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Explorations in the Theology of Benedict XVI
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Benedict XVI’s writing as priest-professor, bishop, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and now pope has shaped Catholic theological thought in the twentieth century. In Explorations in the Theology of Benedict XVI, a multidisciplinary group of scholars treat the full scope of Benedict’s theological oeuvre, including the Augustinian context of his thought; his ecclesiology; his theologically grounded approach to biblical exegesis and Christology; his unfolding of a theology of history and culture; his liturgical and sacramental theology; his theological analysis of political and economic developments; his use of the natural law in ethics and conscience; his commitment to a form of interreligious dialogue from a place of particularity; and his function as a public, catechetical theologian.
This volume originated at a conference at the University of Notre Dame on the occasion of the pontiff and theologian’s eighty-fifth birthday. It provides an introduction to Benedict’s ecclesially grounded theology, articulated in his essays, monographs, and sermons, and also serves as a primer in the major concerns of Catholic theological discourse in the twentieth century.
Explorations in the Theology of Benedict XVI will be of interest to students in theology; those concerned with the development of a pastoral approach to theology that is simultaneously sophisticated in its thought; theological historians seeking to understand the place of Benedict vis-à-vis twentieth-century intellectual life; and general readers of Benedict’s work.  
"This collection of essays on the theology of Benedict XVI offers a new apologetics founded ‘not so much on the desire to outdo one’s opponent in dialectical victory but to allow the Love in which the original Word was spoken . . . to make its own case, its own apologia, in the hearts of those who hear.’ It is, in short, an excellent presentation of what Benedict XVI means when he says that ‘love and reason are the twin pillars of all reality.' The essays sympathetically uncover the pontiff’s theological foundation stones." —Tracey Rowland, John Paul II Institute, Melbourne, Australia
"If you're looking for a synoptic view of Benedict XVI's theological achievement, this is by a long way the best thing on offer in English. Each of the essays provides a detailed engagement with a central theme in Benedict's theology, treated not merely in isolation but also in terms of its relations to the whole. The result is a profound depiction of the range, scope, and integrated nature of Benedict's theology. This is a volume that honors the thinker it treats by taking him seriously not only as pope, but also as a theologian." —Paul J. Griffiths, Duke Divinity School
"This is quite simply the best exploration of Pope Benedict's theology available in English. Some of these essays dig deep into the younger Ratzinger's Augustinian soil and reveal to us the roots of Benedict's papal teaching. Others trace the lines of growth from those roots out to his striking papal encyclicals, and to the apologetics of love that grounds his vision of the Church's task. The fruitfulness of the collection is perhaps most evident in the way that the authors do not simply repeat, but think with and in the light of Benedict’s theology. Above all, this collection displays Benedict’s theology as a personal, living faith and a reasoned faith, as a theology of divine and human love that invites humanity into faith’s re-imagining of human existence." —Lewis Ayres, Durham University
"Shunning simplistic varieties of both caricature and adulation, these essays provide an appreciative but rigorous engagement with the breadth and depth of Benedict’s theology. The result is not merely a collection of summaries of different texts and themes but rather a convincing portrait of the vitality, integrity, and fecundity of Benedict’s theological vision and its prophetic witness to the evangelical message of God’s unfathomable love." —Khaled Anatolios, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. p. v
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-20
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  1. Chapter 1: Benedict the Augustinian
  2. pp. 21-60
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  1. The Dynamic of Advent
  2. p. 61
  1. Chapter 2: Culture and Conscience in the Thought of Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI
  2. pp. 63-86
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  1. Chapter 3: Resolving the Relativity Paradox
  2. pp. 87-113
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  1. Chapter 4: A Depth of Otherness
  2. pp. 114-141
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  1. Chapter 5: Reflections on Introduction to Christianity
  2. pp. 142-154
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  1. Caritas in Veritate
  2. p. 155
  1. Chapter 6: God’s Saving Justice
  2. pp. 157-186
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  1. Chapter 7: Development Driven by Hope and Gratuitousness
  2. pp. 187-212
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  1. God Is Love
  2. p. 213
  1. Chapter 8: Papal Ecclesiology
  2. pp. 215-235
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  1. Chapter 9: The Baptism of Jesus
  2. pp. 236-253
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  1. Chapter 10: The Feast of Peace
  2. pp. 254-275
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  1. Chapter 11: Mary in the Theology of Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI
  2. pp. 276-297
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 298-300
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 301-318
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