| The Social and Political Thought of Benedict XVIby Thomas Rourke. Lexington Books (January 2010) |
Covering the entire trajectory of his religious life, this meticulously researched book identifies the roots of political and social order in Pope Benedict XVI's philosophy and analyzes his views on the role of Christian faith in politics. Although not generally characterized as a political philosopher, the Benedict's writings shed significant and unique light on the world of politics today. In an age when modern politics has lost sight of its proper relationship within the larger scheme of human affairs and existence, Thomas R. Rourke shows that, as both Pope and the former Cardinal Ratzinger, Benedict has made a conscious effort to relate political issues to the broader dialogue on human endeavor, ethics, and culture.Related
Bringing to the fore Benedict's belief on the necessary place of the Christian tradition in a contemporary politics of reason, Rourke details the Pope's contribution to solving the deeper problems of politics today. A valuable study in political theory and religion, this book should be read by those interested in Catholic social and political thought.
Thomas R. Rourke is chair of the political science and philosophy department at Clarion University.
| Theological Highlights of Vatican IIPaulist Press (December 2009) |
Here is a significant book comprising Joseph Ratzinger's report on the debates and struggles that made up each of the four sessions of Vatican II (1962-65), along with theological commentary by a noted scholar and professor.
At the council Ratzinger worked on the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei verbum), the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium), and the Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church (Ad gentes). Topics he treats in detail in the book include the debate on the liturgy schema, the early debate on divine revelation, the questions of Mariology and ecumenism, the decree on the bishops office in the Church, religious liberty, the Church and the Jews, and the schemas on the missions and on priestly ministry and life. He gives special attention to the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church and to the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World.
| Meeting Saint Paul with the Pope: Wednesday Audiences During the Pauline Jubilee Year |
Paulist Press (November 2009)
A series of twenty-one reflections of Pope Benedict XVI on one of the most influential persons in the history of Christianity, Saint Paul.
| Maria: Pope Benedict XVI on the Mother of GodIgnatius Press (November 2009) |
This glorious volume is a lavishly illustrated coffee-table book with dozens of inspirational and famous color paintings, sculptures and artwork of the Blessed Virgin Mary from all over the world. The beautiful pictures are accompanied by the profound writings and homilies of Pope Benedict XVI on the person of Mary, and her unique role in human history and in the plan of God for salvation history.
The gorgeous paintings and artwork are from many different centuries, some very famous and others less well-known. Many of these artworks are located at popular Marian shrines that Pope Benedict has visited and honored with special events, prayers and homilies, depicted throughout this volume. Some of the famous Marian images include Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Czestochowa (the ''Black Madonna''), Queen of the Holy Rosary, Our Lady of Loreto, Queen of Carmel, and many others.
Pope Benedict offers in-depth, inspirational reflections on the unique spiritual role Mary as the Mother of the Savior, showing her to be the universal ''Woman'' that Jesus calls her in the Gospels, his mother that God made the spiritual mother of all mankind. Using Biblical references of Mary as ''full of grace'' and the ''woman clothed with the sun'', Pope Benedict emphasizes that Mary's main role is to lead us to union with Jesus, to help us know and love Him much better and to be his true followers.
| Covenant and CommunionBy Scott Hahn. Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd (October 2009) |
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's election as Pope Benedict XVI brought a world-class biblical theologian to the papacy. There is an intensely biblical quality to his pastoral teaching and he has demonstrated a keen concern for the authentic interpretation of sacred Scripture. Here a foremost interpreter of Catholic thought and life offers a probing look at Benedict's biblical theology and provides a clear and concise introduction to his life and work. Bestselling author and theologian Scott Hahn argues that the heart of Benedict's theology is salvation history and the Bible and shows how Benedict accepts historical criticism but recognizes its limits. The author also explains how Benedict reads the overall narrative of Scripture and how he puts it to work in theology, liturgy, and Christian discipleship.Related
| Max and Benedict: A Bird's Eye View of the Pope's Daily Lifeby Jeanne Perego (Author), Donata Casagrande (Illustrator). Ignatius Press (October 2009) |
This lovely children's book is a sequel to Joseph and Chico, the international best seller that told the story of the life of Pope Benedict XVI from his youth to his election as the Pope. With the same award-winning author and illustrator, this lavishly illustrated book is aimed at children but in a way that even adults will enjoy. It takes up the story of Benedict XVI's new life as the Pope.
