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T&T Clark Guides for the Perplexed T&T Clark’s Guides for the Perplexed are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material. Guides for the Perplexed available from T&T Clark: De Lubac: A Guide for the Perplexed, David Grumett Christian Bioethics: A Guide for the Perplexed, Agneta Sutton Calvin: A Guide for the Perplexed, Paul Helm Tillich: A Guide for the Perplexed, Andrew O’Neill The Trinity: A Guide for the Perplexed, Paul M. Collins Christology: A Guide for the Perplexed, Alan Spence Wesley: A Guide for the Perplexed, Jason E. Vickers Pannenberg: A Guide for the Perplexed, Timothy Bradshaw Balthasar: A Guide for the Perplexed, Rodney Howsare Theological Anthropology: A Guide for the Perplexed, Marc Cortez Bonhoeffer: A Guide for the Perplexed, Joel Lawrence Forthcoming titles: Interfaith Relations: A Guide for the Perplexed, Jeffrey Bailey Eucharist: A Guide for the Perplexed, Ralph N. McMichael


British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 13: 978-0-567-03436-6 (Hardback) 978-0-567-03437-3 (Paperback) Typeset by Newgen Imaging Systems Pvt Ltd. including photocopying. 1988. NY 10038 www. London SE1 7NX 80 Maiden Lane. without permission in writing from the publishers.continuumbooks.Published by T&T Clark International A Continuum Imprint The Tower Building. 11 York Road. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means. 2010 Tracey Rowland has asserted her right under the Copyright. recording or any information storage or retrieval system. Suite 704. to be identified as the Author of this work. New York. electronic or mechanical. Chennai. India Printed and bound in Great Britain by the MPG Books Group . Designs and Patents Act. Copyright © Tracey All rights reserved.

In Memory of Peter Knowles OP

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Acknowledgements Introduction Chapter 1: The Romantic Antecedents Chapter 2: The Humanist Culture of the Incarnation Chapter 3: Revelation, Tradition and Hermeneutics Chapter 4: The Theological Virtues Chapter 5: History and Ontology after Heidegger Chapter 6: Christianity in the Marketplace of Faith Traditions Chapter 7: The Vision of Unity Conclusion Notes Select Bibliography Index

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I wish to thank the Communio editors and Kenneth D. the editor of the FCS Conference Proceedings. for permission to use some of the earlier material in this work.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My thanks are due to Alcuin Reid for recommending my name to Tom Kraft at Continuum and to Tom himself for the opportunity to write the Benedict XVI volume of the Guide for the Perplexed series. Aaron Russell. this one is Ratzinger for rats’. Ratzinger’s Faith: the Theology of Pope Benedict XVI (Oxford University Press. a leading authority on the German anti-Nazi movements. Rhode Island and Chapter 4 represents a development of material covered in ‘Variations on the Theme of Christian Hope in the Work of Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI’ which was published in Communio: International Catholic Review (Summer. 2008). Unlike my earlier book. Daniel Hill. Anna Krohn. Fraser Pearce. I am also grateful to Cyrus Olsen and Philip Endean for their help with material on the relationship between Rahner and Ratzinger. May of FCS. Mary Taylor and Michael Lynch for reading various ix . I am indebted to Jakob Knab. this work offers a guide into the thought of Ratzinger for those who are already studying theology or embarking upon it. As my husband has explained to our friends. 2008) which was written for a general audience. and to Stuart Rowland. Fr Gregory Jordan SJ. David Schütz. ‘the first Ratzinger book was Ratzinger for mice. For information on the influence of John Henry Newman on the generation of Catholic Germans who came of age during the Nazi era. Chapter 2 is a development of a paper delivered at the 2009 Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Conference in Providence. Rev. and Professor William E. Thaddeus Kozinski. Adam Cooper. Whitehead. Stratford Caldecott.

to Angela Kolar of Campion College. and thus that there must be better times ahead. for her translation of an early Ratzinger article on the concept of Bildung and to Patrick Sibly and Anthony Coyte for their administrative assistance. an Australian Dominican. x . Fr Knowles was particularly kind to exiled Central Europeans throughout the cold war era and risked his own freedom smuggling medicines and religious books into the Communist bloc and samizdat publications out of it. and the most aristocratic. Eastertide. the truth of a century. 2009. He knew that the fashion of a decade is rarely. For these reasons and many others this work is in his memory.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS drafts. I once heard him conclude a paper with the words: ‘though the days of our lives are numbered. the days of Israel shall live forever’. the most cultured. Tracey Rowland Beechworth. This capacity to live life from the perspective of eternity was his key to coping with the odd assortment of ecclesial types who crossed his path in the decades following the cultural revolution of the 1960s. who shared Ratzinger’s preference for the Patristics over the Baroque Scholastics and his appreciation of the central importance of liturgical reform for the re-evangelization of the formerly Christian countries of the Western world. He heroically maintained his joie de vivre amidst an ecclesial culture which was decidedly low-brow and philistine. if ever. The work is dedicated to the memory of Peter Knowles OP. Sydney. In various eulogies he was described as the most handsome man of his generation.

Vincent Twomey.2 Since there is no fixed system. As a consequence of this approach his academic output is fragmentary – it is ‘filled with brilliant insights into almost every subject of theology and yet it is not a fixed system’. the Catholic theological establishment is yet to give an adequate response to the issues raised by Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time (1927) and other twentieth-century works on the relationship between theology and metaphysics. Among these. and which is in a sense the most fundamental and far-reaching. whose genealogies can 1 . the one he described in Principles of Catholic Theology (1982) as having created the severest crisis. and then he listens to the solutions offered by his fellow theologians before turning to a critical examination of Scripture and Tradition for pointers to a solution. the approach of this Guide is to focus on subject areas which Ratzinger has himself identified as critical fronts in contemporary Catholic theology.1 For this reason one does not find in his publications the presentation of a totally original theological synthesis. one of his former doctoral students. Joseph Ratzinger stated that he had never tried to create a theological system of his own – ‘the aim is not an isolated theology that I draw out of myself but one that opens as widely as possible into the common intellectual pathways of the faith’. but rather a series of seminal interventions in theological debates thrown up by pastoral crises. is that of presenting a Catholic understanding of the mediation of history in the realm of ontology. anthropology and history.INTRODUCTION In an interview given in 1997. has written that his methodology is to take as his starting point contemporary developments in society and culture.3 In short. He finally attempts a systematic answer by presenting the topic in the context of theology as a whole.

In many seminaries this Leonine Thomism became the only framework 2 . There was also a tendency to read Aquinas abstractly without regard to his historical context. When only in his 30s. or to read him as an interlocutor for post-medieval philosophers such as Descartes and Kant. In those years he was a typical member of his generation frustrated by the neo-scholasticism which had been fostered by the encyclical Aeterni Patris (1879) of Pope Leo XIII. With them came a whole raft of hermeneutical questions. These issues of the theological significance of history and culture were brewing from at least the late eighteenth century with the ascendancy of Romantic movements among intellectual elites across Western Europe and the United Kingdom. Ratzinger attended the Council as a peritus or expert theological advisor to Josef Cardinal Frings of Cologne. While it did produce works of genuine scholarship in places like Louvain. The encyclical called for a renaissance of the study of the medieval Dominican St Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) as an antidote to various forms of rationalism and relativism. Linked to this is the need to get beyond the ahistorical temper of scholasticism without ending up in the ditch of moral and epistemological relativism. Almost half a century later the intellectual battles continue in Catholic academies. there was nonetheless a tendency of many seminary professors to rely upon secondary sources and summaries which were collated into manuals for the rote learning of seminarians. Even those who turned to Patristics for insights worked under a cloud of suspicion. These in turn impinged upon the territory of theological anthropology.BENEDICT XVI be traced to conceptions of truth and freedom in German Idealism and to the biblical scholarship of the nineteenth century. and to sever the philosophical components of Aquinas’s synthesis from the theological and present them in separate intellectual packages. especially the question of how revelation is received and mediated from one generation to another. The decidedly ahistorical temper of the pre-Conciliar theological establishment rendered it incapable of entering into these debates. The Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) removed the lid from this cauldron of theological conundrums though the issues were far from resolved in the Conciliar debates and documents. In many instances those who dared to ask questions framed from within the concerns of the Romantic movement were tarred with the brush of ‘modernism’ and found themselves on the margins of ecclesial life.

A lack of sophistication in method. it ended with two successive papacies and their leading theologians singing the not so baroque tune of the nuptial mystery. and that the most extreme rebel. This is not to say that Kerr thinks it was all bad. and church authority. Thomas F O’Meara has presented the following snapshot of the pre-Conciliar period which goes some of the way to explaining the rebellion: Late nineteenth-century repetitions of medieval thought and baroque scholasticism determined Catholic religious education from catechism to seminary textbook. an absence of history. merely that he makes the historical observation that while twentieth-century Catholic theology began in a neo-scholastic key. Hans Küng. of subjects struggling with their self-identity. ontology. and by so doing ignores the dramatic world of persons.5 To this summary of O’Meara’s can be added the observation of Jean Daniélou that Scholastic theology locates reality in essences rather than in subjects. was the one who had been given the longest (seven-year) exposure to it at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. which was the common turf of nineteenth-century Romantics and twentiethcentury existentialists and at the level of the average parish. it was the common turf of ordinary people trying to come to terms with 3 .INTRODUCTION which was ever presented to students and the mode of its presentation in manuals was of questionable pedagogical value. Moreover. of universal concretes transcending all essence and only distinguished by their existence. a questionable arrangement of disciplines.6 It was precisely this world of persons. this pre-Conciliar Thomism prided itself on being ‘above history’ and marketed itself as the ‘perennial philosophy’. One of the most helpful and even-handed accounts of it has been provided by Fergus Kerr in his Twentieth-Century Catholic Theologians: From Neoscholasticism to Nuptial Mysticism. This restoration was more particularly of philosophy than theology. of Aristotle than Thomas Aquinas. A non-voluntaristic and free theology of grace found in Aquinas was re-formed into a theology of propositional faith.4 Kerr observes that almost every significant Catholic theologian after the Second World War (including Ratzinger) was in some sense in rebellion against this. of logic than of Christology. a moralistic interdiction of other theologies even when based upon Scripture and tradition characterised this theology.

John Henry Newman and the mid-twentieth-century personalist scholars. Elisabeth Langgässer. Dostoyevsky was one of the authors everyone read. Mauriac. In the domain of theology and philosophy. Bernanos. the sciences were once again on their way to God . it was Josef Pieper. it was St Bonaventure who captured his attention. However this association did not survive the 1960s.BENEDICT XVI the impact of two world wars and an economic depression on their personal relationships. He has described the encounter with Buber’s personalism as a spiritual experience that left an essential mark. Karl Rahner (1904–1984). . and Edward Schillebeeckx (1914–2009). his seminary prefect. By the early 1970s a breach had developed between two 4 .7 According to Alfred Läpple. Martin Buber. His own memories of his intellectual interests in this period of his life are encapsulated in the following paragraph: Our interests were varied. scholasticism ‘wasn’t his beer’. especially as it resonated with his studies of St Augustine. It is not surprising therefore that in 1946 the young Bavarian seminarian Joseph Ratzinger found scholasticism to be too impersonal. and here it would seem to be precisely because Bonaventure had a strong interest in the theology of history. Similarly. with the breakthroughs made by Planck. .8 After a long and boring lecture from one of his professors on how God is the summum bonum. Ratzinger quipped to Läpple that ‘a summum bonum doesn’t need a mother’. . We thought that. We also followed closely the recent developments in the natural sciences. and Ernst Wiechert. the voices that moved us most directly were those of Romano Guardini. We devoured the novels of Gertrude von Le Fort. We wanted not only to do theology in the narrower sense but to listen to the voices of man today.11 During the Conciliar years Ratzinger was associated with other young periti who were critical of the theological establishment. when he did take an interest in a Thomist author. and likewise the great Frenchmen: Claudel. and Einstein. Heisenberg.10 When he did venture into scholastic territory. These included Hans Küng. Josef Pieper. and Peter Wust. Theodor Häcker.9 Having found scholasticism to be uninspiring he turned his attention to the study of St Augustine. including the Jewish philosopher. whose interests untypically extended to the philosophy of history.

In 1981 as John Paul II he called Ratzinger to Rome to be the Prefect for the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.INTRODUCTION groups of leading theologians which came to be associated with the names of the journals in which they published. Yves Congar (1904–1995). They had a tendency to interpret the documents as though they represented a complete break with the pre-Conciliar framework. Franz Böckle (1921–1991) and Gustavo Gutiérrez. The second journal. Johann Baptist Metz. The journal Concilium. Cardinal Wojtyła. According to the Communio scholars. when Wojtyła was invited to preach the Lenten retreat to Pope 5 . Ratzinger was later to refer to their approach as the application of a ‘hermeneutic of rupture’. Whereas Concilium approached the Conciliar documents with a hermeneutic of rupture. Hans Küng. became the flagship for those offering the more liberal interpretations of the Second Vatican Council. founded in 1965. Edward Schillebeeckx. founded in 1972. though the latter accepted that the documents were intended to have a remedial effect on elements of the pre-Conciliar theological outlook. The publication of a Polish edition of Communio was facilitated by Karol Wojtyła when he was the Cardinal Archbishop of Cracow. The history of their partnership goes back to 1974. the President of the International Theological Commission and the President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. The leading names associated with Concilium included: Karl Rahner. the problems in contemporary and latetwentieth-century Catholicism had their origins at least as far back as the sixteenth century and certainly did not begin in 1962. Ratzinger was also for a time (from 1965–1972) a member of the Concilium board.12 This involvement with the establishment of Communio followed upon the success of Ratzinger’s first book Introduction to Christianity which was published in 1968 and became an international best seller translated into 17 languages. as defenders of the pre-Conciliar establishment claim. Two years later in 1976. Communio. At that time Josef Pieper wrote to Ratzinger and told him that he should get in touch with the Archbishop of Cracow. Pieper had heard Wojtyła speak at a philosophy conference and thought that he and Ratzinger should get to know one another. Henri de Lubac (1896–1991) and Ratzinger himself. Ratzinger responded to the suggestion by sending Wojtyła a copy of his book Introduction to Christianity. was centred on the works of Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905–1988). the Communio authors offered a hermeneutic of continuity.

Ratzinger 6 . a decade into the pontificate of John Paul II. while Catholics in places like Poland. ‘in 1968 there was a fusion of the Christian impulse with secular and political action and an attempt to baptize Marxism’. However it was also popular among Catholic intellectual elites throughout Europe and the Anglophone countries. was still wallowing in post-Conciliar introspection and suffering the political side-effects of sharp internal theological divisions. In his preface to the 2004 edition of the Introduction to Christianity.14 After noting the attraction of Marxism to the elite of this generation. but even so.BENEDICT XVI Paul VI. Paradoxically.17 At the same time in Latin America social and economic problems were being addressed by a new generation of ecclesial leaders sympathetic to Marxism. including the adoption of a decidedly modern attitude to sexuality. he further observed that the collapse of Communist regimes in Europe in 1989 left behind them ‘a sorry legacy of ruined land and ruined souls’. Korea and Vietnam were being persecuted by Communists.18 This project labelled as liberation theology was particularly strong in countries which were formerly Spanish or Portuguese colonies such as the Philippines. he based the retreat on ideas from that book by Ratzinger. Christianity ‘failed to make itself heard as an epoch-making alternative’. Honduras. which not only considered postwar reconstruction in Europe as inadequate. true believing Marxists could still be found in Catholic theology academies outside the Soviet bloc and its Asian derivatives.15 Marxism ultimately failed the generation of ’68. As Ratzinger noted. Ratzinger reflected on the two watershed years of the second half of the twentieth century: 1968 and 1989.13 From these beginnings the two developed a quarter-century partnership which lasted until the death of John Paul II in 2005. He began with the observation that 1968 marked the rebellion of a new generation. China. The emergence of a wealthy Catholic middle class in the US and the countries of the British Commonwealth. The cultural and political weakness of the faith was also in part due to sociological factors. Nicaragua. but ‘viewed the entire course of history since the triumph of Christianity as a mistake and a failure’. at the moment of its collapse within Europe. created numerous intellectual and pastoral challenges which were simply beyond the capacities of many of the clergy to address. Argentina and Brazil.16 The Church in 1989. desperate for acceptance by Protestant elites and wanting to accommodate its faith to the culture of modernity.

the God who sets limits and standards for us. but Catholics inspired 7 . also changed the figure of Christ fundamentally’. Ratzinger argued that the ‘god who has nothing to do’ had been around for at least a century and so it was not surprising that there arose these theologies of political and economic liberation. In doing so.INTRODUCTION spent a number of his early years as Prefect for the Congregation of the Faith contending with theologies of liberation. He was never what today might be called a neo-conservative. their god ‘had nothing to do’ and their Christ was transformed into a political agitator. in order to be able to get along.20 He therefore concluded that ‘the real and most profound problem with the liberation theologies i[s] their effective omission of the idea of God. He acknowledged the existence of terrible poverty and economic injustice in many of the above-mentioned countries and even described as ‘astounding’ the notion that the laws of the market are in essence good.21 While the liberation theologians did not declare themselves atheists. But as it was. of course. having by now absolutely nothing to do. which belongs in the private realm and not in the common activities of public life where. people all have to behave now etsi Deus non daretur (as if there were no God). especially since his name had been misused so often. the sort of person who attempts to tie together Christian beliefs with an enthusiasm for liberal market economics.19 Nonetheless. the God from whom we come and to whom we are going. But the faith would really have come out of the ghetto only if it brought its most distinctive features with it into the public arena: the God who judges and suffers. which. In the past century ‘Christian consciousness acquiesced to a great extent – without being aware of it – in the attitude that faith in God is something subjective. he was not trying to defend the economic order of the Latin American countries. to leave God as a God with nothing to do.’22 He concluded: It did not take any particular negligence. and certainly not a deliberate denial. it really remained in the ghetto.23 It was not only liberation theologians who contributed to this marginalization of God from public significance. he believed that ‘whoever makes Marx the philosopher of theology adopts the primacy of politics and economics’ and as a result the redemption of mankind ends up occurring through the vehicles of politics and economics.

rather than allowing their theology to transform their political and social interests.26 As the Church’s theologians grapple with the emergence of post-modern philosophy and its theological significance. allowed their political and social interests to transform their theology. but merely someone who experienced God in a special way – a kind of Western analogue for Buddha. the eternal Word and so on. including the US in the form of black liberation theology) as the emergence of post-modern theologies which challenge the very notion of Christianity as a master narrative.24 Each in their own way. At the close of the first decade of the twenty-first century the issue is not so much liberation theologies (although they continue to be significant in some countries. It is not surprising therefore to find that many of Ratzinger’s theological interventions relate to this problematic. the Marxist inspired Catholics. 8 . what Ratzinger described as ‘the fundamental crisis of our age’ – developing a Catholic understanding of the mediation of history in the realm of ontology – becomes the central problematic around which and upon which so much of the structure of the narrative depends. valid for all ages and cultures.25 For some of these Christ is no longer God incarnate. With so many internal problems it is not surprising that Christianity was unable to present itself as a viable alternative to the various Marxist and Freudian inspired ideologies in 1968 or to the nihilist currents in post-modernism in 1989. and the Liberal inspired Catholics. It suited their upward social mobility prospects to privatize their faith or to promote what Maurice Gauchet calls a ‘superstructural faith’ that does not penetrate to the core of a person or culture itself.BENEDICT XVI by Liberal philosophy were also complicit in fostering the same social trend. the one mediator.

1 It had the potential to be developed in both directions. While they did not eschew the importance of truth or the work of the intellect. While the publication of Aeterni Patris in 1879 fostered a hyper-rationalist neo-scholasticism to out-reason the rationalists. their starting point was the whole human 9 . In short. The collective common factor is an aversion to the ugliness of the industrialized world and its highly rationalistic and materialistic culture. for those who wanted their lives to be something more than a contribution to the cold god of industry and capital. the importance of memory and the motions of the human heart. images of cattle grazing on village greens and hillsides.CHAPTER 1 THE ROMANTIC ANTECEDENTS In the popular imagination the phrase ‘Romantic movement’ conjures the sound of bells peeling from snow-topped steeples. It emphasized such concepts as individuality or the personal uniqueness of each and every human being. Nietzsche and (according to some readings) Heidegger can be found at one end of the spectrum and Joseph Ratzinger and Hans Urs von Balthasar at the other. the phrase is synonymous with rural beauty and pastoral contentment and sometimes aching sexual passions. The movement had strong appeal for artists and intellectuals. that is. mostly unrequited. in Baden-Württemberg and Lucerne and among English convert intellectuals and Anglo-Catholics. the significance of cultures and traditions and the transcendental of beauty. Thus. G. the smell of smoke rising from the heaths of Scottish crofters and the lyricism of the English poets who set up camp in the Lake District. Schenk described it as ‘a half way house between nihilism and Catholicism’. H. especially as the latter is revealed in nature. other currents of thought had been engaged with the concerns of the Romantics. and a reverence for the natural order and its beauty.

even in a truncated form. they followed the lead of Schelling in rejecting Kant’s project of stripping the positive and historical from Christianity. This in turn highlighted the importance of the individual in the reception of revelation. described by some as ‘the Church father of Bavaria’. for every generation of believers’. Following the logic of Lessing’s Education of the Human Race. Drey concluded that what education is for the individual. As Kaplan explained. Johann Adam Möhler (1796–1838) and Johannes Evangelist von Kuhn (1806– 1887). Franz Xaver von Baader (1765–1841) the Professor of Speculative Theology at Landshut who argued against the Kantian severance of philosophy from religious traditions. for Möhler ‘the chain of history from nineteenth-century Swabia to first-century Palestine is unbroken. von Kuhn described the philosophy of Christian revelation as ‘the presence of Christ revealed historically.4 They also eschewed the post-Kantian tendency to reduce Christianity to the level of an ethical framework. not dialectically’.6 Meanwhile Möhler added to this accent on history by positing an organic unity between the Christian community and Christ. They chose to enter the controversy about the relationship between faith and reason only after deepening their understanding of the relationship between faith and history. As Grant Kaplan has noted.7 This is because access to the truth occurs by living the truth. Joseph Ratzinger was to describe Möhler as ‘the great reviver of Catholic theology after the ravages of the Enlightenment’. the saving truth of Christianity must have been present. the Bishop of Ratisbon. Drey emphasized that the Catholic faith is a religion of ‘sentiment’ (Gemüth) as well as of reason (Verstand) and that revelation is itself an historical event. In Germany the centre of this Catholic engagement with Romantic thought was to be found at the University of Tübingen. and Matthias 10 . of proclaiming Christianity as a pure religion of reason.BENEDICT XVI person and the quest for self-transcendence. revelation is for all of humanity. These included Johann Michael von Sailer (1751–1832).8 In addition to the cluster of scholars at Tübingen there were other theologians focused on the issues of the Romantic movement.5 Similarly. his disciple Heinrich Alois Gügler (1782–1827) who became the leader of the romantic school in Lucerne and one of those who influenced Möhler.3 Its leading theologians were Johann Sebastian Drey (1777–1853). In order to be salvific. In a work published in 1988.2 History in turn opens onto the terrain of memory and tradition and ultimately hermeneutics.

15 He praised Newman for his clear perception of the intellectual difficulties which exist for the faith in the modern world and in particular for his understanding 11 . editor of Stimmen der Zeit. Haecker believed Newman was especially valuable for demonstrating the legitimate role of reason in the act of faith and for explaining conscience in relation to other acts of the mind. Haecker is also credited with introducing Sophie Scholl. who had converted to Catholicism in 1921. author of works on nature and grace and the inter-relationship of the Christian mysteries. such that theologians were not cut off from the currents of thought in the world of the arts. along with Franz von Fürstenberg (1729–1810). Bavaria and Lucerne. making conscience an organ and mediator of knowledge.THE ROMANTIC ANTECEDENTS Joseph Scheeben (1835–1888) a professor at the archdiocesan seminary of Cologne. had also translated works of Newman into German and is one of those specifically cited by Ratzinger as a popular author for seminarians of his time.11 Such theological engagements with Romantic movement themes never took off in the Roman academies or in Belgium and Holland as they did in nineteenth-century Tübingen. and others in her circle. in the Advent of 1943 Haecker quoted from his translation of Newman’s Advent sermon on the Antichrist (Tract #83) to members of the anti-Nazi student group.10 Their greatest achievement was the conversion of Count Friedrich Leopold zu Stolberg (1750–1819) who wrote a 15-volume theology of history from an anti-Enlightenment perspective. Erich Przywara (1889–1972). had developed an interest in Newman as early as the 1920s and had encouraged Edith Stein to translate Newman’s pre-conversion letters and his Idea of a University into German.13 The cultural critic Theodor Haecker. to name only a selection of the most prominent. as sometimes happens when theological studies are left to clerics in seminaries.9 Virgil Nemoianu has also drawn attention to the fact that in German-speaking lands there were circles of intellectuals who acted as a link between theologians and other members of the literati. though in Oxford the sermons and tracts of John Henry Newman were covering some of the same territory. to the works of Newman.12 The Munich-based Jesuit. politics and literature. martyr of the White Rose movement.14 In particular. whose salon in Münster acted as a kind of clearing-house connecting different circles of Catholic intellectuals. In this context he mentions the contribution of Countess Amalie von Gallitzin (1748–1806).

along with Newman’s doctrine on conscience. and on the border issues between theology and philosophy. on sacramentality. Not only Läpple was immersed in the works of Newman. but so too was Gottlieb Söhngen (1892–1971).16 In 1935 Haecker published Der Christ und die Geschichte which covered themes in the theology of history and in which he paid particular attention to the action of Divine Providence in history. In all.19 It was under Söhngen that Ratzinger studied Newman’s Grammar of Assent. which he regards. or much more. the doctrine of conscience 12 . Ratzinger’s teacher in fundamental theology and the director of both of Ratzinger’s theses (the doctorate and habilitationschrift). Ratzinger remarked that even deeper for him than the contribution of Söhngen for his appreciation of Newman was the contribution which Heinrich Fries published in connection with the Jubilee of Chalcedon.18 Ratzinger was to take from Newman his understanding of papal authority as a power that comes from revelation to complete natural conscience and Newman’s rejection of the popularist interpretations of papal authority as something akin to absolute monarchy.21 While the teaching on the development of doctrine opened a pathway for history in theological thought. In an address delivered to mark the centenary of Newman’s death. When Ratzinger joined the seminary in Freising in 1946 his Prefect of Studies. Our image of the human being as well as our image of the Church was permeated by this point of departure’. Alfred Läpple. which was drawing us all in its sway. It ‘placed the key in our hand to build historical thought into theology. was working on a dissertation on conscience in the work of Newman. as Newman’s decisive contribution to the renewal of theology.BENEDICT XVI that these difficulties could not be overcome with ‘a naked syllogism’.17 Ratzinger has since reflected that for seminarians of his generation ‘Newman’s teaching on conscience became an important foundation for theological personalism. [Newman] taught us to think historically in theology and so to recognize the identity of faith in all developments’. Söhngen had also worked on the topics of the convertibility of truth and being. mainly translations into German.20 Here he found access to Newman’s teaching on the development of doctrine. all of which reappear as perennial themes in Ratzinger’s publications. Haecker published some seven books on Newman.

