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A Broad Place: An Autobiography Hardcover – November 1, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800662148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800662141
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Jurgen Moltmann may be the most renowned theologian living today...His autobiography offers us the chance to understand him better than ever before. --Lyle Dabney, The Christian Century

About the Author

Jürgen Moltmann is one of the foremost religious thinkers in the world. He is Professor of Systematic Theology Emeritus in the Protestant Faculty of the University of Tübingen, Germany. Among his many important and award-winning works are The Coming of God (1996), The Source of Life (1997), God for a Secular Society (1998), and Experiences in Theology (2000), all published by Fortress Press.

Moltmann's book The Coming of God: Christian Eschatology received the 2000 Grawemeyer Award

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert M. Pallotti on January 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was first captivated by the theology of Moltmann in the 1970's when I read his first major work, "Theology of Hope". My own concern for social political realites found theological partners in theologians like Moltmann, Metz, Schillebeeckx and the new "theologies of liberation".

This autobiography in a glimpse into those moments of a person's life that remind us that theology has much to do with one's own experiences of love, suffering, justice and hope. Throughout this book I sense I was looking into the soul of a man tested by life's crosses but who, none the less, was filled with resurrection joy.

His discussion of his search for Christ and where he found him, or perhaps more correctly where Christ found him, is poignant and inspiring. His work with Catholic Theologians like Kung, Metz, Kaspar and others reminds us that Christians of all denominations have one thing in common, the desire to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ in the real world with its real problems.

One of the strengths of the book is the discussion of his family life. This is a love story between a man and women sharing that love with others in so many ways.

I have read all of Moltmann's books because they help to rekindle within me hope and resistance to oppression and suffering in the power of the Spirit. His retirement comes to the theological community as a great disappointment because we believe he has so much more to say. But we are grateful for the wintess and life of J. Moltmann and wish him and his family a joyous retirement.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dr. B on January 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is a window into the mind, heart, and life of one of the most influential and creative theologians of the twentieth century. If you are interested in hearing the story behind Moltmann's expansive theological project, then read this book.
A BROAD PLACE begins with Moltmann's youth and conversion in the wake of WW2, then traces the beginnings of his theological studies, the construction of his theology of hope, his political theology, his theology of the cross, his trinitarian theology, his ecological doctrine of creation, and ends with reflections from the symposium of theologians gathered for his seventieth birthday.
From the beginning, when Moltmann recounts how his comrades were blown to pieces (right next to him!) at the close of WW2, one is gripped by the story of someone who "felt rescued by Christ" from his own darkness and guilt. You then see how his early experiences as a German soldier and POW reverberates throughout the rest of his life, how this man continues to "read the Bible with the searching eyes of a God-forsaken prisoner" as he crafts his many theological contributions. His theology of hope takes on new meaning when we read about the cavernous, suffocating despair from which it emerges. It also fleshes out why he is so passionately committed to Jewish-Christian dialogue, for the horrors of Auschwitz have never left him.
Moreover, Moltmann gives intriguing details on what takes place in his own life that leads him to develop his theology of the cross, his theology of the people, and his theology of Exodus and the kingdom of God.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Cornwall on September 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most clergy have a favorite theologian or two, theologians whose work has influenced their own understandings of the ways of God. For me, one of those theologians, is Jürgen Moltmann, who is now in his 80s. Moltmann, who was for many years, Professor of Theology on the Protestant Faculty at Tübingen University, is nearing the end of his own life journey. From that place, Moltmann has laid down his own account of his life, and the title - A Broad Place - is an apt one, for his story is a broad one, full of experiences and responses to those experiences that have formed him as a person, as a Christian, and as a theologian.

For a theologian such as Moltmann, an autobiography may be the proper place to explore a theology, for his theology is not so much the working out of a theological system as it is a series of theological reflections on a life journey. His journey begins in the context of a secular German family. It is liberal but also nationalistic. His is a family of teachers, and there is nothing in that early biography that would suggest that he, a person without God or a church, would become one of the leading theologians of the second half of the 20th century and early decades of the 21st century. Yet, a war and time as a prisoner of war would provide an opportunity for an encounter with God in Jesus Christ that would transform his life and that of many others.

World War II raised important questions in his mind - including why he survived, when friends did not, and where God was in the midst of the terrors of war. As he was trying to put his life back together in a POW camp in Scotland, he was handed a Bible, and that Bible provided a starting point for seeking the answers to those questions.
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