church of the United States and the Anglican Communion worldwide.
The book concludes with a discussion of the theological and historical significance of Gene Robinson’s election, and his vision for a future in which "infinite respect" and "radical hospitality" for all people are lived out as the primary values of our community and institutional relationships.
“a hefty, thrilling and remarkable book”
Cate McMahon, NH Episcopal Life
Elizabeth (Beth) Adams is a writer, publisher, editor, and graphic designer. She is the founder of Phoenicia Publishing, a small independent press, and was for many years the co-managing editor of qarrtsiluni online literary magazine. She is the author of essays on religion, spirituality, and the arts, and the editor of numerous poetry books and anthologies. Her blog, The Cassandra Pages, has been published regularly now for over a decade. Beth grew up in the rural northeastern U.S., has a degree in classics from Cornell, lived in Vermont for thirty years, and currently resides in Montreal with her husband, photographer Jonathan Sa'adah. She is a member of PEN Canada.