Martin Buber (1878–1965).22 Watkin noted that unlike some of the English Romantics. or imagination. who represented the deliberate rejection of discursive reason in favour of intuition. E. I. as well as by the philosophical anthropology of Max Scheler (1874–1928) and Karl Jaspers (1883–1969). Wust’s English translator. Watkin. particularly Blake. on a response to a Thou made at its source. the young Ratzinger came to personalism primarily through the Saarland philosopher Peter Wust (1884–1940) and the Austrian born Jewish philosopher. as vehicles of a divine power is precisely what Wust describes and demands especially in his use of the word Pietät’. Whereas the young Wojtyła was in contact with the French sources of the movement. Both John Paul II and Ratzinger were heavily influenced by personalist currents in their early academic years. Martin Buber believed that every great culture rests on an original relational incident. for human ties. (As John Francis Kobler observed in his Vatican II and Phenomenology: Reflections on the Life-World and the Church the categories of being and existence in scholastic philosophy are expressed by Martin Buber and other 13 . Wust regarded both Vernunft and Verstand as necessary elements of judgment. His most famous works were Die Auferstehung der Metaphysik (1920). Naivität und Pietät (1925) and Ungewissheit und Wagnis (1937). Wust was influenced by St Augustine and St Bonaventure. (according to which all created substances have causal powers which cannot be exercised without the concurrence of God). This attitude of faith or piety is in turn understood as the reception of a natural revelation of God to the soul. In Naivität und Pietät Wust offered an anthropology in which the unity of the soul is pre-eminently displayed in the work of memory and conscience and which emphasized the importance of Vernunft (intuition) as a necessary supplement to Verstand (analytic reason) in the apprehension of a hierarchy of values and by which Vernunft is itself conditioned by an attitude of faith. especially Bonaventure’s doctrine of the concursus Dei. for the soul. Just as Wust regarded piety or what might otherwise be called a disposition of receptivity to the will of the divine as a necessary element for the proper function of Vernunft. compared him to Wordsworth: ‘Wordsworth’s reverence for things. and with the work of the Munich-born philosopher Max Scheler.THE ROMANTIC ANTECEDENTS gave weight to the emerging body of mid-twentieth-century scholarship presented as Christian personalism.

because in him the human soul. through the ‘I’ and the ‘Thou’). in contrast to the works of Augustine. in Wust’s terms. in man. the highest of physical things. and one can identify with him’. such as Augustine experienced and expressed with trembling heart. for whom. then it hardens into a world of disenchanted commodities. or it is soon appeased. was Augustine. housed and unproblematic. is substantially united with the human body.27 The impersonal and ahistorical character of Thomism meant that it was not well equipped to deal with mid-twentieth-century existential angst. if it suffers a loss of piety. Augustine was interested in his own self-experience.28 14 .26 It was in part this ahistorical character of the work of St Thomas which left Ratzinger with the impression that Thomism is too dry and impersonal. questioning man is always right there. ‘the passionate.24 Buber also drew the young Ratzinger’s attention to the significance of St Augustine for understanding what the Romantics called Bildung or the development of the individual soul.25 Buber also noted that with Aquinas some nine centuries after Augustine there is a return to a more panoramic vision: In Aquinas’s world system man is indeed a separate species of a quite special kind. But Aquinas knows no special problem and no special problematic of human life. suffering.BENEDICT XVI philosophers of dialogue such as Levinas. [With Aquinas] the anthropological question has here come to rest again. In Between Man and Man (1947) Buber noted that the first philosopher to pose anthropological questions. If however a culture ceases to be centred in the living and continually renewed relational event. more than seven centuries after Aristotle.23 This original relational incident creates a special conception of the cosmos which is then handed down to succeeding generations. Whereas Aristotle reflected on those things that can be discerned about human beings in general. It needed to be supplemented with a personalist dimension as Karol Wojtyła and his colleagues at the Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) had also concluded. so that man appears as it were as ‘the horizon and the dividing line of spiritual and physical nature’. no impulse stirs to questioning self-confrontation. the lowest of the spirits.

Buber tried to present the essential qualities of Judaism in terms of a philosophical anthropology with an emphasis on how the human person can bridge the gulf between the sacred and profane. Christian Kopff claimed that Pieper never felt comfortable with the label ‘Thomist’ and could never satisfactorily answer requests from American colleagues to identify the school of neo-Thomism to which he belonged. Like Buber he was keen to emphasize the importance of relationality – that dimension of the person which makes him or her unique and unrepeatable. Instead of writing about Judaism from the perspective of dogma and ritual. Although a scholar of Aquinas and commonly described as a Thomist.THE ROMANTIC ANTECEDENTS Not only had Buber identified a key focal difference between Augustine and Aquinas which resonated with the pastoral concerns of the young Ratzinger. but Buber was also hostile to a conception of religion as ritualism and dogmatism.29 In his 1968 bestseller. In his introduction to the 2008 English translation of Pieper’s Überlieferung: Begriff und Anspruch (On the Concept of Tradition) which was first published in 1970. E. and this was another of Ratzinger’s pastoral preoccupations. Introduction to Christianity.30 He has written that the era of defining the person solely in terms of substantiality (those elements human persons share in common– the human ‘hard drive’ as it were) is over.33 A key to this difference was Pieper’s acceptance of Werner Jaeger’s interpretation of 15 . Indeed.32 Nonetheless Pieper was certain that his work was running on a different trajectory from what he called the ‘Cartesian-hued rationality’ of twentieth-century French neo-Thomism. Ratzinger was also to approach the topic of Christianity from the perspective of philosophical anthropology. von Balthasar suggested that Buber was driven by a quest to understand what Catholics would call sacramentality – the way that God relates to his people in signs and actions – and that this led him to accept and defend the body of thought that is common to the romantic movement and modern psychology that stresses the significance of the myth-making faculty of the creative imagination.31 Buber’s affirmation of the need for ‘original relational incidents’ as the source of the human understanding of the cosmos and as the foundations for human cultures also resonated with the thought of Josef Pieper (1904–1997) a professor of philosophical anthropology at the University of Münster who eventually became a friend of Ratzinger. Pieper never accepted the sharp dichotomy between theology and philosophy which was so typical of pre-Conciliar Thomism.

who ‘understands mankind essentially as something designed.39 This is a theme to which Ratzinger returns again and 16 . Only someone who accepts it.38 For Sartre. two things happen to him. namely. can stand up against Jean-Paul Sartre’s thesis.34 Against the ‘Cartesian-hued Neo-Thomists’ Pieper wrote: The very moment someone engaged in philosophizing ceases to take his bearing from sacred tradition. and is by no means purely abstract’. 1934). philosophy and philosophers. he loses sight of his true subject. Unlike the Cartesian-hued Thomists or those influenced by Kant. Ratzinger has also acknowledged that he sought to extend Pieper’s philosophical reflections on faith.35 Echoes of Pieper can be found throughout Ratzinger’s publications. hope and love into the theological and spiritual spheres and his Spiritual Exercises were dedicated to Pieper on his 85th birthday. Ratzinger has argued that there is no such thing as pure reason or rationality unencumbered by theological presuppositions. Pieper believed that the most exciting conclusion of Jaeger’s Aristotle book was that behind Aristotle’s metaphysics there lies the credo ut intelligam. Second.37 More specifically Pieper argued that it makes an enormous difference to human conduct whether or not one accepts the tradition of the created character of the world and humanity. ‘reason has a wax nose’. As he expresses the idea. he must illegitimately and (by the way) vainly seek support in the mere facts handed down. which is equally derived from a dogma.BENEDICT XVI Aristotle in his Aristotle: Fundamentals of the History of his Development (Oxford University Press. First.36 Like both Pieper and Söhngen. in randomly chosen historical ‘material’. and now one might add most contemporary postmoderns. having forfeited his legitimate hold on the only authoritative tradition. Ratzinger is interested in the border zones between philosophy and theology and he encourages philosophers to take their bearings from sacred tradition. particularly in his treatments of the theological virtues. of hope and history and of faith and reason. the real world and its structure of meaning. and instead talks about something entirely different. has very serious consequences. there is ‘no human nature and human beings have no pre-established purpose or meaning’.

enabled theology in its Catholic form to remain a dialogue partner in the academic world . The lecture was titled ‘About the Classical Spirit’. For example. then all that is left are traffic rules for human behaviour. Tübingen (1945–1948) and Munich (1948–1962) and was one of the great scholars of twentiethcentury Catholic Germany. He penetrated areas shunned by scholastic theology. the issue of the morality of creating human embryos for research purposes is ultimately resolved by recourse to theology – either by concluding in the negative. Guardini held posts at the University of Berlin (1923–1939). . which stores within itself their measures and plots the path of human existence. Both of these topics and the general theological place of St Bonaventure made an impact on the young Ratzinger whose own habilitationschrift became a study of the theology of 17 . that human life is sacred or concluding in the positive that it is a commodity. and illustrating them with literary themes or with great figures of the faith. which can be discarded or maintained according to their usefulness.42 Guardini wrote both his doctoral and habilitation theses on St Bonaventure.40 Josef Pieper’s first book was inspired by a lecture on Goethe and Thomas Aquinas.41 Similarly. . In his Foreword to Introduction to Christianity Ratzinger wrote: If the world and man do not come from a creative intelligence. Ratzinger remarked: His flair for seizing upon philosophical questions of life and existence of the time between and after the world wars. Karl Rahner described him as a ‘Christian humanist who led Germany’s Catholics out of an intellectual and cultural ghetto and into the contemporary world’. which was delivered by Romano Guardini (1885–1968) at the Castle Rothenfels on the Main in 1924. . The doctorate was on salvation in St Bonaventure and the habilitation thesis was on the illumination of the mind in St Bonaventure. He was forced to resign his post in 1939 and for a time was silenced by the Nazis.THE ROMANTIC ANTECEDENTS again in his treatment of contemporary western culture and the problems generated by contemporary biotechnology.

44 Guardini’s book The Lord (1937) also offered Ratzinger’s generation a new approach to the spiritual interpretation of Scripture. The texts of the Bible. living environment for the Bible and that the Bible can be properly understood only in this living context from which it first emerged. especially Guardini’s emphasis on the priority of logos over ethos and in various places he has used the Guardinian concepts ‘concrete-living’ and ‘polarities’ (a concept also used by Erich Przywara). in the figure of Jesus Christ. are not to be seen as the literary products of some scribes at their desks. but the truth is not in some place but rather in the concrete-living. This however is not the only contribution of Guardini to Ratzinger’s intellectual formation.45 Further.BENEDICT XVI history in St Bonaventure. Guardinian themes appear like a watermark on the pages of Ratzinger’s essays. not a system of thought. not a plan of action. ‘we were taught by Guardini.46 This principle became enshrined in the Conciliar document Dei Verbum (1965) which Ratzinger helped to draft and formed the central theme of his first encyclical. this great book of Christ. One of the first books Ratzinger read when he began his theological studies was Romano Guardini’s The Spirit of the Liturgy. In his criticisms of liberation theology Ratzinger also made use of Guardini’s reflections on the relationship between thought and being. in a totally different historical situation’.43 In the preface he described Guardini’s work as having helped him and others of his generation to ‘rediscover the liturgy in all its beauty. In the year 2000 he published his own work with the same title with ‘the intention of translating what Guardini did at the end of the First World War. In Perché siamo ancora nella Chiesa. but rather as the words of Christ himself delivered in the celebration of holy Mass. hidden wealth and time-transcending grandeur’. [that] the essence of Christianity is not an idea. Deus Caritas Est (2007). This concrete-living demonstrates truth precisely through the fact that 18 . Of this Ratzinger has written: Guardini recognized that the liturgy is the true. Ratzinger wrote: Man is open to the truth. The essence of Christianity is a Person: Jesus Christ himself’. Guardini’s The Essence of Christianity (1938) can be read as a precursor to Ratzinger’s Introduction to Christianity (1968). As Ratzinger was later to write.

47 Not only did Guardini inspire Pieper and the young Ratzinger but he also taught Hans Urs von Balthasar at the University of Berlin. Bremond and Goyau – among others – were ‘carrying on (unbeknown. he wrote. Przywara. von Balthasar claims to have sat through classes on scholasticism. and ‘while all the others went off to play football’. Roman and Mediterranean conception of Catholicism by pointing to the relevance of the German Catholic writers of the Romantic period’. Blondel also came to know of the Tübingen school through Georges Goyau.49 While Przywara got him through his studies of pre-Conciliar scholasticism.48 As a Jesuit student in the years 1931–1937 von Balthasar had his own taste of the dryness of scholastic theology and through the inspiration of his confrères Erich Przywara and Henri de Lubac. Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus the Confessor. to themselves) the tradition of Tübingen (and in some respects therefore of Newman)’. de Lubac.THE ROMANTIC ANTECEDENTS it is the unity of what are apparent opposites. and with his ears plugged.50 De Lubac was influenced by Maurice Blondel’s account of tradition as presented in his History and Dogma (1903) and Blondel in turn had been influenced by Newman whose work had been introduced to a French audience by Henri Bremond. he set his studies on a radically different course. Reform aus dem Ursprung. one of those responsible for introducing Newman to a German audience. Jean Daniélou and Henri Bouillard read Origen. he. Alexander Dru (a close friend of Theodor Haecker thanks to their mutual dedication to Kierkegaard) noted that the very first edition of Annales de Philosophie Chrétienne (a journal owned by Blondel and to which he was a frequent contributor) ‘pointed to the need to break away from the narrow Latin. In his introduction to the English translation of Blondel’s The Letter on Apologetics and History and Dogma. since the logos and the a-logon are united in it. empathized with von Balthasar’s intellectual frustration and counselled him to learn the scholastic philosophy with ‘an attitude of serene detachment’. who was an author of an important study on Johann Adam Möhler. ‘showed us the way beyond the scholastic stuff to the Fathers of the Church’. Balthasar was later to publish a work of tribute to him under the title Romano Guardini.52 19 . at first.51 He also noted that Blondel. with his nose defiantly glued to the works of the non-scholastic Augustine. Accordingly.

Georges Bernanos. Mauriac. The last three of these authors have been cited by Ratzinger as popular with German seminarians of his generation. into German. Przywara.BENEDICT XVI Thus the Catholic engagement with Romantic movement themes was to reach France in the first half of the twentieth century. Bernanos. including. with the arrival of the sexual revolution and wide-scale revolt from magisterial teaching. the intellectual. was a dry husk with which to confront the existential trauma of the twentieth century. one which was prophetic in denouncing both the rationalism of the state as well as the bourgeois Christianity that made a too-easy concourse with industrial society’ and one might add. as well as de Lubac’s Catholicisme.54 With an emphasis on aesthetic considerations over rational modes of discourse this vision ‘offered both a critique of the modern state and a powerful philosophical and artistic alternative’. but not exclusively. Mark Bosco has argued that these lay Catholic literati became fashionable in the intellectual salons of Paris between the two world wars precisely because their Catholicism was ‘never served up with triumphant.55 It addressed itself to the whole range of human experience. and it found expression not only in journals like Annales de Philosophie Chrétienne but also in the publications of the great literary laymen such as Charles Péguy. von Balthasar. Mauriac and Claudel and he set about translating their works. Blondel. Vichy. though accurate as definitions go. and clerical enthusiasm for pastoral projects aimed at accommodating the liturgical practices of the Church to those of contemporary pop culture. François Mauriac and Paul Claudel. They were all interested in the Romantic theme of Bildung or the development of the soul in all of its multi-dimensional complexity. While studying under de Lubac in Lyon-Fourvierve (1933–1937). de Lubac. Bernanos. von Balthasar was introduced to the literature of Péguy. 20 .53 These artists created ‘a specific vision of French Catholicism. In the late 1960s. The common theme running from Newman and the Tübingen scholars through to the names of Guardini. the questioning of the very structures and traditions of the Church. Péguy. epistemological certainty or as morally uplifting drama’ but rather as ‘a place where the mysterious irruptions of grace might shine forth or manifest in profound ways’. Claudel and ultimately Ratzinger is an interest in how the human being situated in time and in a specific cultural milieu connects to the divine. The Boethian definition of a person as an ‘individual substance of a rational nature’.

of scripture.THE ROMANTIC ANTECEDENTS a new intellectual coalition was formed around de Lubac.60 The influence of the ecclesiology of de Lubac and von Balthasar is palpable in Ratzinger’s treatment of issues in this territory but one finds that de Lubac and von Balthasar have also influenced Ratzinger’s understanding of revelation and in the case of de Lubac. ‘von Balthasar had a great reverence for the Petrine.59 While de Lubac’s ecclesiological works form much of the foundation of the Communio ecclesiology. the Communio circle of scholars offered a hermeneutic of continuity for the interpretation of the documents of the Second Vatican Council. and indeed he went so far as to observe that some of the language in the section on freedom was ‘downright Pelagian’. the presentation of the anthropology was poor.) in some dozen languages.56 He argued that while the document offered a daring new theological anthropology which was to be celebrated. von Balthasar’s ecclesiology exhibits a quality of being both anticlericalist in orientation while at the same time defending the sacred hierarchy by finding a place for it within the whole.58 By emphasizing the Christocentric paragraphs in Gaudium et spes influenced by de Lubac’s Catholicisme. von Balthasar and Ratzinger. Above all Ratzinger shares with von Balthasar an interest in beauty as a transcendental property of being. he effectively closed off the secularizing loopholes in the document. In 1985 21 . As Ratzinger himself has written. that this is not her entire nor her deepest aspect’. which he described as ‘a key reading event’ that gave him ‘a new way of looking at theology and faith as such’. In addition to re-publishing the literary works of the great twentieth-century laymen (Claudel et al.57 The sections of the document he strongly affirmed were those owing their inspiration to the work of Henri de Lubac. and indeed the form of all virtue. too. they are buttressed by von Balthasar’s work on the Petrine Office and his notion of a symphony of different missions in the life of the Church. for the hierarchical structure of the Church. It took a concrete form in the creation of the journal Communio in 1972. But he knew. One of the earliest examples of the application of this ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ can be found in Ratzinger’s 1969 critique of the treatment of freedom and anthropology in the Conciliar document Gaudium et spes (1965). particularly de Lubac’s Catholicisme (1938). and in love as a theological virtue. Since the symphony needs many sections (different intellectual or spiritual charisms).

Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889–1977). Von Hildebrand never questioned the legitimacy of the rite of 1969 but he did regard aspects of its use as problematic. By the 1950s he was back in Munich as a member of the parish of St Georg where the young Fr Ratzinger was an assistant priest. He specifically remembered one of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s lectures on beauty’s philosophical and spiritual significance and he concluded that ‘the joy and freshness of his understanding of Catholic doctrine was contagious and stood in marked contrast to the dryness of a type of scholasticism that seemed to have become stale and brittle’. In 2000 he wrote the preface to Alice von Hildebrand’s A Soul of a Lion. Von Hildebrand was brought up in a Protestant family but converted to Catholicism in 1914 and became a prominent Catholic intellectual opposed to Hitler’s plans for the future of Europe. He concluded.61 In Milestones – Memoirs 1927–1977.62 One final figure who deserves to be mentioned in any account of the intellectual antecedents and mentors of the young Ratzinger is the German philosopher and theologian. He was one of those German scholars who spent the late 1930s and early 40s on the run from Nazi assassination squads and ultimately reached safety in the United States. or by dragging Him down into their workaday world? Ratzinger was later to be critical of the tendency in contemporary liturgy to 22 . and in it he referred to his attendance of the occasional lectures given at the Hildebrand home in Munich. Ratzinger remarked that meeting Balthasar was for him the beginning of a lifelong friendship and that never again has he found anyone with such a comprehensive and humanistic education as Balthasar and de Lubac. ‘I cannot even begin to say how much I owe to my encounter with them’. They brought together intellectuals from across the world and Ratzinger would attend their meetings from time to time.63 Von Hildebrand’s popularity as a heroic anti-Nazi intellectual fell into decline in the 1970s following his defence of the traditional Latin Mass which was in most places suppressed between 1969 and 1987.BENEDICT XVI it was Ratzinger who hosted von Balthasar’s 80th birthday party in Rome and in 1988 it was Ratzinger who delivered von Balthasar’s funeral homily in Lucerne. He rhetorically asked whether people better meet Christ by soaring up to Him. her biography of her husband. He and his wife Alice ran a salon that sounds rather like that of the Countess Amalie von Gallitzin.

it helps to have knowledge of the Romantic movement generally. However. often multidisciplinary and above all concerned to understand the theological significance of history and tradition. coupled with Ratzinger’s recognition that the failure to provide an adequate account of the mediation of history in the realm of ontology represented the single greatest 23 . which became ascendant.65 It was the ideas of those who were humanists by disposition. with whom Ratzinger is a frequent interlocutor. In The Meaning of Christian Brotherhood and in Principles of Catholic Theology Ratzinger also gave significant space to what he described as the authentically ‘biblical’ inspiration of von Hildebrand’s depiction of the Christian attitude of readiness to change and convert to the radical newness of Christ. interested in anthropological questions. and that it is not possible to understand Ratzinger without a certain familiarity with the Romantic reaction against the rationalism of the Enlightenment and with the Catholic wing of the Romantic tradition. The expression ‘the Rhine flowed into the Tiber’ is a well-worn cliché used to explain what happened within the Catholic Church in the first half of the 1960s.64 Ratzinger’s criticisms of Karl Rahner’s account of human freedom in Hearers of the Word are focused on this theme of conversion and transformation in Christ. Many ideas which had been percolating in the theology academies of Munich. or the Bavarian soul mate of the Swiss von Balthasar. Cardinal Joachim Meisner has suggested that Ratzinger is the ‘Mozart of theology’. came to accept that neo-scholasticism had its limitations. This topic pervades von Hildebrand’s publications but its most extensive treatment can be found in his Transformation in Christ. given the influence of the Romantic movement on German theology. he is not so easily labeled and packaged. or at least a significant majority of them. or a German apogee of John Henry Newman. one might at least conclude that there is some degree of truth in these tags. Like all great scholars. None of the above is intended to suggest that Ratzinger/Benedict XVI is neatly pigeon-holed as the Tübingen School’s most illustrious heir. and while it is true that Ratzinger does not jettison the classical repertoire.THE ROMANTIC ANTECEDENTS ‘bring God down to the level of the people’ and was to describe such actions as a form of ‘apostasy’. including the works of Friedrich Nietzsche. Indeed. Lucerne and Tübingen rose to the surface as the bishops of the world.

BENEDICT XVI crisis for Catholic theology in the twentieth century. a Mozart composition like the 40th symphony in G minor has its romantic moments. of course. a more appropriate analogy might be that of a more romantically-inclined composer.66 Ratzinger permits the introduction of Romantic themes into the classical repertoire without abandoning its essential elements. such as Carl Maria von Weber or Bruckner. Ratzinger’s work does have the luminosity and directness of Mozart. 24 . and. Nonetheless.

in particular. Catholic. Dominican.CHAPTER 2 THE HUMANIST CULTURE OF THE INCARNATION A significant attribute of theologians influenced by the Romantic movement is an interest in culture. Whereas the neo-scholastics tended to ignore the concept altogether. he noted that their opposition might be categorized as the either/or between religion as the ultimate strength of culture 25 . While the scholastics tried to prove that Christianity was more rational than any alternative on the market.1 Beginning with Justin and Tertullian. as Kultur or civilization. and to respond to the rationalism of the eighteenth century with a scholastic counter-rationalism. Erich Przywara observed that there is a tension or polarity between religion and culture which has run through the whole history of Christianity. as self-cultivation or education. Ignatian and Salesian spiritualities for those in religious Orders and many derivatives of these in the lay ecclesial movements. Carmelite. There are. the Romantics were more interested in understanding the social and liturgical embodiment of Christian ideas or what might be called the ‘lifestyle’ implications of the choice for or against Christianity. Benedictine. and Bildung. Balthasar compared it to a symphony. for example. However the Catholic tradition is itself complex. the Catholic romantics tried to prove that the opportunities for selfdevelopment (Bildung). varies both across and within the spiritual families. In his essay Zwischen Religion und Kultur written in the twilight moment of scholasticism in 1962. understood in all three German senses of the term. were greater with the Christian. option. The approach to the realm of culture. It is the home of more than one spiritual family. Geist. or the spirit or ethos of institutions. Franciscan. especially culture as Bildung.

