CHRISTIANITY AND THE WORLD RELIGIONS: Paths of Dialogue with Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism by Hans & Others Kung

CHRISTIANITY AND THE WORLD RELIGIONS: Paths of Dialogue with Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A provocative and highly readable exploration by the controversial Dutch Catholic theologian and three colleagues of the ground of commonality between Christianity and three major world religions. This long but consistently engaging book is composed of transcripts, thoroughly revised and expanded, of 12 ""lecture/dialogues' presented before a large audience at the University of Tubingen in 1982. First Islam, then Hinduism and then Buddhism receive a exposition of their principal tenets by a noted scholar (Josef van Ess/Islam; Heinrich von Stietencron/Hinduism; Heinz Bechert/Buddishm; all, along with Kung, attached to the university). A ""Christian response"" by Kung follows each presentation. Kung has chosen his partners in dialogue well: their lectures constitute uniformly excellent introductions to the respective religions. In his responses, Kung tackles the thorniest questions (""Islam: A Way of Salvation?""; ""Mohammed: A Prophet?""; ""The Qur'an: God's Word?"") with the same lust for ecumenicism that has marked--and sometimes interrupted, by fiat of the Vatican--his brilliant career. Occasionally, as in his attempt to reconcile the God of Christian belief with Buddhism's teaching of the Void, he strains credulity. But for the most part he displays a breathtaking inspiration in explaining how non-Christian religions can be accepted as valid paths to the Absolute within the context of rigorous Christian thought. Sadly lacking, however, are follow-up responses by his three colleagues to his lively insights. Erudite but nontechnical, this is an important and impassioned experiment in ecumenicism capable of appealing to laity as well as to theologians.

Pub Date: Oct. 3rd, 1986
Publisher: Doubleday