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Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI Collection (48 vols.)
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Overview

Study all sides of a significant leader of the Catholic Church with a diverse collection of scholarly works and practical devotional writings. Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger led the Catholic Church as Pope Benedict XVI from April 2005 to February 2013. His papacy was marked by concern for the spiritual future of Europe, and the denial of relativism. But these characteristics were not limited to his papacy—they were consistent throughout his career as priest, professor, bishop, and cardinal. With the Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI Collection (48 vols.), explore his theology as he intertwines history, Scripture, and Catholic principles to provide teachings that outlast the troubling philosophies of the present age.

This collection bundles his writings both before and during his papacy and includes works written alongside such renowned German theologians as Heinz Schürmann and Hans Urs von Balthasar. Ratzinger was prolific and faithful to central Christian teachings—early writings reveal his pastoral care and his heart for Christian unity. His papal writings show his concern for the Catholic Church, its leaders, and the world that watches.

Studying Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI in Logos has never been easier. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Discusses Catholic theology, dogma, and practice
  • Explores Joseph Ratzinger’s writing before and after he was elected pope
  • Analyzes the foundations of Christianity
  • Provides profound biblical teaching for both Protestants and Catholics

Product Details

  • Title: Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI Collection
  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Volumes: 48
  • Pages: 8,128
  • Christian Group: Catholic
  • Resource Type: Collected Works
  • Topic: Theology

Individual Titles

Africae Munus

  • Author: Benedict XVI
  • Publisher: Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  • Publication Date: 2011

The apostolic exhortation Africae Munus is an exhortation intended to strengthen and reassure the Catholic Church in Africa. Remembering John Paul II’s exhortation Ecclesia in Africa, this exhortation outlines strategies for bringing the new evangelization to African nations and renewing the African hope in Christ. Pope Benedict XVI calls African bishops and clergy to teach Africa to live in harmony, respect the dignity of the human person, and dialogue and share with non-Catholics in their regions.

Verbum Domini

  • Author: Benedict XVI
  • Publisher: Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  • Publication Date: 2010

Verbum Domini is the latest exploration of the important Vatican II document Dei Verbum, the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation. Expanding on the themes of the Word of God and the transmission of the liturgy, this exhortation continues the revival of interest in Scripture in the life of the Church by outlining ways bishops and clergy can help the laity bring the Word of God into daily Catholic life.

Verbum Domini (Latin)

  • Author: Benedictus PP. XVI
  • Publisher: Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  • Publication Date: 2010

Anglicanorum Coetibus

  • Author: Benedict XVI
  • Publisher: Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  • Publication Date: 2009

The apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus enlightens the leaders of the Catholic Church with expanded dogma on the procedures for accepting Anglican priests into the Roman Catholic Church as Catholic priests. This document relies heavily on the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium and the Code of Canon Law, compiling a treatise that helps bring the two traditions—Anglicanism and Catholicism—into a fuller unity. This is Pope Benedict XVI’s only apostolic constitution available in English.

Anglicanorum Coetibus (Latin)

  • Author: Benedictus PP. XVI
  • Publisher: Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  • Publication Date: 2009

Caritas in Veritate

  • Author: Benedict XVI
  • Publisher: Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  • Publication Date: 2009

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Published in 2009, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth) was Pope Benedict XVI’s first social encyclical. The encyclical is concerned with many aspects of global development and economic and political justice. The pontiff aims to lay down moral guidelines within which specific policies can be crafted. These guidelines include a rejection of both socialist and free-market ideologies in favor of a conception within which all social actions are informed by ethics. The letter discusses poverty, population issues, the environment, relativism, sexual exploitation, and many other timely issues. It is divided into six sections: “The Message of ‘Populorum Progressio,’” “Human Development in Our Time,” “Fraternity, Economic Development and Civil Society,” “The Development of People, Rights and Duties, and the Environment,” “The Cooperation of the Human Family,” and “The Development of Peoples and Technology.”

Caritas in Veritate (Latin)

  • Author: Benedictus PP. XVI
  • Publisher: Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  • Publication Date: 2009

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Sacramentum Caritatis

  • Author: Benedict XVI
  • Publisher: Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  • Publication Date: 2007

The first of Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic exhortations, Sacramentum Caritatis synthesizes the proposals from their most recent Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and offers “basic directions aimed at a renewed commitment to eucharistic enthusiasm and fervour in the Church.” Set alongside the encyclical Deus Caritas Est, this exhortation helps Christians to understand the love of God through Jesus, especially through Jesus’ continual divine presence in the world.

Sacramentum Caritatis (Latin)

  • Author: Benedictus PP. XVI
  • Publisher: Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  • Publication Date: 2007

Spe Salvi

  • Author: Benedict XVI
  • Publisher: Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  • Publication Date: 2007

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Pope Benedict XVI promulgated Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope) in 2007. The encyclical is an exploration of the theological virtue of hope and its relationship to redemption. The pontiff explains that the hope offered by Christ is not that of political liberation or economic abundance, but is rather an encounter with the living God that surpasses all socio-political considerations. The letter is divided into eight sections: “Faith is Hope,” “The Concept of Faith-Based Hope in the New Testament and the Early Church,” “Eternal Life—What Is It?,” “Is Christian Hope Individualistic?,” “The Transformation of Christian Faith-Hope in the Modern Age,” “The True Shape of Christian Hope,” “‘Settings’ for Learning and Practicing Hope,” and “Mary, Star of Hope.”

