Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian / Edition 2by Paul F. Knitter
Pub. Date: 07/16/2009
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Being a Christian isn’t easy. Sustaining belief without any doubts for one’s entire life is a very rare accomplishment. Indeed, many would say that examining one’s faith at least once is a central part of the Christian condition. In this landmark work, esteemed theologian Paul Knitter explains the unique path that he took to overcome his doubts,
Being a Christian isn’t easy. Sustaining belief without any doubts for one’s entire life is a very rare accomplishment. Indeed, many would say that examining one’s faith at least once is a central part of the Christian condition. In this landmark work, esteemed theologian Paul Knitter explains the unique path that he took to overcome his doubts, becoming a stronger Christian in the process.
Honest and unflinching, Without Buddha I Could not be a Christian narrates each common spiritual dilemma that Knitter has struggled with and explains how a Buddhist worldview has allowed him to resolve each one. From the ‘petitioning’ nature of Christian prayer to how Christianity views life after death, Knitter argues that a Buddhist standpoint can help inspire a more person-centred conception of Christianity, where individual religious experience comes first, and liturgy and tradition second. Moving and revolutionary, this book will inspire Christians everywhere.
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Table of Contents
Preface: Am I Still a Christian? ix
1 Nirvana and God the Transcendent Other 1
2 Nirvana and God the Personal Other 24
3 Nirvana and God the Mysterious Other 53
4 Nirvana and Heaven 74
5 Jesus the Christ and Gautama the Buddha 92
6 Prayer and Meditation 131
7 Making Peace and Being Peace 167
Conclusion: Promiscuity or Hybridity? 213
Sources and Resources 222
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I enjoyed this book. I will probably read it again in a few months. Some people I know who consider themselves theologians saw me reading it and didn't take the book very seriously. One said he'd heard the author was too irreverent toward Christian traditions. But if you're someone like me who doesn't care all that much about traditions or defending them, you'll be free to enjoy the journey this book provides. Ironically, after reading this book I found myself more interested in Christian traditions. Now when I go to church I don't necessarily think the liturgies, hymn texts, etc., sound so ridiculous. I see them as someone's attempt to describe the indescribable. As a result it's easier to focus on the indescribable and not on the attempts to describe it.
A brilliant insight. Thanks Prof Knitter for expressing your personal experience that could greatly help a lot of people, including me, to enhance our faith in belief in a fresh new perspective. Would highly recommend read, for both Chirstians and Buddhists or any other religiions.