Tuesday, May 26, 2015

tape rolling

Listening to (and part of the time watching) the documentary, One Bright Shining Moment, they had author and Episcopal priest Malcolm Boyd on for a minute and referred to his breakthrough 1965 book, Are You Running With Me, Jesus?

I had not thought of that book in a long time; when it was relatively new I had peripheral awareness of it, maybe I saw it someplace and noted the interesting title.

With perspective of today's society, I noted the interesting book jacket,

...and if you look on Amazon there's a 2006 ("deluxe") reissue of the book --

with a cover photo relieved of its cigarette...

------------------ [excerpt, from the 2006 edition, Editor's Introduction] ----------------

When Malcolm Boyd's now classic Are You Running With Me, Jesus? first appeared some forty years ago, his conversational, very colloquial collection of approximately ninety prayers made quite a radical departure from the formal patterns of the period.  Boyd's slangy informality and sometimes far-out politics (one prayer, set in a homosexual bar, must have caused shock waves back in 1965) probably disconcerted even open-minded liberals of the time.

Remember that the mid-sixties still described a culture not yet launched into the anything-goes, everything-goes hyper-drive of change inspired by slightly later anti-Vietnam War activity. 

Although enormous change was underway already, it was powered largely by the civil rights movement, which had a pace inexorable rather than headlong, and an intent that was redemptive rather than countercultural.  Nonviolent civil rights protestors rarely acted "counterculturally," at least not in the confrontational, antiwar manner to come later.  Rather, they behaved -- and even dressed -- the way they would in church....

------------------------------- [end excerpt] ----------------

1965.  "Tape was rolling."