Dr. Ferre offers this substantial work as the culmination of his years of fertile scholarship. He sees mankind, and the Church, under the necessity of being open to all faiths, while not neglecting our own. God is known only through meanings which must remain proximate for man. But there can be no theology except on the assumption that God is a revealing reality, and that man can know God because in some way he participates in, and learns from, the Word which God has spoken. Such a word must be universal. It can engender a universal faith while remaining open. This general thesis is developed by a substantial examination of various religions, social theories, and Christian theological positions. The author believes that the West has long lacked any adequate understanding of a Universal Word, and has substituted for it a basically unrelated Christ as a concrete Word. On the philosophical side, Dr. Ferre would replace such categories as being and reason, with the categories of spirit, love, and life--or ""the personal."" This is a solid, closely woven book, superior in scholarship and in discipline to some of the author's earlier work and deserving to stand as the culmination of his endeavors. It will appeal mainly to theological scholars and students, but is accessible to any serious reader.