Mapping a Theological Journey
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 304
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
This is 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.
First as a theologian, then bishop and later the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger is often thought to have moved steadily to the right. In this collection, Gerard Mannion and Lieven Boeve dispel such easy generalizations. With judiciously chosen and suitably lengthy extracts from Ratzinger's writings, accompanied by helpful editorial comments, these two leading European Catholic theologians demonstrate the continuity of the one Ratzinger and consequently shed light on the complexity of his present-day role as Pope. Anyone who wishes to understand better the current face of Roman theology is greatly in their debt. -- Paul Lakeland, Aloysius P. Kelley S.J. Professor of Catholic Studies, Director, Center for Catholic Studies, Fairfield University, CT, USA. An indispensable guide for understanding the theology of Joseph Ratzinger. Belgian Lieven Boeve and Irish Gerard Mannion have charted the theological journey of this German figure who has cast a long shadow for more than fifty years on the church and the world as university professor, expert at Vatican II, but above all as prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for more than twenty years and now as Pope Benedict XVI. Ratzinger insists that his theological opinions are distinct from his official positions as prefect and pope, but this collection shows otherwise. A very personal theology has become the official theology of the church. This book offers the most comprehensive selection of writings from the various stages of Ratzinger's career arranged according to central topics, which Boeve and Mannion introduce by identifying crucial contexts and critical issues informing these texts. -- Bradford Hinze, Professor of Theology, Fordham University, New York, USA. Anyone attempting to gain serious familiarity with the theology of Joseph Ratzinger will find this book invaluable. Through a judicious selection of texts that represent Ratzinger's thinking in the areas of theology to which he has paid most attention, the editors provide a reliable overview of his thought. They offer informed introductions to each theme that they highlight and to each text that they choose, alerting readers to the context and the main preoccupation of Ratzinger in each of their selections, as well as to possible alternative viewpoints in many cases. This book is not just a conventional reader but a uniquely structured, signposted guide through the terrain of Ratzinger's theology as a whole. It comes at exactly the right time in emerging Ratzinger scholarship, providing a pathway for the uninitiated as well as a compact one-volume resource for those who are further along the road. I recommend it highly. -- James Corkery, S.J., Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin, Ireland. This Reader, helpfully subtitled, Mapping a Theological Journey, is a valuable contribution to the exposition of and debate about the theological positions of Theologian Joseph Ratzinger, and how far they have changed over the half-century since his years as expert theological advisor (peritus) to Cardinal Frings of Cologne through the Second Vatican Council. The structure of the book is interesting in itself as the editors each select central themes with their sub-themes from Ratzinger's theological writings. With a short evaluative introduction from the individual editor (and further evaluation for the sub-themes) each chapter is mainly devoted to extended texts by Ratzinger himself on theme and subthemes. The three popular questions: Did Ratzinger change his theology over the fifty years from mildly 'liberal' to strongly 'restorationalist?' Did he correctly or incorrectly interpret Vatican II, in which way and at what stage? Is he now leading the Catholic Church back or forward to a pre/post Vatican II condition? However the book is much more than any set of popular comments on these questions with its substantial exposition of Ratzinger's theology through all the major themes of theology. Supporters and critics alike of his theology will learn much from this work and will have much both to agree and disagree with. A must for every theologian's and theological library. -- Enda McDonagh, Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth, Ireland's National Seminary and Pontifical University, Ireland. An invaluable, unique resource for readers of Roman Catholic theology. Lieven Boeve and Gerard Mannion provide a rich selection of Ratzinger's writings, including important material that has not previously been easily available. With their judicious, clear supporting material, they enable us for the first time to appreciate the intellectual range of a figure who is inevitably more talked about than studied. Ratzinger's principled, deeply-felt conservativsm in theology comes across as consistently intelligent and challenging. -- Philip Endean SJ, Tutor in Theology, Campion Hall, Oxford. Mention in New Book Just Published section. * The Church Times, 21st May 2010. * Clear, engaging and readable. * The Wire, Sept. 2010 * The commentators, helpful throughout this volume in giving background to Ratzinger's various texts, note that his core theological views have not changed dramatically from the 1960s onwards, despite what many others, such as Hans Kung, have argued. * Catholic Herald, 10th September (UK) * The Ratzinger Reader' is a wonderful resource, especially for those who are relatively new to Ratzinger's corpus...For the time being, anyway, there is no better introduction to Ratzinger's work. * Theological Book Review * Editor interview featured. * Tertio Spirit *