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The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For and Believe

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  6,339 ratings  ·  834 reviews
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Convergent Books
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Popular Answered Questions
DJ Dycus Two possibilities (that immediately come to mind)?

1) God's original plan for humanity would have not involved suffering -- a state that will be restor…more
Two possibilities (that immediately come to mind)?

1) God's original plan for humanity would have not involved suffering -- a state that will be restored in the afterlife.

2) By "unjust suffering" I think of things like cancer or a natural disaster, both of which are things that are not "earned," that are not a result of someone's poor decisions. If I'm paralyzed for drunk driving, then there's a degree of culpability, you know? If I'm hit by a drunk driver and paralyzed, that is completely undeserved on my part.

I hope this helps.(less)

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Jaidee
I picked this up for my Easter read. I did not know what to expect. This book has an extremely high rating thus far and I imagine that it has been helpful and enlightening to those readers.

I have decided to not rate this particular book as I do not want to dissuade anybody from reading it.

I do, however, want to briefly share my experience of Father Rohr's book. Father Rohr is a Franciscan priest who has started a school of Christian Contemplation with some colleagues in New Mexico. The curric
...more
Jeff
A wise Biblical Interpretation professor once told our class to be wary of people who offer biblical interpretations that are totally new and unique. He wasn't saying that all biblical interpretation has already been done or that new interpretations are necessarily wrong but one should exercise extreme caution when an interpreters strays from 2,000 years of work by faithful thinkers, writers, theologians, spiritualists, interpreters, Bible scholars, etc.

Richard Rohr is that interpreter we were w
...more
Reid Belew
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is so clearly the book Richard Rohr has been working to through every other book. In a way, it may be best to read this one first, then go back and treat other books as specific elaborations, having The Universal Christ as the context and foundation of them all.

I loved this book. I feel relieved to have read it.

I recommend it to anyone and everyone, even the nonreligious. If you take it at its word, it’s clear it will produce great change.

Big fan.
Alanna Schwartz
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oof. How to describe this book? I took so long to read it because I had to put it down every few pages and digest what Rohr was saying. So many of my fears, hurts, and damage about the divine were healed through this book. It brings the message of Christ back to love, and love for all people, and all creation. The dedication for his dog at the beginning was enough to make me cry.
I now see and look for Christ in more— in the slushy sidewalk as I go to work, in the eyes of my parents, and in the
...more
Zine Smith
Sep 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
I started this book with high hopes. The title was very engaging. The introduction was wonderful. The first chapter concerned me. The second chapter was heretical in my opinion. Fr. Rohr has excellent theological training. I was shocked. Christ is the tile of Jesus as the promised Messiah not a loosely understood concept.

No one but the only son of the Father is the incarnation of God. Seeing the mark of the Creator in all people and creation is beautiful. Saying all people are an incarnation of
...more
Robert D. Cornwall
Richard Rohr is one of the best known writers on spirituality. A Franciscan, he understands that there is a long tradition of spiritual writings to draw from. At the same time, he is open to other spiritual traditions, especially Buddhism. I have read a number of books and found many of them helpful, and even practical in orientation. The Universal Christ is, I believe, a followup to his previous book on the Trinity -- The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation. In this book he focuse ...more
Raymond
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
My review was originally published on Medium: https://medium.com/interfaith-now/the...

Richard Rohr’s latest work was a hard book for me to read, mostly because it challenged my thinking as it relates to Jesus Christ. In it I learned that my Western mind has limited my understanding of the Christ. Rohr tells a story about how the Western and Eastern churches view Jesus differently. The Western Church views Christ as Jesus’ last name while the Eastern Church views the Christ as the spirit of God t
...more
David
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never has a book so thoroughly reframed the concept of faith and God in my life as ‘The Universal Christ’ did. In elegance and sheer simplicity Richard Rohr encapsulated everything I have been reconstructing in my own life, and offered a hope that there is a better way, a universal application of understanding and love in a Divine Reality that transcends how our modern society has described God. This book offers an ancient and better way of understanding God, and will undoubtedly be with me for ...more
Scriptor Ignotus
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity
One of the most striking characteristics of our contemporary moral discourse is our seeming inability to grasp the proper relationship between particulars and universals, or between individuals and groups. A black, gay actor says he was brutally assaulted by two white men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs, and all white men are blanketed with culpability under the original sin of whiteness. The two “white men” turn out to be Nigerian bodybuilders who helped the alleged victim stage the who ...more
Luke J
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was frustrating to say the least. Richard Rohr is a guru of contemplative practice and has fantastic pastoral insights. He often has an intuitive sensitivity to how ideas either nurture or starve people’s spirits. I didn’t mean to highlight my copy but couldn’t resist after reading things like:

”Unforgiveness lives in a repetitive past, which it cannot let go of. But forgiveness is a largeness of the soul, without which there is no future or creative action...”

