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Kaya Oakes on Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church

Radical Reinvention

Earlier this evening Kaya Oakes celebrated the launch of her new book, Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church, at Moe’s Books in Berkeley, California. I tip my hat to Oakes (a friend of this blog, who I interviewed for the first time in late 2009 regarding her book, Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture) for writing a great book and giving it a great title that perfectly informs the reader what they are about to read. As a fellow Catholic, I could not pass up the chance to interview her about the new book.

Tim O’Shea: Do you think you would have come back to Catholicism if you had attended a more traditional conservative Catholic parish in another part of the country?

Kaya Oakes: That’s a good question, because I am Bay Area to the bone. I’ve only briefly lived in other parts of the country/world, and those were fairly liberal urban areas. My family parish in childhood was ultra progressive, and the Catholic schools I attended were run by liberal/progressive religious orders. So it’s very hard to imagine what my faith life would be like had I come from a more conservative place or set of circumstances. Frankly, I would probably not be back in a pew. In researching the book I did visit some more conservative local churches, including our local cathedral Mass, and I even went to a Latin Mass, and let’s just say that the urge to return is… nonexistent. The Catholicism I grew up with was social justice oriented, not just about sex and birth control. And after some searching, I did find that that kind of Catholicism is alive and well.

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