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In the Beginning...: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall (Resourcement) [Paperback]

By Pope Benedict XVI (Author)
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Item description for In the Beginning...: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall (Resourcement) by Pope Benedict XVI...

Today's best-known Catholic theologian here gives a clear and unencumbered explanation of the Genesis creation narratives. Cardinal Ratzinger discusses God as creator, the meaning of the biblical creation accounts, the creation of human beings, sin and salvation, and the consequences of faith in creation. Translated from German, this work is an excellent creation catechesis for adults.

Publishers Description
In four superb homilies and a concluding essay, Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, provides a clear and inspiring exploration of the Genesis creation narratives.While the stories of the world's creation and the fall of humankind have often been subjected to reductionism of one sort or another literalists treat the Bible as a science textbook whereas rationalists divorce God from creation Ratzinger presents a rich, balanced Catholic understanding of these early biblical writings and attests to their enduring vitality.Beginning each homily with a text selected from the first three chapters of Genesis, Ratzinger discusses, in turn, God the creator, the meaning of the biblical creation accounts, the creation of human beings, and sin and salvation; in the appendix he unpacks the beneficial consequences of faith in creation.Expertly translated from German, these reflections set out a reasonable and biblical approach to creation. In the Beginning . . .' also serves as an excellent homiletic resource for priests and pastors.

Citations And Professional Reviews
In the Beginning...: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall (Resourcement) by Pope Benedict XVI has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Library Journal - 10/01/1995 page 87

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   100
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.99" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.35"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2005
Series  Ressourcement  
ISBN  0802841066  
ISBN13  9780802841063  

Availability  80 units.
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More About Pope Benedict XVI

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. Publication
  6. Ressourcement: Retrieval & Renewal in Catholic Thought
  7. Spiritual Thoughts

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Roman Catholicism
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Concordances
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catholic
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Pneumatology

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Reviews - What do customers think about In the Beginning...: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall (Resourcement)?

Science and Gensis  Mar 9, 2007
This short book is a compendium of sermons the Pope gave during a Lenten season. It is necessary reading for people who are temped to take the Bible literally. It also gives others alternative understanding of Genesis and that there is a deeper meaning to the book. The Pope does an excellent illumination of the creation story from Genesis and the challenge which modern science seems to present to literal accuracy of these passages in the Bible. He presents the lessons we can learn from the creation story and accepts the science which seems to contradict the Bible.

I found it so engaging I passed it along to our local Pastor to read during this Lenten season.

Delightful Exegesis  Jul 7, 2006
In the Beginning was a delight to read. One should not feel intimidated by the author. I must say I found the new pope's style very poetic and easy to follow in contrast to the writings of John Paul II whose style was more academic. I appreciated the distinction he made regarding the necessity of understanding the "literal" meaning of Sacred Scripture in the context of its literary form. For instance, if I read an Aesop Fable as though it were history, I would be missing the true literal meaning of the text - literal in the sense of literature or the means of communication based on writing. This must be taken into consideration, and everyone in fact does - even fundamentalist/literalists, although they won't admit it. For instance they would not claim Jesus actually taught we should eat his Body and drink his Blood. They would claim that our Lord's words in John 6 were metaphorical. The tragedy occurs when one interprets Sacred Scripture apart from the Church of Christ, the Church that is his Body and possesses his mind as St. Paul so clearly teaches. Then scriptural interpretation becomes absolutely subjective. The Holy Father also focuses on the true Christian attitude toward Creation, a doctrine that has been totally lost to the public mindset. Altogether, the book clears up many misconceptions regarding Catholic doctrine.
Wonderful teaching on Catholic understanding of Gen 1-2  May 9, 2006
I found this book, which contains homilies by then Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), an excellent teaching on the Roman Catholic Church's interpretation of the first two chapters of Genesis. Cardinal Ratzinger writes exceptionally clearly on complex issues and his arguments are truly a delight to follow. This book is an excellent antidote to Catholics who think the Church takes Genesis 1-2 literally as do Evangelical Christians. Cardinal Ratzinger explains well the concepts of salvation history and that science and Christian belief are truly not in conflict. I found this very orthodox teaching a wonderful reminder. This book is an excellent source for anyone who wants to understand the Catholic Church's teaching on the Genesis creation stories and the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
An Timely, Important Set of Reflections  Apr 21, 2006
No time could be better than now for this text to be read by Americans. Catholics stand between adamant fundamentalists and extreme atheistic evolutionists. This text is something I have desired to see for a long time. It is often difficult to show atheists that Catholics are not opposed to evolution and still show fundamentalists that we are not atheistic. I believe that reading this text and also sharing it can indeed help with dialog along these lines. Ratzinger presents insights about the true importance of belief in being created, a message that can help change the view of the world for many. Additionally, he exquisitely discusses the nature of sin in mankind, giving a brief, yet profound depth to a subject which is so often avoided in modernity.

I recommend this to all who would like to see and understand a truly Catholic stance on the nature of belief in creation. In particular, I suggest it to parties that believe one of the two extremes mentioned above. Nonetheless, there are insights to be gained by all in reading this marvelous text.
A thought-provoking account of creation and the fall, but thin in places  Mar 19, 2006
In this remarkable collection of homilies given during Lent 1981, while he was still Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger explores creation as a central piece of Christian doctrine. His reading of the creation story sees belief in creation as reasonable, over against a scientism that sees God as irrelevant or simply a prime mover of the evolutionary process, and then explores deeply the questions of anthropology that inevitably arise from the story of the fall.

Reading Ratzinger as an American is always strange, because his most salient criticisms of European Marxists hit hardest, in the American landscape, against religious conservatives. Though 'In the Beginning...' is doubtless a creationist theology, it bears little resemblance to the Intelligent Design movement and its related entities. Ratzinger's account provides real food for thought for both sides of the contemporary debate.

His insights go much further than the question of creation's compatibility with the present scientific understanding of the origins of the universe, however. In his final homily, "Sin and Salvation," and especially in the Appendix, which discusses the consequences of faith in creation, he plumbs the depths of our human obsession with our own actions and charts a course toward the redemptive action of God, and the avoidance of sin as denial of humanity's fundamental condition of relationality, both to God and to our neighbors. This Appendix is frustratingly thin-a dissertation or two could be written working out a more comprehensive understanding of the concepts at hand-but what is here is certainly thought-provoking.

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