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Dr Küng’s Fiasco

Alasdair MacIntyre, 5 February 1981

Does God exist? 
by Hans Küng, translated by Edward Quinn.
Collins, 839 pp., £12, November 1980, 0 00 215147 2
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... than spectators of these carefully staged plays are led to suspect. A case in point is that of Dr Hans Küng of Tübingen University, about whom it was widely reported – in the New York Times, for example – that he had been forbidden to teach by the authorities in Rome and by his bishop. Had this indeed been the case, the massive response of ...

That Old Thing

A.N. Wilson, 30 January 1992

God’s Politician: John Paul at the Vatican 
by David Willey.
Faber, 249 pp., £14.99, January 1992, 0 571 16180 4
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... towards the truth by considerations of party dogma. The distinguished German priest and theologian Hans Küng has called into question – as well he might – the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, and for his temerity he has been summoned to appear before the Holy Office (what was once called the Inquisition) in Rome. Edward Schillebeeckx, the Belgian ...

Spiritual Rock Star

Terry Eagleton: The failings of Pope John Paul II, 3 February 2005

The Pope in Winter: The Dark Face of John Paul II’s Papacy 
by John Cornwell.
Viking, 329 pp., £20, February 2005, 0 670 91572 6
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... to Rome to be cross-examined no less than three times in the first year of the new papacy. Hans Küng, Vatican 2’s other great luminary, had his teaching licence revoked. ‘Be not afraid!’ were the new pontiff’s first words to the crowds in St Peter’s Square. ‘Be very afraid!’ might have proved more accurate. Since then, he has ...

Chinese Whispers

D.J. Enright, 18 June 1981

The Woman Warrior 
by Maxine Hong Kingston.
Picador, 186 pp., £1.50, March 1981, 0 330 26400 1
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China Men 
by Maxine Hong Kingston.
Picador, 301 pp., £1.50, March 1981, 0 330 26367 6
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... the outsider still wants to know which is which. We are sufficiently able to distinguish between Hans Andersen and the real country of Denmark: we have heard tell of both of them more or less concurrently since we were children. China is a different kettle of mysteries. Just as the last English gentleman is, if not an Indian, then an Englishman living in ...

All That Gab

James Wolcott: The Upsides of Sontag’s Downsides, 24 October 2019

Sontag: Her Life 
by Benjamin Moser.
Allen Lane, 832 pp., £30, September 2019, 978 0 241 00348 0
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... feature in Saturn with ‘Syberberg’s Hitler’, Sontag’s heavy-lifting explication of Hans-Jürgen Syberberg’s Wagnerian-length epic Hitler: A Film from Germany, which she hailed as ‘one of the greatest works of art of the 20th century’. From the vantage point of the 21st century, whatever spell Syberberg’s film once cast has ...

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