In Leaders and People in Biblical Stories James Fischer, C.M., demonstrates how models of leadership have varied throughout Israel's and the Church's history as times and circumstances have necessitated change. Using a narrative method to study the stories of both the Old and New Testaments, he asks for a rethinking of the Church's approach to authority today. Vatican II reinstated the ancient truth that it is the whole people of God who keep the faith. Analyzing the stories of leaders in both the Old and New Testament from the viewpoint of the people who told them illustrates how both the leaders and the people had needed one another to balance their view of how they were following God's will as He led his people. Conflict was always a rule of life between them. Fischer asks if this is a helpful way to look at the present situation of the Catholic Church? "What is history without people? A better question might be: Can we have history without people? Fischer introduces us to several biblical leaders, some who accomplish great things almost by accident.
By telling their stories and the stories of those led by them, he opens us to the way their interaction shaped the events of their history. He brings these characters alive in a way that is both informative and engaging. "-- Dianne Bergant "Fr. James Fischer's vast knowledge of biblical studies, his studious reflection over the years and his love for the Church have led him to question the accuracy of the historical critical method. His concern throughout this volume is to get at the full meaning and to determine exactly what part ordinary people play in carrying on given traditions." -- Rev. Prof. Robert F. O'Toole, S.J., S.S.D. Biblical Faculty, Pontifical Biblical Institute President, The Gregorian University Foundation
Rev. James A. Fischer, C.M., S.T.L., is author of numerous books and articles on biblical subjects and a contributor to the Collegeville Bible Commentary series published by Liturgical Press. He is a campus minister at the University of Arkansas.