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The Dialectics of Secularization: On Reason and Religion [Hardcover]

By Joseph Ratzinger (Author), Jrgen Habermas (Author) & J'Urgen Habermas (Author)
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Item description for The Dialectics of Secularization: On Reason and Religion by Joseph Ratzinger, Jrgen Habermas & J'Urgen Habermas...

Two of the worlds great contemporary thinkers-theologian and churchman Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and Jurgen Habermas, philosopher and Neo-Marxist social critic-discuss and debate aspects of secularization, and the role of reason and religion in a free society. These insightful essays are the result of a remarkable dialogue between the two men, sponsored by the Catholic Academy of Bavaria, a little over a year before Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope. Jurgen Habermas has surprised many observers with his call for "the secular society to acquire a new understanding of religious convictions", as Florian Schuller, director of the Catholic Academy of Bavaria, describes it his foreword. Habermas discusses whether secular reason provides sufficient grounds for a democratic constitutional state. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI argues for the necessity of certain moral principles for maintaining a free state, and for the importance of genuine reason and authentic religion, rather than what he calls "pathologies of reason and religion", in order to uphold the states moral foundations. Both men insist that proponents of secular reason and religious conviction should learn from each other, even as they differ over the particular ways that mutual learning should occur.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ignatius Press
Pages   85
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.25" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2007
Publisher   Ignatius Press
ISBN  1586171666  
ISBN13  9781586171667  

Availability  0 units.

More About Joseph Ratzinger, Jrgen Habermas & J'Urgen Habermas

Joseph Ratzinger Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) is widely recognized as one of the most brilliant theologians and spiritual leaders of our age. As theology professor, prelate, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine and now Pope, he has been an inspiring teacher and a prolific writer. As Pope he has authored important encyclicals, as well as the best-selling Jesus of Nazareth. 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".

Joseph Ratzinger has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Bioethics & Culture

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2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General

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Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Dialectics of Secularization: On Reason and Religion?

good but not enough  Dec 12, 2008
The Dialectics of Secularization is a well written pamphlet that gives you the basic thought behind the tension that exists between revelation(religion) and reason(secularization).It argues for an interplay between the two as the best way to enjoy the benefits of both. If you are unfamiliar with the subject, it's a start!
Excellent Considerations from Two Very Different Starting Points  Mar 1, 2008
Very rarely do I believe that a human dialogue approaches its subject from two very different poles. However, in the case of Habermas and Ratzinger's dialogue, one could say that the subject of their talk (on secularization's dialectic with religion) is really the form of their interaction. These two authors come from two very different starting points with regard to the state, although no dialectic is undertaken without a uniting point, even if it is the midpoint between two very extreme poles.

Habermas' speech considers the possibility of there being a weight to those precursors to the constitution. Although he reaches out toward the possibility of such, one can tell that his thought is much more centered upon the self-referential rationality from which the ongoing nature of the state springs. However, his considerations also come upon the post-modern realization self-reflection of reason upon reason, admitting that there are proto-rational foundations to rationality, at least because such exist in the liberal society and hold weight. However, one can see his markedly post-Enlightenment mentality insofar as these questions hold much more weight for him with regard to addressing the rational situation in which society "derails" itself. He leaves the question open as to where these two are placed, which seems a bit overly self-referential but also appropriate for this short consideration.

The speech given by Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) is perhaps a bit lighter and more open its presentation of questions for consideration. The theologian considers the relationship of the "poles" of reason and faith which forms each, making them intertwined in extra-referential dialogue which prevents pathologies in either. In addition, there is the unifying concept of "natural law" which has in many ways been rejected by the application of the scientific fact of evolution to philosophy in all forms (as well as the general development of Western relativism). Instead of offering a scholastic consideration of natural law, Ratzinger merely points toward the necessity of dialogue in which the participant parties will find those unifying points which are ultimately pre-political. In the end, his essay remains an open question regarding this mutual dialogue of faith and reason as well as general cross-cultural dialogue.

These two essays are an excellent set of "open paths" from which a variety of considerations and spring on the dialectics and dialogue in the secular world and how this process of dialogue relates to the foundational elements of the state. I highly recommend them as dense, important reflections.
Rational faith  Jul 19, 2007
Reading this book requires a concentrated level of attentive reading. It is a great argument for a rational approach to the adoption of any belief system. Faith without reason is blind and capricious.
Heavy Philosophy & A Call to Conscience  May 30, 2007
Undoubtedly, these authors are the gold standard in their respective arena. The first is a Kant-based neo Marxist and the latter a theologian steeped in Augustine and leader of the Catholic world.

If you are in search of a page-turner with a climatic ending, keep looking. Otherwise, this is a smartly presented text divided into a chapter for each speaker who makes their case with calculated passion. The reader without a basic foundation for philosophy may find this one a bit over the top. If not, the book is succinct and delves into man's reason and existence in contemporary times.

In the end, the book achieves its intention. If it was meant to leave the reader undecided-it failed. However, this is not the case as one cannot continue to remind ones self that one chapter reinforces a philosophy that has been tried and exhausted within a century and another that has been tested two millennia and beyond. Both make their cases on man, politics, religion and our state of the world; however, it is clear which rings with hope, love and idealism.
Debating the place of Religion in Society  Apr 14, 2007
Habermas and Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) are two of the greatest minds of their times. This short work is their take on the interctions of democratic culture, political liberalism, religion and God. These two separate essays are the summation of a discussion between these two men. They were written well after the conversation had taken place and so ovbiously they're a little less satisfying than if we were able to read a transcript of the conversation, or perhaps response papers written immediately thereafter. However these are still two excellent essays, written by two brilliant men, who give the reader much to ponder about the current state of modern life.

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