Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures

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Ignatius Press, 2006 - Religion - 117 pages
14 Reviews
In this new work, written before his election to the Papal throne, Joseph Ratzinger addresses the "crisis of culture" that is evident in Europe today, and the serious problems that have resulted from that cultural crisis, a crisis that affects not only Europe but the West in general. Some of the results of the crisis are greather threats to security, growing poverty, the dangers of genetic engineering, and a decline in "moral energy." Europe's Christian roots and foundation are being replaced by "modern Enlightenment philosophy" says the Pope. Such philosophies recognize only what can be mathematically or scientifically proven, and deny any metaphysical reality. Unable to recognize God's existence or objective truth, morality is consequently reduced to a relative concept, leading to a "confused ideology of freedom that leads to dogmatism" and ultimately "to the self-destruction of freedom," says Pope Benedict. He cited the growing intolerance of the criticism of homosexuality as an example of this phenomenon. What the Poep offers as an answers to the nihilistic secularism that pervades Europe, and the West, is not politics, but a spiritual renewal based on the powerful example in history of St. Benedict and the amazing cultural impact the Benedictine Order had on a similarly declining Europe in the Middle Ages. Beginning in the 6th century, Benedictine monasteries and spirituality saved Western Europe from a descent into barbarism after the fall of the Roman Empire and subsequently became the continent's main instrument of learning, literature and cultural revival. The book is divided into three main sections titled: "The Crisis of Cultures"; "The Right of Life and Europe"; "What Doesit Mean to Believe?"

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tabascofromgudreads - LibraryThing

This is a very good book, that deserves to be read carefully, weighing every word and paragraph. As a catholic, I listen to everything the Pope has to say with the utmost respect, and I trust his full ... Read full review

Review: Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures

User Review  - Joseph R. - Goodreads

Just before he was elected pope, Joseph Ratzinger wrote a short book based on some lectures he had delivered. The lectures are about the conflict between traditional religious cultures and the ... Read full review

Selected pages


Reflections on Cultures That Are in Conflict Today
The Significance and Limits of Todays Rationalistic Culture
The Permanent Significance of the Christian Faith
Why We Must Not Give Up the Fight
The Law of the Jungle the Rule of Law
We Must Use Our Eyes
Faith and Everyday Life A Fundamental Human Attitude
Can Agnosticism Be a Solution?
The Natural Knowledge of God
Supernatural Faith and Its Origins
Development of Premises

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Page 16 - And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...

About the author (2006)

Joseph Ratzinger was born on April 16, 1927 in Marktl am Inn in the state of Bavaria, Germany. Ratzinger entered the minor seminary in Traunstein, in 1939 and in 1943 along with the rest of his seminary class he was drafted into the Flak [anti-aircraft corps]. In 1944 he was released from the Flak and returned home only to be drafted into labor detail under the infamous Austrian Legion. In the spring of 1945 Ratzinger deserted the army and headed home but when the Americans arrive at his village shortly thereafter, he was identified as a German soldier and incarcerated in a POW camp for a brief time. Following his release he re-entered the seminary. In 1951 Joseph was ordained into the priesthood and began lectures as a full professor of fundamental theology at the University of Bonn. From 1962-65 Ratzinger was present during all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council as a peritus, or chief theological advisor to Cardinal Joseph Frings of Cologne, Germany. . In 1977 Joseph Ratzinger was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and on June 27 elevated to Cardinal of Munich by Pope Paul VI. In 1981 Ratzinger accepted Pope John Paul II's invitation to take over as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and in 1986 he was appointed head of a 12-member commission responsible for drafting the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Ratzinger was elected vice dean of the College of Cardinals in 1988. In 2002 Pope John Paul II, approved his election as dean of the College of Cardinals. On April 8, 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger presided over the funeral of Pope John Paul II. On April 19, 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Bishop of Rome on the fourth ballot of the conclave and took the name Benedict XVI.

Pera, formerly Professor at University of Pisa, is currently a senator of the Italian Republic.

Brian McNeil is a native of the United Kingdom who now lives in Germany. He also translated Klauck's The Religious Context of Early Christianity.

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