The title of this study will reveal its Catholic origin as a doctoral dissertation, presented at the Gregorian University in...

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THE CHURCH IN THE THOUGHT OF BISHOP JOHN ROBINSON

The title of this study will reveal its Catholic origin as a doctoral dissertation, presented at the Gregorian University in Rome. The contents, however, escape the customary deadliness of academic theses, and offer an informative, appreciative, and systematic study of the prominent Bishop of Woolich, whose Honest to God has created so much discussion in the past three years. Father McBrien quickly characterizes the Bishop as neither a professional theologian nor a systematic ecclesiologist. But he does see him as a symbol of current ferment in the church's attempt to understand itself, and credits him with originality in the way he combines divergent theological, philosophical, and sociological trends, synthesizing and modifying these so as to serve a fresh purpose. After an introductory chapter, in which the course of Bishop Robinson's development is surveyed, the main writings of the Bishop are examined under two main captions: the Nature of the Church, and the Mission of the Church. Father McBrien finds Robinson's work superficial in the sense that he lacks acquaintance with important research in the area of Church doctrine, and in its ""patchwork"" character. At the same time, he is deeply appreciative of Robinson's personal struggle to find a view of the Church relevant to our day, and of the impact of his work, notably his Honest To God, and his New Reformation?--although Robinson's more scholarly works are not slighted. This should be helpful reading to churchmen, students, and laymen concerned with the debate set off by the Bishop's writings, and not limited to Catholic or Protestant markets.

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 1966

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Westminster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1966