What I Believe


Hans Kung is one of the most celebrated theologians of the present day. His audience, which is strong within his own Roman Catholic Church, is equally solid among Christians of other denominations, among those outside the churches and indeed among those at the frontiers of organised religion.

From the start, he has been a rebel, being Swiss and a lover of personal freedom. Many of his books such as Infallible? and On Being a Christian have ...

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What I Believe

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Hans Kung is one of the most celebrated theologians of the present day. His audience, which is strong within his own Roman Catholic Church, is equally solid among Christians of other denominations, among those outside the churches and indeed among those at the frontiers of organised religion.

From the start, he has been a rebel, being Swiss and a lover of personal freedom. Many of his books such as Infallible? and On Being a Christian have rocked the Papal boat.

Now after publishing two magnificent and acclaimed volumes of memoirs, Kung has written a much shorter and more personal book to explain his own beliefs.

If one sets aside all scientific knowledge and learning, all formal theological language and the skilful construction of theories, what remains as the core of faith?

What do we need for our lives? What is indispensable to us? Kung writes of trust in life, joy in life and suffering in life and in so doing gives us a summa of his own faith - and life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441103161
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 11/18/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 574,007
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Hans Kung is Emeritus Professor of Ecumenical Theology at the University of Tubingen and President of the Global Ethic Foundation. He is the author of numerous best selling books including On Being a Christian (Harper Collins).

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Table of Contents

Preface: A View of the World as a Whole

1 Trust in Life 1

The cornerstone of a healthy personality 1

Trust in life put to the test 2

An apparently sure philosophical basis 3

What I doubt 4

Crises in life 5

Putting off a decision about life 6

Not a very helpful theology 7

The fate of 'unbelievers' 8

A spiritual experience 9

No fear of deep waters 11

Trust in life and religious faith 13

Trust also as a basis of science, politics and business 14

2 Joy in Life 16

'Joyful science' 17

Is the main thing for me to be happy? 18

Happy co-existence 20

You can't trust everyone 21

Joy in nature 23

And the animals? 24

Not nature mysticism, but a bond with nature 26

Cosmic religion 28

Approach to an impenetrable mystery 30

Joy in life to the end 32

3 Way of Life 34

Humankind's way of life 34

Learning to behave in a human way 36

An ethic for survival 37

Pointers that fail? 38

Where do we find orientation? 40

An ethic for everyone 43

Humanity the basic criterion 45

A humanistic ethic and world religions meet 47

Pointers towards more humanity 48

Going my way 50

4 Meaning in Life 52

What are we on earth for? 53

The question of meaning in sicence and business 54

The individual's question of meaning 56

Loss of meaning 57

Working to live 59

Living to work? 60

Experiencing life 61

A fulfilled life? 62

Fulfilling oneself? 63

Isn't too much asked of the self? 64

The 'lesser' meaning 67

The 'greater' meaning 68

5 Foundation of Life 72

Does belief in God have a future? 73

Belief in God versus science and democracy 74

God- a projection of longing? 75

Religion - an outdated model? 77

What speaks against religion? 78

What speaks for religion? 80

A spirituality with rationality 81

Getting to the foundation of things 84

Evolution towards humanity 86

Is the infintie a real dimension? 88

'Tuning in' to music 89

Traces of transcendence 91

6 Power of Life 95

A new look at the religions 96

Mystical spirituality? 98

God- personal or apersonal? 102

Pray or meditate? 104

A higher form of praying? 106

The one God and the many gods? 108

The power of life and the other powers 110

The fall of the gods, ancient and modern 112

God as 'spirit' 112

Creative origin: no particular model of the world 115

Belief in miracles today? 117

Consummation: our last hour? 120

7 Model of Life 123

Religions in competition 123

The Hindu model 124

The Buddhist model 125

The Confucian model 127

The Jewish model 129

Falsified Christian Spirituality 130

The Christian model 132

A unique life 134

A unique dying 137

A model of life in person 138

The Muslim model 140

Steadfastness and readiness for dialogue 142

8 Suffering in Life 144

A fundamental question: Why do I Suffer? 144

Justifying God in the face of suffering? 146

The dialectic of suffering in God himself? 147

God's impotence in the face of the Holocaust 149

A crucified God? 150

The Enlightened and the Crucified 151

The insoluble riddle of theodicy 152

The cross misunderstood 155

The cross in one's own life 157

Test question for humanists 158

How does one hold on? 159

The great freedom 161

9 The Art of Living 163

Eros and agape 163

The power of love 166

Love as the fulfilment of the global ethic 167

Peace through renouncing rights 169

Using power in favour of others 170

Being moderate in consumption 172

Upbringing in mutual respect 173

Sport in fairness 174

Health but not a fixation on health 176

The art of living 178

The art of dying 179

10 Vision of Life 182

Farewell to the big pseudo-religious ideologies 182

A realistic vision of hope 184

A plea before the United Nations 186

The new paradigm of a more peaceful world politics 188

The new paradigm of a more just world economy 189

Hope for a unity of the churches 191

Hope for peace between the religions 193

Hope for a community of nations 195

History cannot be calculated 196

My last vision 198

For Further Reading: A Selection of Books Hans Kung Kung, Hans 201

A Word of Thanks 205

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