Benedict XVI: A Life Volume One
Youth in Nazi Germany to the Second Vatican Council 1927–1965
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 512
Width: 15.3 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
The first volume of Peter Seewald's long awaited, authoritative biography of Pope Benedict XVI. By any reckoning, the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI was extraordinary, with moments of high drama. Not the least of these was his resignation from office in February 2013, the first papal resignation in almost 600 years. But who was Joseph Ratzinger? In this definitive biography, based on meticulous historical research and many hours of taped interviews with his subject, Peter Seewald shows the exceptional circumstances in which the exceptionally talented son of a Bavarian policeman became the first German pope for 950 years. In this first volume, covering the years 1927–1965, we witness Joseph Ratzinger’s early days, living above his father’s police station. Ratzinger came to adulthood through the years of National Socialism. Though hostile to the rise of Hitler, his family knew well about Dachau and Ratzinger himself was conscripted into the Hitler Youth. Joseph Ratzinger proved to be a man of exceptional intellectual gifts and by the time of the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) he was already noted as one of the outstanding intellects present and was nominated a ‘peritus’ or theological expert. This was also the time of the start of his friendship with the Swiss theologian Hans Küng who was to become his nemesis. Of his predecessor, Pope Francis has said: ‘Pope Benedict was a great Pope, great for the penetration of his intelligence, great for his important contribution to theology, great for his love of the Church and human beings, great for his virtues and faith’. Even in this first volume, we begin to understand how this came to be true.
Stimulating ... Readers will enjoy the thorough investigation of Ratzinger's intellectual development * Publishers Weekly * Seewald artfully weaves together politics, church history, philosophy, and theology to show how these influenced and shaped the man who would become Pope Benedict XVI ... An engaging portrait that engrosses the reader in the subject. * Library Journal * This massively researched, well-written biography of Joseph Ratzinger, a.k.a. Pope Benedict XVI, runs to a thousand pages and tells the reader everything one could want to know about Benedict's life and pontificate. * The Catholic Register *