| Jesus, the Apostles and the Early ChurchIgnatius Press (October 2007). |
Based on Pope Benedict XVI's weekly teaching on the relationship between Christ and the Church, this book tells the drama of Jesus' first disciples -- his Apostles and their associates -- and how they spread Jesus' message throughout the ancient world. Far from distorting the truth about Jesus of Nazareth, insists Pope Benedict, the early disciples remained faithful to it, even at the cost of their lives.
Beginning with the Twelve as the foundation of Jesus' re-establishment of the Holy People of God, Pope Benedict examines the story of the early followers of Christ. He draws on Scripture and early tradition to consider such important figures as Peter, Andrew, James and John, and even Judas Iscariot. Benedict moves beyond the original Twelve to discuss Paul of Tarsus, the persecutor of Christianity who became one of Jesus' greatest disciples. Also considered are Stephen, the first Christian martyr, Barnabas, Timothy, Titus, the wife and husband "team" of Priscilla and Aquila, and such key women figures as Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Phoebe.
| Joseph Ratzinger: Life in the Church and Living Theology: Fundamentals of Ecclesiology |
by Maximilian Heinrich Heim. (Ignatius Press, October 2007). 500pp.
This is a major work on the theology of Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, by a highly regarded German theologian, priest and writer. Since his election to the Papacy, Ratzinger's theology, and in particular his ecclesiology (theology of the Church), has been in the limelight of theological and ecumenical discussions.
Ratzinger the theologian figures centrally in this investigation, not as the former Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but as a thinker and as a writer
| New Outpourings of the Spirit |
Ignatius Press (October 2007).
The volume consists of two fundamental texts by Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, on the ecclesial movements and new communities within the Church since the Second Vatican Council. These writings are particularly meaningful with regard to the intense spiritual journey which the ecclesial movements and the new communities are experiencing in view of their meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on Pentecost 2006.
The second part of the book is very different from the first, but complements the first part. It contains the dialogue of Cardinal Ratzinger with a large group of Bishops from all continents, convened together for a seminar on the topic, The Ecclesial Movements in the Pastoral Concern of the Bishops held in Rome in 1999.This dialogue format was very favorably received by the Bishops, and it is quite wide-ranging, touching on topics such as the relation between the old and the new charisms, the institutional dimension and the charismatic dimension of the Church, and the Church's mission in a non-Christian society and more.
| An Invitation to Faith: An A to Z Primer on the Thought of Pope Benedict XVI |
Edited by Jean-michel Coulet. Ignatius Press (September 2007).
As soon as he was elected to the Papacy, Benedict XVI immediately challenged the relativism of our times that rejects God, that sees noting as definitive, and that, according to the Pope, sets as the ultimate yardstick the individual's own ego and desires alone. The Pope offers instead an opposing standard: Christ, the Son of God, the true man. The Pope's words are rousing and demand an examination of conscience. His words are meant for all.
This volume is a handy little primer on the thought of the beloved Pontiff in which the reader can pick out any key word or topic form the alphabetical order of meditations throughout the book to meditate and focus on.
| Seek That Which is Above: Meditations Through the Year |
Ignatius Press (2nd Edition. September 2007).
In this beautifully illustrated book, Cardinal Ratzinger gives us meditations on various Liturgical Seasons and Feasts throughout the year, as well as other interesting spiritual and secular themes. These profound and inspiring thoughts bring his broad theological experience as well as his wide literary interests to his people. Here is a shepherd nourishing spiritually the faithful addressed to his care.
Themes the Cardinal covers include Advent, Candlemas, Mardi Gras, Easter, Corpus Christi, Marian Devotion, Vacation & Rest, Peace and Creation.
| The Apostles: The Origin of the Church and Their Co-Workers |
Our Sunday Visitor; First edition (July 2007).
“This book is… my personal search ‘for the face of the Lord.’” —Benedict XVI
Through the Apostles, we come to Jesus himself---Pope Benedict XVI
In this fascinating and inspirational journey with the friends of Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI demonstrates a profound, unbreakable continuity--built upon the foundation of the Apostles and alive in the succession of the Apostles---by which Christ is present today in His people and His church.
Let Pope Benedict be your guide as the distance of centuries is overcome and he reveals the impact of Christ s vision through the calling and works of the Apostles. Ignite your faith with this timeless connection between Jesus, His Apostles, the Church, and you.
As Jesus said to his first two future Apostles, Come and see. Come so that you will be able to see.
| The Essential Pope Benedict XVI: His Central Writings and Speeches |
HarperCollins; annotated edition edition (28 Jun 2007).
On April 24, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Alois Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, the twenty-first-century successor of the Apostle Peter and the spiritual leader of more than one billion Roman Catholics. Who is this complex man whose office grants him sole charge of the world's largest religion? How will his tenure influence the future? The Essential Pope Benedict XVI answers these questions through carefully chosen selections from his homilies, interviews, theological essays, and articles on the crises facing the church today. This collection lays out Benedict's thinking and relates it to a variety of contemporary issues, including modern culture's abandonment of traditional religious values, social mores regarding conception and the sanctity of life, current challenges to the priesthood, and the Catholic Church's tenuous relations with other world religions.
| The Regensburg Lecture |
by James V. Schall, SJ St. Augustines Press (Reprint Edition. May 2007)
Overshadowed by the violent reaction and rioting throughout the world, the September 12, 2006, lecture by Pope Benedict XVI at Regensburg, Germany, at the university where he once taught, is a multifaceted and brilliant speech that addresses the very nature of man’s understanding of a free conscience, his thirst for knowledge in both reason and revelation, his understanding of the limitations of the will, and the nature of his ability to understand his neighbor. It explains the Church’s historical claims that Christ himself is Logos (as the opening of John’s Gospel proclaims), a term meaning “word,” “logic,” and “speech.” One’s faith is to be grounded in a self-limiting God, Who does not capriciously change the rules on humans but Who reveals himself to our reason as well as our hearts. A God Who respects His own creation enough to give man free will, and thus a free conscience and an ability to fail; Who leads man, through both reason and revelation, to Himself, always in peace and never in violence; Who is a God of Life, not Death.
