New Books by Pope Benedict XVI / Joseph Ratzinger

As Pope Benedict XVI
The Apostles (Our Sunday Visitor, July 2007):

In this fascinating and inspirational journey with the friends of Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI demonstrates a profound, unbreakable continuity–built upon the foundation of the Apostles and alive in the succession of the Apostles—by which Christ is present today in His people and His church.

Let Pope Benedict be your guide as the distance of centuries is overcome and he reveals the impact of Christ s vision through the calling and works of the Apostles. Ignite your faith with this timeless connection between Jesus, His Apostles, the Church, and you.

Amy Welborn has edited an adult “study guide” to OSV’s The Apostles: a compilation Benedict’s Wednesday General Audiences:

A master catechist, the Holy Father’s inspirational words about the chosen disciples of Jesus are as clear as though he were sitting down and explaining it to you personally.

Because the book naturally lends itself to adult study, a study guide has been developed. There are twelve sessions, each with questions for study and questions for reflection, as well as opening and closing prayers.

It is available for purchase online at a modest fee, or you can download The Apostles study guide for free directly from Our Sunday Visitor’s website. [.pdf format]

An Invitation to Faith: An a to Z Primer on the Thought of Pope Benedict XVI Edited by Jean-michel Coulet. Ignatius Press (July 31, 2007).

From the publisher:

With strong words, Benedict XVI invites us to place God at the center of our lives. Thus, this book is a selection of key words from the teachings of the Holy Father since he began his Pontificate, presented in alphabetical order. Each key word leads to an inspiring and insightful meditation from the Pope on various important spiritual themes and topics. Benedict XVI invites us in these words to become daily actors in the real revolution that comes from God and is called Love.

This volume is a handy little primer on the thought of the beloved Pontiff in which the reader can pick out any key word or topic form the alphabetical order of meditations throughout the book to meditate and focus on.

Jesus, the Apostles and the Early Church
Ignatius Press (November 2007).:

Based on Pope Benedict XVI’s weekly teaching on the relationship between Christ and the Church, this book tells the drama of Jesus’ first disciples — his Apostles and their associates — and how they spread Jesus’ message throughout the ancient world. Far from distorting the truth about Jesus of Nazareth, insists Pope Benedict, the early disciples remained faithful to it, even at the cost of their lives.

Beginning with the Twelve as the foundation of Jesus’ re-establishment of the Holy People of God, Pope Benedict examines the story of the early followers of Christ. He draws on Scripture and early tradition to consider such important figures as Peter, Andrew, James and John, and even Judas Iscariot. Benedict moves beyond the original Twelve to discuss Paul of Tarsus, the persecutor of Christianity who became one of Jesus’ greatest disciples. Also considered are Stephen, the first Christian martyr, Barnabas, Timothy, Titus, the wife and husband “team” of Priscilla and Aquila, and such key women figures as Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Phoebe.

The Blessing of Christmas: Meditations for the Season
Ignatius Press (October 31, 2007):

This lovely little book, profusely illustrated, is ideal for the Christmas and Advent season with its inspiring, profound, yet popular meditations on the blessings of the season by the current Pope. 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.

As Joseph Ratzinger

[One beneficial thing (among many) about Benedict XVI being the pope — we can expect new editions of his works as Cardinal Ratzinger, some of which are currently out of print.]

New Outpourings of the Spirit, by Joseph Ratzinger. Ignatius Press (October 2007):

The volume consists of two fundamental texts by Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, on the ecclesial movements and new communities within the Church since the Second Vatican Council. These writings are particularly meaningful with regard to the intense spiritual journey which the ecclesial movements and the new communities are experiencing in view of their meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on Pentecost 2006.

These writings are a precious guide for the entire Church, leaders and laity alike, who are invited to welcome the new “outpourings of the Spirit”. The first part of the book presents in an articulate and exhaustive way the theological vision of the Pope on these ecclesial movements and the new communities. It is his talk titled Church Movements and their Place in Theology which he gave at the beginning of the World Congress of the Ecclesial Movements in Rome in Ma, 1998. It combines extraordinary theological depth with a warm pastoral tone.