“The steps toward maturity
...more
Ellie
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Richard Rohr is my favorite priest-writer. His compassion shines forth from every page of his every book. This book is no exception.

Rohr presents Christ as an one expression of the face of God, while honoring other faiths and their worship of what he perceives as other expressions of God. His God is all-inclusive and all-loving. The greatest gift is God's love for us, which most of us have difficulty believing in and trusting.

Rohr's vision of Christ (Jesus post-Easter) is more traditional than t
...more
Christian Barrett
Mar 30, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I always find it fascinating when theologians claim that they have found this new secret for the Christian life that has been over looked for two thousand years. Usually the secret they have found is not new, and rarely is it orthodox. Richard Rohr’s “The Universal Christ” is no different than many of these types of books, yet there are a few things that he does that separate him from other theologians I have read that fall prey to this way of thinking. First, Rohr claims to be Roman Catholic (h ...more
Marty Solomon
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a great read from Richard Rohr. I have always appreciated his more mystical, contemplative approach to faith that complements my usual infatuation with the cerebral and intellectual approach to study. This book certainly delivered that typical Rohr wisdom; however, this book was also not lacking in meaty substance either.

This book covered everything from atonement to thoughts about Mary and the redemptive arc of justice in the story of God. Each chapter seemed like an exciting journey t
...more
Morgan Elizabeth Bradham
Phenomenal. By way of contemporary language and a simplicity missing from the bulk of classic Christian mystical texts, Richard Rohr has released Christian mysticism from the shadows of pop-culture, revealing an ancient wisdom without the new ageist strings that so frequently seem to come attached to a digestible understanding of the modern Mystic.
Deb
Although I love to listen to Richard Rohr in interviews and on Another Name for Every Thing podcast, reading this book was a bit of a struggle. Getting together with pals to discuss it proved difficult--mostly we had a hard time even figuring out where to begin or how to wrap our minds around what he's getting at so we ended up jumping around randomly and talking about quotes we liked. Which isn't all bad. Seems like it makes sense while you are reading it, but a few minutes later, you're like, ...more
Sara
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readin19
This has to be his life thesis, where he was going with all of his other books.
Brian Fagan
Apr 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
My son read this book and discussed parts of it with me. He has a Masters in Divinity, and often the Christian books he reads, and the concepts he discusses are over my head. But it sounded compelling and he loaned it to me.

Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest, and freely admits that his Christian spirituality has been deeply influenced by the teachings of St. Francis, and by Eastern religions and philosophy, which he has studied extensively in his world travels. His influences also include the
...more
Brittany
Dec 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have, for a long time, been looking for a good way to describe how I view Christ, Christianity, & what I feel my role is as a Christian. This book doesn’t hit it 100%, but there were many moments reading it when I thought, “yes - this makes sense. This is me.”
Rohr’s whole point in this book seemed to be to push his readers toward a broader view of Christ & what it means to be a follower of Christ. My personal view was already pretty broad, comparatively, so it was interesting having him push
...more
Cole Swearengen
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Took my time reading this one, allowing time to chew on the overwhelming amount of gold nuggets in this book. So thankful for the experience and can truly say it’s an outstanding work by an outstanding man.
Douglas Graves
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As soon as I finished reading the final page I wanted to flip back to the front and start again. Not just because it was that good, although I did thoroughly enjoy reading it, but because there is so much there. Somewhere near the beginning, Rohr encourages his readers to read slowly-he's even marked with italics sentences and phrases that should be read a couple times over, meditated on and contemplated. I wish I had done this more intentionally, and I predict I will probably read this again wi ...more
Meredith McCaskey
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
I don't really know how to review this book. It messed with my brain, with my core, in an unsettling–but-a-good-unsettling way. I had to race through it because it was a Kindle loan from the library and I wasn't able to renew it, when it's a book that is worthy of long-term attention and pondering.