Spe Salvi (Latin)

  • Author: Benedictus PP. XVI
  • Publisher: Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  • Publication Date: 2007

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Deus Caritas Est

  • Author: Benedict XVI
  • Publisher: Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  • Publication Date: 2005

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Written in 2005, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love) was Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical letter. It focuses on love as the central reality of existence. The letter explores the concept of love at a theological and philosophical level, discussing eros, agape, and philia. It also articulates how love should become manifest in the life of the Church, through the proclamation of the word of God, the celebration of the Sacraments, and the exercise of charity. The encyclical is divided into two sections: “The Unity of Love in Creation and in Salvation History,” and “Caritas: The Practice of Love by the Church as a ‘Community of Love.’”

Deus Caritas Est (Latin)

  • Author: Benedictus PP. XVI
  • Publisher: Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  • Publication Date: 2005

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Dogma and Preaching: Applying Christian Doctrine to Daily Life

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 550

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

“Dogma,” for many people, is a bad word. For the well-informed believer, it shouldn’t be. Dogmas are truths revealed by God, which should enlighten the minds, guide the choices, and gladden the hearts of Jesus’ disciples, including pastors, deacons, and lay teachers. But, as Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), notes in the foreword to this book, “The path from dogma to proclamation or preaching has become very troublesome.” Finding ways to relate the content of the Church’s dogmas to everyday life can be challenging for today’s preachers and teachers. Some people find the task so daunting that they leave dogma out. As a result, they wind up presenting something other than the Church’s faith and speak in their own name, offering perhaps unwittingly merely their own, subjective ideas, rather than the Word of God.

In Dogma and Preaching, the theologian and priest Joseph Ratzinger provides (1) a theory of preaching for today; (2) application of this theory to some themes for preaching drawn from the Church’s dogmas; (3) meditations and sermons based on the liturgical year and the communion of saints; and (4) some thoughts regarding the decade after the Second Vatican and Christianity’s seeming irrelevance. Ratzinger insists that sound preaching should rest on three pillars—Dogma, Scripture, and the Church today. He shows that the proper understanding of the Church, her dogmas, the nature of faith, and the contemporary world allow the proclaimer-believer to remain faithful to the Church’s mission and life-changing message.

This volume is an unabridged edition of Dogma and Preaching, a work that appeared in a much-reduced form in English, in 1985. The new book contains twice as much material as first English edition.

Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 384

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Why was Jesus rejected by the religious leaders of his day? Who was responsible for his death? Did he establish a church to carry on his work? How did Jesus view his suffering and death? How should we? And, most importantly, did Jesus really rise from the dead and what does his resurrection mean? The story of Jesus raises many crucial questions.

Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, and no myth, revolutionary, or misunderstood prophet, insists Benedict XVI. He thinks that the best of historical scholarship, while it can’t “prove” Jesus is the Son of God, certainly doesn’t disprove it. Indeed, Benedict maintains that the evidence, fairly considered, brings us face-to-face with the challenge of Jesus—a real man who taught and acted in ways that were tantamount to claims of divine authority, claims not easily dismissed as lunacy or deception.

Benedict brings to his study the vast learning of a brilliant scholar, the passionate searching of a great mind, and the deep compassion of a pastor’s heart. In the end, he dares readers to grapple with the meaning of Jesus’ life, teaching, death, and resurrection.

Working from Scripture, the Church Fathers, and contemporary scholarship, Benedict XVI deftly brings together the historical and theological dimensions of the gospel portraits of Jesus. This is a splendid, penetrating study of the central figure of Christian faith; a learned and spiritual illumination not only of who Jesus was, but who he is for us today.

—Charles J. Chaput, O. F. M. Cap., Archbishop of Denver

What better guide could you find than Benedict XVI to lead you on the bracing adventure of exploring the historical Jesus and discovering, under the tutelage of this most sage successor to Peter, the inner meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Faith and reason are the two wings Benedict XVI takes up to lead us to astonishingly fresh spiritual perspectives and dizzying heights. This book often takes one’s breath away, while infusing in the reader the God-breathed Word, which is the Gospel.

Tim Gray, president, Augustine Institute

Europe: Today and Tomorrow

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 125

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Written in late 2004, shortly before Joseph Ratzinger’s election as Pope Benedict XVI, this book addresses the serious issues concerning the new European Union and the drafting of a European Constitution, events with far-reaching consequences for the West and, indeed, the world.

The main questions Cardinal Ratzinger raise include: How did Europe originate and what are its boundaries? Who has the right to call himself European and be admitted into the new Europe? What about the spiritual roots of Europe and the moral foundation she is founded on?

Ratzinger sees the lack of focus on these fundamental questions in the formation of a new Europe as a grave problem for the future of Europe and the world. Europe’s link to America and the rest of the world make these questions and reflections by the current Pontiff of critical importance in facing the future together.

Ratzinger is at his finest—not writing above our heads as with some theological works, but as a teacher warning us about the inevitable consequences of our behavior. . . . Ratzinger explains how the refusal of Europeans to accept their Christian roots is contributing to a declining culture. The text examines models of government, specifically the two totalitarian regimes of the previous century and insists that we allow the state to provide moral guidelines once again. Finally, a good argument against the acceptance of Turkey into the EU is explained, drawing on the ancient history of this continent we call Europe today and how Christianity forged those boundaries, cultural identities and systems of faith. This is a call to return to the moral center; a faith based civilization that was once great but has recently shunned the core that made it so. This is an example of how man—s enlightenment and greatness should be accepted as gifts from God and therefore attributed as such.

