Off the Hook

God, Love, Dating, and Marriage in a Hookup World

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: October 26, 2018

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Winner of a 2019 Catholic Press Association Award: Family Life (Second Place).

Hookup culture is about much more than the quest for pleasure. It offers an easy way out of real communication and lasting relationships. It also teaches us to treat each other as objects for personal satisfaction. Even those who reject the hookup culture can still be negatively affected by it and develop poor habits of relating to others. In Off the Hook, Timothy P. O’Malley, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, shows how God’s plan for love serves to heal the wounds of hookup culture and is a medicine for what ails our understanding of sex, romance, love, and marriage.

Here are a few things Timothy O’Malley discovered from students in his popular undergraduate course, Nuptial Mystery: Divine Love and Human Salvation:

  • Hookup culture is present in all his students’ lives, whether they’re hooking up or not.
  • Some students approach sex and love as transitory and fleeting transaction—they love the idea of romance; they love the sexual chase; and they crave the hookup, but not the commitment.
  • Other students have come to idolize the mystery of marriage and so their conception of what sex, love, and marriage will be like is overly romanticized and largely naive. This group lacks understanding about what real love and intimacy demand of two people in everyday life.

In Off the Hook, O’Malley explains how the ethics of hooking up shape relationships between men and women and examines the considerable harm to individuals and society that results. By exploring the sacrament of marriage in its biblical, theological, and liturgical dimensions, he offers Catholic young adults and those charged with their formation and pastoral care a wealth of insight into God’s plan for love.

Young people will find help grappling with the Church’s countercultural understanding of sex, love, and marriage. Parents and pastoral workers will discover a refreshing presentation of the Catholic theology of marriage and wise counsel about forming young people in the Church’s vision. Newly married, and even long-married couples will find hope, courage, and the promise of sacramental love that can sustain them for a lifetime.

Product Details

Pages: 160

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 9781594718212

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

  • “A treasure trove.”

    “In Off the Hook, Timothy O’Malley confronts squarely the seamy reality of the hookup culture. He offers alternative pathways filled with appreciation for God-given sexuality, well lived in unselfish, faithful, and joyous love. This book provides a treasure trove for all affected by the hookup culture and those who minister to them.”

    Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz
    Archbishop of Louisville

  • “Raw and eye-opening.”

    Off the Hook takes a raw and eye-opening look at the current state of dating and marriage in our world and shows how the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Church’s teachings provide the answers to what we are really looking for. Tim O'Malley authentically proclaims a stunning and hopeful message—the Church has the answer to what ails us.”

    Kevin and Lisa Cotter
    FOCUS missionaries and coauthors of Dating Detox

  • “Down-to-earth.”

    “Timothy O’Malley manages to explain the seriousness of today's hookup culture while never abandoning the hope of the nuptial mystery. With down-to-earth language and practical reflection exercises for anyone’s vocational journey, Off the Hook needs to be on your reading list!”

    Michael St. Pierre
    Executive director of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association

  • “A beautiful and extraordinary book.”

    “Powerful and wonderfully real, Off the Hook honestly and personally relays the reality of love in a way that challenges us to recommit, renew, and reconceive our relationships with our loved ones, families, the world, and above all with God. This is a beautiful and extraordinary book.”

    Katherine Sisk
    University of Notre Dame Class of 2018

  • “This book will help you love more deeply.”

    “The realities of today's hook-up culture are as undeniable as they are destructive. Timothy O'Malley sees the sacrament of marriage as a remedy to this sickness of self-serving romance. Off the Hook helps us dive into the marital vocation, which calls us to follow Christ's example of self-giving love for the sake of the other. Whether you are twenty-five years married or discerning the vocation, this book will help you love more deeply and lead to a richer understanding of how marriage sanctifies a couple—and, in turn, the culture.”

    Jason A. Kidd
    Marriage and Family Director
    Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon

  • “An important book.”

    “Experience is an important teacher for most of us, shaping what we do and who we become. Today, young adults are taught important lessons about sex, love, and relationships by the hookup culture. But these lessons are false. As Timothy O’Malley explains in Off the Hook, the practices learned from hookup culture encourage young people to become more self-centered, more anxious, and more alienated from genuine love. Thankfully, in this important book O’Malley points young adults and those you guide them to better practices and to an identity that is much more likely to lead them to genuine love.”

    W. Bradford Wilcox
    Director of the National Marriage Project and professor of Sociology
    University of Virginia

  • “Incredibly edifying.”

    “This book revolutionized the way I imagine my future, and it has been incredibly edifying for my family life today. Professor O’Malley’s work is clear, engaging, and full of beauty. He left me wholly convinced that the sacramentality of Christian marriage is underappreciated even among Catholics, and he has given me the tools to articulate to my own family and friends what we believe about married life signing God's love in the world.”

    Maureen Schweninger
    University of Notre Dame Class of 2019

  • “A rare blend of shrewd insight and practical wisdom on marriage.”

    “Professor Timothy O’Malley offers a rare blend of shrewd insight and practical wisdom on marriage, invaluable for persons of any age or vocation. As a young Catholic, I love how he is able to articulate the beauty of marriage and its meaning as a sacrament in ways that are profoundly relevant to me. He has an uncanny ability to concretize lofty theology into something accessible for the average person.”

    Michael Singleton
    University of Notre Dame Class of 2018

  • “Refreshingly frank.”

    “Professor O'Malley shows a deep understanding of his students' lives, engaging us with compassion and humor. Refreshingly frank, O'Malley seamlessly integrates rigorous theology with personal testimony and critical research to provide a clear and accessible answer to our confusion and longing. O'Malley's countercultural insights not only provoke me to examine the way I live, but invite me to enter into a more fulfilling way to love. His class was life changing and this book is too. I can't recommend it enough!”

    Sofia Carozza
    University of Notre Dame Class of 2019

  • “Tired of a culture that cheapens sexuality? Search no further.”

    “Tired of a culture that cheapens sexuality? Seeking a new story? Search no further. Timothy O’Malley presents the alluring mystery of a sacrament that heals and enables true freedom to love. The radical witness of marriage is precisely the couple’s daily commitment to be a lasting sign of God's love in the world.”

    Grace Mariette Agolia
    University of Notre Dame Class of 2017
    Boston College School of Theology and Ministry Class of 2019

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