The Ratzinger Reader: Mapping a Theological Journey
Lieven Boeve (Editor), Gerard Mannion (Editor). T.& T.Clark Ltd (December 2008)
A fascinating and insightful volume collecting together the key writings of Joseph Ratzinger, some of them yet untranslated, from his youthful and more progressive writings, to his ‘transition period’ following his disillusionment with the aftermath of Vatican II, to his time as Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith down to 2005. The emphasis will be upon Joseph Ratzinger as ‘private theologian’, his many writings released in a personal capacity for such will chart the formation of and comment upon the official statements and texts released under his name in a more informative fashion than the simple inclusion of the formulaic ‘official texts’ themselves.
Following a section providing insight into the fundamental and systematic theological background and development of Joseph Ratzinger’s thought, further thematic sections will also be included, for example, Joseph Ratzinger’s writings on Ecclesiology, on Theology and the Role of Theologians, on the Eucharist, on Religious Pluralism, on Sacramental Theology, Ecumenism, on Truth, on the Contemporary Historical Era, on Magisterium and on Faith Morals etc.
The volume will open with an introductory essay charting the life and career, the achievements of and the controversies surrounding the new pope. Each reading will be prefaced by a brief introduction to its context and themes and will be followed by recommended further reading on its respective subject matter.
| Benedict XVI: An Intimate Portraitby Peter Seewald. Ignatius Press (October 2008). |
In the person of Pope Benedict XVI, one of the most significant of Europe's intellectuals is heading-up the Vatican. The journalist Peter Seewald, who has known Ratzinger since 1992, conducted the "longest interviews in church history" with him, for two books which were best-sellers world-wide, Salt of the Earth, God and the World.
Now he describes these intensive encounters in detail for the first time, and draws a portrait of this brilliant theologian who has put his life entirely at the service of the Catholic Church. Above and beyond that, this book is also the story of a long dialogue which changed Seewald's life.
Many people are trying to understand who Benedict XVI really is. On one point they are all agreed: in the person of Joseph Ratzinger, the chair of Peter is occupied by one of the most brilliant minds in the world. Peter Seewald's portrait of Benedict recounts details about the personality and life of Benedict which were hitherto completely unknown.
| The Church Fathers: From Clement of Rome to AugustineIgnatius Press (August 2008). |
Following his best selling book, Jesus of Nazareth, and his talks published in Jesus, the Apostles, and the Early Church, Pope Benedict's Church Fathers presents these important figures of early Christianity in all their evangelical vitality, spiritual profundity, and uncompromising love of God. Benedict tells the true story of Christianity's against-all-odds triumph in the face of fierce pagan Roman hostility and persecution. He does this by exploring the lives and the ideas of the early Christian writers, pastors, and martyrs, the men so important to the spread of Christianity that history knows them as "the Fathers of the Church".
This rich and engrossing survey of the early Church includes those churchmen who immediately succeeded the Apostles, the "Apostolic Fathers": Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus of Lyon. Benedict also discusses such great Christian figures as Tertullian, Origen, and Cyprian of Carthage, the Cappadocian Fathers, as well as the giants John Chrysostom, Jerome, Augustine, Leo the Great, and Benedict of Nursia, the Pope's namesake. This book is a wonderful way to get to know the Church Fathers and the tremendous spiritually rich patrimony they have bequeathed to us.
Pope Benedict in America: The Full Texts of Papal Talks Given During His Apostolic Visit to the United States
| Pope Benedict in America: The Full Texts of Papal Talks Given During His Apostolic Visit to the United Stateswith introduction by Fr. James V. Schall. Ignatius Press (August 2008). |
During his six-day apostolic visit to Washington and New York, Pope Benedict addressed millions of people--in person or via the media. He gave some fifteen major addresses, ranging from his remarks to the President of the United States, to his address to ecumenical leaders at St. Joseph Parish in New York, from his speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations, to his message to the Jewish community celebrating the feast of Passover. In all of his addresses, Benedict spoke as the Vicar of Christ, with the message of divine truth and love, of genuine faith and a well-founded, Christ-centered hope.
This book contains all of Benedict's major addresses in a handy slim size deluxe hardcover edition perfect for use to study and reflect on the Pope's profound and insightful words on a variety of important spiritual, moral and social issues.