While whole diocesan liturgical commissions spend their time trying to make the liturgical practices of the Church more closely embody elements of contemporary popular culture. Ratzinger is firmly on the side of those who think like Stafford and indeed his opposition to the project of accommodating the cultural life of the Church to that of contemporary mass culture is possibly 26 . there are those like Cardinal James Stafford who claim that ‘every world religion is trembling before the advances of American pop culture’.2 Today the contrast is no longer between austerity and sensual splendour but between those who regard beauty as something objectively discernible and those who regard it as a mere matter of taste or personal preference. in the early Middle Ages. in the post-Conciliar era these two positions have grown so far apart that it is no longer accurate to describe them as poles held in tension. especially in Christendom. and thus that pop culture is actually toxic to the flourishing of the faith. Clairvaux is famous for its austerity. while it is known that it took a decision of a General Chapter of St Bernard’s Order to make him mitigate the austerities of his regime at Clairvaux. Abelard is remembered for his sensuality (not only because of his affair with the beautiful and brilliant Héloïse but also for the sensual beauty of his musical and poetic compositions). he noted the acute contrast between the monasteries of Cluny and Clairvaux and the still more acute contrast between Peter Abelard and St Bernard. Similarly. Indeed. Przywara observed that these polarities fed into the chaos of the Reformation. Cluny is renowned for the visual splendour of its architecture. Przywara’s summary may be brought up to date by adding to it the fact that in the post-Conciliar Church there has been a division between those who want to baptize contemporary mass culture and those who regard this strategy as a major cause of the dramatic decline in the numbers of those participating in the sacramental life of the Church after the Council. when the contrast is between the culturally resplendent church of the Renaissance and later the Baroque and the iconoclastic ‘imperceptible and invisible God’ of the Protestants. Finally. and the gradually ascendant ideals of the Catholic romantics of science and culture which have their immanent ideals in religion. Przywara concluded that nineteenth-century intellectual history was characterized by a division between the idea of the pursuit of scientific and cultural knowledge as a kind of religion in itself.BENEDICT XVI and culture as religion’s opponent.

his comments on the theme of culture strongly resonate with it. and so they are of no use to the world unless they are fought for by Christians who believe in Christ. Balthasar dismissed the idea of attaching the faith to anything which is a mere mutation of a Christian idea or practice: The Gospel and the Church are plundered like a fruit tree. Often the argument is made that some element of these modern and post-modern formations actually had a Christian foundation and thus that there is some point within them to which the Christian faith can graft itself.THE HUMANIST CULTURE OF THE INCARNATION that element of his intellectual work for which he is most famous. It bears the stamp of a community that provides patterns of thinking. Ratzinger defines culture as the ‘system of notions and thought patterns that preconditions the individual 27 . There can be no shining from stars long dead. feeling and acting. once separated from the tree. In the following passage which starkly illustrates the difference between the Communio theologians and the correlationists. Marie-Dominique Chenu. He has cautioned that where the imprint of the Catholic faith remains in a culture one should not try to destroy it in the zeal for renewal – it should not be pushed aside as ‘outmoded junk’. or at least by men who are inwardly. The ‘ideas’ of Christ cannot be separated from Him.4 Although Ratzinger has not explicitly endorsed this judgment of Balthasar. Radiance is only possible when the radiant centre is permanently active and alive. In his own analysis Ratzinger begins with the observation that the slate of the human mind is never blank. though unconsciously. Edward Schillebeeckx and David Tracy which sought to attach the faith to some pierres d’attente (toothing stones) jutting out from modern and post-modern cultural formations. but the fruits. he has been one of the very few theologians of his generation not to follow the so-called ‘correlationist’ pastoral strategies associated with the theology of Karl Rahner.3 In taking this stance. However Balthasar and many of the Catholic literary leaders of the first half of the twentieth century have been sceptical of this kind of strategy. go rotten and are no longer fruitful. open to Him and governed by Him. Certainly no other Cardinal of his generation has written so extensively on this topic. In a statement that sounds evocative of Michael Polanyi’s tacit theory of knowledge.

6 If the divine is not the Holy Trinity it will be some substitute for it.9 Ratzinger prefers the expression ‘interculturality’ (the meeting of two different cultures and a constructive search for the truth embodied in both) to ‘inculturation’ (which may imply the notion of hooking up the faith to a new exchangeable shell). that the new seeing does not abolish them. and the new world. Culture at its core means an opening to the divine. Only then does it become clear that the senses belong to faith. reducing culture to mere form and religion to either pure emotion or pure thought. the final Adam. Ratzinger further observes that the Incarnation is rightly understood only when it is seen within the broader context of creation. history. by the revelation of the mystery of the Father. The Catholic faith is not some intellectual system which can be tied on to and expressed in any cultural form. the first man. For Ratzinger. but leads them to their original purpose. In paragraph 22 of the document Gaudium et spes of the Second Vatican Council. The culture of such a faith. namely Christ the Lord. fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear. which remain in the end somehow external and capable of being cast off.BENEDICT XVI human being to judge in certain ways’. would be debased.7 He expressly rejects the idea that national or historical cultures might allocate their own body to the faith. Christ. becoming ‘a mere exchangeable shell’ and the faith itself would be reduced to the standing of ‘a disincarnated spirit ultimately void of reality’. and His Love. Ratzinger believes that the uniqueness of Christian culture is rooted in the Incarnation and that all of its specific characteristics disintegrate when this belief is eclipsed.11 The International Theological 28 . ‘the Church is its own cultural subject for the faithful’. its practices.5 With Henri de Lubac he rejects the proposition that the realm of culture can ever be theologically neutral. was a figure of Him who was to come. According to such a vision the faith would always have to live from borrowed cultures. the significance of the Incarnation is expressed in the following manner: The Truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light.10 The Incarnation means that the invisible God enters into the visible world so that those who are bound to matter can know him.8 Such modes of thinking are typical of the eighteenth century. For Adam.

it tends towards its completion in Christ. It recenters every culture into which Christ is received. The Jansenists favoured austerity in both of these areas of social life and were to cause what French psychologists called La Maladie Catholique – an inability to successfully integrate one’s sexuality into one’s overall personal development. the sense of history and thus of culture is unsealed and the Holy Spirit reveals it by actualizing and communicating it to all. Culture is thus eschatologically situated. and restores the union broken by the Prince of this world.12 Aidan Nichols has summarized the metaphysical foundations of what Ratzinger calls the ‘humanism of the Incarnation’ in the following manner: This polarity structure of all existence. The Church is the sacrament of this revelation and its communication.THE HUMANIST CULTURE OF THE INCARNATION Commission under Ratzinger’s leadership expressed the position in the following paragraph: In the last times inaugurated at Pentecost. enters into the history of peoples: from that moment. Jansenism was one such movement in the modern era which had a particularly destructive effect on Catholic culture in eighteenth-century France and nineteenth-century Ireland and countries of the New World that came under the influence of Irish Orders of religious. also suggests a positive moment where the creature displays a certain likeness and so comparability with its God. not every variety of Catholic culture has breathed this humanism. For between these poles there plays a fullness of inner life – a continuous epiphany of the divine likeness. but it cannot be saved except by associating itself with the repudiation of evil. The concern is that people will grow to love the world too much or claim too much for human nature. placing it in the axis of the world which is coming. while manifesting the ontological difference between the being of the creature and that of the Creator. the risen Christ. The late twentieth-century liberation theology movement also had a tendency to suppress the role of the sensual 29 . Alpha and Omega.13 Nonetheless. The two areas it affected most deeply were liturgy and sexuality. There periodically arise spiritual movements which are suspicious of these positive moments and exaggerate humanity’s fallen condition.

He suggests that a ‘theologian who does not love art.14 He concluded that ‘what seems like the highest humility toward God turns into pride. . inconsistent with a preferential option for the poor. . that Ratzinger is personally closer to the spirit of Cluny than Clairvaux. poetry.16 He believes that ‘the only really effective apologia for Christianity comes down to two arguments. it stirs 30 . Behind these stand the influence of Plato for whom the beautiful and the good coincide. including St Augustine. and light that shines out from the faces of the saints. namely. to Bruckner and beyond’ is.18 Even more specifically he has written that the ‘greatness of Western music from Gregorian chant to polyphony to the Baroque age. music and nature can be dangerous’ because ‘blindness and deafness toward the beautiful are not incidental: they necessarily are reflected in his theology’. and that wound grips us and takes us beyond ourselves.20 As Ratzinger summarizes Plato: ‘through the appearance of the beautiful we are wounded in our innermost being. and thus deprived of its dignity’.15 One might say.19 This is not a novel position in the Catholic tradition but follows a long line of authorities. ‘the most immediate and the most evident verification that history has to offer of the Christian image of mankind and of the Christian dogma of redemption’. which recognizes only the Wholly Other-ness of the God beyond all images and words. ‘[n]othing can bring us into close contact with the beauty of Christ Himself other than the world of beauty created by faith. as mere matter. through whom His own light becomes visible’. using Przywara’s metaphors. St Bonaventure. In a reflection on the earliest disputes within the Church about art and beauty. In this context Ratzinger has been influenced by what he terms ‘the magnificent interpretation of Platonic eros in Josef Pieper’s Begeisterung und göttlicher Wahnsinn: Über den platonischen Dialog Phaidros’. Ratzinger observed that ‘iconoclasm rests on a one-sided apophatic theology. the saints the Church has produced and the art which has grown in her womb’. Hugh of St Victor. a theology that in the final analysis regards revelation as the inadequate human reflection of what is eternally imperceptible’.17 Thus. John Henry Newman and Hans Urs von Balthasar who have regarded the aesthetic moment as essentially theophanic.BENEDICT XVI in Catholic culture and to treat an interest in the transcendental of beauty as a peculiarly bourgeois vice. matter is absolutized and thought of as completely impervious to God. allowing God no word and permitting him no real entry into history .

21 Ratzinger also quotes the fourteenth-century Byzantine theologian Nicholas Cabasilas: When men have a longing so great that it surpasses human nature and eagerly desire and are able to accomplish things beyond human thought. to the Good in itself’.26 With the Renaissance ‘we see the development of the aesthetic in the modern sense. The rise of the wound is evidence of the arrow. for a world 31 . the experience described by Cabasilas has gone from being an interior event to being an external form and thus has become communicable. or to reject it as a true form of knowledge.22 Ratzinger further notes that Cabasilas distinguished between two different kinds of knowledge: one is knowing through instruction. but adds that we must not despise the impact produced by the heart’s encounter with beauty. as well as in the great Western paintings of the Romanesque and Gothic periods. rather than being essentially epiphanic’. so that now the art of painting strives first and foremost to depict events that have taken place. would be to ‘dry up both faith and theology’. The head was severed from the heart. The second kind of knowledge. In The Spirit of the Liturgy Ratzinger applies this Platonic theory to a broad-brush history of Western art.24 This was essentially von Balthasar’s criticism of post-Tridentine theology.23 Ratzinger acknowledges the importance of the first form of knowledge which he associated with the discipline of theology. To do so. Piety was regarded as something emotional and not subject to rational scrutiny and theology was something rational and not really associated with matters of the heart.25 However. the vision of a beauty that no longer points beyond itself but is content in the end with itself.27 At the same time ‘a nostalgia for the pre-Christian gods emerges. Into their eyes he himself has sent a ray of his beauty. He argues that in the art of icons. largely disappears from the West after the thirteenth century. the beauty of the appearing thing’. which remains second-hand and does not put the knower in contact with reality itself. is through personal experience. he suggests. It became too rationalistic. and the longing points to the one who has shot the arrow. transformed as it is by the Incarnation. he observes that ‘this kind of Platonism.THE HUMANIST CULTURE OF THE INCARNATION longing into flight and moves us toward the truly Beautiful. through contact with the things themselves. it is the Bridegroom himself who has wounded them. in contrast.

music has suffered an even greater diminution of its epiphanic potential and in the particular case of rock music Ratzinger believes that it represents a regression to the paganism of the Dionysian cults. is false.30 Spiritual pathologies arise when there is a lop-sided emphasis on one or other of the Paschal mysteries. which says that everything else. for that very reason. no majesty to draw our eyes. The fact that both the crucifixion and the return in glory can be represented highlights the paradoxical nature of beauty. is a deception and that only the depiction of what is cruel. anything beautiful. for example. could be described as a spiritual disposition fixated on Good Friday. who powerfully draws us and inflicts on us the wound of Love. Ratzinger argues that every image of Christ must contain a reference to his crucifixion. and thus that the only problem with rock music 32 . a holy Eros that enables us to go forth. base. which Ratzinger suggests may have become ‘too overpowering in the images of the late Middle Ages’.28 Today. especially those formed in the 1970s. the Church uses an antiphon taken from Isaiah 3:2: ‘He had no beauty. his Bride. He rejects the idea. that form and substance can be easily separated. Jansenism. and yet Psalm 44 speaks of ‘the fairest of the children of men upon whose lips graciousness is poured’. and vulgar is the truth and true enlightenment. In a reflection on these dramatically contrasting scriptural passages. Ratzinger concludes that ‘the beauty of truth appears in him [Christ].29 For there to exist both an emotional and theological equilibrium in specifically religious art. And it must withstand the deceptive beauty that diminishes man instead of making him great and that.BENEDICT XVI without the pain of the cross and the fear of sin’. Christian art stands between two fires: It must oppose the cult of the ugly. with and in the Church. While different emphases may be possible one of the three aspects should never be eclipsed by another.31 While the art of painting in the post-Renaissance era has to some degree lost this erotic quality. no grace to make us delight in Him’. the beauty of God himself. as it were. and in the different emphases the Paschal Mystery as a whole must be plainly evident. In Holy Week. he concludes. to meet the Love who calls us’. popular with contemporary evangelical Protestants and even Catholic liturgists. resurrection and return in glory.

33 The pragmatist ‘uses music uncritically as a message lubricator. which seek to take us out of the dictatorship of money. to the effect that the machine has become the universal stereotype for human beings and thus all of reality. In a lecture on ‘Theological Problems in Church Music’ delivered to the Church Music Department of the State Conservatory of Music at Stuttgart. is reduced to quantitative dimensions and has fallen under the laws of the marketplace. He also uses the expression ‘sacro-pop’ which he takes from H. In various publications he recommends Calvin M.32 In this work Johansson identifies a tendency of liturgists to oscillate between the poles of aestheticism and pragmatism. ‘primitive emotionalism’ and ‘utility music’. of making. Similarly. sweetener or psychological conditioner’ and ‘emasculates the gospel by using commercialized music to sell it’.37 He acknowledges that Karl Rahner and many other Catholic intellectuals of the Conciliar generation were of the view that there is nothing wrong with the use of utility music. He defines aestheticism as a preoccupation with beauty for its own sake which runs into the danger of idolatry. and 33 . ‘kills the message’. he further spoke of puritanical functionalism as a first millstone around the neck of Church music and the functionalism of accommodation (presumably to the norms of contemporary mass culture) as the second millstone. Burbach’s articles in the Internationale katholische Zeitschrift. He quotes Adorno’s judgement that ‘the fundamental characteristic of popular music is standardization’ and describes this as ‘incompatible with the culture of the Gospels. he argues. of mediocrity. Ratzinger uses the expression ‘utility music’ to describe popular music which is used in Church services as a carrot to entice worshippers and the intellectual defence of this practice as ‘pastoral pragmatism’. in which each may go its own way without regard for the other.THE HUMANIST CULTURE OF THE INCARNATION from a Christian point of view is the explicitly sexual and sometimes crude lyrics. Johansson’s. while pragmatism creates a false dichotomy between medium and message. J. ‘pastoral pragmatism’.35 In his books The Feast of Faith and a New Song for the Lord one can find passionate criticisms of ‘sacro-pop’. ‘parish tea-party liturgies’. but he disagrees.36 In making these judgments he acknowledged his debt to the arguments of Hugo Staudinger and Wolfgang Behler. music and gospel. including art. Music and Ministry: A Biblical Counterpoint. the authors of Chance and Risk of the Present.34 Such a medium. He finds the music itself objectionable and claims that it has no place in the liturgy.

rock music is seeking freedom in ways that are contrary to Christian notions of freedom and responsibility. as it were. in the ecstasy of having all their defenses torn down.BENEDICT XVI brings us to the discipline of truth. but is rooted in his detection of theological doctrines lying beneath the surface of these musical practices which are diametrically opposed to the Christian faith’. so to speak.45 In particular Edwards concluded that Ratzinger’s use of the Apollonian-Dionysian paradigm flows from his concern 34 .43 In a dissertation on dogmatic theology and the ecclesial practice of music. noise and special lighting effects.39 Even more dramatically. J. Edwards notes that Ratzinger’s antagonism toward rock music is ‘not therefore an aesthetic decision based on his own subjective taste. but the denial of its culture and prostitution with the non culture’.40 He observes that disputes about music are at least as old as the conflict between Dionysian and Apollonian music in classical Greece. The music of the Holy Spirit’s sober inebriation seems to have little chance when the self has become a prison.44 In other words. released from themselves by the experience of being part of a crowd and by the emotional shock of rhythm. which is precisely what pop music eschews’.41 Rock concerts are ‘anti-liturgies where people are yanked out of themselves and where they can forget the dullness and commonness of everyday life’. Plato’s concern about the music of the Dionysian cults remains relevant today since contemporary musical forms have become a ‘decisive vehicle of a counter religion’. Andrew Edwards concluded that Ratzinger’s concern with the philosophical anthropology reflected in Dionysian music leads into his concern that music’s portrayal of subjectivity may point toward a soteriology that is alien to the Christian position. Ratzinger has declared that the trivialization of the faith by following the trends of mass culture ‘is not a new inculturation. and that while Apollo is not Christ. the participants sink. and breaking out from both appears as a true promise of redemption that can be tasted at least for a few moments. However.42 They are enterprises to make money out of the human need for an experience of self-transcendence: People are.38 He rhetorically asks whether it is a pastoral success when Catholics are capable of following the trend of mass culture and thus share the blame for its making people immature or irresponsible. the mind is a shackle. beneath the elemental force of the universe.

35 . a response. that the void will always remain unfulfilled. Scruton argued that much contemporary pop music arrests its listeners in a state of adolescent psychological development. In words that could have been written by Ratzinger he concluded: This music is not designed for listening. knowing that nothing will change for the fan. becomes something like the sacred presence of a cult. it is not simply to have accumulated facts. and its tendency to foster the psychological conditions of alienation and homelessness.49 Thus culture is not merely a matter of academic knowledge but of a mode of participation which changes not only thoughts and beliefs but perceptions and emotions. a way of seeing things. This is especially so of one’s musical culture. greeted by a release of collective emotion comparable to the Dionysiac orgies depicted by Euripides. an incarnation of an otherworldly being. though the nonCatholic English philosopher Roger Scruton has reached similar conclusions to Ratzinger in his cultural studies and the Anglican theologian Catherine Pickstock has written theological analyses of recent music history which resonate with some of Ratzinger’s concerns. which visits the world in human form.THE HUMANIST CULTURE OF THE INCARNATION that rock music’s engagement with the body may contradict the incarnational emphasis on the rational Word redeeming the sensual. The pop star’s appearance on stage is not like that of an orchestra or an actor: it is a ‘real presence’. which is in some way redemptive. It is the accompanying soundtrack to a drama. While Scruton and Ratzinger reached the same sociological conclusions about the rock music industry. references and theories.48 Scruton also argues that to possess a culture is not only to possess a body of knowledge or expertise.47 In a lecture delivered in Cambridge on the morality of pop. In the essay ‘Youth Culture’s Lament’ he described the pop star as someone who excites his fans to every kind of artificial ecstasy. recruiting followers the way religious leaders recruit their sects.46 It is difficult to find other such sustained critiques of the rock music industry in Catholic theological circles. the incarnation of a force beyond music. It is to possess a sensibility. strange as it may seem. in which the singer. the Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton has made some very similar observations to Ratzinger about the banality of mass culture.

from creation to the Second Coming. this reflection of Ratzinger on Gothic architecture resonates more with the ideas of prominent non-Catholic philosophers like de Botton and Scruton. it really cannot be all that important. They also have a tendency to draw distinctions between form and substance and to regard only matters of substance as important.50 Similarly.BENEDICT XVI In the following paragraph de Botton compared McDonald’s to Westminster Cathedral: The restaurant’s true talent lay in the generation of anxiety. it seemed entirely probable that Jesus was the son of God and had walked across the Sea of Galilee. after 10 minutes in [Westminster] cathedral. blow a golden trumpet and make an announcement in Latin about a forthcoming celestial event. Ratzinger wrote: The windows of the Gothic cathedrals keep out the garishness of the light outside. Ratzinger’s aesthetic 36 . the darkness and the incense. a range of ideas that would have been inconceivable outside began to assume an air of reasonableness. Under the influence of the marble. the intermittent sounds of frozen fries being sunk into vats of oil and the frenzied behaviour of the counter staff invited thoughts of the loneliness and meaninglessness of existence in a random and violent universe. while concentrating that light and using it so that the whole history of God in relation to man. shines through. in interplay with the sun. For example. on the so-called ‘right’ of the theological spectrum. become an image in their own right. enter through a window in the nave. The walls of the church.51 Paradoxically. Thomists ‘of the strict observance’ tend to be rather unmoved by concerns about mass culture. than with the ideas of many of Ratzinger’s fellow theologians. the iconostasis of the West. in The Spirit of the Liturgy. it was no longer surprising to think that an angel might at any moment choose to descend through the layers of dense London cumulus. Conversely. In the presence of alabaster statues of the Virgin Mary set against rhythms of red. The harsh lighting. green and blue marble. lending the place a sense of the sacred that can touch the hearts even of agnostics. Many are of the view that since St Thomas did not spend any time on the topic of culture.


judgments are then treated merely as matters of taste. Implicitly, in this context, a Cartesian metaphysics is joined together with a Kantian aesthetics. At the same time, on the ‘left’ of the theological spectrum, the liberation theologians have been completely hostile to this aspect of Ratzinger’s theology. They regard it as Euro-centric and elitist. Minlib Dahll’s claim that the majority of Catholics do not listen to Mozart or Beethoven, nor do they have any interest in classical Greek and Roman culture and that the Credo of the B Minor Mass by Bach is not holier or more beautiful than a Zulu dance is an expression of this perspective.52 Whenever Ratzinger addresses the topic of culture it is often helpful to ask whether he is speaking primarily of European cultures which are modern and/or post-modern, or the pre-modern and modernizing cultures of the post-colonial countries of Asia, Africa and the Pacific. In relation to the second, the macro level theological issue is that of the criteria to be applied to the baptism of elements of pre-Christian cultures. One of the most famous examples of the Church contending with this issue comes from the period of the first Jesuit missions in China. Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) argued that Christian missionaries would be well advised to dress in the robes of Chinese scholars, and instead of presenting Christianity as something intrinsically linked to European culture, they should try to graft Christianity onto compatible stems in the Confucian tradition. Ratzinger has only addressed the question in passing and has flagged with approval the more extensive treatment of the subject by Christian Gnilka in Chrêsis: Die Methode der Kirchenväter im Umgang mit der antiken Kultur.53 He has specifically referred to the idea of St Basil the Great that when Christianity meets a pre-Christian culture it must make a slit (or wound) in that culture, as one makes a slit in the bark of a tree to graft another onto it, and such grafting processes are extremely delicate.54 The slit must be made at the right time and in the right place, and at the right angle. This ‘slit’ is also a kind of purification. Ratzinger acknowledges that both the Constitution on the Liturgy and the Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity of the Second Vatican Council explicitly allow for the possibility of far-reaching adaptations to the customs and cultic traditions of peoples. Nonetheless, he has written that it seems to him ‘very dangerous that missionary liturgies could be created overnight, so to speak, by decisions of bishop’s conferences, which would themselves be dependent


on memoranda drawn up by academics’.55 He suggests that it is ‘not until a strong Christian identity has grown up in the mission countries can one begin to move, with great caution and on the basis of this identity, toward christening the indigenous forms by adopting them into the liturgy and allowing Christian realities to merge with the forms of everyday life’.56 At the same time, within the regions of the world that have been Christian for centuries, Ratzinger observes that ‘traditional culture is pushed aside into a more or less museum-like state of preservation in the concert hall’ and ‘the contemporary world is conceived so completely in terms of the functional that the link with history is broken, and history itself can only retain any value at all as a function, namely as an object in a museum’.57 A mutual concern over this state of affairs represents a point of convergence between Ratzinger and the more intellectually inclined of the Catholic traditionalists. Ratzinger’s statement that ‘culture without ritual loses its soul; [while] ritual without culture fails to recognize its own dignity’ resonates well with those of a traditionalist disposition.58 So too does his judgement that since liturgy is the encounter with the beautiful itself, with eternal love, there must be no surrender to philistinism within the Catholic faith, and particularly not in seminaries where men are prepared for the priesthood.59 Any dialogue between the Church and contemporary Western culture ‘cannot consist in the Church finally subjecting herself to modern culture, which has been caught up to a large extent in a process of self-doubt since it lost its religious base’.60 Such a negative judgment on the culture of modernity or what Paul de Man calls ‘the culture of forced forgetting’ was strong in the publications of Guardini and Bernanos, two of the intellectual heroes of Ratzinger’s youth. In his collection of essays on The End of Modern World, Romano Guardini drew a connection between the character of ‘mass man’ and the problems of evangelization in the contemporary world. He described ‘mass man’ as having no desire for independence or originality in either the management or the conduct of his life – neither liberty of external action nor freedom of internal judgment seem for him to have unique value; and this is understandably so, for he has never experienced them’.61 He identified the problem as a causal relationship between the lack of a ‘fruitful and lofty culture’ that provides the sub-soil for a healthy nature, and a spiritual life that is ‘numb and narrow’ and develops


along ‘mawkish, perverted and unlawful lines’.62 Similarly, in the context of his appraisal of the work of Georges Bernanos (1888– 1948), von Balthasar observed that for Bernanos nothing could be more devastating than a confusion, or even an approximation, of the phenomena of strong ecclesial obedience (typical of an ultramontanist Jansenism) and the narrowing of human horizons by machines and social conditions (typical of the institutional practices within the culture of modernity). Bernanos wrote of a ‘flight to conformism’ – ‘the blissful servitude that dispenses one from both willing and acting, that doles out a little task to each one and that, and in the near future, will have transformed man into the biggest and most ingenious of insects – a colossal ant’.63 He believed that modern man adores systems because it dispenses him from the daily risk of judging. His choices are made by the system for him. Common to Ratzinger, Guardini, von Balthasar and Bernanos is the idea that ‘in the crisis of culture we are experiencing, it is only from islands of spiritual concentration that a new cultural purification and unification can break out’.64 This is one of the two reasons given for Ratzinger’s choice of the papal name Benedict. In part he wanted to honour Benedict XV who tried so hard to bring an end to the First World War before it claimed the lives of millions of Christians on both sides of the trenches, but his second reason was his belief that Western culture needs a new Benedictine moment. Just as it was the formation of Benedictine monasteries across the map of Europe which created the first high Christian culture, today, he believes, the banality of mass culture and the anti-memory orientation of modernity will only be transcended by islands of spiritual excellence. Today such islands need not be restricted to monastic enclosures but may be found within the many new ecclesial movements which arose in the second half of the twentieth century. Balthasar somewhat poignantly expressed the idea when he wrote that those who withdrew to the heights to fast and pray in silence are ‘the pillars bearing the spiritual weight of what happens in history. They share in the uniqueness of Christ . . . in an untamed freedom which cannot be caged or put to use. Theirs is the first of all aristocracies, source and justification for all the others, and the last yet remaining to us in a most unaristocratic world’.65 The belief in the need for such spiritual elites to create communities in which the culture of modernity can be transcended and supplanted with a high Christian culture is another point of convergence between


