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Without Buddha I Could not be a Christian Paperback – July 1, 2009
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"Knitter's rich book should be a source of fascination and guidance for seekers of all sorts. One of the finest contemporary books on the encounter between religions in the heart and soul of a single thoughtful person." --Library Journal, October 1, 2009
"A compelling example of religious inquiry." --New York Times, October 10, 2009
"This is a fascinating book... accessible to anyone in the pew, not without a touch of quiet humour... a book to be read and reflected upon." --Journal of Theological Reflection
"This book is an excellent survey of the possibilities for Buddhist-Christian contact." --Anglican Theological Review
"This is a fascinating book ... accessible to anyone in the pew, not without a touch of quiet humour ... a book to be read and reflected upon." -- Journal of Theological Reflection
"This book is an excellent survey of the possibilities for Buddhist-Christian contact." -- Anglican Theological Review
Top Customer Reviews
In each chapter, Knitter spells out his own problems with one area of Christian orthodoxy, moves into who Buddhism offers in the corresponding area, and then brings back into his Christian self, whats he has gained from immersion in Buddhism.
He brings to this book his own rich maturity in Christian faith and the fruits of his Buddhist insights, all of it honed by discussions with his students. The result - presented with freshness and humour - is a book as much devotional and spiritual biography as academic theology. It has helped me to see Jesus as a living spiritual trail-blazer who cannot be understood in Western thought forms alone.
For anyone who is having difficulty with the dualist, paternalist, imperialist and exclusivist nature of Western Christian orthodoxy, but who still thinks trying to be a follower of Jesus in today's world is worth an effort, I warmly recommend this book.
Paul F Knitter in his new book , Without Buddha I Could Not Be A Christian, helped me find at least a partial answer.
Knitter is a former Catholic priest and retired scholar of comparative religions who since the 1980's has been exploring Buddhism as a way of enlightening, enlivening and refreshing Christian theology. His problems are nothing new: the distance between creator and created, between humans and and a divine Jesus; the presence of evil in a world controlled by an active god; Jesus' radical nonviolence and war in the name of God; the selfish nature of petitionary prayer and the exclusivity of Christian "truth." This book is Knitter's personal exploration of Buddhism as a means of addressing these issues and with an infusion of Eastern mysticism of rescuing Christianity from the literalists.
I'll leave it to the Christians to judge how well he has succeeded. What the book made clear to me is that Buddhism presents a more unified, less contradictory vehicle for approaching the great unknowable.Read more ›
Knitter, Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions and Culture at Union Theological Seminary, studied theology at the Gregorian University and then under the renowned Jesuit Karl Rahner as a graduate student. For most of his adult life he has struggled with virtually all of the doctrines of Christianity. More accurately, he has struggled with their exposition and interpretation in our wordy, dualistic, Western terminology. He shares his struggles and questions with the reader, never imposing solutions but simply offering another perspective that he finds in the teachings of the Buddha.
Is there any thoughtful Christian who has not winced at the anthropomorphisms, inconsistencies, intelligibility, and outright contradictions that often permeate our God talk, liturgical services, and prayer life, not to mention credal declarations?
Knitter's questions are directed at the conceptual language we use about God's transcendence and immanence, the Trinity, the Incarnation, creation, evil, the afterlife, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, salvation, the afterlife, eternal damnation, God's will. There is scarcely a piece of our belief system, our spiritual and liturgical life, or our Christian praxis that does not come under scrutiny. This includes the contemporary aversion to silence in liturgy and spirituality (he would increment the Sacraments to include a Sacrament of Silence), the prayer of petition (God the Super-magician who is asked to upset the order of nature for my benefit), eternal damnation (impossible!), just war theory (an oxymoron).Read more ›
I wish the the book was written a little more "on street level" so that persons who may be at a crossroads in
spiritual life could get a clearer view. Yet a worthwhile read for anyone who sincerely wishes for a more
meaningful interreligious dialogue.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found it a fascinating dialogue that Paul Knitter has written about his experience and knowledge of both Buddhism and Christianity. Read morePublished 20 days ago by P Dyer
I like the way he compares Buddha with Christian, give me a different look.Published 25 days ago by Charles Oliveri
"Preface: Am I still a Christian? ...this is rather a selfish book. I've written it mainly for myself. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sheepdog
Knitter's premise is that he's gained insight into Christianity through Buddhism and that, as far as it goes, is a good thing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joe Z
Love this book. Very clear explanation of the crossover for non- dual thinkers in Christianity. Wish more of us thought this way.Published 2 months ago by Denise M
If you are Christian and want to know more about Buddhism this will help a lot! If you are Buddhist it will likewise give you a good introduction to Christianity. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Brother Jack Isbell, OFC
An excellent read. The author has put the differences between religions in perspective. We all can learn from each other.
And in the process, deepen our knowledge of God. Read more
I'm reading this in my meditation / book group. I thought I'd like it more. It is pedantic. It is a search through the author's literal Catholic background, to try to come up... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amy Ryberg
I just got this so am barely into it, but so far I can relate to the author's quest for a better understanding of his own beliefs and seeking answers to his questions. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sheila K. Shaubach