Readers will readily see the truth of Jesuit Father James Schall's statement, from his introduction to this volume: "Benedict XVI is an amazingly learned man . . . There is no one else in any public office in the world that has ... his breadth of knowledge and scholarship. Though he speaks the learned German academic tongue with the best of them, his writings are strikingly straightforward and clear . . . One sensed that the media understood this somehow, that this man was on top of every subject and operated at a depth few could match. The papacy does have the duty of teaching and Benedict does teach. He also thinks and ponders. What is characteristic of him is that he not only speaks authoritatively when he must, but that he mostly offers what he says on the grounds of common sense and reason. He goes directly to the minds and hearts of his readers or listeners."
| Creation and Evolution: A Conference with Pope Benedict XVI in Castel GandolfoStephan Otto Horn, S.D.S., and Siegfried Wiedenhofer | Translated by Michael J. Miller | Foreword by Christoph Cardinal Schönborn. Ignatius Press (June 2008). |
In 2005 the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn wrote a guest editorial in The New York Times that sparked a worldwide debate about "Creation and Evolution". Pope Benedict XVI instructed the Cardinal to study more closely this problem and the current debate between "evolutionism" and "creationism," and asked the yearly gathering of his former students to address these questions.
Even after Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, he has continued to maintain close contact with the circle of his former students. The "study circle" (Schulerkrers) meets once a year with Pope Benedict XVI for a conference. Many of these former Ratzinger students have gone on to become acclaimed scholars, professors and writers, as well as high ranking Church prelates.
This book documents the proceedings of the remarkable conference on the topic of "Creation and Evolution" hosted by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 at the papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo. It includes papers that were presented from the fields of natural science, philosophy and theology, and records the subsequent discussion, in which Pope Benedict XVI himself participated.
"Ultimately it comes down to the alternative: What came first? Creative Reason, the Creator Spirit who makes all things and gives them growth, or Unreason, which, lacking any meaning, strangely enough brings forth a mathematically ordered cosmos, as well as man and his reason. The latter, however, would then be nothing more than a chance result of evolution and thus, in the end, equally meaningless. As Christians, we say: I believe in God the Father, the Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in the Creator Spirit. We believe that at the beginning of everything is the eternal Word, with Reason and not Unreason."
-- Pope Benedict XVI
"Creation and Evolution is an extraordinary opportunity for the public to listen in on the conversation as some of the greatest minds in the Catholic Church -- theologians, philosophers, scientists, and Pope Benedict himself -- wrestle with one of the most thorny and far-reaching of topics. Participants clash repeatedly over what we really know about the forces that shaped life on earth, over what is data and what is hype, over what certain scenarios might mean even if they were true. I recommend it to anyone who wants to know where we might have come from and where we might be headed.
-- Michael J. Behe, Lehigh University, Author of The Edge of Evolution.
| Christ Our Joy: The Theological Vision of Pope Benedict XVI |
by Joseph Murphy. Ignatius Press (May 2008).
Noticing how often the new Pope had the topic of "joy" as the central theme of his many addresses, Murphy delved into the vast writings of the Pope, before and after his election to the papacy, and found that the theme of joy has pervaded all of his theology. Recognizing the Pope's invitation to joy as a key to understanding his basic theological vision, Murphy develops those ideas and writings in a creative way, and helps the reader to engage personally with the original and pastoral mind of Joseph Ratzinger, professor, pastor, and now Pope Benedict XVI.
This joy is nothing other than the joy of the Christian faith. Indeed, the "first word of the New Testament", says Pope Benedict XVI, "is an invitation to joy". The Gospel of Jesus Christ, he insists, is not a burdensome imposition but is truly "glad tidings" for mankind. Christianity is the key to true and lasting joy, the only joy that abides in the midst of life's anxieties and difficulties.
Written in a clear and engaging style, this book argues that joy is central to all of Pope Benedict's thought. All the other great themes of the Christian faith are intimately connected with it and radiate out from it. The world is in need of hearing once again the message of joy which Jesus Christ makes known.
| Church, Ecumenism and Politics: New Endeavors in EcclesiologyIgnatius Press (April 2008). |
This work features the most discussed topics of the life of the Church, treated with unique frankness and depth by the Church's spiritual and theological leader. In this collection of essays, theologian Joseph Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, tackles three major issues in the Church today--the nature of the Church, the pursuit of Christian unity, and the relationship of Christianity to the secular/political power.
