Winner of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies Frederick J. Streng Book Award 2012
Honest and unflinching, Without Buddha I Could not be a Christian narrates how esteemed theologian, Paul F. Knitter overcame a crisis of faith by looking to Buddhism for inspiration. From prayer to how Christianity views life after death, Knitter argues that a Buddhist standpoint can encourage 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.
"Knitter's rich book should be a source of fascination and guidance for seekers of all sorts. One of the finest contemporary books on the encounter between religions in the heart and soul of a single thoughtful person."
"This is a fascinating book… accessible to anyone in the pew, not without a touch of quiet humour… a book to be read and reflected upon."
Journal of Theological Reflection
"This book is an excellent survey of the possibilities for Buddhist-Christian contact."
Anglican Theological Review
"Will be a life-saver for some and a scandal for others... wonderfully candid."
The Christian Century
"The dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism is one of the most important conversations of our time, and Paul Knitter’s new book shows why. It offers much more than words: religion at its best transforms us, and herein we see its fruits. If you want to know how religions can help to revitalize each other, this is the place to start."
David Loy, Besl Family Chair for Ethics/Religion and Society at Xavier University
"Highly recommended as an example of how to do personally engaged, self-reflective theology in a religiously plural world."
Rita Gross, Professor Emerita of Religion, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and author of Buddhism after Patriarchy
"A moving story of one man’s quest for truth, this is also a ground-breaking work of inter-religious dialogue, comparative theology and social ethics... the rarest combination of theological acumen, humility and humor. A must read for anyone who wants to renew their faith and rediscover their humanity in intimate dialogue with the faiths of others."
John Makransky, Associate Professor of Theology, Boston College
Table of Contents:
Preface: Am I Still a Christian?
1. Nirvana and God the Transcendent Other
2. Nirvana and God the Personal Other
3. Nirvana and God the Mysterious Other
4. Nirvana and Heaven
5. Jesus the Christ and Gautama the Buddha
6. Prayer and Meditation
7. Making Peace and Being Peace
Conclusion: Promiscuity or Hybridity?
A New Conclusion: Jesus and Buddha Both Come First!