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Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures Hardcover – February 14, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 117 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Pr (February 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586171429
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586171421
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The subtitle here refers to Ratzinger's new status as Pope Benedict XVI and to the sixth-century saint who helped preserve Christianity via the monastic order he founded after the fall of Rome. By associating the two Benedicts, it also suggests that their eras are alike, that the state of Europe indicated by the failure of the first pan-European constitution (withdrawn in 2005) to acknowledge Europe's Christian heritage is like that of the sixth century. In the first of the three lectures here, Ratzinger lays out the dangers of thoroughgoing official secularism and proposes to those outside the church that, regardless of their beliefs, they assume God exists--a form of Pascal's wager. The second explains why, regardless of secular laws, the church may not stop fighting abortion, euthanasia, and other challenges to the sanctity of each human life. The last expounds on the necessarily contingent and communal nature of faith. Each speech's close argument rewards careful attention and, though immediately addressed to Europe, applies to secular-spiritual clashes throughout the world. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Born in 1927 in Germany as Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI has been head of the Roman Catholic Church since April 2005. A prolific author, theologian and university professor, Ratzinger served as an "expert" at the Second Vatican Council, and was tapped in 1977 by Pope Paul VI to lead the German Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. In 1981, Pope John Paul II called him to Rome to head the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he served until his papal election.

Customer Reviews

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The discussion he provides is well thought out and easy to grasp.
CDS
In this book he clearly outlines the what the greatest threats are to the Christian culture and the civilization which is based upon it.
Dr. Bojan Tunguz
Either book is a must read for anyone commenting upon or interested in the current geopolitical scene.
Essex

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Essex on November 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Non-Catholics and those of nominal faith might be more comfortable reading

"Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam"

by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and Marcello Pera first. The analysis is much the same but correctives, in the form of a return to a pan-European shared faith (by Pena--the head of the Italian Senate) and/or individual action (Benedict)will find a wider audience.

Either book is a must read for anyone commenting upon or interested in the current geopolitical scene. At the end of the 19th century, Dostoyevsky in "Notes from the Underground" and Pope Leo XIII in "On Socialism" (Quod Apostolici Muneris) warned where conflicts within Western Civilization were headed. 1917 and the horrors of communist and fascist totalitarianism were not adverted. Pera and Benedict are raising the same warning flags today. Is the problem as critical as they believe? Can a tragedy be averted? No one knows of course. But that there is a problem is irrefutable and these two book should not be ignored.

Recently purchased "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It" by Mark Steyn. Rated it three stars and that was being charitable as Steyn not only provides little hope but the witty prose his newspaper columns are, rightly, admired for is flat and tendentious when spead out over 256 pages.

Benedict and Pera, in contrast, explain why the west is unable to condemn evil and what can be done to ameloriate that failing.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on September 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Pope Benedict has been a keen and precise critic of the cultural clashes that have been shaking the West over the last half a century. He doesn't kowtow to the latest politically correct fad, nor does he mince words to state the truth. In this book he clearly outlines the what the greatest threats are to the Christian culture and the civilization which is based upon it. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand better the position of the Catholic Church in the ongoing global culture wars.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By CDS on April 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this book Cardinal Ratzinger studies the tension that arises when a split occurs between the state and religion. He tackles modern secularist notions, discusses abortion, and also addresses the notion that if not atheism, then perhaps agnosticism is the best position that man can hope for. The discussion he provides is well thought out and easy to grasp. You may not agree with everything he says, but the beauty and brilliance of the arguments put forth are undeniable.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Seth J. Frantzman HALL OF FAME on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Along with such classics as 'clash of civilizations' and 'rage and the pride' this book is a must read for anyone interested in the least bit in preserving their culture and faith in the face of the assault on the west by various non-western and supra-western cultures. For those who are pro partial-birth abortions, probably this book will be offensive because the Pope takes the Catholic church's view that abortion is immoral.

The central theme of this book is that the West is threatened by the new immorality of western moral relativism and that it is additioanlly partially threatened by the non-western immigrants who invade the west, however the greater danger is internal, the abandonment of religion and faith, and the denial of the fact that Christian roots are indigenous to Europe.

Many wont be able to stumach this book, and even some protestants will find the catholic overtones problematic. However it is an essential and important work.

Seth J. Frantzman
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy on August 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A must read if you are interested in the recent and ongoing decline of western civilization. The causative factors are clearly delineated from many points of view, but always from the starting point of the pope's awesome faith and love for God and His Creation.

-Jeremy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arben Cukaj on January 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I heard about this book the title was so appealing and, adding the credibility of the author, I couldn't wait for the delivery of the book.
The topic is so broad and so relevant that you are full of expectations for this book.
The book is great in identifying the crisis and at a certain level pointing out the root cause of this crisis.
A lot could be said about the topic. The crisis of our society and our culture is evident, this is reflected in the life style of the majority of the people, lack of moral values, lack of integrity and self respect and other pulverizing factors.
The book is a short read and not deeply elaborated. Unfortunately the crisis will get deeper and deeper as the lack of faith keeps increasing and values that "threaten" the existence of God keep becoming an acceptable norm.
I would recommend the book and glad that I bought it, but would have been happy to read more about.
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By Gregory Stone on June 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As usual Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) sees that which most men overlook. He (along with other Pontiffs) called for a New Evangelization to begin to pick up the pieces of this troubling trend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Benedict XVI is an outstanding theologian with insights that are relevant for anyone, regardless of their faith. He is also a gifted, elegant writer. He is capable of conveying complex philosophical concepts in a language that is crisp, clear and lively. This was a very inspirational read!
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