The first part of the book explores Vatican II's teaching on the Church, what it means to call the Church "the People of God", the role of the Pope, and the Synod of Bishops. In part two, Ratzinger frankly assesses the ecumenical movement--its achievements, problems, and principles for authentic progress toward Christian unity. In the third part of the work, Ratzinger discusses both fundamental questions and particular issues concerning the Church, the state and human fulfillment in the Age to come. What does the Bible say about faith and politics? How should the Church work in pluralistics societies? What are the problems with Liberation Theology? How should we understand freedom in the Church and in society?
Beneath a penetrating analysis on these important topics by this brilliant teacher and writer, both concise and also surprising, is revealed the passion of a great spiritual leader.
| God's Word: Scripture, Tradition, OfficeIgnatius Press (April 2008). |
In this book Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, presents the Word of God as a living reality in the Church. God's Word, according to Ratzinger, is encountered in the Bible, in Tradition, and through the teaching Office of the Bishop, who, through apostolic succession, is to be the servant of and witness to the divine Word. Ratzinger examines as well the relationship between the Episcopacy and the Papacy. He also considers the nature of Apostolic Succession, and he responds to Reformed objections to the Catholic view of the subject. His treatment is sympathetic to the concerns of non-Catholic Christians while remaining faithful to Catholic teaching and practice.
This book also includes the famous Erasmus Lecture of Cardinal Ratzinger, which assesses the strengths and weaknesses of modern critical approaches to biblical interpretation. Ratzinger proposes a new approach that avoids the pitfalls of a narrowly critical outlook on the Bible without succumbing to fundamentalism.
God's Word provides profound insights into Pope Benedict XVI's efforts to renew the Church's participation in God's Truth through the divine Word, as well as the Church's mission to proclaim the Word to all people.
| Benedict of Bavaria: An Intimate Portrait of the Pope and His Homeland |
Ignatius Press (April 2008).
An Intimate Portrait of the Pope and His Homeland Highlighting a little-known personal side of Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, this book places him in the context of his homeland, Bavaria a place which the author, Brennan Pursell, has come to know well through extensive travel and study over the last twelve years. Explore the extraordinary brilliance of Pope Benedict's mind and the universality of his vocation within the context of his identity as a simple son of his beloved homeland, Bavaria. Includes color photos and a rare look at a day in the life of the Pope.
| Joseph and Chico: The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Told by a Cat |
Ignatius Press (March 2008)
In this beautifully illustrated book for children, Chico the cat describes the life of his "best friend", Pope Benedict, in this authorised biography of the Pope for young people approved by the Vatican.
"Dear Children, here you will find a biography that is different than others because it is told by a cat and it is not every day a cat can consider the Holy Father his friend and sit down to write his life story," the Pope's personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Ganswein, says in the foreword.
The Pope is known for his fondness of animals, especially cats, and Joseph and Chico is narrated by Chico, a real cat who took up with the Pope in his native Germany long before he became the Pope. Chico tells the story of the life of "my best friend" from his birth in Germany in 1927, through his days as a young man, priest, bishop and cardinal. With a colorful and sometimes amusing language, the author makes this funny cat tell us about the life of the young Joseph all the way up to his election as Pontiff on April 19, 2005. It recounts the Nazi era in Germany when the Pope was a teenager, calling the war years "one of the most dramatic and shameful times in the history of man". Later when he became Cardinal Ratzinger, Chico recounts how each time when the Cardinal returned to Germany from Rome for a vacation, the cat would run into his house and sit on his lap as he played the piano.
| Ratzinger's Faith: The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI |
by Tracy Rowland. OUP Oxford (6 Mar 2008).
