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Saved in Hope: Spe Salvi Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (February 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586172514
  • ASIN: B009LPSM00
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,664,087 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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God gives us Hope.
Latour07
This is a great Encyclical Letter, Pope Benedict XVI really opened my mind about the topic of Hope.
Orlando J. Berrios
It is worth more than a quick glance.
W. Easley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on April 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So says Benedict XVI in Spe Salvi (paragraph 31), his second encyclical, and the entire elegant and closely reasoned essay is an argument in defense of the claim. As is typical of papal encyclicals, references in Spe Salvi tend to focus on scripture, the patristic fathers, and a handful of medieval theologians. But it also strikes me that Benedict's reflections on hope are informed as well by the 20th century's greatest Roman Catholic theologian, Karl Rahner, although Rahner is never explicitly referenced.

It's no accident, Benedict argues, that in early drawings Christ was often depicted as a philosopher. Philosophy in the early centuries of the Christian era wasn't an academic discipline so much as a search for the proper way to live. Early Christians saw Jesus as offering the best way, one that made sense of the present by looking to the future. The good news brought by Christ, writes Benedict, was thus not only informative. It was also performative: that is, it provided an incentive and purpose for a particular lifestyle.

Faith, argues Benedict, is a "reaching out towards things that are still absent," but it also "gives us even now something of the reality we are waiting for, and this present reality constitutes for us a 'proof' of the things that are still unseen" (paragraph 7). This is the basis of the hope offered by Christ: that the future, although it can't be known, is nonetheless laden with promise, and that the awareness of this affects the way in which we live in the present. Hope, then, based on faith, isn't merely a yearning for the future; it's a present mode of living that's informed by hope in a positive future (shades of Rahner here).
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By W. Easley VINE VOICE on April 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
People ask why would anyone want to read an encyclical? To me, Benedict XVI is an excellent author and has written a wonderful letter. While reading this I became excited about my faith and anxious to learn more, to understand and share the insights of this marvelous new spiritual leader. As with his previous encyclical, Benedict discusses spirituality in a fresh new way. His insights may clarify challenges some Christians have with Vatican II spirituality.

The Pope begins strongly in the Introduction by referring to Romans 8:24: "in hope we were saved", and follows by explaining that our redemption is not simply given, it is "offered" to us and must be accepted as we lead our lives. I found the entire encyclical spiritually uplifting, but will only focus upon a few of the Pope's teachings:

The performative nature of the gift;
Faith as substance;
Faith leading to our ultimate goal;
The community nature of hope;
Prayer as hope.

Hope does not so much provide information as demand performance. According to Benedict. "hope is life changing". Through the letter we learn that God loves us very much and that we await his eternal love. The Pope refers to Romans 8:38 saying that human beings need unconditional love. Nothing can separate us from God's love. Hope, through such intense love, must be passed to others. Hope in God's overwhelming love must be shared.

Faith with hope is "the substance of things hoped for", It accepts facts and promises that are unseen and not able to be proven by earthly means. Hope infects our soul and allows us to accept the unseen. With hope our "faith gives life a new basis". Our way of acting and living" is the only proof needed.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Grace M. Alvarez on April 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once again Pope Benedict has written a clear, insightful, inspiring document for Catholics and people of faith everywhere. "Hope" is a word bandied about these days and offered as a panacea to the world's ills. In this latest encyclical, the Holy Father shows us (through scripture reference) that hope is a freedom with responsibility. The message here, I believe, is that there is hope through worship of God. All things begin and end with Him, our Creator on whom this generation has turned its back.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Billyjack D'Urberville on March 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a broadly written, short, and decidedly un-academic sermon to humanity on a central aspect of the Christian message. It is aimed as widely as possible and does not even pre-suppose a great deal of prior familiarity with Christianity on the part of the hearer. For all the talk of "the pastoral" in the Catholic post-Vatican 2 ambit, Benedict is the only pope of that era really using the papal encyclical as such a radically simple vehicle since John 23's Pacem in Terris. It is nonetheless an old tradition and mode, recalling the sermons of Gregory the Great.

This obviously isn't going to satisfy certain restless souls. But Pope Ratzinger, the academic pope, has churned out truckloads of the other sort of writing throughout his career, stuffed with footnotes and references aplenty for those so minded. There is little he hasn't written about in that vein and loads of it are still in print. Simply, in his discernment of his new role, he sees the encyclical as a different sort of opportunity and tool.

The sermon is aimed at the literate but somewhat tired and harried modern soul, nonetheless open to hearing the rudiment of the Christian message restated. It is fresh and does not give the feel of having been much vetted or run through several drafts. It will not convert Everybody; Christianity never worked that way anyway. But it is likely it will convert Somebody. You can read it in one sitting or between planes. It will give back what you give it. The 80 year old pope didn't feel like delivering a magnus opus this year and dashed this off on his vacation. Its aim was to refresh and it refreshed me to know that encyclicals could still be turned loose in this almost offhand manner. What it basically says is, all you Pharisees,take a holiday ... we'll call you in later ... today you look to be in Somebody's way, and today the shepherd is going for that Somebody.
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