The narrator of this book is a blue rock-thrush that spends most of his time on the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica and in the Vatican gardens. The bird's scientific name is Monticola Solitarius, and it really lives in these places. His name is Max, and from his solitary perch, Max observes everything in the vicinity, and he is fascinated by one human in particular: the Pope.
Max tells readers what the Pope does on a typical day, and also about special moments in his life, such as the Pope's apostolic trips. The book provides a delicate portrait of the Holy Father's many responsibilities, and it helps us understand the Pope's important obligations that he always strives to carry out with love, faith and dedication.
Max talks about the Pope's private and public audiences, his meetings with heads of state, and with children, important liturgical moments, and the Angelus. He also describes more curious events, such as the blessing of the lambs and of a fire truck. He tells us about the moments that the Pope devotes to writing and prayer. Max flies to see the Pope at his Summer home, Castel Gandolfo, and is sorry he cannot accompany him on his important apostolic trips, but is happy each time the Pope returns to the Vatican. Max is also delighted when he sees the Pope relax a bit, playing the piano or strolling through the Vatican gardens. Max loves music, too, and many of his friends live in the Vatican garden.
Through this wonderful story, the author presents some of the fundamental ideas of Pope Benedict XVI, and the important daily life and activities of the successor of St. Peter, told in simple words that young readers can understand and enjoy.
| The Pope and Jesus of Nazareth: Christ, Scripture and the Church (Veritas)
SCM Press (September 1, 2009)
The Veritas Series offers original volumes engaging in critical questions of pressing concern to theologians, philosophers and scholars of other disciplines.
The publication of the book Jesus of Nazareth on 16 April 2007 was an unprecedented event: never before had a reigning Pope published personal reflections on Jesus. Benedict XVI’s book engages not just with New Testament scholarship but also with fundamental methodological questions related to historical criticism.
The Pope and Jesus of Nazareth provides essays by some of the leading scholars in Britain, continental Europe and the USA to highlight the insights and limits of the Pope’s reflection on Jesus. Specifically, it engages with the book from critical, cross-disciplinary and different faith perspectives.
Contributors include: John Milbank, Henri-Jérôme Gagey, Francisco Javier Martínez, Fergus Kerr OP, Richard B. Hays, Markus Bockmuehl, Adele Reinhartz, Mona Siddiqui.
| Charity in Truth: Caritas in VeritateIgnatius Press (August 2009). |
Pope Benedict’s third encyclical, Charity in Truth (Caritas in Veritate), applies the themes of his first two encyclicals —love and hope (God Is Love, Saved in Hope) — to the world’s major social issues. Drawing on moral truths open, in principle, to everyone (the natural law) as well as on the teachings of the gospel (revelation), Pope Benedict addresses Catholics and non-Catholics alike, challenging us all to recognize and then to confront the social evils of our day.
The first part of the encyclical examines the dynamic teaching of Benedict’s predecessors, Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. Both men contributed greatly to the body of doctrine known as “Catholic social teaching”. Both men challenged the simplistic division of political perspectives into “conservative” and “liberal”, and “right” and “left”. Both men were convinced that the natural moral law and the teaching of the Gospel were indispensable for a world in desperate search of hope and meaning.
In the second part Benedict surveys the social issues that confront the human race today—assaults on the dignity of the human person such as the attack on human life, poverty, issues of war and peace, terrorism, globalization, and environmental concerns. Benedict provides sound moral principles to address these social and economic problems, and to promote a culture of life and genuine peace.
In this outstanding work, Pope Benedict shows us why so many observers regard him as the world’s leading moral voice, as well as one of the most insightful and profound social/political thinkers of our day.
| Pope Benedict XVI: An Introduction to His Theological VisionPaulist Press (May 2009) |
From professor and scholar, to the Vatican’s enforcer of the faith and, finally, to the throne of St. Peter, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI has become for the world the public face of the Roman Catholic Church. Rev. Thomas P. Rausch, S.J.—the T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles—tells us he has been reading and studying Ratzinger’s work since 1969. With this book, Rausch provides a clear and concise overview of the pope’s life and theological vision on several levels: his Eucharistic ecclesiology, his theology of liturgy, his Christology and “his relentless refusal to reduce Sacred Scripture to mere history or literature.”
