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Daughter Zion: Meditations on the Church's Marian Belief [Paperback]

By Benedict XVI (Author) & S.J. John M. McDermott (Translator)
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Item description for Daughter Zion: Meditations on the Church's Marian Belief by Benedict XVI & S.J. John M. McDermott...

Daughter Zion explores the biblical witness to the Church's Marian dogmas?Mary's role as Mother of God, her virginity, the Immaculate Conception, and her Assumption into heaven. Cardinal Ratzinger examines how these beliefs are linked to the Church's faith in Jesus Christ. Far from competing with the truth about Christ, the Church's Marian beliefs uphold and underscore that truth. Mary's role in salvation, according to Cardinal Ratzinger, was anticipated in the Old Testament. She was prefigured in Eve, the Mother of the Living; in the holy women of the Old Testament, such as Sarah, Hannah, Deborah, Esther, and Judith; and in the prophetic image of the daughter Zion. Cardinal Ratzinger also considers Mary's place as the embodiment of created wisdom, who faithfully received the Uncreated Wisdom of the Word of God in the Incarnation. Daughter Zion avoids the extremes of ignoring the biblical foundation for Marian doctrine on the one hand and fundamentalistic proof-texting on the other. Instead, the author beautifully and lucidly develops key biblical themes to help readers understand and appreciate the Mother of God.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ignatius Press
Pages   82
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.3" Width: 4.98" Height: 0.32"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2005
Publisher   Ignatius Press
ISBN  0898700264  
ISBN13  9780898700268  

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More About Benedict XVI & S.J. John M. McDermott

Pope Benedict XVI Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus XVI; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on 16 April 1927) is Pope emeritus of the Catholic Church, having served as Pope from 2005 to 2013. In that position, he was both the leader of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Benedict was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave following the death of Pope John Paul II, celebrated his papal inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005.

Ordained as a priest in 1951 in his native Bavaria, Ratzinger established himself as a highly regarded university theologian by the late 1950s and was appointed a full professor in 1958. After a long career as an academic, serving as a professor of theology at several German universities—the last being the University of Regensburg, where he served as Vice President of the university in 1976 and 1977—he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977, an unusual promotion for someone with little pastoral experience. In 1981, he settled in Rome when he became Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most important dicasteries of the Roman Curia. From 2002 until his election as pope, he was also Dean of the College of Cardinals, and as such, the primus inter pares among the cardinals. Prior to becoming pope, he was "a major figure on the Vatican stage for a quarter of a century" as "one of the most respected, influential and controversial members of the College of Cardinals"; he had an influence "second to none when it came to setting church priorities and directions" as one of John Paul II's closest confidants.

He was originally a liberal theologian, but adopted conservative views after 1968. His prolific writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values. During his papacy, Benedict XVI advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many Western countries. He views relativism's denial of objective truth, and the denial of moral truths in particular, as the central problem of the 21st century. He taught the importance of both the Catholic Church and an understanding of God's redemptive love. Pope Benedict also revived a number of traditions including elevating the Tridentine Mass to a more prominent position. He renewed the relationship between the Catholic Church and art, viewing the use of beauty as a path to the sacred, promoted the use of Latin, and reintroduced traditional papal garments, for which reason he was called "the pope of aesthetics". He has been described as "the main intellectual force in the Church" since the mid-1980s. Several of Pope Benedict's students from his academic career are also prominent churchmen today and confidantes of him, notably Christoph Schönborn.

On 11 February 2013, Benedict announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals, citing a "lack of strength of mind and body" due to his advanced age. His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013. He is the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294. As pope emeritus, Benedict retains the style of His Holiness, and the title of Pope, and will continue to dress in the papal colour of white. He was succeeded by Pope Francis on 13 March 2013, and he moved into the newly renovated Mater Ecclesiae monastery for his retirement on 2 May 2013.

Pope Benedict XVI was born in 1927.

Pope Benedict XVI has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Benedict XVI
  2. Bioethics & Culture
  3. Communio Books
  4. Fathers (Our Sunday Visitor)
  5. Giniger Books
  6. Publication
  7. Ressourcement: Retrieval & Renewal in Catholic Thought
  8. Spiritual Thoughts

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Mariology
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Reviews - What do customers think about Daughter Zion: Meditations on the Church's Marian Belief?