—Deacon Brandon B. Justice, SFO, MA, Archdiocese of Washington DC

Turning Point for Europe?

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 187

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Cardinal Ratzinger addresses the challenges and responsibilities that both the Church and society in Europe face after the collapse of Marxism. Both liberalism and Marxism have denied religion the right to have any influence on public affairs and the common future of humanity. Since there is also a great spiritual emptiness growing in the West with the increased secularization, consumerism and hedonism, Ratzinger’s comments apply as much, if not more, to the United States as well.

With the downfall of Marxism, religion has been discovered anew as an ineradicable force for both the individual and society. While there is renewed interest in religion, the dangers also exist to lay hold of religion as an instrument to serve various political ideas. Ratzinger, whose theological work has often dealt with the “reasons for our faith,” reflects upon the various problems facing humanity at this turning point of our history and offers genuine hope based upon a deep Christian faith. He also addressed the critical role that the Church has in relationship to the world and the essential task of bringing Christ back into our culture.

Credo for Today: What Christians Believe

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 225

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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 do 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.

Faith and the Future

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 118

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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.

Faith and the Future is a small book, but it deals with the largest issues, and does so in a way that has the ring of lived truth.

—Mike Potemra, editor, National Review

Church, Ecumenism and Politics: New Endeavors in Ecclesiology

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 250

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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 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.

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

The God of Jesus Christ: Meditations on the Triune God

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 115

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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.

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, 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.”

In this profound series of meditations, Ratzinger shows the enduring core of his theology. The future pope begins with an ancient Jewish story: The prophet Jeremiah and his son one day succeeded in creating a living man, through the correct combination of words and letters. ‘Now that you are able to create a man, God is dead. My life is the death of God,’ the man says. Ratzinger then shows that man’s knowledge of God depends on the relationship that a man establishes between himself and the world and his life; that the question of whether God exists can be answered only in terms of some image of who or what God is, of some sense of how he shapes the whole of our existence.

—David L. Schindler, dean emeritus, Edouard Cardinal Gagnon Professor of Fundamental Theology, Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, The Catholic University of America

God’s Word: Scripture, Tradition, Office

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 126

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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.

The calm, clear, and precise teaching that has characterized the theological work of Joseph Ratzinger as peritus, archbishop, prefect, and pope is placed before the Christian reader in this newly republished volume, God’s Word: Scripture, Tradition, Office. Both refreshing and prophetic, this writing lays the groundwork for the two great initiatives that Pope Benedict XVI has stated are the top priorities of his pontificate, evangelization and ecumenism. Bypassing the bland contemporary approach that reduces these noble objectives to mere niceness, this book faces the problems that, if resolved, will make possible the ‘New Evangelization’ envisioned by Pope John Paul II and the ‘full and visible unity of all Christ’s followers’ so desired by Pope Benedict XVI himself. This book, though not light reading, will be of interest and inspiration to all Christians who honestly seek truth and unity.

—Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz

This book brings together three important treatises on the issue of Scripture and Tradition from the pen of one of the greatest theologians ever to hold the papal office. Written with clarity and insight, this book helps us to trace the development of this important theme in Catholic theology since Vatican II, and it also opens up fruitful avenues of ecumenical advance. A little masterpiece!

—Timothy George, founding dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

The Blessing of Christmas

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 144

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This profusely illustrated book is ideal for personal or group meditations during the Christmas and Advent season. With its inspiring, profound, yet popular meditations on the blessings of the season, this volume by Pope Benedict XVI is a spiritual guide for the soul. Taken from his sermons as well as his writings, these beautiful meditations by the acclaimed spiritual teacher, writer and now Pontiff, give his usual fresh insights into the deeper meaning of this most wondrous event, and show the pope to be a man who knows how to address both the mind and the heart.

On Conscience

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 95

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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. 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 always unique and profound insights that the new Pope Benedict XVI brings to perennial problems reminds the reader of his strong warning before the recent papal conclave of the great dangers today of the “dictatorship of relativism.”

Seek that Which is Above

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 184

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In this beautifully illustrated book, Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) gives us profound meditations on what our life in Christ should be like as it is lived through the various seasons and feasts of the liturgical year. This book also includes thoughts on other spiritual and secular themes such as the true nature of peace, why it is difficult for so many to experience joy, the relationship between spirit and matter, vacation and rest, etc. These inspiring insights from the man who became pope, show how Joseph Ratzinger’s deeply spiritual and theological experience, together with his wide literary and cultural interests are a gift to the Church in the modern world. Here is a shepherd leading the faithful entrusted to his care to deep springs of refreshing, life-giving water.

Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 117

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Written by Joseph Ratzinger shortly before he became Pope Benedict XVI, Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures looks at the growing conflict of cultures evident in the Western world. The West faces a deadly contradiction of its own making, he contends.

Terrorism is on the rise. Technological advances of the West, employed by people who have cut themselves off from the moral wisdom of the past, threaten to abolish man (as C.S. Lewis put it)—whether through genetic manipulation or physical annihilation.

In short, the West is at war-with itself. Its scientific outlook has brought material progress. The Enlightenment’s appeal to reason has achieved a measure of freedom. But contrary to what many people suppose, both of these accomplishments depend on Judeo-Christian foundations, including the moral worldview that created Western culture.