Ratzinger and the more intellectually inclined members of the traditionalist movement. The movement has its administrative centre in Ecône, Switzerland, where opposition to aspects of post-Conciliar theology and practice was led by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The Lefebvrists were particularly opposed to the liturgical changes of Paul VI which had the effect of fostering ‘folk liturgies’ that made use of utility music and sacro-pop. In France there was also strong opposition to Dignitatis Humanae, the Conciliar decree on religious freedom, which was marketed and received by many as the Church’s endorsement of the political philosophical principles underpinning the French and American Revolutions. For many of the French Catholic families, the revolution was freshly remembered as murderous, anti-Catholic and a general movement of debasement and thus anything which appeared to be affirming it was approached with grave reservations. Moreover, the traditionalists were hostile to the new theological projects endorsed by the theological experts of the Second Vatican Council, including Ratzinger himself, as dangerous flirtatious with the gods of nineteenth-century Germany – history and hermeneutics, in particular – and thus the contamination of the Tiber by the Rhine. For many traditionalists, the demise of preConciliar scholasticism (the theological framework regarded by Ratzinger, Balthasar and many others of their generation, as too dry and rigid) is a major cause of the post-Conciliar crisis. In 1988 Archbishop Lefebrve performed schismatic acts by ordaining four priests as bishops without the authority of the Pope. John Paul II deployed Ratzinger to negotiate with Archbishop Lefebvre but all of his diplomacy and intellectual skill failed to deter Lefebvre from going ahead with the ordinations. Since the beginning of his papacy Ratzinger has gone to great lengths to restore the Lefebvrists to full Communion with the Church. In line with his many statements on the problems of post-Conciliar liturgical practices, on the 7th of July 2007 he issued the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, which lifted the canonical hurdles to the celebration of the older liturgical rites preferred by the traditionalists.66 In 1969 Paul VI had attempted to supersede the usage of the so-called Tridentine or traditional rite and publicly acknowledged that in doing so he was ‘parting with the speech of Christian centuries’. He also acknowledged that some Catholics would be ‘bewildered’ by this.67 Nonetheless, he claimed that ‘modern man’ is ‘fond of plain language’. This pastoral judgment was the only reason

1969. rather than with those he acknowledged would be ‘bewildered by this’ remains an interesting historical question. Indeed. It may be that he thought it was a way of appearing ‘liberal’ and ‘open to modernity’ at a time when he was enduring a wide scale rebellion over his ‘conservative’ stance against contraception in the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae. including non-Catholics like Nancy Mitford and Agatha Christie. Some three years earlier in an article published in the 22 October 1966 issue of America magazine. a significant pro-traditional rite movement was led by prominent members of the laity. another of Edwards’ ideas was that people should think of God as their friend. Those who preferred this traditional rite were tarred with the brush of Lefebrvism which was a much larger and more complex theological package than a mere preference for a more solemn and transcendent rite by those who found sacro-pop repulsive.THE HUMANIST CULTURE OF THE INCARNATION given in his famous General Audience Address of November 26. it must use language as contemporary as theirs’.70 A petition presented to Paul VI. Cyril Connolly and Evelyn Waugh.69 Why Paul VI decided to ‘go with the Beatles’ as it were. Also problematic was the fact that in many places the traditional rite became more of a heritage piece than 41 . Gareth Edwards had argued that if ‘the Church wants to sweep the world like the Beatles. including Harold Acton. Whatever his reasons for supporting those calling for a more ‘no frills’ liturgy. Waugh was particularly distressed by the thought of a new vernacular rite which would make no distinction between American and British English. the usage of this rite was always tainted by the opposition of many traditionalists to the Second Vatican Council. signed by members of the British literary and theatrical establishment. led to the “Heenan Indult” – a special privilege granted by Paul VI to Cardinal Heenan of Westminster to allow a limited usage of the older rite in the United Kingdom. in the United Kingdom where many of the Elizabethan martyrs were sent to the scaffold for attending the Mass that Paul VI now regarded as not pastorally suitable for ‘modern man’. David Jones.68 There was thus something of a ‘plain language’ attitude about in the mid-1960s as the linguistic equivalent of the abandonment of hats and gloves and the use of formal titles in social discourse. and that the Church should drop all references to his Kingship. for his decision to introduce what became known as the Novus Ordo or new rite. Graham Greene. which was now completely out of step with a common preference for democratic republics.71 In practice however.

This may seem an unnecessary exaltation of God at the expense of man. The example of our great High Priest tells us so.72 Aidan Nichols.73 Therefore. shades indeed. Although Ratzinger was influenced by the new liturgical movement of the first half of the twentieth century and enthusiastic about the potential for liturgical renewal in the early 1960s. once we realize that our sanctification is nothing other than our incorporation into the glorification of God through Jesus Christ Our Lord. he came to regard the liturgical experiments of the post-Conciliar period in a largely negative light. But we see that things cannot be otherwise. what are regarded by many as ‘mere matters of form’ are regarded by Ratzinger as front line issues in the battle for the re-evangelization of the formerly Christian countries of the Western world. has explained the theological problem with ‘bringing God down to the level of the people’ in the following terms: The Liturgy as saving action is ‘catabatic’ coming down from God to human beings. is itself subordinated to its doxological purpose. But notice that. since its organic development was brought to an abrupt end in 1969. which was nothing less than an act of apostasy. So also in the Liturgy the soteriological intent of the rite. Many found themselves faced with a choice between museum-piece liturgy or banal sacro-pop. 42 .BENEDICT XVI a living rite. What by contrast is anabatic – going up to God – about the liturgy is the glorification of God by men. his first Apostolic Exhortation. the leading English authority on the thought of Ratzinger. at our sanctification. it is to such anabatic glorification that the sanctifying divine action is ultimately directed. Christ’s entire life and passion was directed chiefly to the glorification of the Father: even the salvation of the human race was subordinated to this goal. while the catabatic aspect of the Liturgy must come first. This ‘heritage piece’ quality of the traditional rite also had the effect of deterring Catholics who were fully supportive of the theological renewal brought about by the Second Vatican Council from its attendance. aiming as it does. In The Spirit of the Liturgy he argued that liturgists who sought to bring God down to the level of the people were engaging in behaviour analogous to the Hebrew’s worship of the golden calf. of a Feuerbachian nightmare. In Sacramentum Caritatis.

was transfigured before their eyes (cf. he is not disturbed by the use of more than one official rite. James and John beheld when the Master. Providing this criterion is met. in a certain sense. if the liturgical action is to reflect its innate splendour. while aspects of the Novus Ordo (perhaps the presentation of the scripture readings 43 . The memorial of Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice contains something of that beauty which Peter. it has thus become a perfectly legitimate. such as the Carmelite and Dominican. he said. Since all of these are organic developments of rites of apostolic provenance. but rather an essential element of the liturgical action. Since the Motu Proprio of 7 July 2007. they are acceptable. making his way to Jerusalem. Ratzinger has stated that he hopes that the simultaneous existence of the two Roman rites will be ‘mutually enriching’. He is not a bureaucrat with a passion for uniformity. in his preface to Alcuin Reid’s The Organic Development of the Liturgy Ratzinger noted that no one. and different spiritual groups. Beauty. since it is an attribute of God himself and his revelation. but ‘Extraordinary Form’ of the Roman rite. Mk 9:2). Summorum Pontificum stated that the traditional Mass must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage.74 For Ratzinger the most important principle for any rite to enjoy validity is that it be an organic development of a rite of apostolic provenance. a glimpse of heaven on earth.75 What seems to be implied in this statement is the idea that the sense of mystery and transcendence which is pervasive in the Extraordinary Form might offer a corrective to the more mundane orientation of many celebrations of the Novus Ordo. is not mere decoration. has been a long standing element of Catholic liturgical life. then. not even the pope. By virtue of the same principle. who can do some pruning and oversee the liturgy’s organic development. it is a sublime expression of God’s glory and. has the authority to create new liturgies out of the fabric of their own imaginations. is rather like a gardener.THE HUMANIST CULTURE OF THE INCARNATION he wrote that everything associated with the Eucharist must be marked by beauty: The beauty of the liturgy is part of this mystery. Moreover. These considerations should make us realize the care which is needed. The pope. The existence of a plurality of rites associated with different linguistic groups such as the Maronite and Ukrainian.

78 44 . regardless of national identity. is something which I can only deeply deplore. In an apologetic letter to the bishops of the world he wrote: A gesture of reconciliation with an ecclesial group engaged in a process of separation thus turned into its very antithesis: an apparent step backwards with regard to all the steps of reconciliation between Christians and Jews taken since the Council – steps which my own work as a theologian had sought from the beginning to take part in and support. as well as peace within the Church. and the Latin Gloria. Why he thought Williamson worthy of Episcopal consecration remains an enigma. should be a standard share in the cultural capital of any Catholic. Richard Williamson.77 In the process he suffered the humiliation of discovering after the event. that one of the four bishops. Ratzinger prefers the scripture readings to be in the vernacular. but believes that a knowledge of the Greek Kyrie. fought for the French Resistance and died in the Nazi concentration camp of Sonnenburg. in lifting the decrees of ex-communication the pope was intending to remove all possible pretexts for infinite arguing in his negotiations with members of Archbishop Lefebvre’s Society of St Pius X. ‘doctrinal questions remain and until they are clarified the Society has no canonical status in the Church and its ministers cannot legitimately exercise any ministry’. In order to further ‘heal a wound in the ecclesial fabric’ in January 2009 Ratzinger released from the penalty of ex-communication the four men who had been illicitly ordained bishops by Archbishop Lefebvre. René Lefebvre. Sanctus and Agnes Dei. This gesture does not mean a return to full Communion with the Church of the traditionalist groups since this would require such groups to accept that the documents of the Second Vatican Council are capable of a theologically sound interpretation and many individuals within this movement continue to resist this judgment. but suffice to say that Ratzinger was extremely embarrassed by this discovery.76 According to the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. Archbishop Lefebvre’s own father. Credo.BENEDICT XVI in the vernacular) might foster the organic development of the Extraordinary Form. issued in July 2009. is a holocaust denier. As Ratzinger wrote in paragraph 4 of the Motu Proprio Ecclesiae Unitatem. That this overlapping of two opposed processes took place and momentarily upset peace between Christians and Jews.

Ratzinger’s understanding of the importance of history. author of How the West was Lost. The central message is that the only resistance to philistinism and nihilism within contemporary Western culture is coming from the Catholic Church and those of her intellectuals who understand that the main weapon of Modman is a ‘slow imposition of philistine values on society’. and his aversion to the accommodation to the mass culture of modernity pastoral strategies of many of his generation.THE HUMANIST CULTURE OF THE INCARNATION In summary. have at least an intuitive grasp of the problems generated by ‘Modman Philistine’. ‘Modman’. Seminarians who receive an impoverished education will graduate to ordination without the necessary cultural capital with which to contend with mass culture. French Catholics who refer to EuroDisney as a ‘cultural Chernobyl’ and deliberately give tourists the wrong directions to McDonald’s and prefer that their families attend solemn liturgy. memory and a Catholic culture which is at once both high and popular. those who have a sense that 45 .80 Included within the strategy is the replacement of the historic role of the father by the state bureaucracy. and the eventual abolition of the family itself. According to Boot. His critiques of the problems of mass culture also converge with those of nonCatholic social philosophers such as Scruton and de Botton and from a more popular literary level one finds some strong resonances between the academic Ratzinger and the more popularist Alexander Boot. A priest who is himself unable to rise above this culture will not be able to liberate others and he will be rejected by those of a nihilist disposition as a typical member of the herd from which the nihilist is trying to escape. accompanied by a gradual imposition of political and economic power that can force ‘Westman’ into compliance. preferably in Latin. The problem for Ratzinger is that precisely because the Second Vatican Council is popularly seen as having given its approval to the culture of modernity.79 Boot traces the emergence of “modern man” whom he calls “Modman” to the Reformation and contrasts him with the Catholic ‘Westman’. today comes in two species: ‘Modman Philistine’ and ‘Modman Nihilist’. an evolutionary development from Reformation man. do represent points of convergence between he and the traditionalists and also many members of the new ecclesial movements which have mushroomed since the Second Vatican Council. Ratzinger’s concerns about philistines being in charge of seminary formation are consistent with Boot’s sociological diagnosis.

Ratzinger himself has remarked that Catholics cannot live in some kind of spiritual nature reserve. providing one uses what he calls ‘a hermeneutic of continuity’ rather than a ‘hermeneutic of disruption’. Against such tendencies Ratzinger does insist that the documents of the Second Vatican Council are perfectly capable of orthodox and hostile-to-philistinism interpretations. have a tendency to turn their hostility onto the Council.82 However what is static is the theological foundation for this: the once and for all events of the creation of the world. the Christmas songs of the trees of the forest are all inspired by him. as the pre-Conciliar Thomists tended to do. to find security and understanding in the presence of the God who is poor. The suffering of the world too – its misery – comes to him in order. and human voices like musical instruments have found their most beautiful melodies when they cast themselves at his feet. It is far from fostering a museum-piece Catholic culture or ghetto.BENEDICT XVI Catholicism and Philistinism are enemies. the praise of their stone. for a moment. and Ratzinger obviously occupies the Catholic end of the spectrum. is the humanism of the Incarnation. which make possible 46 . that the mere interest in the question of the relationship between history and ontology evinces dangerous modernist and ultimately nihilist dispositions. the Incarnation. the multi-coloured light from the windows of our great cathedrals. poetically expressed in his following statement: The Magi of the Gospel are but the first in a vast pilgrimage in which the beauty of this earth is laid at the feet of Christ: the gold of the ancient Christian mosaics. as Schenk recognized. He does not accept (as many of the traditionalists do). Since its dynamism is generated by the work of grace in the lives of Christians its potential social and cultural achievements are almost infinite. His answer to the nihilist Romantics of the nineteenth century and the marketeers of nihilism and philistinism in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. and the Paschal Mysteries. While it is true that Ratzinger has been interested in the Rhineland or Romantic movement theological themes and critical of pre-Conciliar scholasticism. these themes can be developed.81 This humanism is something dynamic. He further believes that it is not possible to defend tradition while eschewing the importance of history. in either a Catholic or nihilist direction.

As David S Yeago has explained the theory: Because the encounter of nature and grace is a meeting of contingencies in freedom. characterized by freedom and surprise.THE HUMANIST CULTURE OF THE INCARNATION the intimacy between the Divine and the human. Precisely how in Ratzinger’s theology this eternal element is handed down from one generation to another is the subject of the following chapter. 47 . with its situations. the encounter of theological reflection with human culture cannot be governed by any general method or forced a priori into an invariant theoretical framework. unpredictable. It is impossible to tell in advance of its occurrence just how the resolution of the story will relate to the various elements of the plot in their concrete diversity. one has to watch the story unfold and see. and the resolution that bestows on the drama its final sense and significance.83 The only qualification one might add to Yeago’s summary is that what humanity has learned about God through the Incarnation and the Paschal Mysteries is not something which is subject to change over time. In a dramatic narrative configuration. are contingent. the sacramental presence of God in the world. both the developing plot. characters and themes.

In his commentary on Dei Verbum. referring to the body of beliefs. but he also observed that Cardinal Meyer’s concerns were not taken up by other Conciliar fathers or their periti.1 This is notwithstanding the fact that at the level of the parish community and in seminaries. the Council was widely interpreted as a call to overhaul and update all lower case traditions in the name of aggiornamento (renewal). and lower case t traditions. the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation promulgated at the Second Vatican Council. in the drafting of the document Dei Verbum. What did occur however. referring to customs and practices. was the presentation of an account of revelation and its relationship to Tradition which represented a return to a more 48 . The two usages of the term are often distinguished by the concepts of capital T tradition. Tradition can mean something like the word ‘customs’ or ‘practices’ such as decorating trees and building nativity sets in Christmastide. The two meanings of the word intersect in the liturgy where the practices embody the beliefs.CHAPTER 3 REVELATION. TRADITION AND HERMENEUTICS The conflict over the liturgical changes in the pontificate of Paul VI and the correlationist pastoral strategies of leading theologians of the Conciliar generation are but individual elements of the wider issue of the theological significance of tradition. or it can mean something like a body of beliefs. Ratzinger rather acutely observed that whereas the Council of Trent was more concerned with lower case t traditions. Accordingly the chance to address this issue was lost. (the customs and practices) the Second Vatican Council only addressed capital T tradition. Ratzinger noted that Cardinal Meyer of Chicago in one of his speeches to the Council raised the issue of the importance of having some guidelines for the purification of traditions that have ceased to be living traditions.

and move as towards one goal. rather it concerns pieces of information which God has decided to disclose and whereas for St Thomas. Indeed. in favour of a new synthesis combining insights of Newman. his account of revelation is actually different from that of classical Thomism. then. revelation takes place in the judgment and understanding. along with a popular account of Tradition associated with the thought of a fourth-century monk called Vincent of the monastery of Lérins. as if it were a thing apart.2 An in depth account of how the Suárezian approach to revelation is a modern (Baroque) invention can be found in the essay by John Montag entitled ‘The False Legacy of Suárez’. In Dei Verbum. come together in some fashion to form one thing. The two themes come together in paragraph 10 of Dei Verbum.3 Montag argues that although Suárez was working within the intellectual tradition of Thomism as taught at the University of Salamanca. too. and communicate one with the other. the standard preConciliar Suárezian account of revelation was overhauled. TRADITION AND HERMENEUTICS Patristic and authentically Scholastic understanding of the topic than that which came to dominance in the post-Tridentine era and which is strongly associated with the theology of the Spanish Jesuit Francisco Suárez (1548–1617). Revelation does not occur ‘on its own’. St Thomas also understood the mediation of revelation differently from Suárez: Thomas never had cause to reify the mediation into words or propositions through which God hands over ‘things to be believed’. a shorthand way of reading Dei Verbum is to say that the account of revelation found in Suárez and the account of tradition found in Vincent de Lérins were ditched. things revealed led to faith.REVELATION. For both of them. located near Cannes on the French Riviera. Nor does Thomas separate the moment of belief or assent from some prior moment of apprehension. that for Thomas. where the ‘two sources’ theory of revelation (Scripture and Tradition) are united into one: Sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture. for Suárez faith confirms what is revealed. flowing out from the same divine well-spring. Blondel and Yves Congar. are bound closely together. revelation does not disclose God himself. before becoming part of 49 . We have seen. Guardini. For Suárez. de Lubac. as part of the assent of faith.

and the concomitant loss of an intrinsic link between the sign and the thing signified: As a result. His concern with this issue was such that one whole section of his habilitationschrift was initially devoted to a critique of the Suárezian account of revelation. revealed truth becomes something ineffably arbitrary. indicated that he would fail the dissertation because of this criticism of Suárez. these reversals between Aquinas and Suárez assume the loss in the late Middle Ages of the metaphysical framework of participation. Revelation is now something positive in addition to reason. including the theological.BENEDICT XVI human thought and experience. but he believes that primarily what was revealed was the person of Christ. the content and the authorization of revelation are prised apart. for Thomas.4 According to Montag. Their faith as such was an intellectual assent they gave to a series of dogmatic propositions. rather than in terms of the power of judgment and perception.5 Ratzinger’s attempt to deal with the Suárezian treatment of revelation as an object to which faith assents. provides a case study of a theological intervention to overcome a pastoral crisis. precisely because a rational metaphysics. and that the dogma follows after this primary event. frames all discourse. and which animates faith. The point that the young Ratzinger was making was that the Suárezian account was a Baroque initiative which differed from the understanding of the 50 . claiming to comprehend being without primary reference to God. the word which pours from the heart. But. and both aspects are thought of as isolated occurrences grounded in the will rather than a necessity intrinsic to the real. the intimate self-manifestation. precisely because this is the only way it can be construed by an already intrinsically godless reason. he clearly does believe that it has its own place and importance. As a young priest he was often shocked to find Catholics who obeyed all the ecclesial rules and regulations and assented to all the doctrines but did not experience any joy in the faith because the whole affective side of their souls was not integrated with the intellectual side. Ironically. Michael Schmaus. This is not to suggest that Ratzinger sees no place for dogma. what God reveals has precisely that quality which Luther sought to recover in his translation – that is. It had to be jettisoned however when one of the examiners.

