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God Is Love (Deus Caritas Est) (Benedict XVI) Paperback – February 10, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Most Catholics who read 'God Is Love' will find the text challenging, provocative and insightful, offering reflections on topics they might not expect to find in an encyclical, the highest form of papal teaching." (John Thavis CNS 20060127) --John Thavis Catholic News Services

About the Author

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, was born at Marktl am Inn, Diocese of Passau (Germany) on 16 April 1927 (Holy Saturday) and was baptised on the same day. He received his priestly ordination on 29 June 1951 and from 1962 to 1965 he made a notable contribution to Vatican II as an "expert"; being present at the Council as theological advisor of Cardinal Joseph Frings, Archbishop of Cologne. He was later the archbishop of Munich and Freising and on 25 November 1981 John Paul II named him Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of the International Theological Commission. On 19 April 2005 he was elected to be the leader of the Roman Catholic Church and took the name Pope Benedict XVI.
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Product Details

  • Series: Benedict XVI (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; 1st edition (February 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574557580
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574557589
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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It is both a pleasure to read and to understand.
Phillip C. Spurgeon
Only when we realize that eros and agape go together, that they are two sides of the same coin, do we understand the depth and greatness of God's love.
Jeffrey Leach
Pope Benedict XVI is the best writer around and this is one of the best books around.
Josh Goode

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on September 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am shocked, absolutely shocked, that no one has reviewed Pope Benedict XVI's first papal encyclical, "God Is Love". At the very least you would expect a Catholic or two to show up and say a few words about the supreme pontiff's elegant treatise on the transformative power of God's love. It's been nearly eight months since the Vatican released it! Where are the reviews? Sad, sad, sad. Well, I'll write a review for Benedict's epistle even though I'm not a Catholic. Nor am I a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist, or a Protestant. I'm just an agnostic, albeit one who holds sympathies for the Catholic Church, with a bachelor's degree in religious studies (degrees in history too, but that doesn't count here). I decided to read "Deus Caritas Est" (the Latin title) when I realized I have never read a papal encyclical. They serve several important purposes within the Catholic Church. One, encyclicals tend to lay the groundwork for a pope's legacy. Two, they attempt to offer answers to serious temporal problems facing Catholics around the world. Three, they explain certain policy decisions taken by the leadership. Four, and lastly, encyclicals often clarify hazy doctrinal issues that arise from time to time.

Benedict divides "God Is Love" into two parts. The first, and most difficult, section involves a theoretical discussion on the various aspects of love. According to the pontiff, there is two of major importance. The first, eros, is a grand, soaring love that has little to do with giving of oneself. Agape, the second form of love, is more contemplative and grounded, a love that is more concerned with giving than receiving. Both forms of love are healthy and good in and of themselves, but Benedict admonishes the modern tendency to embrace eros as it pertains to bodily pleasures.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By M. Schleimer on March 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
On the feast of St. Paul (1/25/2006), the first encyclical of Pope Benedict was published, "Deus Caritas Est" or "God is Love." Writing clearly and simply as always, the Pope discusses one of the most complicated subjects on earth: Love. In Part I, he traces the origin of love in salvation history and philosophy. He explains that physical love must be transformed into spiritual love and only then are we united to God. He states that "love is possible, and we are ab le to practise it, because we are created in the image of God." Benedict XVI shows in Part 2 that love cannot remain merely individual but must be extended to helping others through works of charity. All levels in the Church must exercise charitable service with not only professionalism, but "heartfelt concern." "Only if I serve my neighbour can my eyes be opened to what God does for me and how much he loves me." With this letter, the Pope lays the foundation for his papacy as a gentle pastor and a humble teacher. explaining that we must live the greatest of all commandments: "Love of God and love of neighbour [which] are inseparable."
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By D. C. Owens on March 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
It's one thing to be an analytic, or an intellectual, or a learned thelogian. It is quite another to also be a gifted communicator of great ideas. Pope Benedict is both. What an unpacking of the experience of Love. In Part I, he is firm yet hopeful, profound yet readable, divinely wise yet thoroughly human in this exposition.

In what amounts to a two-for-one, Part II is a brilliant exposition of true acts of charity and the proper, complementary, yet distinctive roles of the Church and the State.

This is a true catholic (universal) letter of Love.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Mark Schmittle on March 16, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this encyclical, Pope Benedict alludes to the prevalence in our world of the abuse, even hatred shown to the body which results from the dichotomy established between the body and spirit by modern culture and philosophical systems. He also mentions the hatred expressed by certain religious groups as being a result of a failure to realize the relationship established between God and man in Jesus and the expression of this relationship in physical terms. He shows that as embodied spirits we cannot have a mere spiritual love of God and neighbor, but it must become enfleshed through our physical care for Christ present in our neighbor. On the other hand, any concept of love that reduces it to physical sexual expression devoids the human person of its image of God in which it was created - the image of God manifested perfectly in Jesus and that gave its life completely in the flesh.

Pope Benedict relates well the relationship between manifestation of Christian love and the Eucharist. Since we are all united in the one bread in Christ, then each individual is in a sense owed the same love as we owe to Christ. In effect, we cannot love God without a true kinosis or outpouring of ourselves for our neighbor manifested in a concrete form. In this way the dichotomy between eros and agape that is an effect of the worlds worship of the flesh is eliminated and true incarnational salvation is brought about.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Rubio on March 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Fantastic and beautiful. This is the first book I read from the Pope and I could not put it down. Love is so important to us and Ratzinger makes you believe in it like no one else can. Very readable and straight from the heart of a great man. This book blew me away and made me feel that God no matter what is always there for us all we have to do is believe. All Catholics and Christians in general should own a copy of this. With all the hate and violence going on in this world it's good to know that love is still the most powerful and beautiful thing out there.
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