on 25 July 2001
Gerald O'Collins' impeccable scholarship presents the reader with a critical view of 2,000 years of thought regarding Jesus, and draws conclusions that are both fresh and orthodox. He is particularly talented in clarity of expression, and of explaining how ideas of various great theologians were useful or were misinterpreted in light of later historical developments.
I personally read this work as one of many studies in Christology, and anyone pursuing graduate study in theology knows how ideas can begin to all sound alike when the volume is high. Though I was new to Gerald O'Collins work, I found it so absorbing and stimulating (amazing, when one is wading through volumes) that it opened new doors of consideration in my own pursuit.
Though O'Collins's presentation of doctrine could not offend the Grand Inquisitor himself, this is no stale "fidelity to the magisterium" approach - the explanations are detailed, often including original insights, and refute any ideas which O'Collins sees as spoiling the integration of Christology and spirituality in the life of the Church.
Whether it is Macquarrie, Schilebeecx, or Thomas Aquinas with whom he has a point of disagreement, the reasoning is excellent, and, whether one holds the same viewpoint or not, one can only greet the result with a certain degree of awe.