Rahner and de Lubac. which automatically reduces faith very much to an acceptance of these supernatural insights’. which he. Revelation requires a someone who apprehends it. And this again means that there can be no such thing as pure sola scriptura (‘by Scripture alone’). By definition. These insights. then Revelation precedes Scripture and becomes deposited in Scripture but is not simply identical with it. but in the man Jesus. a perspective of communion between the human person and the divine persons’. The first was the view of tradition as an organically developing process by which tradition had to be understood in terms of the categories of growth. gained through my reading of Bonaventure. in the man who is God. And because this is so. not to the objectified result of this act. and with this the fundamental sense of tradition is already given. This in turn means that Revelation is always something greater than what is merely written down.REVELATION. no re-vel-ation has occurred. Where there is no one to perceive ‘Revelation’. TRADITION AND HERMENEUTICS scholastics. the receiving subject is always also a part of the concept of ‘Revelation’. because no veil has been removed. because an essential element of Scripture is the Church as understanding subject.6 With specific reference to Dei Verbum. Ratzinger noted that there were three motifs that came together in the struggle for this Constitution on Revelation. were later on very important for me at the time of the Conciliar discussion on Revelation. Ratzinger argued that ‘Revelation does not reveal something. we are able to understand the whole nature of man’.7 In the words of Cardinal Albert Vanhoye: ‘revelation in Dei Verbum is presented in a perspective that is not simply intellectual. helped to draft. but one of interpersonal existential relationships. if Bonaventure is right. Following Guardini. progress and the knowledge of faith that Romantic movement theologians had developed. for which revelation chiefly meant a store of mysterious supernatural teachings. Ratzinger has stated that the Conciliar fathers were ‘concerned with overcoming neo-scholastic intellectualism.8 In his biography Milestones Ratzinger wrote: The word [‘Revelation’] refers to the act in which God shows Himself.9 In another commentary on Dei Verbum. particularly from St Bonaventure. The second was the problem of the application of critical 51 . nor does it reveal various kinds of things. Because.

but with how it was handed down. The subject of tradition was of special significance for the French given that it was among the eighteenth-century French philosophes that hostility to the concept first erupted in the period of the Revolution.10 With respect to the first of these. in particular. Blondel was keen to 52 . In his preface to Maurice Blondel’s History and Dogma. in relation to article 8 of Dei Verbum which addresses the handing on of apostolic preaching from one generation to another. Blondel’s notion of Tradition [in contrast] was conceived not in a political light or context. the notion that nothing whatsoever should change and therefore in practice to un rétrogradisme meurtrier. . came to mean the conservation of a heritage. of an object.12 Blondel thus stands as a bridge between the nineteenth-century Romantics and late twentieth-century Catholic scholars of tradition such as Alasdair MacIntyre. a fatally retrograde attitude towards intellectual questions . the whole emphasis fell on what was handed down. ‘the deposit of the faith’. regardless of what it was applied to. he was not concerned in the first place with what was handed down. This impersonal way of conceiving Tradition led inevitably to what Blondel calls fixisme. and it would hardly be a caricature to say that it was so objective as not to imply any believers to hand down the deposit. and no thought was given to how it was handed down.BENEDICT XVI historical methods to the interpretation of Scripture and the third was the growing interest in biblical scholarship in Catholic circles. . Alexander Dru offered the following observations of the treatment of tradition in French intellectual life after the Revolution: Tradition was viewed in a political light and. As with MacIntyre. He was not trying to defend continuity. but in a cultural or aesthetic one. Ratzinger observed that it is not difficult ‘to recognize the pen of Yves Congar in the text and to see behind it the influence of the Catholic Tübingen School of the nineteenth century with. . which in turn was strongly impregnated by the spirit of German Romanticism’. The common view of Tradition was mechanical. and in Christianity of a clearly defined object.11 Yves Congar was a French Dominican and author of the two volume La Tradition et les traditions (1960–1963) which remains a classic text in the field. The handing down of the ‘deposit’ was looked upon as an impersonal process. its dynamic and organic idea of tradition. and in particular.

worship. the great river that leads us to the gates of eternity’. In History and Dogma.” does not only extend to all believers in a specific historical period.16 It is not ‘the transmission of things. but also embraces all the epochs and all the generations’. Tradition is less concerned to conserve than to discover: it will only attain the α at the ω. but a power of development and expansion. who accompanies and guides in the Spirit the community he has gathered together’.13 Such typically Blondelian and Tübingen-style motifs and treatments of tradition regularly surface in the works of Ratzinger. against the eighteenth century’s tendency to regard as rational only that which is universal and impersonal. and faithful to the injunction to make it bear fruit. Blondel wrote: [W]hen it is a question of finding the supernatural in Sacred History and in dogma.REVELATION. . ‘Tradition’ is ‘not merely the material transmission of what was given at the beginning to the Apostles. exegesis is nothing without Tradition – the Catholic Tradition which is now seen to be not a limitative and retrograde force. variety and heterogeneity. . He also emphasized the personal element in the handing on of a tradition. since it is passed on and actualized in the faith.18 The reference here is to the model of tradition offered in 53 . or words.15 Moreover. but the effective presence of the Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus. and communion of the People of God. illustrated in the Glory of the Lord and Theo-Drama makes it apparent that Balthasar is involved in an essential revision of the model of tradition as that which is one and the same everywhere and at all times’. a collection of dead things [but] the living river that links us to the origins .14 Due to the work of the Holy Spirit ‘it will always be possible for subsequent generations to have the same experience of the Risen One that was lived by the apostolic community at the origin of the Church. In his Wednesday audience address of 26 April 2006.17 Cyril O’Regan has also described von Balthasar’s oeuvre as a critical recapitulation of the view of tradition offered by the Tübingen School: ‘the commitment to plurality. Careful not to hide its talent safely away. the Gospel is nothing without the Church. he stated that ‘this communion we call “Church. the teaching of Scripture is nothing without the Christian life. on pilgrimage through time’. TRADITION AND HERMENEUTICS understand the dynamics of the transmission of a tradition and the role of practices in the transferal of meaning.

but it has another conception of the nature of historical identity and continuity. Excluded also is the praxis of the saints as forms of language that emerge unanticipated. quod ab omnibus. yet answer specific 54 . is flawed . . The three basic principles offered by Lérins to distinguish the true tradition from heresy were that something had to have been held by everyone. to which the Church has nothing to add. cannot be clearly separated from what is being understood. as the process of understanding. but against this background this proves to be an inappropriate attempt to express the relationship between constancy and growth in the testimony of faith. Excluded is the variety of theological perspectives that is constituitive of the depth of the Catholic tradition.20 While Ratzinger’s criticisms focused more on fundamental principles of hermeneutics. O’Regan described the opposition of von Balthasar in the following terms: From a Balthasarian point of view. . everywhere in the Church from the earliest times. is again a step beyond Trent and Vatican I . In his essay on the Transmission of Divine Revelation. Ratzinger wrote: He [Lérins] no longer appears an authentic representative of the Catholic idea of tradition. but outlines a canon of tradition based on a semi-Pelagian idea. Vincent de Lérin’s static semper no longer seems the right way of expressing the problem. He attacks Augustine’s teaching on grace as going beyond ‘what had always been believed’. because the explanation. the position advocated by Vincent of Lérins. .BENEDICT XVI the famous Commonitory of Vincent de Lérins written in 434. quod semper.19 At the end of this text Ratzinger noted that it is not an easy matter to distinguish between the simple ideas of a given fact and its explanation. an affirmation of the definitive character of the revelation of Christ and the apostolic tradition. The rejection of the suggestion to include again Vincent de Lérin’s well known text. but which is its yardstick. more or less canonized by two councils. It is not that Vatican II is taking back what was intended in those quotations: the rejection of a modernistic evolutionism. Both Ratzinger and von Balthasar have been critical of de Lérins’ principle. The principle is often summarized by the Latin phrase Quod ubique. . which throughout the history of Catholicism has had considerable support.

Balthasar is persuaded that Lérin’s univocal and static view of tradition does not correspond to the palpable fact of the development of doctrine.REVELATION. Just as importantly. As the individual advances in contemplation. . perhaps? – the structure would stand there complete. likewise in the Church. and exemplary members of these communities’. and in every age can bring to the fore entirely new aspects of Divine Revelation. and then proceeding to the more and more detailed work required to complete the edifice until finally – shortly before the Last Judgment. What is entirely intolerable is the notion that the ‘progress of dogma’ gradually narrows down the unexplored area of divine truth. Aaron Canty summarized much of the above in the following paragraph: The fact that revelation and the response to revelation that is faith both occur in time and space implies that both revelation and faith grow over time. the 55 . 21 O’Regan summarized von Balthasar’s account of tradition with the statement: ‘truth is objective.22 In his own account. but nevertheless the Spirit can in every age blow where he will. yet refracted over time through Christian communities. however. continually allowing less and less space to the free play of thought within the faith. This process is true both for the individual believer and for the Church as a whole. consisting in all its aspects of fully ‘used up’ defined dogma. TRADITION AND HERMENEUTICS communal and historical needs . . Balthasar endorses the notion of the development of Tradition but states that it is wrong to think of this process as something like filling in pieces of a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle: The truths that come into new prominence can never contradict the old.23 In an essay on Bonaventurian resonances in Ratzinger’s theology of revelation. Lérin’s definition is in danger of denying the symbolic nature of all language with respect to the divine and promoting the view that doctrine is adequate to the mystery to which it refers. as though ‘progress’ consisted in first of all establishing the main outlines of the faith. the soul perceives more profoundly the truths that Scripture contains.

Reimarus (1694–1768) who offered rationalistic explanations for miracles.25 With reference to these different versions of the historical Jesus. 56 . wrote an enormously popular Life of Jesus which traced his development as a revolutionary. K. The names most strongly associated with the method are those of Rudolf Bultmann (1884– 1976) and Martin Dibelius (1883–1947). The initiator of this quest was the German Deist philosopher H. Bahrdt (1741–1792) developed the argument that Jesus was a member of the Essene sect and tried to develop a rationalist religion to suit their purposes. His approach represented the adoption of themes in the existential philosophy of Martin Heidegger to biblical hermeneutics. Scripture contains an infinite number of ‘seeds’ or interpretations that require time to unfold them. Strauss (1808–1874). F.24 This leads to the second and third motifs mentioned by Ratzinger as matters driving the deliberations of those who worked on the drafting of Dei Verbum. Catholic scholars required more sophisticated intellectual tools with which to respond to the rise of the study of hermeneutics and the conclusions drawn by the application of the historical-critical method to Scripture. Linked to the historical-critical method was a body of research described as the search for the historical Jesus. author of The Life of Jesus: Critically Examined. Strauss was followed by Bruno Bauer (1809–1882) who denied the historical existence of Christ and argued that Christianity represents a synthesis of the Stoicism of Seneca the Younger and the Jewish theology of Philo. He was followed by the German theologian D. while Ernest Renan (1823–1892). for whom Christianity is a myth which encodes a philosophical concept of the unity of the divine and human consciousness. a Breton philosopher. Ratzinger rhetorically asked: How is it possible to come to an understanding which on the one hand is not based on some arbitrary choice of particular aspects.BENEDICT XVI contemplative part of the Church learns more and more about the revelation contained in Scripture. S. Bultmann denied that readers of the scriptures had any hope of an objective understanding of the events depicted there. F. and suggested that the important factor was the existential impact of Scripture which could not be spelt out in a dogmatic form.

Everything 57 . Jesus Christ.31 In the following passage Ratzinger offers a summary indictment of the problems associated with the methodology of Bultmann and Dibelius: Despite all the differences between Dibelius and Bultmann in matters of detail. the event is the irrational element. the inner harmony between historical analysis and hermeneutical synthesis must be first found. But then. He suggests that the self-critique of historical method would have to begin by reading its conclusions in a diachronic manner so that the appearance of a quasi-clinical-scientific certainty is avoided and exegesis is recognized as an historical discipline:28 Certainly texts must first of all be traced back to their historical origins and interpreted in their proper historical context. Both of them assume the primacy of preaching over event: in the beginning was the word. Dibelius und R. who can reawaken it so that it can live and speak to me? Let me put it another way: if ‘hermeneutics’ is ever to become convincing. in a second exegetical operation.27 He recommended Reiner Blank’s Analyse und Kritik der formgeschichtlichen Arbeiten von M.REVELATION. For Dibelius and Bultmann and the mainstream of modern exegesis.26 As a general principle Ratzinger concluded that what is needed is a self-criticism of the historical method which can expand to an analysis of historical reason itself.30 Against this principle Ratzinger holds that both word and event have to be considered equally original since ‘a dualism which separates them leads to a docetic Christology in which the fleshly existence of Christ is removed from the realm of reality’. one can detect here a whole series of fundamental assumptions they hold in common and that both unquestionably regard as trustworthy. Only the combination of both these methods will yield understanding of the Bible. TRADITION AND HERMENEUTICS but on the other hand allows me to hear the message of the text and not something coming from my own self ? Once the methodology has picked history to death by its dissection.29 Ratzinger further argues that it is necessary to re-examine the relationship between event and word. one must look at them also in light of the total movement of history and in light of history’s central event. Bultmann (Basel: 1981) as a model of this kind of research.

the word generates the scene.35 Christianity is thereby reduced to a syncretic mixture of Jewish eschatology. To be a Christian according to the mind of Jesus was therefore substantially the same as the way of existing in openness and vigilance that we find depicted in Heidegger.33 Closely connected to this is the tendency to oppose the Jewish to the Hellenistic and among those things that Bultmann considered Hellenistic were the idea of the cosmos.34 What remains of Christ after he has been de-Hellenized is a ‘strictly eschatological prophet who at bottom proclaims no substantive message’. a clothing of the word in mythical form. but among philosophers. the hermeneutical questions of the past couple of centuries cannot be set aside. Bultmann pushes this thesis to the point that only the word can be original for him.BENEDICT XVI else unfolds out of preaching. Everything that is an event is accordingly by definition secondary. As Chairman of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. we could say that he sets up a correspondence between non-apocalyptic prophetism and certain fundamental ideas of the early Heidegger. While aspects of their approach to scripture need to be retrieved.36 Notwithstanding the Heideggarian contribution Ratzinger believes that behind the whole enterprise of Bultmann and Dibelius lies the Kantian turn.37 He further argues that the debate about modern exegesis is not at its core a debate among historians.32 Ratzinger then suggests that the thesis that the word has priority over the event gives rise to two further pairs of antitheses: ‘the playing off of word against cult and of eschatology against apocalypse’. which he defines as the reduction of history to and by philosophy. and that the exegete must refrain from approaching the interpretation of the text with a ready-made philosophy. Ratzinger presided over the drafting of two significant documents: The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (1993) and The Jewish People and 58 . stoic philosophy and Greek mystery religion: If we may characterise somewhat crudely Bultmann’s method of appropriating Jesus’ message for the present. Nonetheless he believes that Christians cannot simply return to the Scholastics and Patristics as a shield against modernity. mystical religiosity and cultic piety.

It makes a resonant claim that is heard by readers whether as individuals or as members of a group. In the Interpretation of the Bible in the Church the historicalcritical method is praised for its contribution to a deeper understanding of the ‘intention of the authors and editors of the Bible as well as the message which they addressed to their first readers’ and it is described as ‘implying no a priori if used in an objective manner’. Readers come to the text with their own questions. The latter was the document in which the Church definitively accepted the use of the philological and historical method in the study of the Bible. These built on principles set out in Dei Verbum. also under Ratzinger’s chairmanship: Bringing to light the communality between interpreter and the object of interpretation requires taking into account the questions that motivate the research and their effect on the answers that are found. for the text exercises an influence and provokes reactions. exercise a certain selectivity. in the end. TRADITION AND HERMENEUTICS their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible (2002). Words of caution are however sounded over the practice of some exegetes of hooking the method up to ‘certain hermeneutical choices’ which can be ‘tendentious’. and the interpreting community whose language is spoken and to whom one intends to speak. a statement of the International Theological Commission. the living context in which the work is undertaken. Essentially the same hermeneutical principles underpin the document Memory and Reconciliation: the Church and the Faults of the Past. With respect to the particular issue of Wirkungsgeschichte (the study of the history of the influence of a particular text) the following observation is made: The mutual presence to each other of text and readers creates its own dynamic. propose an interpretation and. He or she belongs to a social context and lives within a tradition. are able either to create a further work or else take initiatives inspired directly from their reading of Scripture. The reader is in any case never an isolated subject.REVELATION. as well as the encyclical Providentissimus Deus of Leo XIII and Divino afflante Spiritu of Pius XII. Reading scripture through the lens of Marxism or Feminism are two specific examples of this practice given in the document.38 59 .

39 Alasdair MacIntyre.BENEDICT XVI Most significant here is the reference to an interpreting community.42 Ratzinger was also influenced by Guardini’s article ‘The Science of Faith’ published as ‘Heilige Schrift und Glaubenswissenchaft’. In this way the real contribution of exegesis to an understanding of Jesus is fully acknowledged. according to Guardini’s understanding. the institution of the Church and her interpretations of the passages.43 Guardini referred to the Pauline text (1 Cor. Contemporary hermeneutical scholarship has emphasized the principle that thinking always involves thinking in the context of some particular and specific public. and Hebrews 11: 27 – faith is the means to see the invisible. this means that the scriptures must be interpreted from within the horizon of faith itself and. for example. from Ratzinger’s point of view. a “fusion of horizons”’. the listener makes himself the believing 60 . has referred to the institutional structure of Plato’s Academy and Aquinas’s Dominican Order and to the differences between English culture and Highland Gaelic culture and the ‘public’ of each of these. 1961). Ratzinger has written that ‘the exegete must realise that he does not occupy a neutral position above or outside Church history and he must acknowledge that the faith is the hermeneutic. He has stated that ‘the reflections on method that Guardini develops on pages 7–15 are among the most important things that have ever been said on the problem of methodology in scriptural interpretation’. But in this attentiveness to the text. 2:14–15): The things of the Spirit of God can only be judged spiritually. Similarly Hans Georg Gadamer argued in Truth and Method that human beings always operate from within the horizons of particular languages and traditions and thus ‘meaning is not an objective property of the text that the interpreter discovers so much as an event in the present. forms part of that horizon.41 This principle is something which he has taken from Guardini’s Das Christusbild der paulinischen und johanneischen Schriften (Würzburg. Rather. which will normally have its own institutional structure. which does not dogmatically force itself upon the Bible. does not make himself to be the Master of the Word. the locus of understanding. Ratzinger has summarized Guardini’s horizon in the following terms: For Guardini the first step is always attentive listening to the message of the scriptural text.40 When applied to the scriptures. but is the only way of letting it be itself’. the listener.

he becomes more like God. disclosing the inward divine meaning of the words through a kind of co-working of God. In the dynamism of his being. but in a profession without end. since we have been touched by the very humanity of God himself. This first idea is paired with a second one in Gregory: God’s entrance into man has taken historical form in the Incarnation. and the Spirit is the agent of revelation’s perfection’. in its scope. that is to say. it is in this way that our eyes are slowly opened. 61 . It can only be grasped in the setting of faith. the Son reveals. As Kevin Vanhoozer expresses the principle: ‘Scripture is not merely “writing” but rather a key instrument in the communicative economy of the triune God in which the Father is revealed.44 The same recognition of faith as a necessary preambula to exegesis has been defended by von Balthasar in the following terms: Christ’s divinity cannot be wholly comprehended through his humanity. (I Cor. The new subject. and no more can the divine sense of Scripture ever be fully plumbed through the letter. and that we come to recognize what is truly human. on the Holy Spirit. and by this wound we are opened up. a progression ultimately dependent. the Adam who finds his unity in the Church.9–16)45 In this analysis scriptural interpretation becomes part of the work of the Holy Spirit. It is precisely by repudiating a closed merely human logic that the greatness and uniqueness of his Person becomes apparent to us. no more and no less. God wounds the soul – the Son is this wound. but God can get into him. Faith. 2. opens from within to be in contact with the Son. The individual human monads are broken open into the new subject that is the new Adam.REVELATION. expands our created minds by making them participate in the mind of God. TRADITION AND HERMENEUTICS disciple who allows himself to be led and enlightened by the Word. man can also transcend himself. in a mode of hearing that never issues in final vision.46 In the following paragraph Ratzinger draws this link between scriptural hermeneutics and theological anthropology: Man cannot get out of himself. the foundation of all our understanding of revelation. It is precisely in this way that the prison of our prejudice is broken open. and likeness is knowing – we know what we are.

though it continues to provide something of a hermeneutical horizon for the study of scripture by liberation theologians. represents an attack on the very notion of the relevance of Tradition. that he sees an intrinsic relationship between biology and sexual identity. Each of these three traditions has its own internal sub-divisions and there are points of convergence. Feminist and postmodern theologians are now the most common critics of Ratzinger and there are. postmodern Feminists. and that Tradition develops when there has been a change in context by those who receive it. Blondel and Ratzinger come from those who want to approach the scriptures with a foundation in a particular philosophy that is somehow inconsistent with the ideas presented above. von Balthasar.49 Modernity. His account of Tradition brings into relief the specific difference of Ratzinger’s position. of course.48 Boeve notes that the ‘change of context brought about by modernity does not so much confront the Christian tradition with new questions (similar to former context shifts). Since 1989 the Marxist tradition has been on the wane. Boeve begins from the principle that those who inherit a Tradition are not only its heirs but also its testators. Lieven Boeve of Leuven is a prominent theologian engaged with postmodern philosophy and also with the theology of Ratzinger. Thomas gave these two ideas a metaphysical turn in the principles of analogy and participation. Boeve then argues that both the correlation-to-modernity theorists 62 . By doing so. Feminism or postmodernism. rather it presents a fundamental challenge to the very right to existence of a “tradition-based” Christian narrative’. Typically they are scholars with an attachment to Marxism. as well as contradiction.47 Among theologians the major criticisms of an approach to scripture and tradition derived from the works of de Lubac. that is. Guardini.BENEDICT XVI and so with the triune God himself. with elements of the classical Christian framework or narrative. he made possible an open philosophy that is capable of accepting the biblical phenomenon in all of its radicalism. The standard criticisms from both Feminist and postmodern quarters are that Ratzinger believes that Christianity is a ‘master-narrative’ (a comprehensive explanation of historical experience or knowledge) valid for all times and all peoples and that his anthropology is ‘essentialist’. in other words.

In the first instance. the tradition as bestower of meaning was neglected. traditionalists and many young Catholic scholars who came of age during the pontificate of John Paul II) and interruption (his own project) which requires an intellectual engagement between Christianity and postmodern philosophy which is in some sense different from that in which the Radical Orthodoxy scholars and Catholic scholars supportive of magisterial teaching are involved. Boeve’s project is one of recontextualizing the Catholic faith with reference to postmodernity.50 Boeve juxtaposes the notions of correlation (in short hand terms. but rather conversion of a world characterized by the absence of faith and declining values. The current context. Schillebeeckx. Whereas the correlationists were seeking to correlate the Catholic faith and modernity. TRADITION AND HERMENEUTICS and Catholic traditionalists generate problems because they only adhere to a single pole of the relationship with Tradition – either to the pole of being an heir. Küng and Tracy). The modernizing tendency emphasized the idea of being contextual benefactors: the inheritance was streamlined. has alienated itself to such a degree from the Christian faith that an emphasis on the Christian alternative as a rupture with the world is the only approach that can claim legitimacy. and where necessary. adapted. a creative and life-giving reception of the tradition is rarely mentioned. or to the pole of being a testator: Traditionalists over emphasize the idea of being heirs: the inheritance is preserved and passed on as a whole. Boeve concludes that for Ratzinger: It is not dialogue with the world that one should expect to find on the theological agenda. the Christian narrative ran the risk of becoming a (legitimating) reduplication of the modern master narratives. the pastoral projects of correlating the faith to the culture of modernity. Radical Orthodoxy scholars. the tradition as a dynamic process of recontextualisation was abandoned. In the second instance. Barthians. certainly the European context. corrected in the light of the modern critique of tradition. undifferentiated.REVELATION. popular in the immediate post-Conciliar era and associated with Rahner. rupture or discontinuity (the highly critical of secularism stance of Ratzinger.51 63 .

Her whole reason for being is to mediate Christ to the world.BENEDICT XVI Ratzinger would probably argue in response that while he is not opposed to dialogue. However this is not to say that history or culture itself constitutes the Tradition. can be denied. in order to understand religion. which is inevitably particular and tied to a definite historical starting-point. is the Universal Sacrament of Salvation. the faith of those in first-century 64 . the individual’s participation within the life of the Trinity can lead to a deepening of a knowledge of the narrative. the purpose of dialogue is conversion. to be the light for the nations. For Ratzinger Christianity is the master-narrative in the sense that other narratives are usually either pre-figurements or post-Christian mutations of the Christian narrative. and for the community of believers who share the same horizon of faith. which. nor his humanity. from the lofty height of a liberal-rationalistic standpoint. according to the ecclesiology of Vatican II. Moreover.52 To extend Boeve’s testator metaphor. New historical contexts may exercise an influence over the appropriation of the Tradition. the point of this dialogue was not simply to repeat nineteenth and early twentieth century scholarship in comparative religion. the Church herself. had judged the religions with the self-assurance of enlightened reason. As he expressed the point in the context of Jewish-Christian dialogue: To be sure. can lead the way to mutual understanding and thus to a deepening and purification of religion. This is what she does in her dialogue with the world. However. However it might be argued that he and Boeve have a different idea about development itself. both for the individual. nor can doctrines like the Trinity or creation in time. it is necessary to experience it from within. indeed. Neither Christ’s divinity. As Kaplan explained Adam Möhler’s account of the development of tradition. Some elements of the Tradition may be more or less easily appropriated in different cultural contexts. that only such experience. He also approaches dialogue with the proponents of other traditions from within the horizon of Christian revelation. and that. Today there is a broad consensus that such a standpoint is an impossibility. one might say that Ratzinger is highly sensitive to the intentions of the deceased as expressed in the testamentary document. Ratzinger would also probably emphasize that he does believe in the organic development of tradition.

do foster developments within the tradition as social conditions encourage a deeper reflection on some particular aspect of revelation. such as occurred to Jewish Christians finding themselves in far-flung posts of the Roman empire. However he added that ‘the individual is never fully expressed through his or her own culture. Ratzinger would no doubt acknowledge that changes in the cultural context. by themselves. or Catholics finding themselves in the midst of a Protestant province during the Reformation. nothing new can be added to revelation itself.54 He adds that this is not to reduce faith solely to its context or to suggest that the development of tradition is a mere adaptation to the context. Cordes stated that ‘the theologian misinterprets the concept of Revelation when he suggests that human life situations might acquire the quality of 65 . While the Christian’s understanding of it may deepen and be encouraged by a particular historical condition to deepen in a particular way. TRADITION AND HERMENEUTICS Palestine is not a different faith from those in nineteenth-century Swabia.55 This stance was also taken by another German Cardinal. In taking such a stance Ratzinger is actually much closer to the postmoderns than the moderns since he rejects the idea that there can be a neutral view from somewhere external to the tradition. Boeve however argues ‘that Christian faith and tradition are not only contained in a specific historico-cultural context. Moreover. These themes were addressed by Ratzinger during a meeting with organizations involved in Interreligious Dialogue at the Auditorium of the Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem. ‘lives of religious fidelity echo God’s irruptive presence and so form a culture not defined by boundaries of time or place but fundamentally shaped by the principles and actions that stem from belief’. for Ratzinger revelation occurred at a particular once-and-for-all moment in history. but transcends it in the constant search for something beyond’. Cordes. De Lubac in his essay Le Révélation Divine was quite emphatic about this principle. in a 2009 address in Sydney to Catholic academics and representatives of Church agencies. historical events bring us no increase in supernatural revelation’.REVELATION. At this meeting he acknowledged that ‘faith is always lived within a culture’ and that believers ‘draw from and shape the culture’ they meet.53 They must be enlightened by the light that comes from the Gospel. Paul J. He argued that history is not the medium of revelation or salvation: ‘whether we are talking about profane or ecclesiastical history. However. but are also co-constituted by this context’.

and those which were mere historical stage props? The fault lines between the various groups labelled by Boeve as correlationists. For example. fosters the notion that the governance structures of the Church should change throughout history to keep pace with other forms of social organization. She does not need the majority principle. The Incarnation and Pascal Mysteries are either Divine Revelation or they are mere myths associated with a particular Semitic tribe which because of its incorporation within the Roman empire. Against this classification. If however they are Divine Revelation. She can only try ever more clearly to understand the inner call of faith and to live from faith. when he was still a young professor. For Ratzinger history and context are important but revelation is not just another ‘master-narrative’.BENEDICT XVI Revelation. Ratzinger has written: Authority in the Church stands on faith. As he wrote. 66 . This effectively classifies the Episcopal hierarchy as an historical stage prop. which always has something atrocious about it . the sacramental order guarantees more freedom than could be given by those who would subject the Church to the majority principle. Hans Küng’s ecclesiology as presented in his Structures of the Church. spread throughout the Roman colonies and eventually became the dominant myth of Europe. and one might add.56 The baseline question thus seems to be: how do theologians distinguish between elements of revelation that are of eternal significance.57 Thus we return to Ratzinger’s observation that the most serious crisis for twentieth-century Catholic theology is coming to an understanding of the mediation of history in the realm of ontology. . discontinuity theorists and proponents of a theology of interruption are often defined by a different judgment about what is a mere stage prop and what must remain essential to the script. The Church holds that Revelation is complete with the death of the last Apostle’. . The Church cannot conceive for herself how she wants to be ordered. the role of history in the interpretation and transmission of Tradition. then all the other myths are in a sense redundant. There exist huge divisions between those who judge elements of the cultures of modernity and postmodernity as hostile to the basic principles enshrined in the testamentary documents and those who want to read-down sections within the documents as mere historical baggage which can be safely jettisoned in the new cultural context.

