- Hardcover: 515 pages
- Publisher: Sheed and Ward; First Edition edition (1967)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000K0CZLC
- Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.7 x 1.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,733,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Church Hardcover – 1967
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Although 'The Church' is a scholarly publication written by one of the most innovative and clever theologians in modern history, 'The Church' is remarkable engaging and easy to read, despite its considerable length. This book is suited to both Church leaders and the layperson who are seeking a concise study of the nature and purpose of the Church.
But this is now over four decades in the past. Those who used this text in ecclesial and university battles are now for the most part long retired or even deceased. Battle lines are still drawn, but the map looks strangely different. The question that remains now is whether removed from its post-conciliar setting, "The Church" has an enduring value, something to say that remains fresh in the contemporary setting.
I finished rereading this book almost a year ago, and I wrestled with that thought myself until I came across the excellent collection of essays entitled "Vatican II: Did Anything Happen?"  This is a wonderful and spirited defense of the necessity of the Council. It was inspired, I believe, by a tendency in the Vatican today to act and speak as if the great Council was a momentary blip that changed little. In point of fact, however, Vatican II was a moral necessity, given that Roman Catholicism and its sister communions had been utterly powerless in the face of the grotesque evils of two world wars and the Holocaust.
Kung's work, like that of other war generation Catholic theologians of Western Europe, is a vision of a Church that indeed would have the moral credibility of character before the powers of this world.Read more ›
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this book was written by a leading Catholic professor of theology!
Of course, after writing this book (and as a result of it), Kung is a Catholic no longer, for they excommunicated him. So be warned! If you follow Kung down the rabbit hole, there will be ramifications in your personal life as well! (As there were in mine).
Hans Küng, an eminent Swiss Catholic priest, took this challenge and provided lucid and realistic picture of the Church. He wrote of the real church that even though the essence and form of the Church were not identical they could not--should not-- be separated. On the one hand, the Church is the pilgrim community of believers, but on the other hand it is historically visible organism. Thus, "[t]he essence of the Church is therefore always to be found in historical form, and the historical form always be understood in light of and with reference to the essence" (24). It is interesting that Küng says the goal of believers regarding the Church is not going back to the form of the primitive New Testament Church, of which many have failed in their attempt such as the Jewish Christians and the Anabaptist (45).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Karl Rahner made a profound influence in theology through his thesis of the book The Trinity which he stated that the immanent Trinity was the economic Trinity. Read morePublished on March 27, 2013 by Oxford
Hans Küng (born 1928) is a Swiss Catholic priest, theologian, and author, who was famously censured by the Vatican in 1979 (see Kung in Conflict, The New Inquisition? Read morePublished on May 29, 2012 by Steven H Propp