Dr Küng’s Fiasco

Alasdair MacIntyre

  • Does God exist? by Hans Küng, translated by Edward Quinn
    Collins, 839 pp, £12.00, November 1980, ISBN 0 00 215147 2

When the name of a present-day Catholic theologian becomes familiar to the larger reading public, it is rarely because of his theology. Most often it is because he has been made vivid as a character in one of those miniature scenarios about religion which still fascinate the ostensibly secularised mind. Jean Daniélou’s fine book on the doctrine of the Trinity passed largely unnoticed: his death in circumstances which suggested that there might be a scandal to be unearthed secured the immediate attention of journalists all over the world. Edward Schillebeeckx’s work on Christology was not news until he was summoned to Rome. Then he was at once conscripted as a character in that so often rewritten melodrama – Brecht’s Galileo is the canonical text for our time – The valiant searcher for truth oppressed by Inquisitors.

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