More than anything else, argues Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI, the important contributions of the West are threatened today by an exaggerated scientific outlook and by moral relativism—what Benedict XVI calls “the dictatorship of relativism”—in the name of freedom.

Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures is no mere tirade against the moral decline of the West. Razinger challenges the West to return to its roots by finding a place for God in modern culture. He argues that both Christian culture and the Enlightenment formed the West, and that both hold the keys to human life and freedom as well as to domination and destruction.

Ratzinger challenges non-believer and believer alike. “Both parties,” he writes, “must reflect on their own selves and be ready to accept correction.” He challenges secularized, unbelieving people to open themselves to God as the ground of true rationality and freedom. He calls on believers to “make God credible in this world by means of the enlightened faith they live.”

Pope Benedict has been a keen and precise critic of the cultural clashes that have been shaking the West over the last half a century. He doesn’t kowtow to the latest politically correct fad, nor does he mince words to state the truth. In this book he clearly outlines the what the greatest threats are to the Christian culture and the civilization which is based upon it. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand better the position of the Catholic Church in the ongoing global culture wars.

—Bojan Tunguz, visiting scholar, Stanford University

God’s Revolution

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 110

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Benedict XVI continues to astound people. In Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, they were told, the world was getting “God’s Rottweiler” as pope. Now, after Benedict’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est or “God is Love,” many people are wondering if he isn’t really the “Love Pope.”

God’s Revolution by Benedict XVI, the collection of his World Youth Day talks and other addresses in Cologne, only adds to the amazement. Thoughtful readers will discover in its author far more than they bargained for.

God’s Revolution isn’t only for young people, for Catholics alone, or even only for Christians. Benedict XVI’s thoughtful and inspiring messages to the Jewish and Muslim communities in Germany are included. Speaking in a synagogue in Cologne, Benedict urges Jews and Christians to grow closer to one another. He recalls the horrors of the Holocaust and warns against “new signs of anti-Semitism.” As he commemorates the 60th anniversary of the liberation from the Nazi death camps, the Pope’s words are especially poignant: as a teenager, Benedict XVI was forced to join the Hitler Youth, against his will and that of his anti-Nazi parents.

Benedict speaks to representatives of Muslims in Germany of the common faith in one God that Christians and Muslims share. He acknowledges how some Muslim leaders have rejected terrorism. Yet he adds: “Those who instigate and plan these attacks evidently wish to poison out relations and destroy trust, making use of all means, including religion, to oppose every attempt to build a peaceful and serene life together.”

God’s Revolution also addresses Protestant Christians. Coming from the land of the Reformer Martin Luther, Benedict knows Protestant concerns. He presents Catholic teaching in a way that underscores Catholics’ and Protestants’ common Christian commitment. “Together we confess that Jesus Christ is God and Lord,” he states, “together we acknowledge him as the one mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Tim 2:5), and we emphasize together that we are members of his Body.”

To the German Catholic leaders, he urges renewed efforts to present Christ and Christianity to the modern world. While challenging them to respect people’s search for the truth, the pope calls on those leaders to be true to the Christian message: “We must teach patience, discernment, realism, but without false compromises, so as not to water down the Gospel!” He asks the bishops to find new ways to address young people, the future of the Catholic Church.

An informed and informative collection of inspired guidance drawn from the spirited writings in celebration of the World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, and the influential role played by the pope in this international event. Knowledgeably covering a great array intriguing subjects, God’s Revolution introduces the reader to the inspiring love of Christ, a strong Catholic identity, and a profoundly idealist Christian vision. Manifesting a true wisdom of the Christian faith, in the enduring benefits of Christian fundamentals, and providing a situational perception through the authorship of Pope Benedict XVI, God’s Revolution is very highly recommended for all Roman Catholics.

Midwest Book Review

What It Means to Be a Christian

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 86

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Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, writes eloquently and persuasively about how 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 at length 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. He passionately encourages the reader to practice a deep, abiding Christian faith that seeks to be at the service of humanity.

As Joseph Ratzinger mentions in the preface, “the book presents in written form three sermons that the author preached in the Cathedral at Muenster to a congregation from the Catholic Student Chaplaincy, December 13–15, 1964.” In other words, these are essays derived from sermons preached to college students toward the end of Vatican II. They are remarkable, among other reasons, for their insights into the ongoing Christian struggle to understand and realize in action “what it means to be a Christian.”

Daughter Zion

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 90

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Daughter Zion explores the biblical witness to the Church’s Marian dogmas—Mary’s role as Mother of God, her virginity, the Immaculate Conception, and her Assumption into heaven. Cardinal Ratzinger examines how these beliefs are linked to the Church’s faith in Jesus Christ. Far from competing with the truth about Christ, the Church’s Marian beliefs uphold and underscore that truth.

Mary’s role in salvation, according to Cardinal Ratzinger, was anticipated in the Old Testament. She was prefigured in Eve, the Mother of the Living; in the holy women of the Old Testament, such as Sarah, Hannah, Deborah, Esther, and Judith; and in the prophetic image of the daughter Zion. Cardinal Ratzinger also considers Mary’s place as the embodiment of created wisdom, who faithfully received the Uncreated Wisdom of the Word of God in the Incarnation.

