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Covenant and Communion: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI Hardcover – October 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1587432699 ISBN-10: 1587432692 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Brazos Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587432692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587432699
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Hahn here renders an important service in so clearly setting forth the hermeneutical principles, biblical framework, and doctrinal positions of Pope Benedict XVI, arguably the world's most important contemporary theologian. The parallels between the biblical theology of the pope and of evangelicals, together with their respective attempts to interpret Scripture theologically in an age marked by modern biblical criticism, are particularly fascinating."--Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Wheaton College and Graduate School

"A compelling manuduction right into the very core of Pope Benedict XVI's theological vision. In this clearly written and cogently argued essay, Hahn makes a convincing and highly pertinent case for what Pope Benedict holds to be the crucial challenge for the Church and theology today--the reunification, and thereby the renewal, of exegesis theologically conceived and theology exegetically grounded. Theologically insightful and surefooted, this book is one of the best and certainly the most timely and urgent among the recent introductions to the theology of Pope Benedict XVI."--Reinhard Hütter, Duke Divinity School

"As a Protestant biblical scholar, I found Hahn's exposition of Pope Benedict's biblical theology both informative and inspiring. In spite of differences, Protestants need to read this book to understand how deeply we can agree on the primacy of Christ and the Word. Through Hahn, I have a new appreciation for the mind and heart of Pope Benedict."--Tremper Longman III, Westmont College

"This lucid exposition introduces the reader to Benedict's understanding of historical criticism, faith and reason, typology, covenant, sacrifice, liturgy, and a variety of other topics. The book beautifully models what for Pope Benedict is the central task of theology: it leads believers into a real participation in the mystery of faith."--Hans Boersma, Regent College

"This is essential reading for any informed Catholic. I have been waiting for someone to expand and bring together the conclusion that Pope Benedict XVI brings to us in his powerful book Jesus of Nazareth. This is a very important book for all Catholics, clergy, religious, and laity alike."--Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR

"This is an extraordinary book. More than an introduction to Ratzinger/Benedict's theology--although it is this as well--Hahn's marvelous book provides an introduction to biblical exegesis, Catholic theology, and ultimately to the life of discipleship itself. This is a book for all readers, a rich feast of spiritual and intellectual transformation."--Matthew Levering, University of Dayton

"Even when one disagrees with some of his conclusions, Benedict's insights, as well as his engagement with critical scholarship, offer a wealth of reflection. In this remarkable book, Hahn has drawn out the central themes of Benedict's teaching in a highly readable summary. An eminently useful guide for introducing the thought of an important theologian of our time."--Michael S. Horton, Westminster Seminary California

From the Back Cover

"Leading men and women to God, to the God who speaks in the Bible: this is the supreme and fundamental priority of the Church and of the Successor of Peter at the present time."--Pope Benedict XVI

"A superb introduction to the way in which the theology of Pope Benedict XVI has been shaped by the Bible. Scott Hahn's crisp and clear analysis puts the reader at the very center of this remarkable pope's thought."--Gary Anderson, University of Notre Dame

"The increasingly painful bankruptcy of the historical-critical method in our time has created a vacuum precisely at the point where the living Church requires substantial nurture. Pope Benedict XVI has spoken into this crisis like no one else, and his best expositor, Scott Hahn, has done us a tremendous service by synthesizing Benedict's erudite and prayerful biblical theology into a lively, readable, and intellectually reliable conspectus. This excellent volume will be indispensable for all Christians who seek to be more maturely grounded in Scripture."--David Lyle Jeffrey, Baylor University

"A lucidly written and trenchant study of the biblical theology of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict. Hahn shows how one of the most important theologians of the twentieth century gently but firmly corrected the historical critics who dominate much of contemporary academic Scripture study. Hahn further demonstrates how, in making this correction, Ratzinger/Benedict allowed for the recovery of much of the richness of patristic biblical interpretation. This is a beautiful and thought-provoking text, one that will prove helpful to any serious student of the sacred page."--Robert Barron, Mundelein Seminary, University of St. Mary of the Lake

"In the growing body of literature on the theology of Benedict XVI, there is a conspicuously missing theme: the consciously biblical character of the pontiff's theology. Hahn places Ratzinger/Benedict's concern for theology as a scriptural--and hence a liturgical--activity center stage with the verve and clarity we have come to expect from him. Hahn uses his encyclopedic knowledge of Ratzinger/Benedict's corpus to tease out many threads, weaving them into a compelling account of the new hermeneutic at the heart of Benedict's vision. Not only students of the pope but also all of us who desire the revitalization of theology and exegesis should welcome the passion and insight that Hahn has brought to bear on his subject."--Lewis Ayres, Durham University

