Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian

Narrated by: Paul Brion
Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 F. 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 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-centered conception of Christianity, where individual religious experience comes first, and liturgy and tradition second. Moving and revolutionary, this edition comes with a new postscript in which Professor Knitter reflects on and re-evaluates his position as a double-belonger.

©2009 Paul F. Knitter (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"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." ( Library Journal)

What listeners say about Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian

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Good read!

I really liked this book however it was not what I considered easy to get into at first. The further I listened the more I enjoyed it. It was very insightful and thought provoking. I feel it will help to enrich my own beliefs.

5 people found this helpful

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From Christianity to Buddhism and Back

This book has completely changed my outlook on religion. Raised as a Christian, I have long struggled to reconcile my Christian beliefs with my understanding of science and the behavior of my fellow Christians. That struggle eventually led to my leaving the church and exploring other religions, including Judaism, Islam, Taoism, and eventually Buddhism. I embraced Buddhism, but still felt uneasy with the implications of that relative to my childhood Christianity. This book has put to rest all those concerns, showing me how my two different "religions" are really one and the same. While I no longer call myself either a Christan or a Buddhist, I'm now comfortable with where I am in my desire to connect with the ultimate reality.

6 people found this helpful

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A fascinating way of expressing authentic faith.

A bold new way of claiming Catholic faith. A must reading for any searchers of meaning from an western perspective.

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A Marriage of Christian and Buddhist Beliefs?

The author is an accomplished scholar, professor, theologian and ex-priest. He is sincerely "working out his own salvation with awe and trembling". He deserves respect and appreciation as well as empathy, for his integrity and for sharing this rather personal, though also intellectual, testimony of his process and struggles with Christian questions in light of Buddhist teachings. Such a testimony is not for everyone. Few of us have led lives of intellectual rigor focused on Christian theology. Few of us have had to confront "The Catholic Church" head on from within. Few of us have publically and professionally, at personal and professional peril, struggled to fit into an an ill-fitting Orthodoxy and Orthopraxis under not only internal but external duress. Few of us have deeply for many years studied and practiced both Buddhist and Christian teachings. As one who is similarly, intimately, scholarly familiar and concerned with everything the author has expressed here, I will offer a few reflections/inquiries that have become more and more important for me to reflect on as I have studied and meditated on theology, mysticism/contemplation and scriptures of both Buddhism and Christianity: Is the "Spiritual" essence of being "Christian" or a "Buddhist" a matter of "beliefs", doctrines, or even feeling, "thinking" and/or ratiocination? Is "Faith", either in Buddhist Dharma or Christian Gospel/Christ first and foremost a matter of "thought" and "belief"? Can or does "belief" and "thought", more often than not, be depended upon by means a "faith" understood and treated as a "belief in belief" and in the self-transcending power of "thought" and "thinker", lead to "that which is beyond and free from belief and thought"? Another way to put this is "can we think ourselves out of thinking? Might that which is beyond belief and thought be what we all in our"Hearts", "Spirits","Minds" and "Psyches" Ultimately seek and would most benefit in finding? St. John of the Cross poetically expresses "I don't know what, which is so gladly found"! After listening to this Audio book, might we all find it beneficial to proceed onward, towards..."I don't know what which is so gladly found"?

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At peace with myself

This book speaks to the deepest driving forces that have confronted me and challenged my understanding of myself and my beliefs as a Christian. I have long been drawn to Buddhist ideals and practices but until this book had not been able to reconcile the two belief systems in a way that felt right or comfortable or even manageable. Thanks to Paul Knitter I can be at ease with being a "dual belonger" and allow my need to perform Christian charity cohabitate with my experience with feeling at one with all sentient beings and the feeling of compassion I have for others. Paul analyzed and wrapped up these concepts and beliefs as well as my desired practices in a way that brings me peace. I hope it will also allow me to make peace by being peace. thanks Paul!

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He's not a Christian, He's a Roman Catholic Priest

He's not a Christian, He's a Roman Catholic Priest. This book was not for me.

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  • Ms. D. Molwuka
  • 08-15-18

I wish I could have written this book..

Beautiful narrator. An easy listen and for Yoga Teachers like myself, a text I will dive into again and again to aid my teaching and to support me in dialogues with people of both faiths, like myself.

3 people found this helpful