Daughter Zion avoids the extremes of ignoring the biblical foundation for Marian doctrine on the one hand and fundamentalistic proof-texting on the other. Instead, the author beautifully and lucidly develops key biblical themes to help readers understand and appreciate the Mother of God.

Mary: The Church at the Source

  • Authors: Joseph Ratzinger and Hans Urs von Balthasar
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 190

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Two great theologians endeavor to recover the centrality of Marian doctrine and devotion for the contemporary Church, offering a spiritually rich approach to Mariology that brings into new relief the Marian contours of ecclesial faith. Ratzinger and von Balthasar show that Mary is both the embodiment of the Church, and the mother who cooperates in giving birth to the Church in the souls of believers.

At once profound and yet readily accessible, Mary: The Church at the Source offers a theologically balanced and biblically grounded presentation of traditional and contemporary thought on Marian doctrine and spirituality.

This book contains a treasury of reflections on the meaning of Mary for the Church, theology, and indeed for anthropology generally. An indispensable source for anyone who would understand the Marian doctrine intended by the Council and in the pontificate of John Paul II—and now Benedict XVI.

—David Schindler, academic dean, John Paul II Institute

This marvelous book of theological meditations on Mary by the two most important Catholic theologians of the 20th century explains why Mary is such a peerless jewel set inside that wretched frame called human history. Because Mary is the very birthplace of the Church and thus the locus of all that gives us hope, our tainted and fallen race itself has hope.

—Edward T. Oakes, professor of systematic theology, University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905–1988) was a Swiss theologian, widely considered to be one of the most important Catholic intellectuals and theological writers of the twentieth century. Incredibly prolific and diverse, he wrote over one hundred books and hundreds of articles. He was nominated to be a cardinal of the Catholic Church, but died two days before his ceremony.

On the Way to Jesus Christ

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 191

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Jesus Christ is as popular as ever. Films, books, and news articles ask, “Who was Jesus Christ?” Even outside of Christianity he continues to appeal to people. And yet for so many, the popular Jesus is not the Jesus of Christianity. The popular Jesus makes no demands and never challenges people. He accepts everyone and everything under all circumstances.

On the Way to Jesus Christ is a series of meditations that Pope Benedict XVI wrote while he was Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. The true Jesus, he writes, is the Jesus of the Gospels who “is quite different, demanding and bold. The Jesus who makes everything okay for everyone is a phantom, a dream, not a real figure. The Jesus of the Gospels is certainly not convenient for us. But it is precisely in this way that he answers the deepest question of our existence, which—whether we want to or not—keeps us on the lookout for God, for a gratification that is limitless, for the infinite. We must again set out on the way to this real Jesus.”

This book also examines whether Jesus Christ is the only savior, and the Church’s responsibility to evangelize. It concludes with reflections on Jesus’ Presence in the Holy Eucharist, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s presentation of the Christian mystery as seen through the Catechism’s dynamic view of Sacred Scripture.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, has written a brief but compelling invitation to know Jesus Christ as he really is: bold, demanding, merciful, strong, and the answer to our deepest longings. This is a must-read book for anyone serious about deepening his or her faith.

—Charles J. Chaput, archbishop of Denver

Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 340

Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, has been the most visible member of the Catholic clergy in the world second only to Pope John Paul II. His status as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made him one of the most discussed churchmen in recent history.

On the occasion of Ratzingers’ 75th birthday, his former students selected essays, lectures, letters, and conferences that Ratzinger has written in recent years—writing that they feel best represents his position on issues of theology, the modern world, secularism, non-Christian religious, and other key topics of the Catholic Church. This book, characterized by Ratzinger’s concisely reasoned style, is an invaluable resource to those who wish to understand the modern Church and the thinking of Pope Benedict XVI, as well as a treasured volume for those who are students of Ratzinger’s theology.

Cardinal Ratzinger is one of the great spirits and most distinguished theologians of contemporary Catholicism. This tribute is a living testimony to Cardinal Ratzinger’s life long labors on behalf of the communion of the Church which is rooted in the love of Christ. No one demonstrates better than Cardinal Ratzinger that the Church’s tradition is a living and dynamic reality, born of a truth that everyone can know and love—and, in so doing, be transformed.

—George Wiegel

Introduction to Christianity

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Edition: Revised
  • Publisher: Ignatius
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 300

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One of Cardinal Ratzinger’s most important and widely read books, this volume is a revised second edition with an improved translation and an in-depth 20-page preface by the Cardinal. As he states in the preface, since this book was first published over 30 years ago, many changes and significant events have occurred in the world, and in the church. But even so, he says he is firmly convinced that his fundamental approach in this book is still very timely and crucial for the spiritual needs of modern man. That approach puts the question of God and the question about Christ in the very center, which leads to a “narrative Christology” and demonstrates that the place for faith is in the church.

Thus, this remarkable elucidation of the Apostles’ Creed gives an excellent, modern interpretation of the foundations of Christianity. Ratzinger’s profound treatment of Christianity’s basic truths combines a spiritual outlook with a deep knowledge of Scripture and the history of theology.

Cardinal Ratzinger offers us a profound meditation on the 12 articles of the Apostles’ Creed. These reflections will challenge and expand one’s knowledge of the Catholic faith. He addresses and answers many of the modern objections to faith in God the Father and Creator, his only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Catholic Church. This is solid food that must be eaten slowly, but it is very nourishing and worth the effect.

