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My Struggle for Freedom: Memoirs [Hardcover]

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Item Number 143885  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   544
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.56" Width: 6.48" Height: 1.64"
Weight:   2.15 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2003
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802826598  
EAN  9780802826596  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Hans Kung is undoubtedly one of the most important theologians of our time, but he has always been a controversial figure, and as the result of a much-publicized clash over papal infallibility had his permission to teach revoked by the Vatican. Yet at seventy-five years of age Kung is also something of a senior statesman, one of the "Group of Eminent Persons" convened by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and a friend of heads of government like Britain's Tony Blair and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. In this fascinating autobiography Kung gives a frank and outspoken account of the first four decades of his life. He tells of his youth in Switzerland and his decision to become a priest, of his doubts and struggles as he studied in Rome and Paris, and of his experiences as a professor in Tubingen, where he received a chair at the early age of thirty-one. Most importantly, as one of the last surviving eyewitnesses of Vatican II, Kung gives an authentic account of the conflicts behind the scenes. Here it becomes clear just how major an influence he was, to the point of shaping the Council's agenda and drafting speeches for bishops to deliver in plenary sessions. Kung's book offers an acute analysis, compelling in its drama, of meetings with presidents like John F. Kennedy, popes like John XXIII and Paul VI, great theologians like Karl Barth and Karl Rahner, and journeys around the world. With its rich thought and vivid narrative, it paints a moving picture of Kung's personal convictions, including his relentless struggle for a Christianity characterized not by the domination of an official church but by Jesus.

Publishers Description
Hans Kung depicts the first forty years of the author's life and his struggle for a Christianity characterized not by the domination of an official church but by Jesus. U.S. and Canada rights only; Continuum elsewhere.

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More About Hans Kung

Hans Kung Hans Küng, (born March 19, 1928, Sursee, Switz.), Swiss Roman Catholic theologian whose controversial liberal views led to his censorship by the Vatican in 1979.

Küng studied at Gregorian University in Rome and obtained a doctorate in theology from the Catholic Institute at the Sorbonne in 1957. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1954, and he taught at the University of Münster in West Germany (1959–60) and at the University of Tübingen (1960–96), where he also directed the Institute for Ecumenical Research from 1963. In 1962 he was named by Pope John XXIII a peritus (theological consultant) for the second Vatican Council.

Küng’s prolific writings questioned the formulation of such traditional church doctrine as papal infallibility, the divinity of Christ, and teachings about the Virgin Mary. In 1979 a Vatican censure that banned his teaching as a Catholic theologian provoked international controversy, and in 1980 a settlement was reached at Tübingen that allowed him to teach under secular rather than Catholic auspices. His more recent research has focused on interreligious cooperation and the creation of a global ethic. His publications include Rechtfertigung: Die Lehre Karl Barths und eine Katholische Besinnung (1957; Justification: The Doctrine of Karl Barth and a Catholic Reflection), Konzil und Wiedervereinigung (1960; The Council, Reform, and Reunion), Die Kirche (1967; The Church), Unfehlbar? (1970; Infallible?), Christ sein (1974; On Being a Christian), Existiert Gott? (1978; Does God Exist?), and Ewiges Leben? (1982; Eternal Life?).

Hans Kung has an academic affiliation as follows - Global Ethics Foundation.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A must read for those interested in the lives of popular theologians!  Apr 22, 2006
A very well written, in-depth look at the life of one of the 20th Century's greatest theologians. Kung also happens to be one of the most controversial theologians due to his official disciplining by the Curia's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (FMR: Holy Office).

Although I found this autobiographical memoir particularly engaging and interesting, it only covers half of Kung's life. In great detail, Kung introduces us to his upbringing, family, Roman theological education, French graduate work, early scholarly career, his appointment as a Council Peritus and then essentially concludes this work with the close of the Second Vatican Council. On at least two occasions, he refers to the "second volume of this work" which implies he will write the rest of his biography at a later time. For this I truly hope since what many consider to be his most fascinating saga (the revoking of his license to teach Roman Catholic Theology and battle with the CDF) has not yet been approached.

All in all, it is a wonderful, occasionally overly descriptive work that is a must read for those interested in the lives of major theological figures. Kung also presents a unique perspective of the Second Vatican Council which has not been seen to date.

I highly recommend this book!
My Struggle for Freedom: Memoirs  Oct 4, 2005
Hans Kung has give us a look into what made the Swiss theologian a strong force for individual freedom within the Catholic Church during the last half of the 20th Century. Given the independence of Switzerland, it little wonder Professor Kung was a force for bring the Catholic Church into the modern age. This first volume covers his chilhood, his advisor role at the Second Vatican Council and end with Paul VI's Humane Vitae.
5 star book 3 star translation  Apr 29, 2005
Fascinating reading for those interested in the background of the Vatican II council sessions and Kung's part in them; and in the development of his theology. And for understanding who he is, getting behind the media picture of the young theological "radical". What emerges is that the Vatican's biggest problem with Kung is that they don't scare him, can't browbeat him, and are arguing with a man trained in their own methods.

Oddly, the book is written (or translated?) all in the present tense, which can be confusing at times, when some use of past tense might distinguish between what Kung thought at the time and thinks now. I don't know if this is the translator, or the author himself; at times it gets annoying and tedious, even occasionally sounding pompous, which is not characteristic of Kung judging from everything else (and that's practically his entire opus available in English) I've read of his work.

At any rate, the use of present tense is strange even in a memoir; I encountered it once previously in a biography, and almost couldn't finish that book.

Kung's memoir also contains some assessments of others (including the late and current popes) that come off unkind and "snarky", which also doesn't seem typical of Kung, even in dealing with opponents, who I think he typically confounds by courteously sticking to his position and insisting on truth. I can't help wondering if some of the "snarkiness" is also a product of the translation.

Also, there are, as noted by a previous reviewer, some odd translation errors, such as calling the USA Secretary of the Treasury "Finance Minister"; again, perhaps translation, or could be the translator trying to stay "true" (unnecessarily, in my view) to Kung's German? I have ordered the German edition (along with the new "Islam" volume) out of curiosity on this point. My German is labored, but I'm anxious to get started on the Islam volume, which could problably prove dangerous to Kung himself if it goes in the direction I suspect (urging modernization by subjecting the Islamic "scriptures" to exegesis, historical and form criticism commonly applied now for decades in Christian scriptural scholarship.)
Vatican II, the true story  May 14, 2004
As a theology student at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. during the time of Vatican II, I was constantly in tune with what was taking place in Rome. Many of our professors made bi-weekly trips to Rome when the Council was in session and would bring back the details.
Kung's memoirs adds the inside story to complete the picture. It is a lengthy, yet fascinating review of the various Vatican II designers and participants. Better yet, you get an excellent understanding of the reform and why it was ended before it could take hold. And the knowledge of the author comes through. It's no wonder that Kung was the top theologian and primary behind-the-scenes designer of it all. I eagerly await his second volumn.
An important book for me  Feb 16, 2004
This is going to take a long time to digest. I escaped from constraint by going into philosophy instead of seminary. But my impression has always been that the Church had a place for inquiry as long as you did not disrupt everyone else as you moved from reflective thinking stage to stage in your personal quest. I further thought that as you reached the highest levels you would realize that what the Church teaches was right all along. Beware thinking that the concrete interpretations you have as a young person are the only ways to interpret what was to be believed. I have found the statments of faith, for example Fides et Ratio, to be masterpieces of saying many things at once in many ways. You only fail when you try to impose one interpretation or one level on everyone else. My way or the highway. Now reading this I wonder if my Protestant friends do not have a point.

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