Ratzinger on top form  Mar 9, 2008

Written 30 years ago, this is Ratzinger at his best. What is great about Ratzinger is that he has lived throught the turmoil over the last 40 years in Catholicism, has (apprarently) been attracted to some less than orthodox ideas, but has found his way to explaining the essence of the Catholic faith in an intellectually satisfying and spiritually refereshing manner.

In this little book, Ratzinger examines the Marian doctrines of the Catholic Church and explains their christological foundations. It is undoubtedly the case that over the last 100 years, a kind of disincarnationalist dualism has entered into christian thinking accross the board (protestant and Catholic). He masterfully sweeps aside such notions and showns their dangers. He is excellent at showing that the Marian doctines are a kind of supernatural consequence of God's promise in the old Testament, and fulfilled in Mary, in the New Testament.

Benedict VXI's second volume of "Jesus of Nazareth" is supposedly out this summer; this little book, I suspect, will foreshadow some of the thinking in that book: thus, if you want a "trailer", this is for you!

At page 28, he notes that the rejection of Marian doctrines:

"leads to a picture of God's omipotence that reduces the creature to a mere masquarade and that also completely fails to understand the God of the Bible, who is characterised as being the creator and the God of the covenant...Not without reason did the Church Fathers interpret the passion and cross as marriage, as that suffering in which God takes upon himself the pain of the faithless wife in order to draw her to himself irrevocably in eternal love"

"Wherever the unity of Old and New Testaments disintegrates, the place of a healthy Mariology is lost. Likewise ths unity of the Testaments guarantees the integrity of the doctrines of creation and grace" (page 32)

"...behind the formula "Mother of God" stands the conviction that the unity of Christ is so profound that the merely corporeal Christ can nowhere be distilled out of it, because in man the corporeal is also the human-corporeal, as modern biology confirms...The divine united itself so really and truly to man than no threshold of the human hinders it, but it penetrates this very human being in its entirety; consequently it penetrates his body too. Then birth is not to be reduced to a merely somatic act" (page 34).

"Thus in Mariology Christology was defended. Far from belittling Christology, it signfies the comprehensive triumph of a confession of faith in Christ which has achieved authenticity". (P36)

"The doctrine of the Immaculata reflects ultimately faith's certitude that there really is a holy Church - as a person and in a person. In this sense, it expresses the Church's certitide of salvation. Included therein is the knowledge that God's covenant in Israel did not fail but produced a shoot out of which emerged the blossom, the Saviour. The doctrine of the Immaculata testifies accordingly that God's grace was powerful enough to awaken a response.."

Advocating Mariology: Marian Devotion, Theotokos & Immaculate Conception  Nov 24, 2006

" Mother of God, listen to my petitions; do not disregard us in adversity, but rescue us from danger." Coptic Papyrus fragment, 325 AD, P. Ryland III, 470

Virgin Mary, Theotokos:
The Old Testament Daughter of Zion was no stranger to salvation, or the coming Savior; but it was in Alexandria whose great defenders of Orthodoxy gave Mary the title Theotokos, literally the bearer of God, and Panagia, the most holly. To start with, the Title Theotokos applied quite naturally to Mary by Alexander of Alexandria. Theotokos was now becoming widely current except in Antiochene circles, according to JND Kelly. Athanasius in his defense (Contra Arius) used the title,'Ever-Virgin Mary (TeParthena Maria, Coptic; and AeiParthenos, Greek) causing it to come into vogue. Cyril the pillar of faith defended her status against the Nestorian teaching, based on the Antiochian tradition, which called her Christotokos.

In the East, tradition about Mary's special holiness developed gradually. The Church teaching (doctrine) on the person and place of the Virgin Mary within the Church tradition is called Mariology, in Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, who (with Protestants) believe she is the Mother of God the Son incarnate (in the flesh, i.e. Christ Jesus.) But the Mother of God did not feel any pangs of pain in giving birth to our Lord, according to Marian tradition, since she was hallowed by the Holy Spirit since her conception by Hennah, and became defined in the whole East as, 'Higher than the Cherubim and more glorious than the Serphim.'

Marian Devotion:
The veneration of the Most Holy Mother of God has been very profound in the East. The Universal Church ( Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants) does not accept the concept that Mary, the Mother of God was born with the 'Original sin,' the inherited guilt of Adam; no one is. She did, however, inherit mortality which came to all humans on the account of the first fall. The Roman Catholic teaching that, on account of the 'merits of Christ,' the Holy Spirit has provided to preserve her free from inheriting the guilt of Adam, is a theory with no grounds, neither in the Good News, nor the sayings of the Early Church Fathers. It started with Augustine, and developed to include many addenda. The idea that the Lord and His Saints produced more grace than deemed necessary by the Medieval Papal Church, who utilized such excesses to be applied to the unmerited, like those in the purgatory, was one main reason of the Lutheran reformation.