—Fr. Kenneth Baker S. J., editor emeritus, Homiletic & Pastoral Review

It takes a great deal of courage to attempt to give a commentary on the Apostles’ Creed today. Ratzinger has done this in an admirable fashion. His book is profound, contemporary, straightforward.

Review for Religious

Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 280

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Is truth knowable? If we know the truth, must we hide it in the name of tolerance? Cardinal Ratzinger engages the problem of truth, tolerance, religion, and culture in the modern world. Describing the vast array of world religions, Ratzinger embraces the difficult challenge of meeting diverse understandings of spiritual truth while defending the Catholic teaching of salvation through Jesus Christ. “But what if it is true?” is the question that he poses to cultures that decry the Christian position on man’s redemption. Upholding the notion of religious truth while asserting the right of religious freedom, Cardinal Ratzinger outlines the timeless teaching of the Magisterium in language that resonates with our embattled culture. A work of extreme sensitivity, understanding, and spiritual maturity, this book is an invaluable asset to those who struggle to hear the voice of truth in the modern religious world.

God Is Near Us: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 160

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The Second Vatican Council says, “We ought to try to discover a new reverence for the Eucharistic mystery. Something is happening that is greater than anything we can do. The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the church is directed; it is the font from which all her power flows.”

This profound statement about the Eucharist stands at the center of this book by Cardinal Ratzinger. He compellingly shows us the biblical, historical, and theological dimensions of the Eucharist. The Cardinal draws far-reaching conclusions, focusing on the importance of one’s personal devotion to and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, for the personal reception of communion by the individual Christian, as well as for the life of the church. For Ratzinger, any transformation of the world on the social plane grows out of the celebration of the Eucharist. He beautifully illustrates how the omnipotent God comes intimately close to us in the holy Eucharist, the heart of life.

Not only does Ratzinger shed his customary theological light on many subjects, but as he does in other books, he applies his insights very directly to Catholic life and devotion. Coming at this time, this book is part of the effort of many to see the Eucharist restored to the center of Catholic piety and devotion.

—Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C. F. R., professor of pastoral psychology, St. Jerome’s University

God and the World

  • Authors: Joseph Ratzinger and Peter Seewald
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 460

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During his years as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, well-known Vatican prelate Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger has given three in-depth interviews. The first two interviews have become best selling books: The Ratzinger Report and Salt of the Earth. Because of the tremendous reception those books received, the Cardinal agreed to do another interview with journalist Peter Seewald, who had done the very popular Salt of the Earth interview. This third in-depth interview addresses deep questions of faith and the living of that faith in the modern world.

The interview took place over three full days spent at the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino in a setting of the silence, prayer, and hospitality of the monks. For this meeting with the highly regarded Churchman, theologian, and author, the seasoned journalist, who had fallen away from the faith but eventually returned to the Church, once again provided a very stimulating, well-prepared series of wide-ranging questions on profound issues. The Cardinal responds with candor, frankness, and deep insight, giving answers that are sometimes surprising and always thought provoking.

Peter Seewald is a German journalist who has been a staff writer for two of Germany’s top weekly magazines as well as for one of the country’s most respected newspapers.

The Spirit of the Liturgy

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Pages: 250

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Considered by Ratzinger devotees as his greatest work on the liturgy, this profound and beautifully written treatment of the “great prayer of the church” will help readers rediscover the liturgy in all its hidden spiritual wealth and transcendent grandeur as the very center of our Christian life.

Many Religions, One Covenant: Israel, the Church and the World

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Pages: 120

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In Many Religions, One Covenant, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spans the deep divides in modern Catholic scholarship to present a compelling biblical theology, modern in its concerns yet classical in its breadth. It is his classical mastery, his ressourcement, that enables the Cardinal to build a bridge.

Cardinal Ratzinger seeks to deepen our understanding of the Bible’s most fundamental principle. The covenant defines religion for Christians and Jews. We cannot discern God’s design or his will if we do not meditate upon his covenant.

The covenant, then, is the principle that unites the New Testament with the Old, the scriptures with tradition, and each of the various branches of theology with all the others. The covenant does more than bridge the gaps between these elements; it fills in the gaps, so that biblical scholarship, dogmatic theology, and magisterial authority all stand on common ground—solid ground.

A book we have long awaited. By renewing the Church’s appreciation of the new covenant, Cardinal Ratzinger proposes a fully integrated Christian life, with Christ at the center of the Scriptures, but also at the center of the Church today. For in the Eucharist he is still, as ever, fulfilling the old covenant and ratifying the new.

Scott Hahn, author, Rome Sweet Home

A clear assessment of the covenants of God with his people. This timely book will improve dialog and understanding between all those who love and serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—especially important as we enter the third millennium.

Stephen K. Ray, author, Upon this Rock

Gospel, Catechesis, Catechism: Sidelights on the Catechism of the Catholic Church

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Pages: 101

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Ratzinger, one of the key persons responsible for the compilation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, offers new insights on the catechetical character and Biblical foundation of the worldwide bestselling Catechism that has had such a positive response from ordinary Catholics across the globe. But he acknowledges that the response of many theologians and “professional religionists” has been negative toward the Catechism.

