Item description for Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures by Pope Benedict XVI, Brian McNeil & Marcello Pera...
Overview Discusses the dangers of the Western world's growing secularism, including growing poverty, declining morals, and greater threats to security, and argues that spiritual renewal is the solution to these problems.
Publishers Description 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?"
Citations And Professional Reviews Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures by Pope Benedict XVI, Brian McNeil & Marcello Pera has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Booklist - 02/15/2006 page 22
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More About Pope Benedict XVI, Brian McNeil & Marcello Pera
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...
Fathers (Our Sunday Visitor)
Ressourcement: Retrieval & Renewal in Catholic Thought
Reviews - What do customers think about Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures?
Quite important in these days of relativism Aug 4, 2007
A must read if you are interested in the recent and ongoing decline of western civilization. The causative factors are clearly delineated from many points of view, but always from the starting point of the pope's awesome faith and love for God and His Creation.
Adressing the current situations with a keen and clear understanding Apr 15, 2007
In this book Cardinal Ratzinger studies the tension that arises when a split occurs between the state and religion. He tackles modern secularist notions, discusses abortion, and also addresses the notion that if not atheism, then perhaps agnosticism is the best position that man can hope for. The discussion he provides is well thought out and easy to grasp. You may not agree with everything he says, but the beauty and brilliance of the arguments put forth are undeniable.
Succinct Nov 8, 2006
Non-Catholics and those of nominal faith might be more comfortable reading "Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam" by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and Marcello Pera first. The analysis is much the same but correctives, in the form of a return to a pan-European shared faith (by Pena--the head of the Italian Senate) and/or individual action (Benedict)will find a wider audience.
Either book is a must read for anyone commenting upon or interested in the current geopolitical scene. At the end of the 19th century, Dostoyevsky in "Notes from the Underground" and Pope Leo XIII in "On Socialism" (Quod Apostolici Muneris) warned where conflicts within Western Civilization were headed. 1917 and the horrors of communist and fascist totalitarianism were not adverted. Pera and Benedict are raising the same warning flags today. Is the problem as critical as they believe? Can a tragedy be averted? No one knows of course. But that there is a problem is irrefutable and these two book should not be ignored.
Recently purchased "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It" by Mark Steyn. Rated it three stars and that was being charitable as Steyn not only provides little hope but the witty prose his newspaper columns are, rightly, admired for is flat and tendentious when spead out over 256 pages.
Benedict and Pera, in contrast, explain why the west is unable to condemn evil and what can be done to ameloriate that failing.
An essential read for understanding the crisis that we are in Sep 12, 2006
Pope Benedict has been a keen and precise critic of the cultural clashes that have been shaking the West over the last half a century. He doesn't kowtow to the latest politically correct fad, nor does he mince words to state the truth. In this book he clearly outlines the what the greatest threats are to the Christian culture and the civilization which is based upon it. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand better the position of the Catholic Church in the ongoing global culture wars.
An essential read Jun 1, 2006
Along with such classics as 'clash of civilizations' and 'rage and the pride' this book is a must read for anyone interested in the least bit in preserving their culture and faith in the face of the assault on the west by various non-western and supra-western cultures. For those who are pro partial-birth abortions, probably this book will be offensive because the Pope takes the Catholic church's view that abortion is immoral.
The central theme of this book is that the West is threatened by the new immorality of western moral relativism and that it is additioanlly partially threatened by the non-western immigrants who invade the west, however the greater danger is internal, the abandonment of religion and faith, and the denial of the fact that Christian roots are indigenous to Europe.
Many wont be able to stumach this book, and even some protestants will find the catholic overtones problematic. However it is an essential and important work.