This extraordinary book—combining memoir, social critique, and theology—explores the incarnated life of queer radicalism and Catholic devotion as challenges to the bland and puritanical gentrification that has overtaken New York. Strouse manages to be honest, funny, and obscene without irony or cynicism. Indeed, the whole point of the book is to resist the way liberal capitalism encourages detachment. In its place, Strouse searches for an Augustinian mysticism that integrates carnality and spirituality, an erotic attachment to God and to other people that goes beyond tolerance to the fullness of love.” ~ William T. Cavanaugh, Professor Catholic Studies, DePaul University, author of Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire.

This book, like Strouse himself, is impossible to categorize. Whether you are progressive or conservative, atheist or Christian, a New York lover or hater, it will outrage you in some way. And that’s exactly why you should read it.” ~ Molly Worthen, Associate Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, contributing opinion writer, The New York Times, author of Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism.

This is the book we deserve—one that unmoors us from our narcissistic presentism and knocks us out, fragment by fragment, into the ways we’ve allowed ourselves to be so preoccupied with the bullshit of the world we’ve made, that we are missing the larger threads that bind us so very queerly to the past. Strouse leaves us sifting through the fragments. And maybe that is, in fact, the City of God—the perversity of our humanness, doubling as our perversity in demanding coherence, but not being able to do more than build the Tower of Babel and experience again the disarray of language.” ~ Jonathan Alexander, Chancellor’s Professor of English and Informatics, UC Irvine, author of Dear Queer Self

The Gentrified City of God is like reading St. John the Baptist—many readers will want to cut Strouse’s head off! Prophetic, furious, and funny, this book provokes serious thought with an Oscar Wilde-like mix of humor and criticism that challenged me to meditate on my own spiritual journey.” ~ Stephen Adubato, staff writer, National Catholic Reporter

Charismatic and original. I’m compelled by the story of the personal, moral, and spiritual development of a promiscuous Catholic who wants to make his case to the world.” ~ Leonard Cassuto, Professor, Fordham, author of The Graduate School Mess

I love the way that Strouse wears his compromises and mixed positions on his sleeve.” ~ Cary S. Howie, Professor of Romance Studies, Cornell University, author of Transfiguring Medievalism: Poetry, Attention, and the Mysteries of the Body

Such a rich book historically, theoretically, and emotionally. A razor-sharp line of critique that energizes the reader to listen and think.” ~ Nerve V. Macaspac, Assistant Professor of Geography, Queens College, CUNY

Built like a city from short, delightful, strange, and cutting mini-theses—drawn from queer urban places and pious promiscuous practices connected by gentrification, queer radicalism, and Catholic devotion; with AIDS, NYC, St. Vincent’s Hospital, and precarious medieval intellectual labor at its core—The Gentrified City of God shines bright with radical gay love, infinite queer goodness, the joys and perils of sex and sins, through wicked smart cultural and theocratic criticism of texts as diverse as Pose, Pilgrim’s Progress, and ‘Papa Don’t Preach.’ A delightful, uplifting, and raucous read.” ~ Alexandra Juhasz, Distinguished Professor, Film, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn College, CUNY, co-author of We Are Having this Conversation Now: The Times of AIDS Cultural Production

The Gentrified City of God: Queer & Medieval New York, from 9/11 to COVID-19

The United States is a spiritual wasteland—a two-party dictatorship that worships money and that eats human beings alive, where racial and gender oppression attack the body, and where partisan polarization stifles the mind.

In The Gentrified City of God, A.W. Strouse—a promiscuous gay Catholic and a scholar of the Middle Ages—brings together radical queer anarchism with medieval Catholicism mysticism, in order to uncover the secret redemption that may yet let within the brokenness of American society.

But like the great works of Saint Augustine, Strouse’s confessionary style is a profound challenge to delve deep into the mysteries of good and evil that reside within our own hearts.