Immaculate Conception:
The theology of the Immaculate Conception is based on St Augustine's view of the 'stain of Original Sin,' was never approved by the East. For the Orthodox East, Original Sin is concupiscence and death, but not inheriting the personal, actual sin of Adam. The pains a woman suffers in giving birth, for example, as understood by the Genesis Narrative is a result of the Original Sin inherent in our human nature, a sinful nature we inherit from Adam. St Augustine of Hippo himself, when commenting on Original Sin, affirmed that the Mother of God must always be excluded from any such consideration to begin with. But it was only later with John Duns Scotus, the Franciscan theologian, that the theological reasoning behind this view was worked out: The Virgin Mary was preserved free from Original Sin because the Future merits of Christ's passion and death were applied to her at her conception.
By the seventh century, the Byzantine East was celebrating the feast of the Conception of Saint Anne. This festival was first adopted in the West by the English Church from whence it soon spread elsewhere. It is still to be found in the calendar of the Anglican Church. The West, however, was divided on whether the Mother of God could be said to have been conceived without Original Sin. Thomas Aquinas and others, replied to this question in the negative and a Catholic faithful could be a Roman Catholic, in good standing, while not subscribing to the Immaculate Conception dogma.

Bull Ineffabilis Deus:
However, the Roman Catholic 'Immaculate Conception dogma of the Virgin Mary,' which was promulgated in the mid nineteenth century, by Pope Pius IX, as revealed by God, and thus must be firmly confessed by all the Catholic faithful. The papal decree stated that, "from the first instant of her conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was, by a very unique grace and privilege by the Almighty Lord, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the human race, preserved her from any stain of the Original Sin." ( Bull Ineffabilis Deus, 1854). To believe in the Immaculate Conception, one would need to accept the view of Original Sin in terms of an inherited 'stain.' The Catholic Church, though, has never proclaimed infallibly that one must accept this view of Original Sin. There were Byzantine theologians in the 18th century who accepted the view on 'the stain of Original Sin' without approving the Roman view of the Immaculate Conception.

Mary's Salvation:
"And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in the Lord my Savior." Luke 1:46-47. Mary proclaimed the Lord as her own savior, why did she then need a savior, since she was born without original sin?
The Lord can either prevent a person from sinning, or atone for the sins, and either way, the Lord is the only Savior of that person. So, while St. Mary was born like every other human being, the Holy Spirit prepared her for her role as the Mother of God. She was filled with the Holy Spirit so that she might have been worthy to mother Jesus the Christ. Nevertheless, while Protestants avoid this issue as irrelevant, Eastern Orthodox, based on some Fathers observation, believe that before the Resurrection, she had inequities. St. John Chrysostom mentions the presumption of instructing Jesus, during wedding at Cana (John 2:3-4) as proof of her mortality. Receiving the Holy Spirit once more at Pentecost, she was able to pass away sinless. Because of her special role in the Divine Plan ("economy" or "dispensation"), she was taken into the heavens, body and soul. She now sits at the foot of her Son, making intercession for all those who implore her mercy. The Orthodox Church honors the miracle of her "assumption" with a feast on 15 August; likewise, the followers of the Pope. Both also believe in the intercessions of the Virgin Mary and all the Saints. Such intercessions reflect the unity of the Church in heaven and the Church on earth. Both also believe that there is a sense in which the Mother of God is the Church. The Church is the Body of Christ. Those who belong to the Church are identified with Him. But He is also our "brother" (Rom. 8:29). If Christ is our brother, then, the Virgin Mary is our mother. But the Church is our mother through Baptism. Therefore, the Virgin Mary is the 'Typos of the Church'.