He has shared with us His Spirit who. we are not slaves of the universe and of its laws. The Holy Spirit does not issue a further revelation. the universe. If one asks the question of Möhler and Newman about how they can be certain the faith of a nineteenth-century Bavarian is the same as a first-century Roman the role of the Holy Spirit becomes a central factor.58 It is precisely for this reason that Balthasar argued that the real battle between religions begins after the Incarnation. 4:23]. Heaven is not empty. existing as one and the same being in the Head and in the members. It is not the elemental spirits of the universe. the laws of matter. guided by the star. but within everything and at the same time above everything. in fact. who has created the whole world through the Word. we are free. there is a personal will. because the stars were now moving in the orbit determined by Christ. which ultimately govern the world and mankind. does not tolerate the religious appearance of myths. giving it a total relevance for every moment in history’. This scene. will. he exposes the full depth of what has been completed. there is a Spirit who in Jesus has revealed himself as Love. 67 . And if we know this Person and he knows us. astrology came to an end.REVELATION. The reference here to the Holy Spirit is significant. Eph. overturns the world-view of that time.59 Such an account of the work of the Holy Spirit is contained in paragraph 7 of the Conciliar document Lumen Gentium: ‘In order that we might be unceasingly renewed in Him [cf. then truly the inexorable power of material elements no longer has the last word. In ancient times. that is. unifies and moves through the whole body’. which in a different way has become fashionable once again today. adored Christ the new king. As Balthasar noted the ‘task of making the historical existence of Christ the norm of every individual existence is the work of the Holy Spirit. it is not the laws of matter and of evolution that have the final say. love – a Person. More recently as Benedict XVI. TRADITION AND HERMENEUTICS ‘the faith in the one God. The theme is also strong in the Pauline scriptures. it rather enlightens the world’. but reason. Life is not a simple product of laws and the randomness of matter. but a personal God governs the stars. honest enquiring minds were aware of this. gives life to. Ratzinger wrote in paragraph 5 of Spe Salvi: [Saint Gregory Nazianzus] says that at the very moment when the Magi.

Moreover.BENEDICT XVI As Ormond Rush explains in his essay ‘The Holy Spirit and Revelation’. The community also lives in the same passive process: Christ alone can constitute the Church and be the true giver of the sacraments. and of the Spirit’s role in removing the veil that would prevent proper interpretation. enabling them to understand the gifts of God . according to its own ideas and desires. In many places. He believes that his proclamation of the Gospel is a divinely-assisted interpretation of the tradition. because believers are taught by the Spirit. In a Wednesday audience catechesis he illustrated his argument with reference to St Paul’s treatment of baptism in his 6th Letter to the Romans. This means that no one can baptize himself and that an ‘autonomous. Paul also witnesses to the graced quality of his re-reading of the Jewish Scriptures. it cannot be invented. He noted that St Paul uses the passive tense in the statement ‘we have been baptized’. . Paul affirms the revelatory role of the Spirit who knows the depths of God. and the old in terms of the new. in 2 Cor. it is the Holy Spirit who enables him to properly interpret them. but especially in Principles of Catholic Theology. the understanding of the Gospel and the event of preaching. is a contradiction in itself’61. 3:12–18.63 68 . .62 Thus. Ratzinger observes that the Christian community does not act on its own either. self-produced Christianity. it can only be received as a gift from God. Paul is here naming the Christian experience of the Holy Spirit as the source of the capacity to interpret the new in terms of the old. for St Paul. are all the work of the Holy Spirit: [In First Corinthians]. and.60 Ratzinger would no doubt endorse these Pauline themes as a key to any viable account of the transmission of revelation from one generation to another and he would underscore the fact that in this context the interpretative community is the Church and in a special way the sacred hierarchy. For example. Ratzinger is critical of the idea that one can learn to be a Christian on one’s own as one might pursue a degree in Christian Studies. faith is not a product of human thought and reflection. including the hearing that leads to faith. he writes of understanding the reading of Scripture in the light of Christ. they now have the mind of Christ.

does not create new visions of the world and of life. but he is at the service of truth handed down’. He argued that St Paul’s Christology is never original at the expense of faithfulness to the tradition: ‘the kerygma of the apostles always presides over the personal re-elaboration of Paul. . and that he also shares the classical mentality that pedagogy requires as a starting point. proclaimed a special ‘Pauline Year’ dedicated to the study of the Pauline scriptures. he wrote: A body remains identical precisely by being continually renewed in the process of living. . . Anyone who wants to cling merely to the words of scripture or the patterns of the early Church banishes Christ to the past. about texts de-coupled from their author. The result is either a faith that is completely sterile and has nothing to say to today or an arbitrariness that jumps over two thousand years of history and throws it into the dustbin of failure while dreaming up for itself how Christianity was really meant to appear according to scripture or according to Jesus . For Cardinal Newman the idea of development was in fact the bridge that made his conversion to Catholicism possible. Genuine identity with the origin is only to be found where there is also the living continuity that develops it and thus preserves it. Ratzinger wrote that the central mystery of salvation. namely. as Benedict XVI. the submission to the guidance of a teacher. In 1986. TRADITION AND HERMENEUTICS On the Feast of St Paul 2008 Ratzinger. .65 One might say that Ratzinger shares the attitude of many of the postmoderns that there is something sophistic about writing.66 Moreover.REVELATION. each of his arguments moves from common tradition. in a reflection on the effects of the Second Vatican Council. He also praised St Paul for not putting his own spin on what he had learned from those who had known Christ. that is. but this mystery 69 . the preacher. is not some mere ‘timeless truth’ hovering independently over a realm of changing facts.64 In this way he suggested that St Paul offers a model for all time of how to approach theology and how to preach – ‘the theologian. the death and resurrection of the Lord. My own belief is that it belongs in fact to the decisive fundamental concepts of Catholicism . in Principles of Catholic Theology. and in them he expresses the faith shared by all the Churches’.

but also on the very theological significance of history and its relationship to the future. It is rather that those impelled by the Holy Spirit have spoken under God’s influence. humanity’s response to God necessarily possesses a corporate dimension.67 This participation in the life and love of the Trinity safeguards the tradition against becoming radically historicist in the sense of being mere written words to be construed in dependence on changing social conditions. Second. 1: 20. Third. An ongoing dialectic of reception and communication continues throughout history so that ‘the individual [authors] of the Bible are inspired. that prophecy has never been put forward by man’s willing it. Benedict gives priority to God’s initiative in revealing himself to humanity. Benedict’s theology of revelation maintains a strong historical and even eschatological orientation which involves not only an emphasis on God’s plan of salvation and history. and God is speaking through the Church’. Prophecy contained in Scripture cannot therefore be the subject of a purely personal interpretation. Revelation is given to individuals who. Fourth. because of their faith. and thus the Church is active in speaking through them. faith. Benedict XVI reiterated the theme of II Pet.68 A summary of these various themes in Ratzinger’s attempt to find a legitimate place for history within tradition can be found in the following paragraph of Aaron Canty: First. In his address to the participants in the conference to mark the 40th anniversary of the promulgation of Dei Verbum. that is.BENEDICT XVI introduces Christians into ‘the dynamic circle of Trinitarian love that not only unites subject and object but even brings individual subjects together without depriving them of their individuality’. this revelation transcends the text of Scripture in such a way that faith must precede its reading for it to be transformative. form a community that continually communicates God’s revelation.69 70 .

these virtues. understanding these various components of the human soul and their relationships with one another and their potential to develop the theological virtues and receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. beauty and goodness) and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Wisdom. Piety and Fear of the Lord).CHAPTER 4 THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES In theological parlance faith. understanding and knowledge having a particular association with faith. The theological virtues are also related to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit with wisdom. Their precise treatment varies from theologian to theologian but there is a general agreement that any account of theological anthropology will include some analysis of the relationships between faculties of the soul. Understanding. hope and love are known as the theological virtues. The significance of the theological virtues has been a perennial theme in Ratzinger’s thought from his earliest years as a professor through to the earliest years of his papacy. gives one a framework for a Catholic approach to what the German Romantics called Bildung. and fear of the Lord and piety with love. These relationships are drawn out in the works of the early Church Fathers and Scholastics. theological virtues. Fortitude. Conversely. dealt with the relationship between faith and love. Knowledge. Deus Caritas Est. hope to the memory and its experience of beauty and love to the will and its appetite for goodness. Faith is especially related to the intellect and its pursuit of truth. fortitude with hope. like the Trinity itself. Counsel. In such a scheme the absence of one or more theological virtue will give rise to a spiritual disorder. 71 . transcendental properties of being (truth. Since all of creation is in a sense marked by the form of the Trinity. are said to be related in the manner of a circular dance or perichoresis. His first papal encyclical.

BENEDICT XVI and his second encyclical Spe Salvi dealt with the relationship between faith and hope.2 Behind Pieper there stands the works of Paschasius Radbertus (c. also builds on the critique of liberal notions of progress in Spe Salvi. specifically the notion that all secular visions of a perfected humanity are ultimately tragic. Jürgen Moltmann and Eveline Goodman-Thau. Motifs which appear in Spe Salvi were also foreshadowed in Ratzinger’s earlier academic works including: Faith and the Future (1971). expressed most strongly in Love Alone is Credible.1 In the shadows behind many of these publications there stands the influence of Josef Pieper’s works on Glaube.790–865) – a Frankish theologian of the Carolingian era. The third encyclical. 72 . that it is the reality of love rather than clever dialectics that will ultimately convince ‘modern man’ of the truth of Revelation. but shifts its application from eschatology to the intersection of theology with social theory. Spiritual Exercises in Faith. as well as critiques of despair and presumption and the spiritual malady of acedia in the moral theology of Augustine and Aquinas. Max Horkheimer (1895–1973) and Theodor Adorno (1903–1969) of the Institut für Sozialforschung. To these Ratzinger adds reflections on hope from St Bonaventure’s Advent Sermons and insights from more contemporary. The significance of these non-Christian authors is that they provide insights into postChristian analogues for the theological virtue of hope. Politik und Erlösung (1986). predominately Marxist authors. Hoffnung and Liebe published together with a translation in English in 1997 and his Über das Ende der Zeit published in an English translation in 1999. The core theological ideas of Caritas in Veritate were all present in Ratzinger’s essay (published in 1969) on the notion of human dignity in the Conciliar document Gaudium et Spes and these in turn reiterate themes in de Lubac’s The Drama of Atheistic Humanism (1944). Hope and Love: The Yes of Jesus Christ (1991). Principles of Catholic Theology (1982). and The End of Time? (2004) – a paper delivered at a meeting with Johann Baptist Metz. The first half of Deus Caritas Est built upon Guardini’s theme that Christianity is primarily about a personal relationship with the Trinity and Balthasar’s theme. known colloquially as the Frankfurt School. such as Ernst Bloch (1885–1977). Caritas in Veritate. The Theology of History in St Bonaventure (written as an Habilitationsschrift in the 1950s and published in an English translation in 1971).

THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES In many of these papal reflections on the theological virtues Ratzinger’s accent is on how the particular theological virtue under examination has undergone a secularist mutation. secondly into Marxist and thirdly into broader Social Darwinist notions of progress. Schall argues that as a result of the tremendous effort of modernity to make philosophy ‘practical’. Faith still exists but in Science rather than Christ. Whereas other scholars have tended to examine the cultures of modernity and postmodernity from the perspective of what they have done to the unity of the transcendentals (von Balthasar). Leo Strauss. hope and love have not disappeared in post-Enlightenment cultures but they have been mutated. or to conceptions of good government (Eric Voegelin. Schall and Eric Voegelin. the classical notions of the last things – death. and hope becomes hope in material and technical progress. In paragraph 22 of Spe Salvi (an encyclical which can be taken as an antidote to the uncritical affirmation of modernity readings of Gaudium et spes) he stated that ‘a self-critique of modernity is needed in dialogue with Christianity and its concept of hope’. love is either something completely Platonic (in the mind) or completely sensual (without a rational component). A critique of the notion of progress as a Liberal and Marxist neo-Gnostic heresy has also been a recurring theme in the works of such decided non-Marxists as James V. Central to his reading of this topic is the notion that since the time of the French Revolution the Christian understanding of hope has been mutated first into Liberal. The general idea is that faith. just as faith in Christ was formerly linked to hope in Christ. James V. or to configurations of the nature. heaven and hell – have not disappeared altogether but have been relocated within this world 73 . purgatory. Schall speaks of a ‘re-location of the supernatural virtue of hope’ in the political philosophy of modernity and recalls that Eric Voegelin characterized the logos of modernity as the ‘immanentization of the eschaton’. He partly came to this judgment through reading the three-volume work of Ernst Bloch on The Principle of Hope which he believes exemplifies the mutation. losing their Christian meaning. Kraynak). or to an understanding of the faculties of the soul and the formation of the ‘self’ (Alasdair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor). Schall and Robert P. which is linked to faith in science. Ratzinger has tended to focus his analysis on its treatment of the theological virtues. grace and culture relationship (Louis Dupré).

How can the progress of modern science and medicine and industry promise to liberate people from ignorance.6 Similarly. has always aimed at liberating human beings from fear and installing them as masters. It is one of the classics of twentieth-century social theory. the authors ask. . through the application of so-called scientific rationality. mind-numbing work. Dialectic of Enlightenment is a product of their wartime exile . Their book opens with a grim assessment of the modern West: ‘Enlightenment. and brutal.5 He suggests that ‘Liberalism and the Enlightenment want to talk us into accepting a world without fear: they promise the complete elimination of every kind of fear’. for Marxists. .3 Liberalism and Marxism thereby parody creedal Christianity rather than transcending it. co-authored by Adorno and Horkheimer. which for its part represents a kind of mythical godhead. Ratzinger concludes that both the Liberal and the Marxist image of the world share a ‘strange eschatological consciousness’ ultimately shaped by the idea of progress. The major work of value here is Dialectic of Enlightenment.BENEDICT XVI and reappear in new forms. With Voegelin and Schall. understood in the widest sense as the advance of thought.7 Hope thereby becomes ‘the virtue of an aggressive ontology. the dynamic force of the march towards Utopia’. .8 The academic merit of the Frankfurt School theorists is that they offer an immanent critique of the failure of the various postEnlightenment attempts to ground hope in something other than Christian faith. . Heaven becomes the Communist Utopia which is achieved by means of the ‘revolution’. Yet the wholly enlightened earth radiates under the sign of “disaster triumphant”’ . yet help create a 74 . How can this be. as it were a ‘God the Son’ in relation to the ‘God the Father’ of history. Adorno and Horkheimer wrote one of the most searching critiques of modernity to have emerged among progressive European intellectuals. The following is an excerpt from an entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on its central theses: Long before ‘postmodernism’ became fashionable. disease.4 He describes the Liberal faith in continuous progress as ‘the bourgeois substitute for the lost hope of faith’ and the replacement of the concept of truth by the concept of progress as the ‘neuralgic point of the modern age’. optimism is the theological virtue of a new god ‘history’ and a new religion.

He is sympathetic to their argument that the rationality of the so-called Age of Enlightenment has evinced a propensity for violent applications. The denial of hope in favour of security that we are faced with here rests on the inability to bear the tension of waiting for what is to come and to abandon oneself to God’s goodness. These conceptual changes are charted by Ratzinger through the works of Immanuel Kant. This kind of Pelagianism is thus an apostasy from love and from hope but also at the 75 . they answer. In this context Ratzinger cites Henri de Lubac’s ecclesiological masterpiece. Part of Ratzinger’s concern here is the power of what in other places he has called ‘pious Pelagianism’ and a ‘narrow-minded individualistic Christianity’. and energetically develop lethal weapons of mass destruction? Reason. by means of prayers and actions. He also provided a preface to the 1988 English translation of the work in which he described it as ‘an essential milestone on my theological journey’ in which de Lubac demonstrated ‘how the idea of community and universality. In referring to Adorno and Horkheimer. and his later 1794 warning about the consequences if even this so-called rational faith were to be found wanting. particularly his notion of a transition from an ecclesiastical faith to a rational faith presented in 1792. as a place to gain an understanding of this point. not hope: By means of a tough and rigorous system of religious practices.THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES world where people willingly swallow fascist ideology. They want security. What they lack is the humility essential to any love – the humility to be able to receive what we are given over and above what we have deserved and achieved. knowingly practice deliberate genocide. rooted in the trinitarian concept of God. they want to create for themselves a right to blessedness. Catholicism: Christ and the Common Destiny of Man. permeates and shapes all the individual elements of Faith’s content’. Ratzinger was not endorsing all the principles and conclusions of their Institute for Social Research but he does demonstrate a knowledge of the secular critiques of modernity which converge with the Catholic criticisms at various junctions. He has complained that pious Pelagians think of the Christian life as something like taking out an insurance policy against spending eternity in hell. has become irrational.

The core of Pelagianism is a religion without love that in this way degenerates into a sad and miserable caricature of religion. . They want to believe that there are no eternal consequences of our life choices here and now. Here he affirms the idea of some recent theologians.9 While the pious Pelagians err by focusing on their own salvation and turning it into a project to be realized by a strategic plan which. the Judge and Saviour: This encounter with Him. It does not make wrong into right. should evoke a predictable reward from God. Evildoers. that everyone is automatically guaranteed an entry ticket to an egalitarian heaven where it does not matter what one has made of the gift of life on earth. Ratzinger further stated that Christ’s descent into hell on Holy Saturday was not ‘merely in the role of a spectator. in the end. for example. was right to protest against this kind of Heaven and this kind of grace in his novel The Brothers Karamazov. usually called purgatory.10 Ratzinger also uses Spe Salvi as an opportunity to reaffirm the Church’s teaching on the existence of an intermediate state between heaven and hell. Against this mentality Ratzinger offers the following words of caution: Grace does not cancel out justice. so that whatever someone has done on earth ends up being of equal value. as it burns us. as though nothing had happened.BENEDICT XVI profoundest level from faith too . . the touch of his heart heals us through an undeniably painful transformation ‘as through fire’. who are of the opinion that the fire which burns and saves is Christ himself. once enacted. including Joachim Gnilka. transforms and frees us. knocking down and flinging open the gates of 76 . others can err in the opposite direction. It is not a sponge which wipes everything away. .11 In Jesus of Nazareth. as in Dante’s Inferno’. do not sit at table at the eternal banquet beside their victims without distinction. His gaze. . Dostoevsky. allowing us to become truly ourselves . . Rather he goes down ‘in the role of one whose suffering-with-others is a transforming suffering that turns the underworld around.

and the Catholic tradition has preserved its essential principles. in times of war. rather than striving for excellence. the French: There exists a Christian order. while Catholic cultures tend to be ‘erotic’ and aristocratic. This order is the order of Christ.THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES the abyss’. And it seems that the majority of Christians are forgetting this elementary truth. abstain from working on Sunday (if. the casuists. but to us Christians. . are common to all decent people). Here ‘erotic’ does not mean ‘explicitly sexual’ but rather passionately driven by transcendent ideals. This would be tantamount to saying that. 13 Here his use of the adjective ‘bourgeois’ should not be construed to mean literally ‘middle class’ but rather having a preference for that which will get one by. Ratzinger nonetheless offers a very hope-filled reading of the events of Holy Saturday. . the theologians or the doctors. . The bourgeois personality type makes do with what is serviceable and is content to just get across the line while the aristocratic personality type always wants the best. But the temporal realization of this order does not belong to the theologians. and above all have great respect for clerics . including Werner Sombart. and the minor human weaknesses cannot really be as dangerous as all that’. He describes it as symptomatic of the following attitude: ‘if God really does exist and if he does in fact bother about people he cannot be so fearfully demanding as is described by the faith of the Church. They believe that the Kingdom of God will happen all by itself. A variation on the presumption of a universal sponging is what Ratzinger calls ‘bourgeois Pelagianism’. their business doesn’t suffer too much for it). who argued that Protestant cultures tend to be bourgeois. an army could quite 77 . attend a Low Mass on this same day. in any event. Moreover I’m no worse than the others: I do my duty. providing they obey the moral rules (which.12 Without going so far as to endorse universal salvationism. The corrosive effect of the bourgeois mentality on Catholic spirituality and the theological virtue of hope was a recurring theme in the novels of Georges Bernanos and thus reading Bernanos helps to place Ratzinger’s use of this expression into a richer spiritual context. that is. One example of Bernanos’ treatment of this theme which includes elements of both pious and bourgeois Pelagianism can be found in the following paragraph taken from We. A number of European sociologists have used the expression in this way.

Yet in the field of ethical awareness and moral decision-making. in both Spe Salvi and Caritas in Veritate Ratzinger reiterated the principle that faith in perpetual progress is hubristic.16 Contrary to much of the post-Conciliar Whiggish thinking which saw in contemporary Western liberalism a qualitative ethical advancement over previous forms of social organization. amid our growing knowledge of the structure of matter and in the light of ever more advanced inventions. and saluted their officers correctly.14 Implicit within the mentality of the bourgeois Pelagian is a failure to critically analyse contemporary culture from a theological standpoint.BENEDICT XVI fulfill the nation’s expectations if its men were squeaky clean. With reference to the Revelation of St John in the New Testament. and a concomitant tendency to blend in with the norms of the surrounding culture rather than being a sign of contradiction to a secular world view. in itself independent of philosophic systems and the rational justifications they propound’. Here. there is no similar possibility of accumulation for the simple reason that man’s freedom is 78 . Ratzinger however has consistently rejected all the versions of belief in cumulative progress which might validate such dispositions of an uncritical openness to prevailing social trends. we must acknowledge that incremental progress is possible only in the material sphere. we clearly see continuous progress towards an ever greater mastery of nature. in paragraph 24 of Spe Salvi Ratzinger offered the following reflections: Let us ask once again: what may we hope? And what may we not hope? First of all. if they marched in step behind the band. Whereas in the late 1940s Jacques Maritain spoke of a ‘kind of plant-life formation and growth of moral knowledge and feeling. Despite or rather precisely because of this rejection of irrational expectations it is a book of hope. he remarks that ‘the vision of history that is displayed there represents the greatest possible antithesis one can imagine to faith in perpetual progress’:15 The Apocalypse is far removed from the promise of continual progress: still less does it recognise the possibility of establishing a once and for all fortunate and definite form of society through our own human activity.

a resignation that is far removed from the enthusiasm 79 . The evangelization of youth thus requires their liberation from the horizons of mass culture and an encounter with Christ which is authentically sacramental. The error they share is the idea that one does not need God for the realization and fulfilment of one’s own being.17 These two Pelagian spiritual pathologies can also be read as particular manifestations of what Augustine and Aquinas identified as the sins of despair and presumption. and they can draw upon the moral treasury of the whole of humanity. The moral treasury of humanity is not readily at hand like tools that we use. it is present as an appeal to freedom and a possibility for it. ‘those who despair do not pray any more because they no longer hope: those who are sure of themselves and their own power do not pray because they rely only on themselves’. Naturally. A secularist culture impoverishes spiritual horizons and diminishes opportunities for self-transcendence. because it can never be self-evident in the same way as material inventions. . Such a void is never successfully filled by the pseudo-liturgies of rock concerts and the pseudo-models of exemplary humanity presented to youth by those who make their fortune marketing celebrities.18 Thus. Much of the above can be succinctly summarized in Pieper’s statement that ‘the classical theology of the Church is equally removed from both the over simplification of liberalism and the desperate rigidity of stoicism’. This is not to say that Ratzinger denies that there can be bio-chemical causes of depression. common conditions in the contemporary Western world. .THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES always new and he must always make his decisions anew . new generations can build on the knowledge and experience of those who went before. Ratzinger has noted that both attitudes are very close to one another and inwardly coincide. But they can also reject it. . Ratzinger paternally diagnoses the condition of contemporary youth culture with specific reference to the theological virtues: Thus today we often see in the faces of young people a remarkable bitterness. merely that he believes that those who have no relationship with Christ are bound to experience a certain emptiness and hopelessness which may be linked to the unusually high incidence of depression in contemporary society.19 Despair and depression. are directly linked by Ratzinger to secularism.

