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

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  3,685 ratings  ·  535 reviews
Richard Rohr, one of the world's most influential spiritual thinkers, delivers his long-awaited book on Jesus. In this radical message of hope, Rohr shows how "Jesus" + "Christ" reveal the divine wholeness at the heart of things--and what that means for every one of us.

In his decades as a globally recognized teacher, Richard Rohr has helped hundreds of thousands realize wh
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Convergent Books
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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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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
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.
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
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
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
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
My review was originally published on Medium:

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
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
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
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
Momo 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.
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.
Danae Pritchard
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I simultaneously want to go for coffee with Richard Rohr and thank him for this book and to travel back in time and read and explain this book to my 13 year old self.
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.
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.
Luke Juday
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
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
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
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.
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.

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
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
Raoul G
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Somewhere at the beginning of this book, Richard Rohr makes a distinction between two possible perceptions of God: personal and/or universal. What he argues is that Christianity has been way to preoccupied with the former and has neglected the latter.

The universal notion of God, as he understands it, can be described in the word 'Christ' and is related to what he calls an 'incarnational worldview'. What this means, roughly explained, is that when God created the world he kind of also became the
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.… All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being."

John begins his gospel with these words. When I try to hear them as though for the first time, they sound almost like pantheism!

In The Universal Christ, Rohr elaborates on what John and others are talking about. His expansive view of the incarnation as panentheism (i.e. God in everything) is fascinating and useful. The faith I gr
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a difficult review to write because it so exquisitely depicts what I have long believed in my spiritual life, though layers have recently been added in the last five years as I have experienced great loss (which is one of the times that "God" is most present in our lives--the other is great happiness). Christ is in everything and everyone (human, animal, plant, etc.) and Jesus is the manifestation of that. In its most simplistic form, the title says it all, and what a comfort that is to ...more
Annagrace K.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Even though I left the Christian church years ago, and haven’t identified with the religion for nearly as long, I continue to be grateful for Richard Rohr and his nuanced, curious, educated, and tender way of presenting the history and practices of his faith, and especially his vision of the more beautiful and life-giving possibilities which are still largely unexplored at the group or church level. He is truly one of our modern saints.
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
"Yes, yes, yes!" I thought to myself as I began reading this book at too fast a pace. I had to force myself to slow down and allow the words and wisdom to really sink in. Richard Rohr has awakened and given words to what I suspect has been at the heart of my faith all along. This book is not finished with me yet-- I look forward to using it as a guide as I begin practicing the lessons it contains.
Silas Bergen
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rohr's magnum opus. Only 274 pages, but each one took a day to read and marinate in. I will come back to this one again and again. This book is a signpost of a crucial juncture in my spiritual journey.
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
Kelsey Song
May 10, 2020 rated it liked it
A lot of the individual ideas in this book resonated with me - exploring the feminine side of God (as depicted in in Jesus), Christ as the universal truth of love/joy/suffering, and the concept of original goodness. I also love the idea that sin is its own punishment, virtue its own reward.

All that being said, I struggled a little bit to thoroughly grasp the book's overall thesis. It might be Rohr's discursive writing style, but I kept finding myself vaguely lost. I may come back for a re-read i
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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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Karen M. McManus, the bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, and One of Us Is Next, doesn’t shy away from secrets and...
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“What Love Tells Us About God Love, which might be called the attraction of all things toward all things, is a universal language and underlying energy that keeps showing itself despite our best efforts to resist it. It is so simple that it is hard to teach in words, yet we all know it when we see it. After all, there is not a Native, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic, or Christian way of loving. There is not a Methodist, Lutheran, or Orthodox way of running a soup kitchen. There is not a gay or straight way of being faithful, nor a Black or Caucasian way of hoping. We all know positive flow when we see it, and we all know resistance and coldness when we feel it. All the rest are mere labels.” 8 likes
“Love flows unstoppably downward, around every obstacle—like water. Love and water seek not the higher place but always the lower. That’s why forgiveness is often the most powerful display of love in action.” 8 likes
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