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"Everywhere in the world . . . the Christian Church finds itself on the way to rediscovering, re-evaluating and restating its marching order," says the author in the opening lines of this discussion of the problem of communication in the Church. Kraemer explains why the communication of the Christian faith is difficult and how human communication, broken through the Fall, may be restored.
The Author elaborates a fundamental theology of communication, stressing the difference between 'communication between' and 'communication of'. He treats communication historically, pointing out that the character of the message creates a tension with which the Church has to live. The more the Church is concerned with the problem the healthier it becomes. He discusses the psychological, sociological, and cultural factors involved in communication, analysing its breakdown and suggesting that the difficulty in overcoming it is partly caused by assumptions that it can be solved by language and method. Communication problems are a feature of modern culture, due to the breakdown of the unity of Western culture.
Kraemer stresses that the main issue in restoring communication is not that of using more intelligible language nor of devising programs as primary needs. It is that the Church, in self-criticism and self-examination, should recover consciousness of its true nature and calling and change its ways to reflect the truth that "judgement must begin at the house of god" and not at the house of the world.
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Dr. Hendrik Kraemer received his doctor's degree in Oriental Languages, Cultures and Religions from Leiden University. He became Professor of the History and Phenomenolgy of Religions in the Theological Faculty of the University of Leiden (Netherlands). He was Director of the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches at Bossey (near Geneva) and was Fosdick Visiting Professor at the Union Theological Seminary, New York.
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