James A. Pike, the fifth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California, was a man of many faces. To some he was an iconoclast, a man decades ahead of his time who modernized the Church and rendered it more progressive and open to inquiry. To others he was a heretic, who polarized and desecrated the Church. Always controversial and charismatic, he took America by storm in the 1960s with his best-selling books, and his weekly television talk show, Dean Pike, which won him a cover story in Time . A Passionate Pilgrim is an illuminating biography of Pike, and an examination of the tragedies, triumphs, and difficulties that shaped his spectacular rise to fame and his mysterious death in the Israeli desert.
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|Title of Family & Relationships eBook: A Passionate Pilgrim: A Biography of Bishop James A. Pike|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
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|Publisher: Random House, Inc.|
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A Passionate Pilgrim: A Biography of Bishop James A. Pike
The Pious Boy from Hollywood
Hollywood High’s first celebrity graduate of the new decade was not a movie star, at least not in the conventional sense of the term.
James A. Pike, the controversial Episcopal bishop of California who became the first American religious figure to break into national television, received his diploma from Hollywood High with the summer class of 1930.
—John Blumenthal, Hollywood High: The History of America’s Most Famous Public School, 1988
James Albert Pike was born on February 14, 1913, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, but for much of the twentieth century he considered himself a Californian. As an adult, Pike had slight interest in the Kentucky origins of his parents or their early attempts at homesteading in Oklahoma. A correspondent once wrote him, shortly before he became the Episcopal bishop of California, asking whether he was related to the notable nineteenth-century military adventurer and frontiersman Zebulon Pike; the future bishop wrote back candidly replying that he did not know if he was a descendant of this pioneer, and it had never occurred to him to wonder whether he was related beyond his immediate family to any earlier Pikes. The twentieth-century James Pike understood his history as beginning in Los Angeles, California, a city where he was moved by his widowed mother when he was eight years old.
His mother, Pearl Agatha Pike, was a formidable woman. She had made her way across the country from Curdsville, Kentucky, becoming, successively, by age thirty-one, a farmwife, a mother, a widow, and a self-supporting singl