Without Buddha I Could Not be a Christian

Pages: 272
Subject: Religion, Philosophy
Imprint: Oneworld Academic

Without Buddha I Could Not be a Christian

Paul F. Knitter

A new updated edition of Professor Knitter's honest, unflinching account of re-finding one's faith
9781851689637 (3 Jan 2013)
RRP £9.99 / US$16.95

The Book

Without Buddha I Could not be a Christian narrates how esteemed theologian, Paul F. Knitter, overcame a crisis of faith by looking to Buddhism for inspiration. From prayer to how Christianity views life after death, Knitter argues that a Buddhist standpoint can encourage a more person-centred conception of Christianity where individual religious experience comes first, and liturgy and tradition second.

Moving and revolutionary, this edition comes with a new conclusion - ‘Jesus and Buddha Both Come First!'

‘A compelling example of religious inquiry.'

New York Times

‘One of the finest contemporary books on the encounter between religions in the heart and soul of a single thoughtful person.'

Library Journal

Additional Information

Subject Religion, Philosophy
Pages 272
Imprint Oneworld Academic


About the Author

Paul F. Knitter is the Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions and Culture at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. He was formerly Emeritus Professor of Theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a leading advocate of religious pluralism.


"In this revealing retrospective, Knitter recounts very personally how his encounters with liberation theology and with other religions, especially Buddhism, challenged and transformed his Christian faith. This will be of interest to all who are concerned with religious diversity and social justice." 

- Leo Lefebure, Professor of Theology, Georgetown University and author of The Buddha and the Christ

"The dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism is one of the most important conversations of our time, and Paul Knitter's new book shows why. It offers much more than words: religion at its best transforms us, and herein we see its fruits. If you want to know how religions can help to revitalize each other, this is the place to start."

- David Loy, Besl Family Chair for Ethics/Religion and Society at Xavier University and author of Money Sex War Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution

"A compelling example of religious inquiry."

- New York Times,

"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 Review

"Radiates wisdom and warmth. Is it possible to become more fully Christian by taking most seriously the Buddhist path -- becoming Buddhist in order to live more fully the Christian life? Agree or not with Paul's answer, we can be most grateful to him for pressing the question and making so very clear the possibilities and risks along the way."

- Francis X. Clooney, Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University

Table of Contents

Preface: Am I Still a Christian?


1 Nirvana and God the Transcendent Other

2 Nirvana and God the Personal Other

3 Nirvana and God the Mysterious Other

4 Nirvana and Heaven

5 Jesus the Christ and Gautama the Buddha

6 Prayer and Meditation

7 Making Peace and Being Peace

Conclusion: Promiscuity or Hybridity?



Sources and Resources