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God and the World: A Conversation With Peter Seewald Paperback – August 1, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pope Benedict XVI (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) is widely recognized as one of the most brilliant theologians and spiritual leaders of our age. As Pope he authored the best-selling Jesus of Nazareth; and prior to his pontificate, he wrote many influential books that continue to remain important for the contemporary Church, such as Introduction to Christianity and The Spirit of the Liturgy.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; 1st edition (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898708680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898708684
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.3 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Pope Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, gave an interview to Peter Seewald a few years before the turn of the millennium, in a book entitled 'Salt of the Earth'. A few years after the turn of the millennium, Seewald followed up this earlier publication with this book, 'God and the World'. In it, Seewald take a bit more of a systematic approach to discussing theological topics.

In the first section, the Prologue, Seewald continues in a vein similar to the earlier book, asking questions that are both academic and personal, discussing issues of faith, vocation, mystery and belief. Ratzinger speaks of his personal devotion and prayer practices, which include traditional forms of standard communal prayer (noontime Angelus, Vespers, Compline) as well as his own personal prayer practices, such as reciting a prayer before rising in the morning. He gives an account of how this kind of practice strengthens and reinforces itself, saying that 'the organ of sensitivity to God can atrophy to such an extent that the words of faith become quite meaningless.'

Seewald directs the questions in a format that might serve as a guide to following a systematic theology - while this is not Ratzinger's systematic theology by any means, one can see the philosophical and theological consistency even in the answers to the question-and-answer format. He speaks of God, creation, Christology, scripture, sacraments, ecclesiology, and more. These are done in creative but traditional ways - for example, the section of Christology (speaking of Jesus Christ), the conversation falls under broad headings of Revelation, The Way, The Truth, and The Light (as separate sections). He also explores issues of Mariology and the significance of the Cross.
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Format: Paperback
In an interview with Peter Seewald, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) humbly expresses his views and beliefs about God, Jesus and the Church, which gives us an insight into this man's great wisdom and the reasons why he has so rigorously defended these tenets of our faith. When reading this book, one can only marvel that Cardinal Ratzinger's responses are very down-to-earth. You can imagine him sitting across the living room from you, quite at ease, answering your questions, perhaps about creation, about the Trinity, genetics, love and just matter-of-factly explaining this all to you, like a kindly professor or grandfather. On one level, this book appears to be easy to read and understand and it is, yet on another level it is not because his explanations are profound theological thought for clergy, his fellow peers. An intelligent and scholarly theologian, Cardinal Ratzinger responds to probably most of the questions you ever had about our faith. This book is good for everyone who wants information about both the Old Testament and New Testament.
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Format: Paperback
In a series of conversations, which took place over several days with journalist Peter Seewald, Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, offers theological insights and explains doctrine in simple direct language. Covering a variety of topics, he systematically explores the notion of God, Jesus Christ, and the Church, and applies the theology to the lives of men and women in contemporary society.

The dialogue format works extremely well, enabling the reader to digest complex issues in small, well-written presentations. The style is simple and direct which flows well, maintaining the reader's attention despite the nature of the topic. Originally written in German, the translation is exceptional; the author's ideas and thoughts are conveyed smoothly, while occasional difficulties are addressed through accompanying footnotes and commentary.

GOD AND THE WORLD is probably the most engaging of all of Pope Benedict's longer works and can be read sequentially or by topic. For those unfamiliar with the Holy Father's writings, this book is probably the best introduction to his understanding of Catholic Theology.
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Format: Paperback
As a Cardinal the current Pope gave an astonishing interview to Peter Seewald. The astonishing part of this book is the breadth of the questions asked and the simple but deeply moving answers that were given. If you have read Ratzingers own works, you know that they are not easy reading. This book is very very different. It is an interview and the tone is conversational. Some of the questions asked of him are provoking eg., "Was Jesus a Catholic?" The answers are surprisingly moving, tolerant and reveal a depth of knowledge. Other questions such as "Is God male or female". "What does God look like?" "Is faith an auto-suggestion" etc are handled in the same manner.

If regular theology is too much of a chore for you but you want to know what the theology of Ratzinger/Benedict is, then look no further. This is a very easy-to-read book.
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Format: Paperback
Read this book.

There are so many things that are wonderful about this book; it is hard to know where to begin. First and foremost, this is a fantastic comprehensive synthesis of Ratzinger's views regarding much of the current concerns of the Church and of the world.

Additionally, the question and answer format makes this book extremely accessible, even for those who might think they are too busy to read about the new Pope. I would even say that the topics that are discussed in this interview are of interest to everybody as they do not necessarily revolve around interior Church issues.

Like I said earlier, I suggest that you read this book. It's a great way to start learning more about what Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) is like and how he thinks.
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