More About the Author

Dr. Scott Hahn is the author (or editor) of over forty books, including best-selling titles like Rome Sweet Home, The Lamb's Supper, Hail Holy Queen, A Father Who Keeps His Promises, Lord Have Mercy, First Comes Love, Swear to God, Understanding Our Father, Scripture Matter, Spirit and Life, Understanding the Scripture, Catholic Bible Dictionary, Many Are Called, Signs of Life, Reasons to Believe, Answering the New Atheism, Ordinary Work Extraordinary Grace, and Living the Mysteries. His academic publications include Kinship by Covenant: A Canonical Approach to the Fulfillment of God's Saving Promises (Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library), The Kingdom of God as Liturgical Empire: A Theological Commentary on 1-2 Chronicles, Covenant and Communion: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI, Letter and Spirit: From Written Text to Living Word in the Liturgy, along with a forthcoming title, Politicizing the Bible: The Roots of Historical Criticism and the Secularization of Scripture (1300-1700). He is the editor of the academic periodical, Letter & Spirit: A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology, and co-editor of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible.

An exceptionally popular speaker and teacher, Dr. Scott Hahn has delivered thousands of popular talks and academic lectures, nationally and internationally, on a wide range of topics related to Scripture, Theology and the Catholic faith. Hundreds of these presentations have been recorded and distributed by Catholic Lighthouse, The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and St. Joseph Communications. He has appeared on hundreds of television programs on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), where he has also been the regular host and presenter on several popular 13-week series (including Our Fathers Plan, The Lamb's Super, and Genesis to Jesus).

In 2012, Dr. Hahn was awarded the Fr. Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990. He is the founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. In 2005, he was awarded the Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Biblical Theology and Liturgical Proclamation at St. Vincent Seminary (Latrobe PA), which he held through 2011. In 2002, he was awarded Pio Cardinal Laghi Chair of Catholic Theology at the Pontifical Seminary Josephinum (Columbus OH), which he held through 2004.

Scott graduated from Grove City College in 1979 with his BA in Theology, Philosophy and Economics (magna cum laude). He graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1982 with his M.Div (summa cum laude). Scott received his Ph.D. in Theology from Marquette University in 1995 (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa). He has ten years of youth and pastoral ministry experience in Protestant congregations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Kansas and Virginia (1975-85), and is a former Professor of Theology at the Dominion Theological Institute (Dominion, VA, now Chesapeake Theological Seminary). He was ordained in 1982 at Trinity Presbyterian Church (Fairfax VA). He entered the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil, 1986.

Dr. Scott Hahn was born in 1957, and has been married to Kimberly since 1979. They live in Steubenville Ohio and have six children and seven grandchildren.

Customer Reviews

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For anyone who wishes to understand better their faith.
dreamcatcher
Benedict's theology, as it is shown in this book, shows how the historical Jesus and the Christ of faith is one and the same Christ.
Robert L. Wise
It certainly helps that Scott W. Hahn is an outstanding writer who has plumbed the depths of Pope Benedict's body of work.
Francis J. Beckwith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By J. Gibbs on November 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like most of us, I'm too busy to read even a fraction of what Benedict XVI has written, before and after he became Pope. But I'm very interested to know what he thinks and why. I converted from Evangelical Protestantism in 2001, and understanding the current Pope's approach to the scriptures is extremely important to me. For my money, this book is just "a good read" and a great value. I not only learned what Benedict believes and why, but my own understanding of the bible and my Christian faith have been greatly enriched. The following quote from David Lyle Jeffrey of Baylor University on the dust jacket says what I think better than I can say it: "Scott Hahn has done us a tremendous service by synthesizing Benedict's erudite and prayerful biblical theology into a lively, readable and intellectually reliable conspectus. This excellent volume will be indispensable for all Christians who seek to be more maturely grounded in Scripture."
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Taylor Marshall on January 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic. Dr. Scott Hahn describes the rich theological method of Pope Benedict XVI as a canonical approach to theology, which locates theology within the history of salvation. If John Paul II will be remembered for his Theology of the Body, then I'll wager that Benedict XVI will be remembered for his profound biblical theology.

