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.
Reviews - What do customers think about Eternal Life?: Life After Death as a Medical, Philosophical, and Theological Problem?
Küng paints a masterful portrait of the road we have been travelling since the onset of the Industrial Revolution. Sep 18, 2008
I was given this book by my father in law at a recent family get together. When I sat down to read it last night, my thinking was I would only be able to read 20 or 30 pages before I would set it aside; after all the book was written by a Catholic theologian I had thought. After having finished the book I have already ordered two more by Küng as I was completely enthralled with his writing, clarity of thought and honest appraisals for how the Church had evolved in separating fact from fiction.
Küng makes so many insightful comments I would have to retell the entire book to really review it properly. Instead I will say that Küng is the first person who I have ever read anywhere who accurately describes the evolution in new thinking from the onset of the Industrial Revolution to present. He eloquently describes the dualism which was set into motion by Marx for a Utopian society on the one hand and Kierkegaard for the individual through existential thinking. Küng does not spend a tremendous amount of energy describing how these two waves in new thinking progressed historically. Instead he opts for carefully inserted quotes which demonstrate the core of thinking from Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Jaspers, and Heidegger culminating with Sartre. Through this approach he clearly shows respect for these individuals while laying out the critical differences in their logic. I was stunned to read such an impartial review of how we got to where we are today.
Küng also clearly shows the historicity of how doctrine evolved and clearly delineates what is faith based. In so doing, he eloquently makes the case for the individual to go beyond evolved dogma as well as why it is critically important for us as human beings to place ourselves inside of the context of the greater universe we inhabit. If Küng was my Parrish priest I would be attending church multiple times a week. He and his crystal clear thinking are exactly what the Church requires to move forward and remain vital instead of the conservative, regressive in reality, direction the Church leadership is currently pursing, and has been for over 30 years now. Without the activities and works for the community made by the local Parishes, the church would be a place where you would find young people today.
Küng makes his case concisely inside of current accepted scholarship. His words don't simply sound true they resonate within anyone who has done reading into any of the thinkers who brought about the eras and the historical time periods which has brought us to this point in history. Küng explains the how and when while he defines that all religions must continue to evolve in order to remain vital for the human family and the communities which they are here to serve and support.