If the foundation of the soul is sorrow we are faced with a continual flight of the soul from itself. The deepest root of this sorrow is the lack of any great hope and the unattainability of any great love: everything one can hope for is known.BENEDICT XVI of youthful adventures into the unknown.22 In many of his works. for.23 This is Ratzinger in a very Augustinian moment. nursing grudges (rancour) and spitefulness (militia). In other places he has commended Augustine for his recognition that ‘the necessary 80 . The symptoms of this footloose restlessness are garrulousness and inquisitiveness. and listed each of the ‘daughters of acedia’ whose pedigree was tracked by Aquinas: Along with despair there is the ‘footloose restlessness of the mind’. ‘no man can dwell in sorrow’. He loses his center and becomes a mental and spiritual vagabond who is always out. Further there is inward restlessness (importunitas – inquietudo) and changeability of will and purpose (instabilitas loci vel propositi).21 Other ‘daughters’ include: apathy (torpor) with regard to the things necessary for salvation. when we no longer perceive with our hearts. Ratzinger quoted extensively from St Thomas’s treatment of hope. but particularly in his Christmas reflection on art in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. but merely with a knowledge that has lost its roots’. and its absence to a rationality severed from all affectivity. with a profound restlessness man is afraid to be alone with himself.20 Although Ratzinger often defers to the wisdom of Augustine rather than Aquinas. in this context he closely follows Pieper’s judgment that acedia (a kind of spiritual slothfulness) is a symptom of secularization and the underlying Thomist analysis that it stems from a lack of greatness of soul (magnanimitas). faintheartedness (pusillanimitas). as Thomas says. He noted that ‘depression and despair result when the balance of our feelings becomes disordered or even suspended. and all love becomes the disappointment of finiteness in a world whose monstrous surrogates are only a pitiful disguise for profound despair. Ratzinger linked the theological virtue of hope to the transcendental of beauty. from a blindness to the divine pedigree of human nature. In his Spiritual Exercises.

we can also receive anew the language of the earth. faith takes precedence over both hope and love. and love – can be expressed in three sentences.THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES purification of sight takes place through faith (Acts 15:9) and through love. First: faith. hope. . the one source of supernatural life. hope and love have all three been implanted in human nature as natural inclinations (habitus) conjointly with the reality of grace. Second: in the orderly sequence of the active development of these supernatural inclinations. A thinking that persists in dissecting and putting together is in its essence materialistic and reaches only to a certain threshold. hope takes precedence over 81 . not through domination. quoting from St Thomas’ questions on hope. says that the theological virtues flow back upon themselves in a sacred circle: one who is led to love by hope has thereafter a more perfect hope. but only through service. .25 Speaking of the arch of triumph in the Basilica which stands above a crypt that was originally built as a replica of the cave of Bethlehem. Pieper. The transition to this image can lead us a step further still.24 In this Christmas reflection he added a criticism of Cartesian rationality or what Bernanos has called ‘the logos of the machine’: Some things are discerned. and these are the higher ways of perception. The existential relationship of these three – faith. Moreover.26 This epistemology is of course deeply Trinitarian. Ratzinger reflected: The interaction of arch of triumph and cave teaches us to pass from aesthetics to faith . The theological virtues and the transcendentals work together in symphonic harmony. the physician needs dedication to the person in whom the characteristics of the sickness appear. It gives aesthetics back to us in a new and greater way: if we have followed the call of the Saviour. For what we are able to dominate is beneath us. which he himself assumed. at all events not as a result of reflection alone and not at all by man’s own power’. It helps us to loosen faith from the strain of will and intellect and allow it to enter into the whole of our existence. just as he also believes now more strongly than before. So beyond dissecting and analysing.

Behind secularism lies the error of Pelagius which in contemporary times takes the form of trust in education and institutions without reference to God or the interior dynamics of the human soul. This vision of things is ultimately destructive for authentic love: It disconnects the spiritual dimension of love.29 In the third of his encyclicals Caritas in Veritate Ratzinger followed through the emphasis of Spe Salvi on the secularist mutation of the virtue of hope. The whole document is a plea to understand the limitations of a secularist notion of development. with a general criticism of secularist conceptions of social development. ceasing to be a sacrament of love. and their subsequent secularist mutations. A purely secularist notion of development reduces the human person to an economic machine somehow 82 . so too one could trace the severance of each of the theological virtues from their perichoretic relationship. love holds first place. that the human person only has self-knowledge to the extent that he or she knows Christ and participates in the Trinitarian communion of love. As Serge-Thomas Bonino summarized the argument: [For those who separate eros and agape] the person’s subjectivity imposes a meaning on the body which each person technically manipulates in a way that treats it as a purely physical and exterior reality. from sexuality. faith. and last of all. love is lost first. often reduced to a chaste amorous feeling. which is reduced to a purely biological function.27 Similarly. hope and love together in a sort of perichoresis.BENEDICT XVI love. The intellectual centre of Caritas in Veritate is that ‘Life in Christ is the first and principal factor of development’ and thus that ‘a humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism’. In Deus Caritas Est Ratzinger broke the ground on this genealogy with his reflections on the severance of eros from agape and in doing so. It rests a notion of authentic human development upon the principle enshrined in Gaudium et Spes 22. conversely. sought to refute the claim of Nietzsche that Christianity had killed eros. in the culpable disorder of their dissolution. with faith last. and hope between them. Third: in the order of perfection. then hope. Balthasar observed that St Paul binds faith.28 Just as he traced the severance of the beautiful from the true and the good in the transition from Christendom to the culture of modernity.

Krasnodebski concluded that there was no archaic Ithaca to which Poland might return. reflected on the most desirable cultural foundations for their post-Communist future. or that we could have any claim to know the whole and be the advocate for the universal subject.THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES designed for the accumulation of wealth. when dissident intellectuals. For Ratzinger there is a strong link between life ethics and social ethics. 83 . The concept he uses to combine the two is that of a ‘human ecology’. including relationships of reciprocal self-giving in love. The questions covered in Humanae Vitae (the 1968 encyclical of Paul VI which reiterated the magisterial teaching against the use of contraception) are much broader than matters of personal morality. Similarly. This point has been made in all three of his encyclicals. Such a truncated concept of development has fostered government policies hostile to the more spiritual elements of human life.30 In an essay entitled ‘Waiting for Supermarkets’ Zdzisław Krasnodebski observed that given the contemporary liberal presumption that it is wrong to assume that the distinction between good and evil may be clearly discerned. Abortion is encouraged. It is in their publications that one finds the kind of critique of secular models of social development which Ratzinger presents in Caritas in Veritate. couples in some countries are punished for having more than one child. but particularly by Modman Philistine. Using Alexander Boot’s terms one might say that she had allowed herself to be taken by both sub-species of Modman.31 He lamented that the lost paradise of Europe could not be rejoined because the Western Europeans had sold their souls to utilitarian currents of philosophy. But in order to make use of it you need to follow new instructions. She had submitted to some very materialistic suitors. many of them Catholic. the former Czech leader Vaclav Havel had this to say about contemporary Western culture: On the one hand everything is getting better all the time – a new generation of mobile phones is being released every week. in a 2008 interview with Poland’s Adam Michnik. The deficiencies of thinking about social development within the horizons of secularism was a much discussed topic at the time of the collapse of European Communism. and international aid is linked to the acceptance of contraceptives. no less than the Communists. because Penelope did not wait faithfully. all that Poland could expect from a Western culture penetrated by such ideas was something as mundane as a supermarket.

Western consumers need to recover an understanding that truth is something which is given as a gift: ‘In every cognitive process. In particular. Etienne Gilson. truth is not something that we produce. De Lubac. as he says in paragraph 34. received. with the support of the French intellectual historian. Guardini. is neither planned nor willed.35 The main targets of de Lubac’s critique were Cajetan and Suárez and their contemporary exponents in the Dominican and Jesuit Orders. such as Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange and Louis Billot. such that nature and grace occupied two completely separate ontological spaces. but somehow imposes itself upon human beings’. de Lubac.33 In this paper. Rahner and von Balthasar as a Baroque distortion of Patristic and Scholastic thought. to which can be added the Christian doctrines as a sort of crowning conclusion’. led the charge against what was called the extrinsicist account of the relationship. and which was heavily criticized by Przywara.34 He described the theory as a ‘fiction’. it is always found. He believes that the general tendency for Western government institutions to equate human development with the success of capitalism and democracy or material progress is utterly inadequate when measured against the Gospel’s standard. It rested upon a construction of the relationship between nature and grace which was dominant in the pre-Conciliar era. Many of these criticisms of liberal models of development were foreshadowed in Ratzinger’s 1969 essay on the idea of human dignity in the Conciliar document Gaudium et spes.BENEDICT XVI So you end up reading instruction manuals instead of books and in your free time you watch TV where handsome tanned guys scream from advertisements about how happy they are to have new swimming trunks by fashion house X. or better. written at the height of the post-Conciliar chaos era.32 Ratzinger’s argument in Caritas in Veritate is expressed somewhat more theologically but he is making the same kind of criticism of Western notions of development. Fergus Kerr has described these theological battles over the relationship between nature and grace as the most bitter of the twentieth century.36 Rahner actually described the extrinsicist account as the ‘original and mortal sin of Jesuit theology’. Ratzinger explicitly rejected the idea that it is possible to construct ‘a rational philosophical picture of man intelligible to all and on which all men of goodwill can agree. like love.37 Romano Guardini was also critical of this 84 . Truth.

THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES Suárezian movement in anthropology. Even man outside faith and obedience to God exists not ‘naturally’ (in a closed world.40 They ‘superimposed a hypothetical purely natural destiny of man. did not interest St Augustine: What does. autonomous-hence-significantin-itself). and the charitable works of 85 . secularism reduces revelation ‘to a mere anticipation of the conquests of reason. Healy has observed that in Eschatology and Eternal Life Ratzinger shows how Thomas’s ‘theology of creation’ entails a ‘complete transformation of Aristotelianism’. and the fateful construction of a “natura pura” came into being’. is man as God intended him to be. The hope was that Catholics and non-Catholics could work together on the basis of shared understandings about what constitutes human nature and thus its natural end. a “finis naturalis” onto the actual destiny given in salvation history. De Lubac argued that this strategy had opened the formerly Christian societies of the Western world to the ascendance of a secularist ideology. In a work on the conversion of St Augustine he wrote that natural man ‘cut off from the world of revelation and reduced to an object of critically departmentalized questionings’. As SergeThomas Bonino has noted. irrevocably. In dramatic contrast. to exist by God for God. hence as he should be: whole. But contrarily: against God’s will and away from Him. which exclude the supernatural just as the circle excludes the square. Such a man is made. ‘merely natural’ man simply does not exist.41 Thus associated with the extrinsicist account of nature and grace there developed a two ends theory of human nature – the idea that there exists a natural end and a separate and distinct supernatural end. while more contentious theological propositions about the supernatural end could be relegated to the territory of private belief.42 The theory of there being two ends to human nature was embraced by Thomists in the twentieth century who sought to find some common ground with non-Catholics in liberal societies on the territory of ‘pure nature’.38 Jean Borella diagnosed the problem with the extrinsicist account as an overemphasis on the Aristotelian idea of the natural order as a rigid system of natures complete-in-themselves. Nicholas J. To Augustine’s way of thinking.39 Robert Spaemann has also observed that ‘all of the Thomists of the sixteenth century cite Aristotle in this context’. his existence too is ‘supernatural’ – only negatively.

43 There is thus a consistently anti-secularist line running through Ratzinger’s publications from the commentary on the treatment of human dignity in Gaudium et spes. too. superfluous. And when we look deeper. As David L. Sometimes Church discussion gives the impression that we could construct a just world through the consensus of men and women of good will and through common sense.44 Such critiques are destined to cause tension with currents in American Catholic thought where an enormous amount of effort has been devoted to defending the compatibility of Catholic theology with the liberal political and economic theory underpinning the US constitutional and economic order. despite its emphasis on the empirical reality: It will not forget the Logos made flesh as its ‘ratio’ and look for it within its discourse. but experience. In a speech on the clarification of the Church’s selfunderstanding of social doctrine with particular reference to Benedict XVI’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate. its reasonableness. Its theological foundation is found in the acceptance of de Lubac’s anthropology as expressed in his Catholicisme and as it was taken up in paragraph 22 of Gaudium et spes at the Second Vatican Council. we discover that the assent of reason and good will is always dubious and obstructed by original sin – not only does faith tell us this.BENEDICT XVI the Church [are reduced] to a rough sketch of the pure rationality of the providence of the State’. Cardinal Cordes argued that the Church in her presentation of social doctrine cannot do without the truth of Revelation. It will not hide this light for its certainty. This has been pursued on the basis of an alleged theologically neutral neo-Aristotelian notion of nature. to the first three encyclicals of his pontificate. Schindler has argued there is a sharp difference between the political implications of de Lubac’s account of nature and grace and those of scholars who base their jurisprudence and political theory upon the extrinsicist accounts of nature and 86 . Without Christ there can be no integral human development. So we come to the realization that Revelation is needed also for the Church’s social directives: the source of our understanding for ‘justice’ thus becomes the Logos made flesh. Doing so would make faith appear as a beautiful ornament. like an extension on a building – decorative.

. the ends proper to grace and nature remain distinct. Germain Grisez. on the contrary. John Courtney Murray. the state occupies no special ‘secular’ space beyond the operation of the law of the relations between nature and grace. [The Church] does not aim to alter the finality of the state. even as the natural end is placed within. the ends proper to grace and nature otherwise remain each in its own sphere.THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES grace and the two ends theory of human nature. on the contrary. for de Lubac. that the Church influences the state. For de Lubac. It is from within that grace seizes nature . . but to enable the state to achieve its own finality as determined by its own nature. The eternal end ‘comprehends’ the temporal ends. the call to sanctity ‘comprehends’ the call to citizenship and all the worldly tasks implied by citizenship. and George Weigel. prominent twentieth-century Americans included the Conciliar peritus. the result is an insistence on a dualism between citizen and believer. Schindler has summarized the difference between the political implications of the accounts of nature and grace represented by de Lubac and Murray in the following statements: According to Murray: faith and grace do not determine the structures and processes of civil society: these are determined by reason. Novak has coined the term ‘Whig Thomism’ to refer to their common project of promoting the compatibility of US-style liberalism with Catholic social thought. For de Lubac. Among the latter. For Murray then. internally subordinated to. Conversely. . . grace’s influence takes the form of directing nature from within to serve the end given in grace. Their flagship is the journal First Things which Neuhaus edited until a short time before his death. and on the sharpness of the distinction between eternal (ultimate) end and temporal (penultimate) ends. in the light of the lessons of experience . It is from within that faith transforms reason. They are also collectively described as ‘neo-conservatives’. Novak and Weigel were both critical of elements of 87 .45 The most prominent intellectual heirs to the tradition of Murray have been Michael Novak. and the ethicist. grace’s influence on nature takes the form of assisting nature to realize its own finality. For Murray. the supernatural end. the late Richard John Neuhaus.

and papal documents such as Sollicitudo rei Socialis (1987) in which he developed the concept of solidarity and Laborem Exercens (1981) wherein he discussed the transitive and intransitive effects of human actions. for example. In a somewhat more opaque metaphor he further described Caritas in Veritate. He claimed that the expression a ‘necessary openness. especially the notions of ‘communion’ and ‘gratuitousness’. of particular theologians on papal documents. and while it is often possible to detect the ‘paw prints’ so to speak. Weigel particularly opposed those sections of the encyclical endorsing ideas from Paul VI’s social encyclical Populorum Progressio (1967). Weigel argued that some statements within it could actually be read down as having been inserted by officials from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace against the better judgment of Ratzinger himself. as having the form of a ‘duckbilled platypus’ (an Australian monotreme that lives along river banks and looks somewhat like a small otter with the bill of a duck. beauty and goodness. taken as a whole.46 This is a novel approach to the interpretation of papal encyclicals. One of the most dramatic of Wojtyła’s interventions on social topics was precisely the idea that the subjective 88 . which he described as the ‘odd duck’ in the roll-call of papal social encyclicals of the last century. in the world context. be found in the works of Karol Wojtyła – both in pre-papal essays like ‘The Constitution of Culture through Human Praxis’. Traces of these themes can. the final product is taken as a faithful representation of the mind of the pontiff. to forms of activity marked by quotas of gratuitousness and communion’ was difficult to comprehend. Still more curiously it lays eggs but feeds its hatchlings on breast milk). The normal attitude is to acknowledge that while such documents are often put together by a team of consultants under the direction of the pope. These concepts are not however taken from liberation theologians ‘burrowed into the woodwork at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’ but from many completely mainstream theologians who have nothing very positive to say about really existing Marxism or its derivatives. Weigel was also critical of the encyclical’s introduction of themes taken from contemporary theological anthropology. which in other places he related to the transcendentals of truth.BENEDICT XVI Caritas in Veritate. and those who were consulted are usually constrained by principles of ecclesial etiquette from identifying their own contributions.

49 In an interview with the Italian Catholic agency SIR given in 2004 he said that he believed that economic affairs are often driven by a form of liberalism which ‘specifically excludes the heart’ and the ‘possibility of seeing God. Ratzinger has never been sympathetic to the US neo-conservative stance on economics. Adrian Walker argued that ‘the best. or work can be said to be a result of the particular intensity of that which is intransitive and remains within our disinterested communion with truth.50 There is a strong link between the second part of Deus Caritas Est and themes in Caritas in Veritate. it is an immanent activity of the human soul. and depth. It is from this communion that we mature and grow inwardly. its intensity. One would not need to place him under political pressure to get him to endorse themes in Populorum Progressio. degree. but giftgiving among neighbours’. For example. most central paradigm for understanding free economic exchange is not a contract among self-interested strangers. and it leaves its mark and brings forth fruit in this same dimension. particularly the idea that the Christian service of material needs is different from any other form 89 . They are commonly used by Communio circle scholars. of commerce and of politics’. is something completely internal. Concepts like gratuitousness and communion are not foreign words in his theological vocabulary. of introducing the light of moral responsibility. love and justice into the worlds of work. goodness and beauty.47 This attempt to treat labour practices as an element within a larger theological vision of the development of the human person was a key theme in Wojtyła’s approach to social issues and Ratzinger in Caritas in Veritate clearly sought to situate himself within the traditions of Montini and Wojtyła.48 Moreover. in an essay on the ‘poverty of liberal economics’. product. This communion.THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES (intransitive) dimension of human labour is more important than the objective (transitive): [T]hat which is transitive in our culturally creative activity and is expressed externally as an effect. objectification. In pre-papal essays he described as astounding the idea that the laws of the market are either neutral or in essence good and in the context of the problem of Third World poverty he referred to the ‘tragic legacy’ and ‘cruelty of the liberal capitalist system’.


of humanitarianism. In paragraph 31 of Deus Caritas Est Ratzinger wrote that while professional competence is a primary, fundamental requirement of those entrusted with the provision of the material needs of others, it is not of itself sufficient: We are dealing with human beings, and human beings always need something more than technically proper care. They need humanity. They need heartfelt concern. Those who work for the Church’s charitable organizations must be distinguished by the fact that they do not merely meet the needs of the moment, but they dedicate themselves to others with heartfelt concern, enabling them to experience the richness of their humanity. Consequently, in addition to their necessary professional training, these charity workers need a ‘formation of the heart’: they need to be led to that encounter with God in Christ which awakens their love and opens their spirits to others. Ratzinger concludes paragraph 33 by saying that ‘with regard to the personnel who carry out the Church’s charitable activity on the practical level, the essential has already been said: they must not be inspired by ideologies aimed at improving the world, but should rather be guided by the faith which works through love’. In other words, there is a qualitative difference between Christian charity and every other form of humanitarianism: My deep personal sharing in the needs and sufferings of others becomes a sharing of my very self with them: if my gift is not to prove a source of humiliation, I must give to others not only something that is my own, but my very self; I must be personally present in my gift. The essential difference of Christian charity is therefore the personal spiritual dimension. It is a two-way participation in the love of the Holy Trinity. Precisely because of this personal element Ratzinger warns against a ‘growing secularism of many Christians engaged in charitable work’ and he concluded Deus Caritas Est with an honorary roll call of saints who in their lives gave witness to this essential difference of Christian charity. They included Francis of Assisi, Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac, John Bosco and Teresa of Calcutta.


The inverse side of this accent on the spiritual is that Ratzinger has often commented that the Church should not seek to imitate the corporate world wherein this element is not primary. Some of these comments include the following: 1. Saints, in fact reformed the Church in depth, not by working up plans for new structures, but by reforming themselves. What the Church needs in order to respond to the needs of man in every age is holiness, not management.51 2. The saints were all people of imagination, not functionaries of apparatuses.52 3. I have said very often that I think we have too much bureaucracy. Therefore, it will be necessary in any case to simplify things. Everything should not take place by way of committees; there must even also be the personal encounter.53 4. Paul was effective, not because of brilliant rhetoric and sophisticated strategies, but rather because he exerted himself and left himself vulnerable in the service of the Gospel.54 In summary, Ratzinger does not think that Christianity is just about alms giving – if it were then the Vatican should be running its own Live Aid concerts and similar secular events. Rather he sees Christian charity as intimately connected with personal love and personal encounters with the grace of Christ. This is what gives Christian social service its distinctive character and makes it different from secular forms of humanitarian aid. He is also concerned about the ways in which modern corporate practices preclude the flourishing of this personal dimension. Following the treatments of the theological virtues in Pieper and Aquinas, which themselves have strong scriptural foundations, Ratzinger regards a specifically Christian account of faith, hope and love not merely as radically different from all the contemporary secularist alternatives, but, precisely because of this, capable of giving rise to a completely different kind of political and economic culture from anything imagined in secular social theory. In his Spiritual Exercises in Faith, Hope and Love, he concluded: A society that turns what is specifically human into something purely private and defines itself in terms of a complete secularity (which moreover inevitably becomes a pseudo-religion and a new


all-embracing system that enslaves people) – this kind of society will of its nature be sorrowful, a place of despair: it rests on a diminution of human dignity. A society whose public order is consistently determined by agnosticism is not a society that has become free but a society that has despaired, marked by the sorrow of man who is fleeing from God and in contradiction with himself. A Church that did not have the courage to undermine the public status of its image of man would no longer be the salt of the earth, the light of the world, the city set on a hill.55




The issue of the severance of the trinitarian relationships between faith, hope and love and their secularist mutations, is only one aspect of the much larger problem, identified by Ratzinger in his Principles of Catholic Theology as no less than the ‘fundamental crisis of our age’. As has been stated earlier he summarizes this crisis as ‘coming to an understanding of the mediation of history within the realm of ontology’.1 He believes that history always becomes problematical when a particular historical configuration is in a state of crisis as Western culture appears currently to be. At such times people become more highly conscious of the difference between their historical and ontological nature.2 The dramatic change in historical context fosters an awareness of a multitude of different lifestyle options. The Romantic dream of cultivating a beautiful soul (Die schöne Seele) is no longer an isolated preoccupation of a small intellectual elite but on a more popularist, far less philosophical level, so-called ‘plain persons’ are engaged in an enterprise of artistic self-creation. Today the horizons or options on the lifestyle menu are almost infinite and the Christian churches are thus placed in a position where they need to offer some criteria to their faithful for making their selections. This requires the development of a theological anthropology that is sufficiently multidimensional to include within it both substantiality (the notion of a universal human nature), and relationality (an appreciation of the uniqueness of each and every human life, its individuality, determined by its relations with similarly unique others). It requires, in other words, an account of the human being as a being in time, but in such a way that the two dimensions are held together rather than eclipsing either the historical or the ontological end of the pole.