As Benedict’s writings on contentious issues within the church (e.g. liberation theology, women, homosexuality et al.) and the world (human rights, solidarity, religious pluralism et al.) reflect, Rausch notes that “[Benedict’s] tendency is to speak the way a university professor does, isolating difficulties with a particular clarity and force.” The author expresses concern, though, on the pope’s ability to read the signs of the times, as it were, as he seeks to “rearticulate Catholic doctrine in the context of secular culture.” -- America
| Credo for Today: What Christians BelieveIgnatius Press (May 2009). |
What do Christians believe? What gives meaning to our life? What is the purpose of life? The Christian answer to these questions is found in the Creed, in the profession of faith. But what do the articles of this confession actually mean? And how to they affect our lives?
Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, takes a fresh look at these timeless questions. This work is a reflection of the profound, personal insights of Benedict XVI, but also of the great foundations of Christianity: faith, hope, and charity.
Ratzinger writes eloquently and persuasively about the importance for followers of Christ to understand well what they believe so one can live as a serious Christian in today’s secular world. He talks in depth about the true meaning of faith, hope, and love—the love of God and the love of neighbor. He also discusses the crucial importance of a lived faith, for the believer himself as well as being a witness for our age, and striving to bring faith in line with the present age that has veered off into rampant secularism and materialism.
"In our generation the Christian Faith finds itself in a much deeper crisis than at any other time in the past. In this situation it is no solution to shut our eyes in fear in the face of pressing problems, or to simply pass over them. If faith is to survive this age, then it must be lived, and above all, lived in this age. And this is possible only if a manifestation of faith is shown to have value for our present day, by growing to knowledge and fulfillment." —Pope Benedict XVI
| Faith and the FutureIgnatius Press (March 2009). |
Increasingly, the future is becoming a theme for theological reflection. In the background we can detect a growing concern among many people for the future of faith. Does faith have any future at all, and, if so, where in all the confusion of today's trends will we discover its embryo?
But the problem of the future assails not only the believer. In the ever more rapidly advancing process of historical evolution, man is confronted with enormous opportunities, but also with colossal perils. For him, the future is not only hope, but sorrow—a nightmare, indeed. He cannot avoid asking what part faith can play in building tomorrow's world.
Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, approaches this problem of universal concern from a variety of angles, bringing his deep personal faith and theological brilliance to bear on these serious questions.
| Saint Paul |
Ignatius Press (April 2009).
St. Paul is one of the most important figures in Christian history. As Saul of Tarsus he vigorously persecuted Christianity, even collaborating in the death of Christianity’s first martyr, Stephen. His encounter with the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus changed Paul’s life, the Christian Church, and world history. More than anyone else in the early Church, Paul saw the universal nature of the Christian message. He became the “Apostle to the Gentiles” and the “Teacher of the Nations”. As the human author of half of the New Testament, Paul is a figure who cannot be overlooked by anyone who wants to understand Jesus Christ and Christianity.
In this book, Pope Benedict XVI, a profound spiritual leader in his own right and a first-rate theologian and Bible commentator, explores the legacy of Paul. Pope Benedict follows the course of the Apostle’s life, including his missionary journeys and his relationship with the other apostles of Jesus such as St. Peter and St. James, and Paul’s martyrdom in Rome. Benedict also examines such questions as: Did Paul know Jesus during his earthly life and how much of Jesus’ teaching and ministry did he know of? Did Paul distort the teachings of Jesus? What role did Jesus’ death and resurrection play in Paul’s teaching? What are we to make of Paul’s teaching about the end of the world? What does Paul’s teaching say about the differences between Catholic and Protestant Christians over salvation and the roles of faith and works in the Christian life? How have modern Catholic and Protestant scholars come together in their understanding of Paul? What does Paul have to teach us today about living a spiritual life?
These and other important issues are addressed in this masterful, inspirational, and highly-readable presentation of St. Paul and his writings by one of today’s great spiritual teachers, Pope Benedict XVI.