| 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.