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Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium- An Interview With Peter Seewald Paperback


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Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium-  An Interview With Peter Seewald + God and the World: A Conversation With Peter Seewald + Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and the Signs Of The Times
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; Reprint edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898706408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898706406
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #653,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An absolutely fascinating book, like a personal visit with the Cardinal." -- Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR

"One of the most arresting, enjoyable books I've read in years." -- -Archbishop Charles Chaput

"This is Cardinal Ratzinger at his free-wheeling best... His candor is breathtaking." ---Cardinal John O'Connor

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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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His answer on women as priests was excellent.
martin ho
If you adore the things of Christ my guess is that this book, in its reverence, will help to quiet the soul by saturating it in hope.
Stephen Acciani
This book is an interview of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.
R. P. Poletti

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 91 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
For those who want a keen insight into the life and formation of the new pope, Benedict XVI, most recently known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, this book is a must read. Most of the text is done as an interview with Peter Seewald, a German journalist, who does a question-and-answer format, but not in a choppy form. The answers are extended reflections, giving ample space to discussion of real, substantive issues of the church and the world.

The first section of the book concentrates on Ratzinger himself; the interview is nearly ten years old now, but the insights are still apropos to the man who is now the pope. Ratzinger did not look at the questions beforehand, and his responses, while not quite off-the-cuff, still have a spontaneity to them that is perhaps at odds with the more conservative image Ratzinger has come to bear. He is a conservative, to be sure, but in these pages along with other books, one may find a bit more compassion and humour than one might expect.

Ratzinger reflects upon his strict upbringing as a child, his time as a child of a 'simple commissioner', and his growth in a devout Catholic family who tended to go to Mass twice on Sundays.

Ratzinger became a theology professor, teaching at the universities at Tubingen and Regensburg. Heidegger is a big influence on Ratzinger's philosophical development, as are notions of Personalism (a philosophy of profound influence on Martin Luther King Jr. among others). Like his predecessor, Ratzinger has a great interest in Phenomenology and other modern philosophical schools. This led him to be a theological advisor to the Second Vatican Council, at which time Ratzinger was classified as a progressive, perhaps even a liberal.
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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Oswald Sobrino on December 17, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cardinal Ratzinger is cut from a different cloth than those mediocre prelates who are always eager to accommodate the mistakes of modern Western societies. This book is well worth reading because Ratzinger obviously places proclaiming the truth above his personal popularity. In my opinion, his most striking words have to do with the proper role of the bishop: to keep challenging Christians and others, to, as Augustine said, keep them from falling asleep. Ratzinger finds repulsive the mentality of "don't rock the boat" that seems to permeate too many dioceses. When church historians look back to the latter part of the 20th century, they will rightly note the pivotal role of Ratzinger in preserving the deposit of faith when so many high-ranking clerics and prominent theologians were so eager to compromise that same deposit of faith.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Mark Blackburn on November 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
A bumper sticker spotted this week on a mini-van emerging from a parking lot of a Catholic Church:

"I love my German Shepherd!" (beneath it, two words: "Benedict Sixteen.")

I wanted to second that emotion! And it's because of this interview, from ten years ago, which reminds me on its every delightful page, of my all-time favorite such book, from 17 centuries ago (correct) --- one of the treasures of the Eastern Church tradition.

-----

Back in the fourth century a simple monk named John Cassian went to visit the so-called "Desert Fathers" - many of them saints, who performed miracles of spiritual understanding in the presence of Cassian and his friend Germanus. Cassian's young friend was positively hostile in his questioning of these saintly men. But his often rude and gratingly persistent questions elicited the most amazing replies!

Cassian's resulting book "The Conferences" was strong meat devoured by the first "Saint Benedict" -- who used it as the basis for his monastic order (the very first in the western tradition of the Church). A thousand years later, the greatest of the theologians, Thomas Aquinas kept a copy of "The Conferences" with him at all times, and "read from it every day."

I thought of my ancient hero John Cassian (and especially of his rude companion Germanus) while reading this -- my new favorite book! Published in German in 1996, these 280 pages comprise an interview in 1995 of then-Cardinal Ratzinger.

The interviewer, an agnostic journalist Peter Seewald, repeatedly asks often-hostile questions of a truly great and (I believe) saintly mind. I love the fact that Ratzinger specifically requested he not see any of the questions in advance.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Peccator on April 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the first book I have read by Pope Benedict XVI. In my years of Catholic reading I had always meant to get around to reading something by or about Cardinal Ratzinger, but I always seemed to find something else. Well, after this reading I'm about to rush headlong into a Ratzinger reading frenzy. I won't bother to quote from the book because every paragraph is quotable.

In this book the Cardinal is answering interview questions on the fly and every answer is shocking in its clarity and depth of knowledge. I don't believe there is any topic this man's mind cannot or has not pierced. What is even more astounding is the masterful use of language. I could give this book to anyone, knowing that even the Catholic and theological priciples would be easily understood.

I believe that reviews should be concise, so I'll stop while my better judgment is intact and before I let my emotions run away with me. In most books, you are happy to run across points of light. This Pope's mind is a beacon of light and truth.
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