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Kung's book offers a compelling account of his journeys around the world and of his meetings with presidents like John F. Kennedy, with popes like John XXIII and Paul VI, and with great theologians like Karl Barth and Karl Rahner. With its rich thought and vivid narrative, this autobiography depicts Kung's formative years and—the famous theme of his life—his struggle for a Christianity characterized not by the domination of an official church but by Jesus.
Beginning with his childhood and youth in Switzerland, Kung describes his elite education at the papal Collegium Germanicum. In revealing detail he discusses the strict regimentation and repression of the Roman system and his ensuing conflicts with the Catholic Church. Kung also openly shares his experience of the event that stamped his career—the Vatican's withdrawal in 1979 of his ecclesiastical teaching permission because he opposed the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility.
Also of great interest is the book's description of the Second Vatican Council, where Kung served as a young theological advisor. As one of the last surviving eyewitnesses of Vatican II, Kung here gives an authentic account of the conflicts behind the scenes. Thus this book is much more than the self-portrait of a giant of Christian thought. Tightly woven with many of the most significant movements and moments in twentieth-century Christian history, Kung's life story provides a valuable window into the developments of contemporary theology and church life around the world.
|List of Illustrations|
|Acknowledgements for Illustrations|
|Why I am Telling the Story of My Life||1|
|I||Roots of Freedom||4|
|II||Education for Freedom?||42|
|III||Breakthrough to Freedom of Conscience||71|
|IV||The Freedom of a Christian||115|
|V||The Church Sets Out for Freedom||161|
|VI||The Struggle for the Freedom of Theology||208|
|VII||The Struggle for the Freedom of the Council||268|
|VIII||Power against Freedom||329|
|IX||A Relapse into the Old Lack of Freedom?||400|
|Select Bibliography of Hans Kung's Books in English||464|
|Index of Names||465|