Hahn's presentation will likely resonate with conservative Evangelicals and Protestants who have a love for Sacred Scripture. Hahn reveals Benedict as a biblical theologian par excellence. This has been noted before, but Hahn demonstrates the Holy Father's biblical theology in detail with seven academic essays collected together in this one volume. Hahn also quotes the Holy Father's writings frequently (several times per page) making this book a fine collection of the Holy Father's teaching in his own words. I have already collected a dozen priceless Benedict quotes from this book. It is a great resource.

I especially appreciated the following two chapters:

Chapter Two: The Critique of Criticism: Beginning the Search for a New Theological Synthesis
Chapter Six: The Theology of the Divine Economy: Covenant, Kingdom, and the History of Salvation

If you're a fan of Pope Benedict or if you're a non-Catholic interested in how Catholics do biblical theology, then this is the book for you.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Francis J. Beckwith on November 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book 10 days ago while I was at a conference at the University of Notre Dame. I began reading it yesterday and could not put it down. It is the clearest, and yet most detailed, presentation of Pope Benedict's theology I have ever read. It certainly helps that Scott W. Hahn is an outstanding writer who has plumbed the depths of Pope Benedict's body of work.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning about what the Bishop of Rome thinks about Scripture and theology and their relationship to the life of the Church and its witness in the world.

(reviewer is author of Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Claude-Michael Wecke on May 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In order to properly comment on the "Covenant and Communion", it is essential to establish author Scott Hahn's impressive credentials, in order to put his work on Pope Benedict's biblical theology into the appropriate perspective. Here an excerpt from WikipediA:

Hahn received his B.A. in 1979 from Grove City College in Pennsylvania with a triple major of theology, philosophy, and economics (magna cum laude). He obtained his M.Div. (summa cum laude) from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1982. In May 1995, he was awarded a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Marquette University (Phi Beta Kappa). His dissertation, entitled Kinship by Covenant: A Biblical Theological Analysis of Covenant Types and Texts in the Old and New Testaments, is a significant example of contemporary covenantal theology.

In the book "Covenant and Communion" Hahn provides us with an eminently readable introduction into the very core of of Pope Benedict's theological vision. It also elucidates the Pope's view on historical criticism, faith and reason, covenant, liturgy and a variety of other topics. Possibly the most important aspect of Hahn's book was the introductory chapter "Ignorance of the Scripture is Ignorance of Christ". For Pope Benedict the Church lives and "takes its being" from the Word of God. Here, with Scott Hahn's exposition on Pope Benedict's book, we have but one example of one of the world's finest theological minds.

All in all,Hahn's succinct summary of a range of Pope Benedict's theological themes, makes this book of relevance to all Christians, leading them into a deeper reflection of modern theological thought as proposed by Pope Benedict XVI. As a non-Roman Catholic, and not necessarily agreeing with everything, I highly recommend "Covenant and Communion" to clergy and laiety alike.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stratiotes Doxha Theon VINE VOICE on February 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Pope Benedict XVI (Josef Ratzinger) has stated that he is not a systematic theologian. His theology is a biblical theology that does not lend itself easily to systemization into a series of lesser truths leading to more complex ideas. All the ideas are intertwined into a whole with each part dependent on all other parts. Few have taken on the task of systematizing such thought so successfully as has Professor Hahn in this little book.

Fr. Ratzinger has been a champion of the challenge to historical-critical methods that, when used exclusively, reduce the interpretation of scripture to merely a series of hypothesis, none of which bring us any closer to knowing what the scripture teaches us. He has shown us convincingly that historical-critical methods alone will lead us down a road to agnosticism and practical atheism. But in addition to leading us to a shipwrecked faith it also does not deliver what it promises - it fails to give us a satisfactory understanding of scripture.

From this thinking we come to an epistemology of faith as a legitimate way of knowing. There is no true dialectic or dichotomy of faith or reason. It is not faith-or-reason but faith-and-reason that leads to the most satisfying hermeneutic.

Context. All theology is nothing more than interpretation. And interpretation is based on presuppositions the interpreter carries into his trade. Those presuppositions depend on the context in which he is forming his trade - Church, tradition, liturgy. This context is what gives the scripture their living relevance to us through history. Removing scripture from the context in which it was formed removes our ability to understand it. For this reason, the principle of scripture alone is doomed to the assumptions of historical-criticism.
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