Long before his election to the papacy as Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger was a professor of theology, having taught at the universities of Freising, Bonn, Munster, Tubingen, and Regensburg. He first achieved international notice through his contributions to the work of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). His appointment as prefect of the ...
Long before his election to the papacy as Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger was a professor of theology, having taught at the universities of Freising, Bonn, Munster, Tubingen, and Regensburg. He first achieved international notice through his contributions to the work of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). His appointment as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith gave him a different kind of prominence - as the principal doctrinal guardian of the Roman Curia. From reform to conservation: Is this change of role a volte-face in theological direction, or is it, rather, the pursuit of the extreme center by changing means? What is the significance of Ratzinger's thought and its development over time for the future of the church? This important and illuminating book gets to the very heart of these crucial questions by focusing on Ratzinger's status as one of the pre-eminent Catholic theologians of the 20th century. Aidan Nichols provides a full-scale investigation of his theology as it develops from the 1950s onward. The book presents a chronological account of the development of Ratzinger's writing, which reflects a wide range of historical and theoretical interests, such as: Augustine's ecclesiology, early Franciscanism and the idea of salvation history, Christian brotherhood, the unfolding of the Second Vatican Council the Apostle's Creed, explorations of the concept of the Church, preaching, liturgy and Church music, eschatology, the foundations of dogmatic and moral theology, and the problem of pluralism. "The Thought of Pope Benedict XVI" is a comprehensive introduction to a major theologian in his own right, quite apart from his significance in the politics of the Church. For those attempting to chart the future of the Catholic faith as it struggles with the role of religion in war, women's reproductive rights, inter-religious dialogue, homosexuality, the roles of bishops and theologians, and international human rights issues, Nichol's work is indispensable as both a compass and an oracle.
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