I think my biggest takeaway was this: God is so much more than we can ever fathom, and because of our diversity we are going to engage with Him/Her (the Godself? I'm still getting used to this avoidanc
...more
Dominic Budhi
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020-books
I don’t want to put anyone off reading this book, but I can’t say enough bad things about it. The only reason it is getting two stars instead of one is because it consistently made me laugh. This book should be categorised as comedy instead of spirituality. I hate to offend those who enjoyed it, but I honestly couldn’t stand reading page after page of misquotation s of church fathers, Greek, the New Testament and his consistent adoption of Jungianism, no doubt an attempt to ground an absurd theo ...more
Joy Matteson
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another Rohr book to really contemplate (no pun intended) and take your time understanding. Now in his 70s, Fr. Rohr has taken his many years of wisdom to reclaim the name of "Christ" to mean much more than Jesus' last name. Truly, if you take anything from this book, it's that Christ is in all, and in everything. And that is good news. I loved it. Thanks Netgalley for the free e-galley. I'll need to buy a copy to recommend and re-read. ...more
Matt Letten
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First book read by Richard Rohr. All I can say is wow.

He describes my spiritual realizations and I feel a kindred spirit with him.

This book is not for “Christians” or religious folks only. In fact, many religious people will be upset by this book, just like many atheist materialists will be. However, if you are open to life and what it has to show us, this book is for you.

Amy
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. I enjoyed reading and listening along with the podcast, Another Name for Everything, in which two of Rohr’s students interview him after reading through each chapter. Rohr’s insights into the transformation of the Christ offer a vast, compassionate Christianity. Worth reading and reading slowly.
Matthew Swett
Jun 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
It baffles me that this book has such a good rating. It’s semi-mystical sounding mumbo jumbo, from a man who very clearly doesn’t understand hardly any of the ideas that he interacts with. He also has this agonizingly condescending tone when he talks about people that he considers close-minded, as if you just aren’t “enlightened” enough if you don’t agree with him.
Steve
Sep 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
272 pages of babbling, pantheistic, "oh-wow" baloney, cherry-picked from scripture, Buddhism, pop psychology, and assorted medieval saints. The biggest waste of my time in the past ten years. ...more
Jeremy
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, heresy


This Gospel actually sounds like good news, so it will turn some people off immediately! And that’s okay.


Big Ideas:

+ Trust is closer to what we mean by faith; trustworthy is more like what we mean by faithful

+ Jesus, the Christ, became the ultimate/final/last scapegoat so we could finally stop scapegoating ourselves and others once and for all. He forgave even those who caused the ultimate kind of suffering and humiliation, so what business do we have judging others or harboring unforgiveness? H
...more
David
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Richard Rohr's writings have been a blessing to my soul in the last few years. Reading Rohr helps me imagine a more beautiful, bigger and more loving God than I had ever thought possible. In this book Rohr focuses on Jesus Christ. But slow down if you think "Christ" is merely Jesus' last name. Rohr emphasizes that Jesus is the name of the Jew from Nazareth while "Christ" points to the divinity within.

It is easy to see how Rohr's writing is a bit controversial. Some might even call it heretical.
...more
Blythe
Apr 10, 2022 rated it it was amazing
A game changer that helped me wrestle through things I’ve been struggling with regarding Christianity for 30 years.
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Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard's teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplat ...more

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“A mature Christian sees Christ in everything and everyone else. That is a definition that will never fail you, always demand more of you, and give you no reasons to fight, exclude, or reject anyone.” 17 likes
“There is no such thing as a nonpolitical Christianity. To refuse to critique the system or the status quo is to fully support it—which is a political act well disguised. Like Pilate, many Christians choose to wash their hands in front of the crowd and declare themselves innocent, saying with him, “It is your concern” (Matthew 27: 25). Pilate maintains his purity and Jesus pays the price. Going somewhere good means having to go through and with the bad, and being unable to hold ourselves above it or apart from it. There is no pedestal of perfect purity to stand on, and striving for it is an ego game anyway.” 13 likes
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