The Afternoon of Christianity: The Courage To Change

Univ. of Notre Dame. Mar. 2024. 264p. tr. from Czech by Gerald Turner. ISBN 9780268207472. $25. REL
Czech Catholic priest, philosopher, and theologian Halik (sociology, Charles Univ.; The Way of the Cross) asserts that Christians are experiencing a faith crisis. Some of this is due, he says, to abuses within the Catholic Church and from suspended services during the pandemic. Noting the differences between faith, religion, beliefs, and spirituality and their interrelationship with each other, history, and culture, he argues that the Church and Christians in general must build a deeper, more mature faith. A way to do this, he says, is to undergo a self-transcendent transformation as one searches for God in a changing world. Citing scripture and works of theology, philosophy, psychology, and literature, he reflects on past and present challenges to Christianity. The book includes an extensive list of citations and recommended readings by such authors as Saint Augustine, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Buber, and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
VERDICT While much of the book is aimed at the Catholic Church, the points are applicable to Christianity as a whole. Will appeal to readers interested in a scholarly analysis of the current state of Christianity in the modern world.
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