Featured Book: The Universal Christ

“Christ” is not Jesus’ last name.

Disciples of Christ church historian Bob Cornwall explains, in his review of Franciscan friar Richard Rohr’s 2019 book, The Universal Christ, “he wants to challenge the idea that the incarnation of the divine presence was limited to the person of Jesus.” The author himself, whom Spirituality & Practice reviewer Jon Sweeney calls “Western Christianity’s most identified contemplative,” describes the “Christ Mystery” as “the profound recognition of the presence of the divine in literally everything and everyone.” (Sweeney wants to compare the book, but admits, “There really are no similar books.”)

This is a book that “deserves to be read slowly…allowing our weary souls to soak deeply in its riches,” Ellen Haroutunian writes in Clarion: The Journal of Spirituality and Justice, adding, “…it is important to say that Fr. Rohr,” a famous modern mystic, “speaks from a solid, Catholic Christology.” For the National Catholic Reporter, Cathleen Fasani—who declares, “It is his magnum opus, if you will”—notes that the book “debuted at No. 12 on The New York Times best-seller list for non-fiction.” In her interview with Rohr, a prolific author of 30-plus volumes, he allowed, “It was the hardest book I ever wrote.”

The Universal Christ: How a forgotten reality can change everything we see, hope for, and believe
By Richard Rohr
SPCK, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2019