ON BEING A CHRISTIAN by Hans KÃœng

ON BEING A CHRISTIAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Known for his liberalizing influence at Vatican II and subsequent confrontations with Rome on issues like papal infallibility, Hans KÃœng offers here ""a kind of small 'Summa' of the Christian faith."" Maybe small as Summas go, it is a large tome (over 700 pp.) by standard measures, and though KÃœng's writing is uncommonly forthright, the book is more a sprawling compedium to be worked through than a tight, readable essay. Its range of topics and sources is impressive, and it is the first comprehensive account of Christian faith by a major Catholic theologian in some time. What distinguishes it is not its originality or depth, but its honesty and directness, its bold determination to say clearly and concretely what being a Christian means today. KÃœng argues that both technological humanism and sociopolitical revolution have failed to provide adequate contemporary Weltanschauungen and that other world religions have not yet effectively come to grips with modernity. Thus the time is ripe for a vigorous Christian faith, rooted in the historical person and teaching of Jesus and free of the many distortions of ecclesiastical tradition, that can speak to the current yearning for transcendence. Fundamentally, KÃœng is for a humanized, demythologized Christianity (e.g. no virgin birth, miracles, physical Resurrection), and he is most effective in his demands that the Church become once more a community of faith rather than the byzantine spiritual corporation it now tends to be. Not Aquinas by any means, (which has advantages), but an important, challenging work nonetheless.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1976
ISBN: 038519286X
Publisher: Doubleday