My Struggle for Freedom: Memoirs

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My Struggle for Freedom is the long-awaited autobiography by one of the most important theologians of our time. Hans Kung, author of such monumental books as The Catholic Church and On Being a Christian, here takes readers through the first four decades of his fascinating life.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Is the battle between the papacy and Kung over? Will the Vatican continue to tolerate a priest who espouses Protestant theology? In this autobiographical apologia by noted Swiss Catholic scholar, writer, and lecturer Kung (director, Inst. for Ecumenical Research, Univ. of Tobingen), these questions are certainly put forward. But this is only the first volume of the autobiography, covering the first 40 years of his life up to 1968, and the struggle is not yet resolved. In 1979, the Vatican withdrew Kung's license to teach at Catholic schools. The issues against him then, taken from his published books, are the same issues against him today: he favors birth control and denies papal infallibility and the inerrancy of the Bible. Although he was very influential at the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s, he feels that the current pope is attempting to turn the clock back to the time before the council met. The author is still under investigation by the Curia for charges of heresy. The book was originally published in German in 2002 and is rendered here in a rather awkward translation. Nevertheless, it provides readers with a delightful account of a life, written in a deeply personal way. Recommended for all libraries.-James A. Overbeck, Atlanta-Fulton P.L. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802826596
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 10/14/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 478
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Table of Contents

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
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