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Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions Paperback – July 18, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Then Cardinal Ratzinger not only treats a huge and extremely diverse collection of works (Ranging from Hindu writers to Muslim and Jewish scholars, to dissenting and Orthodox Christian theologians) with more charity and respect than readers of "the Catholic Church's Rottweiller" might expect, but he weaves them into a strong narrative as to what really separates the great religions of history - their dogma, their impact with other cultures, their approach to Reason as well as their fruits. What seems to be his arch-enemy, Relativism, is left limbless and defeated, and those who would defend this lie are left intact, but chastened.
In the end, one is left with the sense that the new Pope has put a tremendous amount of work and thought into these complex issues, and has a gift to be able to communicate them clearly and charitably. He disproves as utter nonsense any presumption the reader may have of a closed-minded doctrinaire theologian forcing his viewpoint.
Truth communicated with charity is devastating to the Culture of Lies. I love JPII and miss him dearly, but like many others often had trouble reading his work, and felt rewarded for making the effort. I found no such trouble following Pope Benedict in this work. I can't wait for his first encyclical.
By "truth," Ratzinger refers to the values that an individual holds as reference when making decisions. He states that "heaven begins on Earth." And he does not confine the people who are able to realize "truth" to Christians, nor even only believers in any sort of Divinity; agnostics and atheists are capable of this discernment to a degree too.
Being Christian, he believes that Christianity embodies truth in the fullest sense; that God is love and we are all called to know God as love and to spread His love. But he admits that no approach is perfect, since only God is capable of perfect knowledge of truth and love, and people are unable to understand God perfeclty. He concedes that Christianity has been susceptible to "diseases" in the past, such as the mentality that allowed to Crusaders to shed so much blood in Jerusalem.
The book is not an easy read.Read more ›
He explores the construct of religion and religious truth from an historical perspective, drawing from three primary strands - ancient mysticism, the development of monotheism, and the Enlightenment. What we in the West live in today is a post-Enlightenment world, with monotheistic tendency in religion, with continuing strands of mysticism that often impact society in unpredictable and uncomfortable ways.
With regard to monotheism, he explores through different religious traditions the way in which this concept can be played out in culture. In terms of the Enlightenment, he explores philosophical antecedents in Plato and Aristotle carrying forward through the Phenomenologists of the early twentieth century. This is where Ratzinger's academic strength lies - in philosophy and theology.
Ratzinger also looks at the different ways in which Christian perspectives of the idea of philosophical and theological truth are seen in other religions, including perspectives can lead to the idea of the anonymous Christian (a Rahner-ian concept, often termed inclusive or pluralistic, depending upon the details), as well as an exclusivity standpoint - this is not where Ratzinger ultimately comes down in terms of philosophy.
This book is derived from lectures and sermons, it is clear.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very lucid and insightful analysis of the similarities and differences between Christianity and eastern religions. Read morePublished 13 months ago by MaryB
I was baptized Catholic in 2006. In that short time I have studied Theology for 4 years and tried to learn as much as possible about this Church that I love so much. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Jacob Rubio
Ratzinger is a true scholar in every sense of the word. His arguments, insights, and anecdotes are genuinely thought provoking and logically hard to ignore. Read morePublished on February 19, 2014 by solomonstemple
As with all of pope Benedict's books, this is clear and to the point, and addresses interesting questions that are highly relevant to the world we live in - particularly in Europe... Read morePublished on January 26, 2014 by Pascal Tiscali
Truth and Tolerance by Joseph Ratzinger remains one of the most sophisticated and elaborate works of this giant theologian. Read morePublished on May 16, 2013 by George Farahat
Ever hear someone say, "It doesn't matter what you believe, all that matters is that you are a good person"? I assume you have. Read morePublished on May 8, 2013 by KSI
One of the best books that I have ever read in my life, in this book the Pope, analyzes the our times in a very deep way, even without taking into account the religious aspect, it... Read morePublished on October 7, 2012 by Alvaro