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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 10 January 2011
For an open-minded reader Gerard Hughes takes faithfulness on a tour of engagement and challenge. Provocation around the flexibility of God and saving faith are engaged with rigour, depth and accessibility.

Fundamentalism is decoded with creedal faith receiving a refreshing assessment with a persuasive argument that faithfulness to the original tenets of Christianity may be maintained without engaging a literal approach to the translations and interpretations of scripture. This way of dealing with ancient texts he considers to be misleading, confusing and sometimes unintelligible. Examples of problems and misunderstandings are dissected excellently ranging as widely as evolution, ecumenism, Holy Eucharist, pacifism, and the ordination of women! Hughes suggests that good translation skills and sound teaching which take account of the mores of ever-evolving humankind and of the variety of world cultures, are the best way of keeping the faith and of avoiding the dangers inherent in fundamentalism. This thought-provoking book well merits careful reading. The confidence that the Spirit of God will guide all into ways of truth beats strongly throughout this book. A rare and compelling read!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2011
I consider this to be an extremely important book. The author makes excellent arguments for the case that for truths to remain true they need to be retold using skills that are very like those involved in process of translating from one language into another. He cites a variety of sayings or proverbs in, for example, Spanish, Zulu and Japanese to show how a purely literal translation of any one of these takes one further away from their meaning. This comparison offers a very neat example to illustrate how the process of creating a faithful translation is a highly complex skill -- as much an art as a science, but one which nevertheless can be guided by certain basic principles. By this means the book gives the individual reader a really useful set of tools with which to reflect on the truths expressed in their own faith.

This book is important not only to the Roman Catholic and broader Christian tradition in which it belongs but also to other faith traditions. Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and other believers will find the work of great value in helping them to distinguish between what constitutes a tendency towards fundamentalism and what a fidelity to their faith such that it can be experienced or indeed re-experienced as a truly living tradition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2013
A well written, and accessible read, yet offering enough complexity of thought to satisfy the keen philosophical theologian.The overall thrust of the argument is constructed by firstly focusing on translation problems. A helpful and clear triangular diagram is provided. Then the second half of the book uses the analogy of translation to move on to focus on fidelity to a moral tradition. The triangular diagram is used again in the moral context, helping the reader to see in a clear visual way, the analogy Gerry Hughes wishes to make. Gerry Hughes' central claim, is that there is a close analogy between problems of translation in sacred texts, and problems in identifying exactly what faithfulness to a religious moral tradition might consist of.The theologian will find much that is sensible and persuasive here. The philosopher will have fun deciding if the analogy holds.I recommend this book, and find it suitable for athesists as well as people of all faiths.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2011
Gerry Hughes' new book is well-written, succinct, and contains many illuminating insights on the Gospels and how they were written. As a cradle Christian, I wanted an up-to-date and adult explanation of the Christian tradition, and Gerry gives this very well in his book. I found his ideas most interesting.
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