cover image Christianity in a Nutshell

Christianity in a Nutshell

Leonardo Boff. Orbis, $18 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-62698-030-3

In this short work, influential liberation theologian Boff (Jesus Christ Liberator) focuses on Christianity's core: the Lord's Prayer, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus's call to peace, unconditional love, and preferential care for the poor, all of which proclaim the reign of God. In Boff's reading, Christianity's true meaning has been buried under the dogmas, creeds, and sacraments of the institutional church. The hope for the reign that will bring justice and end suffering has resided in those who, like Francis of Assisi, have poured themselves out in love of God, neighbor, and all creation. "The reign is the key thing; the church is secondary," Boff writes. Although the book's first 20-odd pages, which conflate faith concepts with science, yield a mystical stew that might be off-putting to some, Boff's later focus on Christianity's gentle and loving essence, written with heartfelt and persuasive simplicity, becomes inspired reading. (Oct.)