He says that if theologians don’t want to be “shut out” of this worldwide development of sensus fidei and lose touch with the common Catholic, they will have to engage the Catechism positively. The main purpose of this book is to offer an invitation to this changed approach to the Catechism. He wants people to see, as he shows here, how the Catechism is an excellent teaching tool that responds to man’s deepest questions about the meaning of life, how to live a good life, and how to attain happiness in this life and in eternal life. He shows how the Catechism affirms that man’s happiness is love, and that the essence of true love has been manifested in the person of Jesus Christ.

This modern Father of the Church offers us a rare insight into how the Catechism was written and, therefore, how it ought to be interpreted. It is eminently readable while never sacrificing precision of thought or language.

Peter M. J. Stravinskas, editor of The Catholic Answer

Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius
  • Publication Date: 1996
  • Pages: 165

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This is a book of wisdom and insight that explains how providential are the trials through which the Catholic Church is now passing. Topics covered include:

  • The need of the papal primacy to ensure Christian unity
  • The true meaning of the priesthood as a sacrament and not a mere ministry
  • The necessity of the Eucharist as the sacrifice of the Savior now offering Himself on our altars
  • The role of the bishops as successors of the apostles, united with the successor of St. Peter, the Bishop of Rome
  • The value of suffering in union with Christ crucified
  • The indispensable service of the laity in the apostolate

All these themes received from Cardinal Ratzinger bring new clarity and depth.

Cardinal Ratzinger offers us what he calls a ‘primer of Catholic ecclesiology.’ As a true theologian, he clarifies the nature of church, bishop and priest, basing his remarks on Scripture and tradition. The book offers penetrating insights into the church from a profound thinker. This is Catholic theology at its best and as it should be.

—Fr. Kenneth Baker, S. J., editor emeritus, Homiletic & Pastoral Review

Cardinal Ratzinger guides us through today’s confusion about the faith back to the core from which the life of the church unfolds: communion. At the end of the journey, we not only have a better grasp of the controverted issues of the day, but also a renewed understanding of the central mystery of the church and a powerful encouragement to the theological and spiritual renewal envisaged by the Second Vatican Council.

—David L. Schindler, dean emeritus, Edouard Cardinal Gagnon Professor of Fundamental Theology, Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, The Catholic University of America

This is a goldmine of insights which brings out the development of Catholic doctrine in our day without surrendering one iota of the deposit of faith entrusted to the church by her Divine Founder.

—Fr. John Hardon, S. J., founder, Catholic Home Study Institute

The Nature and Mission of Theology

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius
  • Publication Date: 1995
  • Pages: 130 pages

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As Cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger wrote this book in response to the dialogue going on today concerning theology and the clarification of its methods, its mission, and its limits which he thinks has become urgent. Ratzinger states: “To do theology—as the Magisterium understands theology—it is not sufficient merely to calculate how much religion can reasonably be expected of man and to utilize bits and pieces of the Christian tradition accordingly. Theology is born when the arbitrary judgment of reason encounters a limit, in that we discover something which we have not excogitated ourselves but which has been revealed to us. For this reason, not every religious theory has the right to label itself as Christian or Catholic theology simply because it wishes to do so; whoever would lay claim to this title is obligated to accept as meaningful the prior given which goes along with it.”

Meaning of Christian Brotherhood

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 1993
  • Pages: 115

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Written over three decades ago, Cardinal Ratzinger’s profound treatise on the true meaning of Christian brotherhood is perhaps even more timely and important now as a clear statement on the biblical grounds for cooperation among believing Christians. In treating Christian brotherhood from the perspective of salvation history, Ratzinger opens up the meaning of both the Old and New Testament in this most essential area. After establishing the distinctively Christian sense of brotherhood (vis-á-vis Judaism, Hellenism, Stoicism, the Enlightenment, and Marxism), he shows how fraternal charity can only be perfected through God’s fatherhood, Christ’s divine sonship, and our brotherhood in Christ.

The timely republication of this work opens up vistas that have been obscured recently by controversy and confusion. Cardinal Ratzinger’s treatment of election and rejection is like reading the surprising solution of a mystery story. This work is even more meaningful now when disunity leads to deep conflict within the Church.

—Benedict J. Groeschel, founder, The Office for Spiritual Development, Archdiocese of New York

Highly commended as a synthesis of ecumenism. It explains the author’s lifelong emphasis on what unites the followers of Christ, rather than what divides them as ‘separated brethren.’ With no compromise of Catholic principles, it explains how ‘the two communities—Catholic and Protestant’ are to ‘regard each other as sisters in the Lord . . . and individual Christians on both sides as brothers to each other.’

—John Hardon, author, The Catholic Catechism

Having read this book many times, I have found it to be invaluable in understanding the message of Scripture, the significance of the Catholic Church and Ratzinger’s theology. He has captured the very heart and soul of Scripture.

Scott Hahn, author, Catholic for a Reason

Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius
  • Publication Date: 1992
  • Pages: 414

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Cardinal Ratzinger offers selected passages from his profound spiritual and theological writings as meditations for each day of the year. He picked the title of this book from 3 John 1:8, which he also adapted for his coat of arms: “Co-Workers of the Truth.” Just as these words signify for St. John the participation of all the faithful in the service of the Gospel, which includes the faithful extending hospitality to all who come as messengers of faith, so too Ratzinger shows the importance of our uniting charity with truth to make possible the proclamation of the Gospel. Through his meditations here, he hopes to help awaken in each reader the courage and generosity to become co-workers with the Gospel, which is the truth of Jesus Christ.

