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John Moriarty: Not The Whole Story

By: Mary McGillicuddy , John Moriarty

Publication Date: June 2018

(2 customer reviews)


Edited by Mary McGillicuddy. John Moriarty was a man who was gloriously indefinable – a writer, philosopher, teacher, gardener, poet, mystic, ordinary man – and ultimately, and surprisingly, a missionary in the tradition of the early Irish monks. He was a missionary for a newly-imagined Christianity, one that might go back to its roots to include Taoists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, atheists, scientists, plants and animals, the Earth, the stars and the galaxies.

This Christianity could heal what he called ‘the bog sadness’ of the world; it could enable us to ‘walk beautifully on the earth’ and to be content with the Paradise that can be known in the here-and-now. is Christianity would help to grow and nourish a sense of soul. ‘What is wrong,’ he asked, ‘about emerging into a sense of wonder?’ Moriarty’s work can be daunting; Not The Whole Story is the attempt of Mary McGillicuddy to provide a key – to open the door into his genius, ensuring that his legacy will not be lost.


Originally from Cork, Mary McGillicuddy has lived and worked in North Kerry for the past forty years. During a long career in education she made the acquaintance of the extended family of John Moriarty, and eventually of John himself. Fascinated by both his story and his message she embarked on a voyage into his books, to aim to uncover the whole story.

John Moriarty was born in Kerry on 2 February 1938 and died there on 1 June 2007. He was educated at St Michael’s College, Listowel, and University College Dublin. He taught English literature at the University of Manitoba in Canada for six years, before returning to Ireland in 1971. His books include Dreamtime (1994); the trilogy Turtle Was Gone a Long Time: Crossing the Kedron (1996), Horsehead Nebula Neighing (1997) and Anaconda Canoe (1998); Nostos, An Autobiography (2001); Invoking Ireland (2005); Night Journey to Buddh Gaia (2006); Serious Sounds (2007); and One Evening in Eden (2007), a boxed CD collection of his talks, stories and poetry.

Also available as an ebook

2 reviews for John Moriarty: Not The Whole Story

  1. Elaine O’D

    I second Richard G’s comment- a loving and pure tribute to John and all that he stood for. An inspiration to those of us also “searching “ . Thank you Mary for this beautifully written account of John and his ‘ journey’. Thank you for the time, effort and live you put into this .

  2. Richard G

    I am utterly astonished at the love and hard work that must have gone into this book. There is such a sensitive delicacy and depth of understanding in the way Mary presents John’s ideas. Somehow, she manages to distil the key points of John’s thoughts and bring him out of the shadows of his words, whilst she herself, remains firmly in the background. The immensity of the task must have been, at times, completely overwhelming. The result is a work of true beauty. Mary’s has done the world a great service in presenting John’s voice so clearly. PLEASE NEVER LET THIS BOOK GO OUT OF PRINT.

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Weight 0.500 kg
Dimensions 156 × 234 mm

Paperback w/ flaps: 234 x 156 mm, 288pp

Publication Date

June 2018