So it is fitting that our world’s modern G.K. Chesterton – James Schall – has chosen to explicate this most-important work by the world’s premier theologian on the thorniest, most divisive questions of our day. Jim Schall, throughout the hundreds upon hundreds of books, articles, and reviews he has written, has always, like Chesterton, maintained a graceful and accessible touch, a clear and memorable style, that makes light work from heavy sources. He is the perfect person to explain both the central concepts and the importance of this amazing speech.
| Jesus of Nazareth |
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (May 2007)
“This book is… my personal search ‘for the face of the Lord.’” —Benedict XVI
In this bold, momentous work, the pope—in his first book written as Benedict XVI—seeks to salvage the person of Jesus from recent “popular” depictions and to restore Jesus’ true identity as discovered in the Gospels. Through his brilliance as a theologian and his personal conviction as a believer, the pope shares a rich, compelling, flesh-and-blood portrait of Jesus and incites us to encounter, face-to-face, the central figure of the Christian faith.
Reviews & Commentary
| Pope Benedict XVI: The Conscience of Our Age |
by Fr. Vincent Twomey. Ignatius Press (April 2007)
Fr. Vincent Twomey, a former doctoral student of Joseph Ratzinger, and a long time friend of the Pope's, felt the need to respond to the common question he read and heard often after Ratzinger's papal election, "What kind of person is the new Pope?"
Twomey offers here a unique double-presentation of the man, Pope Benedict XVI -- a "theological portrait" that encompasses both an overview of the writings, teachings and thought of the brilliant theologian and spiritual writer, as well as the man himself, and his personality traits and how he communicates with others.
Since Ratzinger came in to the papacy already well known and highly regarded as one of the greatest theologians of our age, and having written so much on almost every theological subject touching on the faith, morality, the Church and State, it is important to know his mind on these topics and how he approaches the major spiritual and social issues of our times. Twomey shows his style is really the opposite of how he has been depicted in the past -- that he is indeed very pastoral and will first win the hearts of people who will then read for themselves his writings. His very first encyclical, God Is Love, underscores that approach.
Twomey shows that the secret to the serene dignified behavior of Benedict is that, as a man who is an accomplished pianist, he is open to beauty as much as truth, that he lives outside himself, and is not preoccupied with his own self. He also is a man that Twomey says "has the courage to be imperfect", showing he has a deep humility and strives for teaching the truth even when misunderstood or not presented as well as he would like.
Excerpts / Related Links
| Europe: Today and Tomorrow |
Ignatius Press (March 2007).
Written in late 2004 shortly before his election as Pope Benedict XVI, Ratzinger raises serious questions about the issues facing Europe amidst the new European Union and forming of a European Constitution.
Some of the main issues he raises include: How did Europe originate and what are its boundaries? Who has the right to call himself European and be admitted into the new Europe? What about the spiritual roots of Europe and the moral foundation she is founded on?
Ratzinger sees the lack of focus on these fundamental questions in the forming of a new Europe as a very serious dilemma for the future of Europe, and the world. The ties that Europe has to the USA, and the rest of the world make these questions and reflections by the current Pontiff of critical importance for facing the future together.
| On Conscience (Bioethics & Culture)Ignatius Press (January 2007). |
Prepared and co-published by the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, this book is a combination of two lengthy essays written by Cardinal Ratzinger and delivered in talks when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ["Conscience and Truth" (1984) and "Bishops, Theologians and Morality" (1991)]. Both talks deal with the importance of conscience and its exercise in particular circumstances.
Ratzinger's reflections show that contemporary debates over the nature of conscience have deep historical and philosophical roots. He says that a person is bound to act in accord with his conscience, but he makes it clear that there must be reliable, proven sources for the judgment of conscience in moral issues, other than the subjective reflections of each individual.
| The Dialectics of Secularization: On Reason and Religion |
Ignatius Press (February 2007).
Two of the worlds great contemporary thinkers--theologian and churchman Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and Jurgen Habermas, philosopher and Neo-Marxist social critic--discuss and debate aspects of secularization, and the role of reason and religion in a free society. These insightful essays are the result of a remarkable dialogue between the two men, sponsored by the Catholic Academy of Bavaria, a little over a year before Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope.Related
Jurgen Habermas has surprised many observers with his call for "the secular society to acquire a new understanding of religious convictions", as Florian Schuller, director of the Catholic Academy of Bavaria, describes it his foreword. Habermas discusses whether secular reason provides sufficient grounds for a democratic constitutional state. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI argues for the necessity of certain moral principles for maintaining a free state, and for the importance of genuine reason and authentic religion, rather than what he calls "pathologies of reason and religion", in order to uphold the states moral foundations. Both men insist that proponents of secular reason and religious conviction should learn from each other, even as they differ over the particular ways that mutual learning should occur.