Man cannot be truly free but through love, the supreme love of God and the love of men, brethren, neighbors, countrymen. . . . This is what Christ, whose love knew no bounds, teaches us.

Pope John Paul II

Principles of Catholic Theology: Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 404

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Principles of Catholic Theology is a collection of articles and talks written around a central theme: the fundamental structure of Christianity. This volume discusses Catholicism, the inter-relationship of other forms of Christianity, and the features that distinguish Catholicism from other Christian theologies. Ratzinger outlines the fundamental principles of theology and the proper relationship of theology to church teaching and authority.

Behold the Pierced One: An Approach to a Spiritual Christology

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius
  • Publication Date: 1986
  • Pages: 128

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In this profound and illuminating work, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger turns the gaze of an accomplished theologian upon the crucified Savior. This synthetic and meditative work is theological without being abstract or dry, and spiritual without being sentimental. The pierced heart of Christ must be the heart of theology and Christian life as well.

Proceeding from the prayerful dialogue between the incarnate Son and his eternal Father, Joseph Ratzinger shows how one can approach the mystery of the heart of Christ only through the imitation of this prayer. To know and understand Jesus, we must participate in his prayer. The prayer of Christ must be the interior life of all who are joined to him in his body, the church. Using the Old and New Testaments and the Church Fathers, Ratzinger shows that the ecclesial community (the church) was born from the pierced heart of Christ on the cross.

The Feast of Faith: Approaches to a Theology of the Liturgy

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Translator: Graham Harrison
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 1986
  • Pages: 175

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Are liturgy and prayer important in an age of political crisis and the technological manipulation of human life? Yes, declares Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. Genuine worship of God involves the sacred liturgy and prayer. Only if man authentically worships God will true human dignity be protected, and the principles and the power to resolve the crises of our age be found.

The Feast of Faith sets out to answer one basic question: How can we pray and praise God as we should? Written before Cardinal Ratzinger became pope, this timeless book reflects enduring and inspirational insights regarding divine worship and the sacred liturgy.

Principles of Christian Morality

  • Authors: Joseph Ratzinger, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Heinz Schürmann
  • Translator: Graham Harrison
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 1986
  • Pages: 104

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A collection of essays by three giants of twentieth-century theology: Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Heinz Schürmann. Balthasar’s and Schürmann’s essays were written for the International Theological Commission. Schurmann examines how the New Testament’s teaching provides enduring moral norms for Christian conduct. Balthasar presents nine basic principles of the Christian moral life. Ratzinger, who originally wrote this essay as a series of articles for L’Osservatore Romano, addresses the relationship between faith and morality, and the place of the Church’s teaching authority with regard to moral issues.

Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905–1988) was a Swiss theologian, widely considered to be one of the most important Catholic intellectuals and theological writers of the twentieth century. Incredibly prolific and diverse, he wrote over one hundred books and hundreds of articles. He was nominated to be a cardinal of the Catholic Church, but died two days before his ceremony.

Heinz Schürmann (1913–1999) is the author of Praying with Christ and The Two Epistles to the Thessalonians from the New Testament for Spiritual Reading series. He studied theology and philosophy in Tübingen and in Rome and was ordained a priest in 1938. He joined the Catholic theology faculty at the University of Münster immediately after receiving his ThD in 1952.

Theology of History in Bonaventure

  • Author: Joseph Ratzinger
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication Date: 1971
  • Pages: 268

St. Bonaventure’s love of wisdom was intimately related to his love of God—so much so that he is called the “Seraphic Doctor” for the ardor that accompanied his great mind. What does this sort of mind have to say about the history of man, a topic long dear to Christian thinkers, especially owing to the Incarnation and the expectation of the Second Coming?

In this academic treatise, then-Father Ratzinger, a young university professor, delves into the work of the Seraphic Doctor to come to a critical and yet appreciative understanding of the theological meaning of history in his work. Particularly interested in Bonaventure’s Collationes in Hexaemeron, the study sets the saint’s thought against his remote and immediate predecessors, as well as his medieval contemporaries.

While bringing out Bonaventure’s “hope for history,” Ratzinger must collect the spread-out and sometimes enigmatic references to eschatology and time, and, comparing them against Bonaventure’s wider writings, place the saint in the tradition of Christian thought on the subjects. Key to this new theology of time, claims Ratzinger, is Bonaventure’s encounter with the prophecy of Joachim of Fiore—prophecy that threatened to tear the Franciscan Order apart.

About Joseph Ratzinger

Joseph Ratzinger is one of the most revered Catholic prelates, scholars, theologians, teachers, and authors of our time. He has spoken on many crucial subjects, including sexual consumerism, roles of men and women today, marriage, the priesthood, and the future of the world. As a teenager, he initiated study of classical languages and entered the minor seminary in Traunstein in 1939. Though he was drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps in 1943, he re-entered 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 also received his doctorate in theology in 1953 from the University of Munich. Starting in 1959, Ratzinger taught theology at the University of Bonn.

At age 35, Joseph Ratzinger was appointed chief theological advisor for the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joseph Frings, and 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 was elevated to cardinal in June 1977. 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, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected to be the 265th pope. He took the name Benedict XVI, after St. Benedict of Nursia. As pope, he received worldwide respect and was a spiritual influence to Christians and non-Christians alike. In 2013, he resigned the papacy, becoming the first pope to do so in since the fifteenth century. He retired to a monastery in the Vatican Gardens, where he continues to study and write.

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