Daughter Of Zion:
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your King comes to you; triumphant and victorious is He, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass." (Zechariah 9:9 RSV)
Daughter Zion explores the biblical witness to the Church's Marian dogma of Mary's role as Mother of God, her virginity, the Immaculate Conception, and her Assumption into heaven. Cardinal Ratzinger examines persuasively how they fit into the Catholic Church's faith. The Church's Marian beliefs, are expounded by his three lectures, presented in this slim uphold and underscore what remained of Marian belief, three decades ago, confirming what should continue to remain. Mary's role in salvation, underlines Cardinal Ratzinger, was anticipated in the Old Testament, prefigured in Eve, the Mother of the Living; in the holy women of the Old Testament; and in the prophetic image of the daughter (Of) Zion. Mary's place as the embodiment of created wisdom, is advocated by the papal Cardinal that Mary in full faith has received the Uncreated Wisdom of the Word of God Incarnate. In Daughter Zion, the author avoids the Protestant denial of the biblical foundation for Marian dogma, while pacifying the extreme right Romans of proof-texting. Instead, the eminent theologian abley and confidently develops the biblical themes which support the Catholic doctrine helping his readers concieve and appreciate the Bull Ineffabilis Deus.
A Good, Dense Beginning for Mariological Studies  Jul 7, 2006
The texts contained in "Daughter Zion" are dense expositions on Mariology that prove to be a good beginning for Mariological studies. That being said, the fruit of the text can grow with further reading on the subject material as well as revisiting the texts. Ratzinger places Mariology into a place with respect to ecclesiology but moreso Christology in this text. If read with "Mary: The Church at the Source", this text offers fruits which can be related moreso to ecclesiology as well as the greater whole of Mariology. The other set of texts, containing also works by Hans Urs von Balthasar, is perhaps a bit more accessible and may be better read before reading this slim text.

On the whole, Ratzinger's work contained herein is solid as ever. The vision is deep and penetrating. I heartily suggest this work.
Concise Summary of Mariology  Jan 22, 2006
"Daughter Zion" is a remarkably brief but thematically expansive look at the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church concerning Mary. Cardinal Ratzinger stays true to form, summarizing a vast amount of knowledge in what amounts to an apologetic tract on Marian belief.

There are two main parts to the work. First is the analysis of Mariology from a scriptural basis, which comprises the "working backward" from the New Testament to the Old, and the "working forward" from the Old to the New. It is the latter that is more impressive. Cardinal Ratzinger does a great job explaining and defending the typology that equates Mary to Judith, Esther, Sarah and others. In the process, he effectively dispatches the notion of the Church as a patriarchy or as somehow hostile toward women. Fundamental are insights related to the special role of the "barren" woman as being simultaneously "blessed." Cardinal Ratzinger likes to point out the paradoxes or inversions that permeate Catholic belief, and he has certainly found an excellent one to highlight.

The second part of the book delves further into the developed doctrines of Mariology, particular the Virgin Birth, the Immaculate Conception, and the doctrine of the Assumption. Ratzinger has the easiest job with the Virgin Birth, utilizing his earlier points concerning the barren/blessed typology. In his discussion and defense of the Immaculate Conception, he reaches the crux of his work, in a humbling and inspiring passage: "This correspondence of God's 'Yes' with Mary's being as 'Yes' is the freedom from original sin. Preservation from original sin, therefore, signifies no exceptional proficiency, no exceptional achievement; on the contrary, it signifies that Mary reserves no area of being, life, and will for herself as a private possession: instead, precisely in the total dispossession of self, in giving herself to God, she comes to the true possession of self. Grace as dispossession becomes response as appropriation. Thus from another viewpoint the mystery of barren fruitfulness, the paradox of the barren mother, the mystery of virginity, becomes intelligible once more: dispossession as belonging, as the locus of new life"

Unfortunately, the book ends with a rather disconcerting defense of the doctrine of the Assumption, which seems half-hearted and raised disturbing questions for me. Either I am poorly catechized on this topic, or Cardinal Ratzinger walks very close to impeaching the extraordinary magesterium. He separates the historicity of the assumption from the theology of the assumption, and equates the doctrine to "the highest form of veneration" in affirming emphatically the sainthood of Mary.

Now, for those who recognize saints, and that God is the God of the living, not of the dead, there will be little argument about the sanctity of Mary. But it seems to me to be most dangerous to imply that an article of the faith such as the dogma of the Assumption is a sort of "good will" gesture of the Church, and with a wink & a nod we tacitly acknowledge that there is no historicity to the doctrine.

I have probably misread and misunderstood this last part of the book, but I subtracted one star from the rating due to the fact that this most perplexing section was also the rather abrupt ending of the entire work.

Overall, however, though remarkably brief, this little book is dense, thoroughly documented, and reflective of the erudite Cardinal Ratzinger's immense learning and penetrating intellect.

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