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The Social and Political Thought of Benedict XVI
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The Social and Political Thought of Benedict XVI [Kindle Edition]

Thomas R. Rourke
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Covering the entire trajectory of his religious life, this meticulously researched book identifies the roots of political and social order in Pope Benedict XVI's philosophy and analyzes his views on the role of Christian faith in politics. Although not generally characterized as a political philosopher, the Benedict's writings shed significant and unique light on the world of politics today. In an age when modern politics has lost sight of its proper relationship within the larger scheme of human affairs and existence, Thomas R. Rourke shows that, as both Pope and the former Cardinal Ratzinger, Benedict has made a conscious effort to relate political issues to the broader dialogue on human endeavor, ethics, and culture. Bringing to the fore Benedict's belief on the necessary place of the Christian tradition in a contemporary politics of reason, Rourke details the Pope's contribution to solving the deeper problems of politics today. A valuable study in political theory and religion, this book should be read by those interested in Catholic social and political thought.

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Editorial Reviews


A valuable study in political theory and religion, this book should be read by those interested in Catholic social and political thought. (Reading Benedict Xvi Blog, December 2009)

This is a superb exposition of Pope Benedict’s social thought in all its richness, beginning with the Christian anthropology on which it is founded and ending with a vision of culture. Conscious of rising secularism and the political apathy of the young, Rourke seeks to demonstrate the fine balance of reason and faith in the Pope’s thought, and succeeds admirably. Benedict is one of the most important intellectual leaders of our time, and he is well served by this introduction. (Stratford Caldecott, editor, Second Spring: A Journal of Faith of Culture)

Rourke combs through the pre-papal writings of Joseph Ratzinger and some of his statements since his elevation to the papacy and presents him as a deep and important thinker about social and political questions. . . . This volume is a very accessible and largely comprehensive survey of Benedict's political ideas. (Review Of Metaphysics, June 2010)

About the Author

Thomas R. Rourke is chair of the political science and philosophy department at Clarion University.

Product Details

  • File Size: 703 KB
  • Print Length: 159 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0739142801
  • Publisher: Lexington Books (January 5, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0040JHNP2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,180,365 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly insightful January 29, 2011
By Laval49
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Offers an excellent, in-depth overview and analysis of Pope Benedict XVI's insights into the challenges of our time. It is written by an author who has a strong grasp of the current political complexities and their long-term impacts.

Contemporary debates on political issues are highly short-sighted and fail to address real problems. "Innovation" is a buzzword which many confuse with "change". An analogy might be cutting trees which took years to grow, without considering the broader impacts, just to get rid of a perceived inconvenience. I daresay, however, that those in leadership positions know that by elevating the concept of "change" to the status of an intrisic value is, actually, an easy way to win a revolution--without anyone being the wiser until after the changes have been implemented. The road to Hitler's Germany was preceded by several decades of social and legislative change in Germany, and by the time Hitler came on the scene, much of the groundwork had already been laid. It is frightening, but true, that Hitler reached the pinacle of power through the popular vote. I doubt that millions of Germans of the time actually wanted concentration camps and other atrocities, but they got them anyhow.

Pope Benedict is a deep thinker who rightly perceives that modern politics has lost sight of its proper relationship to the management of human affairs. The author, Rourke, gives an outline of the Pope's contribution to solving the deeper problems of contemporary politics.
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