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God and the World: A Conversation With Peter Seewald Paperback – August 1, 2002
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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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Benedict is a brilliant scholar and thinker, and given the chance, can explicate a nuanced and obscure thread into the most eloquent, informative revelation. In God and the World, though, the questions are driven by Seewald, sometimes creating a disconnect in the Pope's far-reaching understanding. I found this interrupting of the Pope's train of thought to be distracting to my own, after a while. Lots of good "bits," but strung together without Pope Benedict XVI's profound connectivity. Still worth the price.
The book is worth reading by anyone, and a must reading by a Christian Catholic. It sheds a lot of light on the elaborate (and controversial) philosophy of the church. The real draw back is the friendly attitude of the interviewer, he just lets the Cardinal off the hook so readily (and there are a lot of hooks), at times you can see the Cardinal stretching things beyond reasonable limits, or taking refuge in the "beyond reason mysteries".
This approach when mixed with some logical "fortifications" is a recipe for explaining anything in any direction.
I remember Pope Benedict XVI recently criticizing the approach of following abstract reason all the way when dealing with morality and I admired his point of view that this might lead into disastrous conclusions, but after reading the book I realized that the opposite is also true. The evolving story of Mary the mother of Jesus as mentioned in this book is a case in point; the little, blessed and humbled lady of the Bible should feel appalled when she realizes that the church is still pushing her up along the way to be elevate to a goddess status through a similarly unrestricted "churchly" approach.
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There are so many things that are wonderful about this book; it is hard to know where to begin.Read more