The second part of the book is very different from the first, but complements the first part. It contains the dialogue of Cardinal Ratzinger with a large group of Bishops from all continents, convened together for a seminar on the topic, The Ecclesial Movements in the Pastoral Concern of the Bishops held in Rome in 1999.This dialogue format was very favorably received by the Bishops, and it is quite wide-ranging, touching on topics such as the relation between the old and the new charisms, the institutional dimension and the charismatic dimension of the Church, and the Church’s mission in a non-Christian society and more.

Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life [2nd Edition]
by Joseph Ratzinger. Catholic University of America Press; 2 edition (October 7, 2007):

Originally published in English in 1988, Joseph Ratzinger’s Eschatology remains internationally recognized as a leading text on the “last things”–heaven and hell, purgatory and judgment, death and the immortality of the soul. This highly anticipated second edition includes a new preface by Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI and a supplement to the bibliography by theologian Peter A. Casarella.

Eschatology presents a balanced perspective of the doctrine at the center of Christian belief–the Church’s faith in eternal life. Recognizing the task of contemporary eschatology as “to marry perspectives, so that person and community, present and future, are seen in their unity,” Joseph Ratzinger brings together recent emphasis on the theology of hope for the future with the more traditional elements of the doctrine. His book has proven to be as timeless as it is timely.

Seek That Which Is Above: Meditations Through the Year [Reprint]
Ignatius Press (September 30, 2007):

In this beautifully illustrated book, Cardinal Ratzinger gives us meditations on various Liturgical Seasons and Feasts throughout the year, as well as other interesting spiritual and secular themes. These profound and inspiring thoughts bring his broad theological experience as well as his wide literary interests to his people. Here is a shepherd nourishing spiritually the faithful addressed to his care.

Themes the Cardinal covers include Advent, Candlemas, Mardi Gras, Easter, Corpus Christi, Marian Devotion, Vacation & Rest, Peace and Creation.

Ratzinger / Benedict Scholarship

Joseph Ratzinger – Life in the Church and Living Theology: Fundamentals of Ecclesiology
by Maximilian Heinrich Heim. (Ignatius Press, October 2007). 500pp.

This is a major work on the theology of Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, by a highly regarded German theologian, priest and writer. Since his election to the Papacy, Ratzinger’s theology, and in particular his ecclesiology (theology of the Church), has been in the limelight of theological and ecumenical discussions.

This important work studies in detail Ratzinger’s ecclesiology in the light of Vatican II, against the ongoing debate about what Vatican II really meant to say about the life of the Church, its liturgy, its worship, its doctrine, its pastoral mission, and more. Has his theology of the Church changed since Vatican II, or has it continued to develop consistently? Is the Catholic Church one church among many churches? Is she the object of hope or a historical reality?

Ratzinger the theologian figures centrally in this investigation, not as the former Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but as a thinker and as a writer.

Expected in 2008

Ratzinger’s Faith, by Tracey Rowland. Oxford University Press (March 6, 2008):

general introduction to the theology of Pope Benedict XVI, including his approach to issues in moral and political theology, ecclesiology, liturgy, interpretations of the of the documents of the Second Vatican Council, and the theology of history. Tracey Rowland also addresses the question of Pope Benedict’s place in the constellation of contemporary Catholic theologians. It has become a commonplace observation that Pope Benedict has been influenced by the thought of St Augustine, in contrast to many of his predecessors in the papacy who were much more strongly influenced by St Thomas Aquinas. Rowland therefore asks in what way Benedict is an Augustinian, and how this marked difference in theological perspective may play out in the coming years. Her book includes an extensive thematic bibliography, which will be valuable for students.

Dean and Associate Professor of Political Philosophy and Continental Theology of the John Paul II Institute, Melbourne, Australia, and Member of the Centre of Theology and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham.

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