Church, Ecumenism and Politics 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 pluralistic 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. The result is an exciting and stimulating work, which can be provoking, but never boring.
With the Logos Bible Software edition of Church, Ecumenism and Politics, you have an abundance of resources that offer applicable and insightful material for study. You can easily search the subject of Christian unity and access an assortment of useful resources and perspectives from a variety of pastors and theologians.
- Foreword by the author
- Bibliographical references
Praise for the Print Edition
In tricky theological disputes, Pope Benedict XVI separates the wheat from the chaff—a gift for precision that defines this compendium of his thought on ecclesiology and ecumenism. Dating from the 1970s and 1980s, the essays, interviews and lectures contained in this book remain highly relevant. Careful distinctions are his winnowing fork as he cuts through the confusion to identify what is orthodox and heterodox in the important controversies of our time.
—George Neumayr, editor, Catholic World Report
In this wonderful collection of essays, Pope Benedict XVI offers to us a sophisticated, though accessible, understanding of the relationship between politics, the church, and the differing religious communities that encounter one another across the globe. The vision that the pope imparts is one that supports religious liberty without entailing theological relativism. He shows us that one can take theology and ecclesiology seriously, as authoritative knowledge traditions, without rejecting the best insights of Enlightenment liberalism.
—Francis J. Beckwith, associate professor of philosophy and church-state studies, Baylor University
- Title: Church, Ecumenism and Politics: New Endeavors in Ecclesiology
- Author: Joseph Ratzinger
- Translator: Michael J. Miller
- Publisher: Ignatius
- Publication Date: 2008
- Pages: 250
About Joseph Ratzinger
Joseph Ratzinger, better known as Pope Benedict XVI, is one of our time’s most revered Catholic prelates, scholars, theologians, teachers, and authors. He has spoken on many crucial subjects, including sexual consumerism, modern gender roles, marriage, the priesthood, and the future. As a teenager, he studied classical languages and, in 1939, entered the minor seminary in Traunstein. Though he was drafted into the German antiaircraft corps in 1943, he reentered the seminary in 1945, when World War II ended. On June 29, 1951, Joseph Ratzinger was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral of Freising on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. He received his doctorate in theology in 1953, from the University of Munich. Starting in 1959, Ratzinger taught theology at the University of Bonn.
At 35, Joseph Ratzinger was appointed chief theological advisor to the archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joseph Frings, and he maintained that title for four years. After many years of teaching at several German universities, Ratzinger was appointed by Pope Paul VI as archbishop of Munich and Freising in March 1977 and, in June 1977, was elevated to cardinal. In November 1981, Ratzinger was summoned by Pope John Paul II to Rome, where he was named prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and president of the International Theological Commission.
On April 19, 2005, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was elected to be the 265th pope. He took the name Benedict XVI, after St. Benedict of Nursia. Since that time, he has continued to receive worldwide respect and has been a spiritual influence to Christians and non-Christians alike.