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Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures Hardcover – February 14, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
"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.
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
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.
The difficulty arises when the value, and indeed the rational foundation of society, is detached from the Judeo-Christian roots from which it grew. Legitimate rights for women to continue professional work, have a good reputation, and maintain a reasonable lifestyle come into conflict with an unborn child's right to life. In practical application, the rights of the unborn are denied in favor of other's rights, resulting in a contradiction. Human rights are assumed to be assigned by the state and not belong to humans by their very nature. When the state assumes this power, it betrays the democratic ideals of the rationalistic culture since it allows the weak, powerless, and voiceless to lose their rights in favor of others in a position of power over those defenseless people. That's the law of the jungle masquerading as the law of reason.
Recognizing the fundamental equality of all men and women requires a higher commitment than reason can demand.
...the look I freely direct to the other is decisive for my own dignity, too. I can acquiesce in reducing the other to a thing that I use and destroy; but by the same token, I must accept the consequences of the way I use my eyes here.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I his writing Joseph Ratzinger tends to raise questions as if he was an atheist. It shows that he challenges his own beliefs and by means of writing he manages to put some answers... Read morePublished 2 months ago by diego joachin
In terms of the content, of the subject matter, I felt that Ratzinger pushes too much his argument that Christianity, particularly Roman Catholicism, can help restore certain... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
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... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Gregory Stone
Benedict XVI is an outstanding theologian with insights that are relevant for anyone, regardless of their faith. He is also a gifted, elegant writer. Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by Archibald D. Gaebel
Great insight and very detailed concerning our troubled times. Helps us to focus on the real issues and where we have deviated from the true meaning of life.Published on January 10, 2013 by Carlos M. Garcia
I recently came across this short but beautiful little gem of a book,It is very deep yet simple for those who wouldn't be able to understand as easily(I do understand it... Read morePublished on October 18, 2011 by Jose Lopez
Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures is a very intellectual, academic book in its approach to treating different theological questions as well as in the type of philosophical... Read morePublished on October 10, 2011 by Trisha Niermeyer Potter