A popular reading of Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) is that he started out as a progressive but had second thoughts after the cultural revolution of the late 1960s. A more negative portrait is that of an ambitious and intellectually precocious young man who changed theological allegiances for the sake of promotion within the Catholic hierarchy. Now, in this probing book, Tracey Rowland offers a third reading, one that situates the thought of Pope Benedict within the intellectual history and academic circles of his time. The first serious assessment of the new Pope's theological vision, this thoughtful volume covers topics such as the interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Benedict's relations with other important scholars and theologians, and his attitudes on moral and political theology, western culture, the structure of the Catholic Church, liturgy, and love. It has become a commonplace observation that Pope Benedict has been influenced by the thought of St. Augustine in contrast to many of his predecessors in the papacy who were much more strongly influenced by St. Thomas Aquinas. This work therefore addresses the topic of in what way Benedict is an Augustinian. The volume also includes a bibliography arranged thematically for those who want to explore his thought more deeply in a particular area. A penetrating account of the thought of the reigning pontiff, this volume offers a wealth of insight for everyone interested in Pope Benedict and the direction of the modern Catholic Church.Reviews
| The God of Jesus Christ: Meditations on the Triune God |
Ignatius Press (March 2008).
In this book of meditations, based on a series of homilies and meditations presented and compiled by the author shortly before he became Archbishop of Munich-Freising, in 1977, theologian Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) presents his profound thoughts on the nature and person of God, building a bridge between theology and spirituality as he makes wide use of the Sacred Scriptures to reveal the beauty and mystery of who God is. He writes about each of the three persons in the Holy Trinity, showing the different attributes of each person, and that "God is three and God is one."
God is--and the Christian faith adds: God is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three and one. This is the very heart of Christianity, but it is so often shrouded in a silence born of perplexity. Has the Church perhaps gone one step too far here? Ought we not rather leave something so great and inaccessible as God in his inaccessibility? Can something like the Trinity have any real meaning for us? It is certainly true that the proposition that "God is three and God is one" is and remains the expression of his otherness, which is infinitely greater than us and transcends all our thinking and our existence. But, as Joseph Ratzinger shows, if this proposition meant nothing to us, it would not have been revealed! And as a matter of fact, it could be clothed in human language only because it had already penetrated human thinking and living to some extent.
"Without Jesus, we do not know what 'Father' truly is. This becomes visible in his prayer, which is the foundation of his being. A Jesus who was not continuously absorbed in the Father, and was not in continuous intimate communication with him, would be a completely different being from the Jesus of the Bible, the real Jesus of history... In Jesus' prayer, the Father becomes visible and Jesus makes himself known as the Son. The unity which this reveals is the Trinity. Accordingly, becoming a Christian means sharing in Jesus' prayer, entering into the model provided by his life, i.e. the model of prayer. Becomng a Christian means saying 'Father' with Jesus, and thus becoming a child, God's son--God--in the unity of the Spirit, who allows us to be ourselves and precisely in this way draws us into the unity of God. Being a Christian means looking at the world from this central point, which gives us freedom, hope, decisiveness, and consolation."
| Saved in Hope: Spe SalveIgnatius Press (February 2008) |
Pope Benedict XVI’s second encyclical, Saved In Hope, (“Spe Salvi” in Latin) takes its title from St. Paul, who wrote, “In hope we have been saved”. In this special deluxe hardcover edition of the work, the Holy Father continues a line of thought he began with his first encyclical, God is Love.
Love and Hope are closely related in the spiritual life. Love of God involves hope or trust in God. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man”. Hope enables us to look to the next life, but it also inspires and purifies our actions in this life. Pope Benedict considers modern philosophies and the challenges of faith today in light of the virtue of hope.
“Confronted by today’s changing and complex panorama, the virtue of hope is subject to harsh trials in the community of believers. For this very reason, we must be apostles who are filled with hope and joyful trust in God’s promises. In contemporary society, which shows such visible signs of secularism, we must not give in to despair.” — Pope Benedict XVI
| Questions and AnswersOur Sunday Visitor (January 2008). |
Life can be successful only if we have the courage to be adventurous ... Pope Benedict XVI
Discover the Pope s insightful, personable, and refreshingly accessible responses to the questions we all want to ask.
Live audiences of children, clergy, young adults, and others gain unprecedented access to ask the Pope about everything from divorce and remarriage to the Mass, consumerism, relativism, sacraments, Scripture, music, sex, vocations, and more.