Kusuke Koyama (1929-2009), was born to Christian parents in Tokyo and later moved to the United States. He is considered one of the leading Japanese theologians of the twentieth century. This book is a series of short essays reflecting his thoughts on a wide variety of topics including idolatry, technology, syncretism, war, peace and social justice.
Since the book was published in 1979, many of the examples and topics seem a bit dated. His perspective is Asian, with one entire section devoted to his thoughts about WWII and its’ aftermath. I found it quite interesting to view these events through a different cultural lens. I also enjoyed the section on syncretism and the similarities he found between Christianity and other religions.
This is not an easy read, but the material, at least in my view, was worthwhile. If you decide to give it a try, you will find that in spite of generational and cultural differences, we are still facing many of the same challenges defined by Koyama. As the book of Ecclesiastes puts it, “there is nothing new under the sun.”(Ecclesiastes 1:9).
VERDICT: 4 STARS.
For more book reviews see these posts: