Pope Benedict XVI: An Introduction to His Theological Vision

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