This was at a time when neo-scholasticism was the dominant theological tradition in Catholic academies. in particular in the pontifical academies in Rome and Belgium. Later. one of Heidegger’s colleagues in Marburg. during the decade of the 1930s a whole generation of Catholic scholars were attracted to the study of his philosophy. nonetheless owe their origin to him’. Rudolf Voderholzer noted. In the 1920s these categories were appropriated by Rudolf Bultmann. While later scholars would defend Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure from the charge of having ignored history. for example. Heidegger was in full rebellion from the antihistorical spirit of the scholasticism of his youth. however it became a driving force in theological speculation in the twentieth century following the publication of Heidegger’s Being and Time in 1927. Johannes B. These included Max Müller. Heidegger had abandoned his Catholic faith in 1919 and in the 1920s he turned to Protestantism. temporality and historicity. and applied to his deconstruction and demythologization of the Gospels. concern and instrumentality. Heidegger’s attention was drawn away from Luther to the works of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) and the poet Friedrich Hölderlin (1770–1843). because even those who hope to go beyond him and ask questions different from his. that Cajetan skipped whole passages in his commentary on the Summa of St Thomas precisely because they concerned mere history and so. which became known as an ‘existential analytic’ in Being and Time. Notwithstanding the fact that as Rector of the University of Freiburg between April 1933 and April 1934 Heidegger had allowed himself to be publicly associated with the Nazi ideology.3 However what interested the young Heidegger was precisely what he called the ‘hermeneutics of facticity in concrete life’ or being as it is in time. it is generally acknowledged that postTridentine scholasticism prided itself on its rejection of what was perceived to be a Protestant fixation on history.BENEDICT XVI The impetus for examining the historical end of the pole can be found at least as far back as Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744– 1803). Gustav Siewerth. Lotz and Karl Rahner. resisted systematization and as such were of no interest to him. in the 1930s. His impact was such that in 1969 Rahner was to write that ‘Catholic theology can no longer be thought of without Martin Heidegger. in Cajetan’s understanding.4 He also remarked that although he had had many professors in the 94 . The key categories of this analytic were care and existence. particularly to Martin Luther’s criticisms of scholastic metaphysics.

and that is Martin Heidegger’. many. Schopenhauer. Kant. As Hans Küng has argued. who was born some 23 years later in 1927. Heidegger. like Theodor Haecker whom Heidegger had publicly ridiculed. Nietzsche. silent world reverencing’ and finally he asked to be buried with the full rites of the Catholic Church. In stark contrast to Rahner. three of the most prominent scholars on the thought of Rahner and Heidegger (Karen Kilby. He concluded that after Nietzsche ‘nothing more remains to the solitary man but to seek an intimate communication with himself’ and that this is the basic situation from which Heidegger’s philosophy arises. Rahner was the last in the line of the great neo-scholastics. Hegel. Precisely what these theological positions were remains a matter of academic discussion. it seems he went from being a devout Catholic to a generic Christian with a strong interest in Luther. to a scholar interested in pre-Christian paganism. or at least external traditions.6 Thus Rahner’s appropriation of elements of Heidegger’s philosophy was a contemporary case of ‘plundering the spoils of the Egyptians’. the year that Being and Time was first published. of placing ideas from rival. Moreover.5 Nonetheless. He was making use of the conceptual apparatus of Heidegger’s philosophy without necessarily buying into Heidegger’s theological positions. Feuerbach. In general.7 In Buber’s reading. Ratzinger. Kierkegaard. was not formed in a strong scholastic mould. had paid a high price for their opposition to Hitler. Those he regarded as mentors or intellectual heroes were all non-scholastics. Buber traced the contemporary cosmological and anthropological crises through Spinoza. and Scheler. at the service of Christianity. then to someone with an interest in something akin to Buddhism or what John D Caputo describes as ‘a meditative. Cyril O’Regan and Laurence Paul Hemming) are in agreement that Rahner’s appropriation of the philosophical apparatus of Heidegger was merely strategic or opportunistic. Heidegger’s existence is monological. Ratzinger’s list of those who were intellectuals popular with seminarians of his generation did not include members of the immediately previous generation who were working to develop scholasticism (apart from Pieper who was atypical of this academic breed) and there was no one on his list who was particularly inspired by Heidegger. notwithstanding his interest in 95 . Marx. Martin Buber was however on his list of seminarian ‘top ten’ favourites and Buber was famously critical of Heidegger. ‘there is only one whom I can revere as my teacher.HISTORY AND ONTOLOGY AFTER HEIDEGGER classroom.

to the princes. Rahner and Ratzinger and their ideas on this 96 .BENEDICT XVI being in the world. which pointed to the continuity of history in promise and fulfilment. precisely in this way. and in place of typology. Ratzinger observes that it was rejected by Protestants.12 In the early part of the twentieth-century Catholic theology thereby faced the question of the relationship between salvation history as presented in the Scriptures and the metaphysical heritage in Catholic theology.14 According to Ratzinger.8 In Heidegger’s world there is no true Thou spoken from being to being.13 Karl Barth and Oscar Cullmann led the Protestant ‘salvation history’ side of the debate. first as a Scholastic and later as a Hellenistic perversion of Christianity and contrasted with the idea of history.15 The second question had in various ways occupied the attention of de Lubac. and responsibility for the Christian order was deliberately referred to the world. with a subsidiary question of the extent to which scriptural mediation could exist together with ecclesial mediation. in order. Söhngen ‘attempted to approach the first question by constructing two philosophical models – the abstract-metaphysical and the concrete-historical – whose mutual complementarity became for him the key to the Catholic-Protestant debate as well as a kind of hermeneutic for disclosing the relationship between history and dogma’. The effect of the Reformation was ‘to make the individual person’s orientation determinative.11 Since ontology is the basic philosophical expression of the concept of continuity.9 Ratzinger is clearly post-Heideggerian in the sense that he acknowledges the importance of the macro level issues about the relationship between history and ontology which Heidegger made so central to twentieth-century thought. In his own analysis Ratzinger traces the contemporary crisis in the understanding of the relationship between the two to the collapse of the prevailing Christian historical consciousness at the time of the Reformation.10 In place of the concept of succession there appeared the emphasis on the charismatic authority of the Holy Spirit. led the Catholic side of the discussion. while Gottlieb Söhngen in Germany and Jean Daniélou in France. to expose the lack of historical actuality in the Church that was herself unable to form her own history or communicate salvation by her continuity’. as well as the anthropological question about the value to be given to human achievements in the whole economy of salvation. particularly Lutherans. there appeared the appeal to what was in the beginning.

Of those on the Protestant side of the discussion. the improvements to the social order will follow.21 In Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life.19 For this reason Daniélou spoke of a dramatic tension between two successive epochs of total history – the already of the Kingship of Christ which had been won on the Cross. and the not yet of the New Jerusalem. who conceive of revelation as timeless truth. more anthropological question. The third.18 These things are important. at least in his understanding of salvation history (though not in his hostility to the Greek side of the Catholic intellectual heritage). Cullmann was closest to the positions represented by Daniélou and Söhngen. Avery Dulles summarized the Cullmann project in the following terms: ‘In focusing on redemptive history as the chief content of revelation.20 These terms.22 Ratzinger also praised Cullmann for drawing out the ‘existential’ content of salvation history: Faith means entering into solidarity with salvation history.17 The successive Christian cultures constitute only ‘the outer garment’ of this history. hope and love are brought into relation with salvation history’s own constituitive dimensions. the Barthians. which finds itself transposed through love into the present and so becomes once more 97 . taking up its ‘already’ and. epiphenomena.HISTORY AND ONTOLOGY AFTER HEIDEGGER theme fed into the drafting of Dei Verbum. they are. The mission of the Church is not primarily to ‘humanise civilization. but secondary and not the essential. as it were. He argued that history is primarily ‘the great works of God. In Revelation Theology: a History. ‘the already’ and the ‘not yet’ were also employed by Cullmann. as discussed in Chapter 3. who tend to separate faith from belief in past historical occurrences’.16 This is ‘what constitutes history in its most real and most hidden substance’. was directly addressed by Daniélou. who take refuge in primal history or metahistory (Urgeschichte and Übergeschichte). What is primary is ‘liberating souls from spiritual captivity’ and if she succeeds in this mission. Ratzinger concluded that Cullmann’s mature position as represented in his Salvation as History is both more concrete and closer to the actual content of Scripture than to the other Protestant models offered by Barth and Bultmann. to make pleasures more moral. and the Bultmannians. Faith is the appropriation of past history. salaries more just’. working towards the ‘not yet’. Cullmann opposes the Rationalists. The ‘existential’ categories of faith. accomplished by preaching and the sacraments’. on that basis.

25 Ratzinger later summarized the positions with the rhetorical question: do the phenomena which typically accompany the reality of man. gives a name to creatures.24 Commentaries on these discussions published in the 1950s often divided scholars into ‘eschatological’ and ‘incarnational’ camps. The new Adam. These debates centred upon Bultmann’s emphasis on the pre-eminence of word over event. therefore. It does not abolish but transfigures historical values. and is their existence in it justified. associated with a disposition of indifference to culture and human progress. To think in this way [like Barth] is to undervalue the Incarnation. with Barth representing the most extreme end of the eschatological pole. not merely the past. to leave history in the ditch while we travel with our hidden treasure to our last end. salvation is to a large extent detemporalized just as the notion of the eschatological is expressly divested of all temporal determinatives’. therefore. a new name. In Ratzinger’s analysis the effect of the primacy of the word in Bultmann’s theology was to ‘cancel the notion of a continuous series of salvation-historical events. as we continue on our pilgrimage till the Lord’s return. or is the nakedness of the Cross the sheer negation of all these things?26 A second wave of these debates followed upon Rudolf Bultmann’s 1954–1955 Gifford Lectures. like the old. while the disposition of those who tended toward the ‘incarnational’ end was summarized in the following paragraph by Martin D’Arcy: We ought not. Salvation history is.27 While initially it was a lapse from salvation history into metaphysics that 98 . while Ratzinger approved of Cullmann’s attention to the existential content of salvation history and his notion of the tension between the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet’ of Christian life in history.23 Nonetheless. it is also the present and the future. he also concluded that Cullmann’s account of the relationship between time and eternity was ‘somewhat problematic’ and that the question of how the biblical message is mediated was ‘treated much too cavalierly’. and His re-creative act has become part of the texture of history. published as History and Eschatology (1957). such as beauty and art. exist in the Christian scheme.BENEDICT XVI hope for the future.

In effect ‘it swallows up the concepts of God and Revelation and takes over the role of God’. In an essay on the concept of Bildung published in 1975.31 This not only affected political theory but Ratzinger also associates its influence with the sexual revolution of the 1960s. particularly the contributions of Bultmann and his followers. This was popularly received as a direct 99 . Intellectual Marxism arrived with its own version of ‘salvation history’ and its own ontology.29 Ratzinger noted that ‘the view that the Bible speaks exclusively in terms of salvation history (and thus. In 1979 he issued the first encyclical of his pontificate – Redemptor Hominis – which began with the words. spliced with Marxism. a Polish phenomenologist with 30 years experience of really existing Marxism was elected to the papacy. anti-metaphysically) facilitated the fusing of the biblical horizon with the Marxist idea of history’. predominantly in Western European countries and countries of the British Commonwealth. history is a progressive liberation and it thereby becomes the real revelation and the real interpreter of the Bible.HISTORY AND ONTOLOGY AFTER HEIDEGGER was branded as the Catholic error.30 Accordingly. The ideologues of the Soviet establishment even spoke of a ‘New Soviet Man’ who came to be ridiculed in literature as Homo Sovieticus. is the center and purpose of human history’.32 The final years of the pontificate of Paul VI thus saw the rise in popularity of theologies of liberation built upon these earlier debates about salvation history. Karol Wojtyła. the redeemer of man. guilt is the experience of having retarded human progress. Marxist feminists also promised the abolition of patriarchy and for some. a dialectical moment of the historical becoming’. As Paul Henry described it: ‘Marxism represented the materialistic messianism of a laicized Christian hope. after Bultmann it became ‘the preoccupation with a continuous line that progresses by way of a determinable sequence of events that is regarded as the Catholic misinterpretation of the original intention of the New Testament’. including dialectical materialism with its promise of the abolition of class conflict and the division of labour. for whom Christ is only a stopover from which to pass beyond. However in 1978.28 In the 1960s a new element entered into the discussion with the ascendance of Marxism in university departments. He also suggested that for a Marxist or liberation theologian. he described the idea of eliminating the problem of sexuality and eros through a process of enlightenment as an example of the pursuit of redemption through knowledge. the family itself. ‘Jesus Christ.

Wojtyła set out the Catholic conception of time and history in the following manner: In Christianity time has a fundamental importance. In particular. within it the history of salvation unfolds. this goal is never fully realised’. Ratzinger consistently endorsed this approach and described Christ as the ‘directional arrow. who is himself eternal . time becomes a dimension of God. incarnational theology and the theology of the cross. Within the dimension of time the world was created. as it were. is the history of class conflict. and the emergence of a theology of liberation in which history is salvation on the basis of hope in human progress and past history is rejected as an inferior form of existence. 1:8. finding its culmination in the fullness of time of the Incarnation. ontology and history. that the history of the world. liberation theologians. Tertio Millennio Adveniente. although as long as history is still on the way. he traced the treatment of issues such as Hellenization and de-Hellenization.33 Early in Wojtyła’s pontificate Ratzinger published Principles of Catholic Theology in which he surveyed the various approaches to the relationship between history and ontology. true God and true man. This Christocentric theology of history was promoted throughout Wojtyła’s pontificate. In Jesus Christ. is also the Lord of history of which he is ‘the Alpha and the Omega’ (Rev. In Him the Father has spoken the definitive word about mankind and its history. 100 . and its goal in the glorious return of the Son of God at the end of time. are essentially engagements with post-Christian constructions of the relationship between being and history. 21: 6). institution and event. In his Apostolic Letter. the Word made flesh. while the issues that arose with Bultmann. Christ. and now one could add post-moderns. 21:6). . . alongside a Christocentric anthropology rooted in the theme of Gaudium et spes 22 – the idea that Christ is the model of a perfected humanity. that indicates what being human tends toward. the Lord of the cosmos. the ‘beginning and the end’ (Rev.BENEDICT XVI refutation of the opening words of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto.34 The first series of debates tended to highlight distinctions between a Catholic and Protestant understanding of the relationship between nature and grace and the place of the world in the economy of salvation.

except in a few passages. his utter changelessness meant that he was completely self-contained and referred wholly to himself without any relationship to what was changeable.37 101 . But to the extent that this existential philosophy conceives of man’s existence as essentially and ‘in the foundation of its being temporal’ (Heidegger). into a permanent likeness to God. Pieper wrote: Present day existential philosophy. it is thus confirmed once again that he is not just one who is timeless but also one who is above time. In this critique of Rahner he follows Pieper’s criticisms of the influence of Heidegger. that it appears in fact to be antithetical to the Greek mode of ontological thought. Ratzinger acknowledges that at first glance. and when revelation is fulfilled in the Resurrection. However upon a closer inspection he concludes this is a superficial reading and he suggests that Scripture actually has significant things to say about being as such. it too fails to comprehend the true nature of its subject. but in a creative freedom: Decisive for the Greek concept of God was the belief in God as a pure and changeless being of whom.35 In contrast to the Greek concept of being however. no action could be predicated. which regards human existence exclusively in its temporality as a ‘being in time’ is right to the extent that it opposes an idealistic doctrine of man in which the status viatoris seems transformed. against its nature. though he did argue that Karl Rahner’s attempt to deal with the issue in Hearers of the Word (first published in 1941) made the mistake of making man’s being itself historical in character. whose existence is known to us only through action. consequently. For the biblical God. In his essay on hope. on the other hand. it is precisely relationship and action that are the essential marks. the Bible contains no ontological reflection. not in a passive idea.36 In Principles of Catholic Theology Ratzinger did not attend to the task of providing his own definitive account of the mediation of history in the realm of ontology. creation and revelation are the two basic statements about him.HISTORY AND ONTOLOGY AFTER HEIDEGGER In his response to the Protestants. Ratzinger suggests that the Biblical idea of creatureliness means having one’s origin.

then it follows that these generally held views are what is Christian. then one must interpret what is Christian in terms of the universal findings of man’s reason. he will no doubt end up being less than natural . result in a vast stagnation despite the talk of self-transcendence as the content of man’s being?40 James V. . If the teachings of Christianity are the universally human. the principle is not. Pieper observed that ‘existentialism fails to recognise the true nature of human existence because it denies the “pilgrimage” character of the status viatoris. this approach nurtured the liberation theology movement since in those decades Marxism was seen by many members of the international intellectual elite as the embodiment of human reason. the rational par excellence. and hence.BENEDICT XVI More fundamentally. As Ratzinger expressed the problem: Rahner appropriated universal reason for Christianity and tried to prove that universal reason leads ultimately to the teachings of Christianity and that the teachings of Christianity are the universally human. that is. .38 While Rahner did not himself deny the status viatoris he tended to conflate salvation history with world history. when he ceases to be what he is? Does not such a concept which turns being into history but also history into being. Schall recently put such propositions in the form of a statement rather than a question: ‘If we treat man as only natural. In his response Ratzinger asked whether it is true that Christianity adds nothing to the universal but merely makes it known: Is the Christian really just man as he is? Does not the whole dynamism of history stem from the pressure to rise above man as he is? Is not the main point of the faith of both Testaments that man is what he ought to be only by conversion. If that is the case. but get man’s 102 . in principle. its orientation toward fulfilment beyond time. get man’s natural end right and you will be happy. the generally held views of man’s reason. the status viatoris itself’. In the generation that followed Rahner the direction of his thought was reversed.39 In the 1970s and most of the 1980s until the collapse of European Communism in 1989.

such as is represented by the Existentialist philosophy and which is merely the present act of individual liberty. Ratzinger argued that Christianity does represent a very particular intervention in the history of being and the being of history since how otherwise could it be such a sign to be rejected (Lk. He notes that Rahner defines freedom as the ‘ability to be oneself’ and that it is nothing less than the ‘the ultimate self-responsibility of the person’. Kriele.46 He also recommended the work of M.41 Against Rahner’s treatment of the relationship between history and ontology. and while he believes that such a concept is appropriate for an understanding of divine freedom. for an exposition of the alternative accounts of human freedom on the intellectual market. It is precisely this which makes the difference between the concept of ‘historicity’. Befreiung und politische Aufklärung. he thinks it does not work for human freedom. and that 103 . that ‘concern for the salvation of others should not lead to this particularism being as good as completely deleted: the history of salvation and the history of the world should not be declared to be simply identical because God’s concern must be directed at everyone’.44 Ratzinger believes that at the root of this approach is a concept of freedom taken from idealistic philosophy. 2: 34)?43 Referring to passages in Rahner’s Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity.47 The specific difference of a Christian conception of freedom was addressed by Jean Daniélou in his essay. there must be as well a continuity in them. ‘The Conception of History in the Christian Tradition’.45 He described such a concept of freedom as ‘an almost godlike ability for self-action’ and suggested that ‘wanting to be like God is the inner motive of all mankind’s programs of liberation’. and further.42 Moreover. Ratzinger suggested that ‘we must comprehend why God’s universalism (God wants everyone to be saved) makes use of the particularism of the history of salvation (from Abraham to the Church)’. it is not enough that events have importance.HISTORY AND ONTOLOGY AFTER HEIDEGGER supernatural end right or you will not be able to get his natural or this worldly end right’. Daniélou wrote: In order that there should be history. Ratzinger concluded that the real problem with Rahner’s synthesis is that he ‘sought for a philosophical and theological world formula on the basis on which the whole of reality can be deduced cohesively from necessary causes’.

This explains that remnant that remains always to be explained. which is freedom and which. which must go out of itself in order to find itself. the whole is communicated to him in the particular. In the fragmentary nature of man and the world they have a guarantee of the genuine. so they learn from the fragments of existence in what direction toward wholeness God points them. then entangle themselves again. In that work von Balthasar addressed the theme of the fragmentary nature of the human perception of the world with reference to the theological virtues: Faith. disentangle. A synthesis that can be grasped at a glance is all the less possible in that the synthesis that God brought about manifested itself in the ultimate shattering of all human plans. where the individual inserts himself into the web of an economy which goes beyond him and which constitutes an objective plan.49 This notion of the communication of the whole in the particular was a dominant theme in von Balthasar’s 1963 work Das Ganze im Fragment which was published in English as A Theological Anthropology. it has its foundation in the mystery of God. but outside himself. not inside. Thus. Such a fragment is. they can become suspicious if wholeness is offered recognizably and tangibly to them in advance. Ultimately. the fragmentary character of all his efforts to comprehend the unity of history and being. the tension between ontology and history has its foundation in the tension within human nature itself.BENEDICT XVI of sacred history. in Principles of Catholic Theology. As a blind man feels with knowing hands the sharp edges of broken pottery. within himself. hope and charity move through a fragmentary existence towards an unforeseeable perfection. demands and longings. for groping human hands. Faith. but without. as it were. calls each individual by a name that is known to no other. Therefore. therefore.48 Accordingly. The place to which he is anchored is not. 104 . Ratzinger rejected accounts of freedom which derived their content from German Idealism: Man finds his centre of gravity. the cross of Christ: innumerable lines of significance intersect at it.

and that this idea is unique and personal. The two exist in a dialogical relationship where prayer and sacraments are the primary mode of communication within the relationship.51 This means that there is no ‘one size fits all’ blueprint for Christian spirituality. Ratzinger argued that while the Christian doctrine of creation can be used to defend a notion of human equality in the sense that all have been created in the same image of God. it should not be used to imply a general sameness between persons. and a life of prayer and participation in the sacramental life of the Church. von Balthasar argued that ‘for each Christian. In his work on the nineteenth-century French Carmelite. Thus the vocation of each individual is to ‘transform his life into this Idea of himself secreted in God. but beyond this each person enjoys what the Romantics called individualität (individuality) which is forged in the theo-dramatic relationship. hope and love. has been driven by the sin of envy. embodying for each his or her appropriate sanctity’.50 Von Balthasar thereby offers an account of Bildung or selfdevelopment in which God and the human person are the two primary actors or agents. that is. God has an idea which fixes his or her place within the membership of the Church. It is through the work of prayer and grace that the individual comes to an understanding of the divine will for him or her and for each person there will be both ‘constants’ and unique gifts and special graces. Among the ‘constants’ will be the work of the theological virtues.HISTORY AND ONTOLOGY AFTER HEIDEGGER love and hope grope their way through the darkness: they believe the incredible. he said. Thérèse of Lisieux. would rather bring to the fore the equality of the different pathways (vocations) and recognize the dignity of all human beings in the symphony of the various callings. There are rather many missions and charisms in the life of the Church. this “individual law” freely promulgated for him by the pure grace of God’. In his one publication which directly addresses the topic of Bildung. abandoning them. Thus the difference between the account of Bildung to be found at the nihilist end of the Romantic spectrum and the account to be found at the Catholic end is not related to any Catholic indifference 105 . The Christian faith. The darkness with its withdrawal of all available unity makes them one. they hope against hope. they love that which withdraws itself.52 He also noted that the contemporary quest for sameness or uniformity (one might say ‘a one size should fit all attitude’) in educational policy. of faith.

but the freedom of the process by which the self (whatever its ultimate character) was created. this journey leads to ever greater and more complex units in which multiplicity is not cancelled out but integrated into a growing synthesis. It is rather the case that at the Catholic end the image of the beautiful soul is an image known to God and discerned by the human person through prayer. Ratzinger’s reflections on Teilhard appear in the publication of the proceedings of a symposium to mark the 70th birthday of Johann Baptist Metz who was arguably Rahner’s most illustrious student. Norton concluded in his work The Beautiful Soul: Aesthetic Morality in the Eighteenth Century.BENEDICT XVI to individuality or desire for social uniformity. As R. but it also echoes Pieper’s earlier criticisms of the French Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin. E. Ratzinger’s contribution was published under the title ‘The End of Time’. Based on Ephesians and Colossians. There is no ideal or exemplary model of humanity. there are no criteria by which one should go about the process of artistic self-creation. an energy that finally incorporates everything 106 . as a journey of unification. for most of the nineteenth-century advocates of Bildung. where spirit and its understanding comprehend the whole. whereas at the nihilist end. the whole process came to be seen as a sovereign and independent good. culminating in the Noosphere.53 For the contemporary postmoderns who occupy the nihilist end of the Romantic tradition. Ratzinger’s criticism of elements of Rahner’s treatment of the relationship between history and ontology not only relies on Pieper’s criticisms of Heidegger and basic principles of Balthasarian theodramatics as outlined above. What matters is not any quality of the self which is ultimately created. Teilhard tried to solve the tension between the incarnational and eschatological perspectives with an evolutionary account of salvation history. and everything is integrated into a kind of living organism. In the 1960s one of the sources of authority for the more Concilium style interpretation of the Second Vatican Council as a positive embrace of the culture of modernity was to be found in the theology of history of Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard envisages Christ as the energy that drives towards the Noosphere. From the very simple. the image is self-created by the person without any reference to God. The following is his summary of Teilhard’s thesis: He [de Chardin] described the cosmos as a process of upward development.

All that can be known for certain is Christ’s warning recorded in the Gospel of St John – if they have persecuted me. . . . It is the element of creative freedom within human nature that is so vulnerable to damage from a secularist culture. .55 Similarly. Against the logic of this orientation. development. they will also persecute you – and his promise in the Gospel of St Matthew that the gates of hell will not ultimately prevail against the Church. can be either thwarted or enhanced by cultures which are more or less impervious or receptive to grace and the cultivation of virtue. For Teilhard all of evolution’s terrible aspects and so too. Human beings are not beggarly parasites of being. in the end human beings in their suffering appear as the material for evolution’s experiment. the centre of human history is the Incarnation. he also recognizes that the possibilities for participation in the life of the Trinity. while Ratzinger clearly regards human nature as a constant in creation which does not cumulatively develop to some higher ontological stage. In Pieper’s words. for deepening love and knowledge. either in its capacity for love or for knowledge (at least not before the Last Judgment and the renewal of the cosmos). are inevitable mishaps in the process of upward movement toward the definitive synthesis. the cosmos is created with freedom in mind.54 On this view reality becomes a sort of inevitable Wagnerian fate which does not end in Götterdämmerung but in the Noosphere. all of history’s atrocities. For Ratzinger. Pieper was critical of Teilhard’s theology on the grounds that it could not account for the meaning of martyrdom. rather.Thus. the world’s injustices as mishaps that you have to reckon for such a journey. why die for something which might turn out not to be an eternal value or principle after all? Why die for the papacy when it may be just a pre-modern institution at a low stage of evolutionary development? Ratzinger refuses to accept a theology of history which reduces centuries of Christian sacrifice to the status of a mere preparatory phase in the evolution of the cosmos with a Christian impetus.HISTORY AND ONTOLOGY AFTER HEIDEGGER into its fullness . Nonetheless. ‘evolution knows no martyrs’. finally. . There is nothing in Scripture to suggest an evolutionary perfection of human nature or the social order. a freedom that takes up its inner trajectories and alone can bring them to their goal’. Ratzinger argues that ‘the cosmos is not neutral when it comes to human beings. The severance of the links between 107 .56 If one is living in a low stage of historical or ‘cosmic’. as for John Paul II.

which as the ‘entirely Other’ would remain completely outside the human world and time. Education however valuable it might be in eliminating ignorance. is made possible by grace given by a personal God. he wrote: Christian belief is not merely concerned. between visible and invisible. with God as man. ‘the play of historical contexts continually opens what can be seen. It is sometimes remarked by those writing from a liberation theology perspective. set limits on the intellectual horizons of people at the same time as encouraging social and institutional practices which require a capacity for vice rather than virtue and thereby diminish a person’s ability to love. Some cultures however are more or less hospitable to the humanism of the Incarnation than others. 57 However. the eternal as the temporal. By thus seeming to bridge the gap between eternal and temporal. cannot eradicate sin. Self-transcendence. One might say that his tendency is to think of Good Friday from the perspective of Easter Sunday and Easter Sunday from the perspective of Good Friday. Nonetheless his disposition is never to occupy one extreme end of a theological spectrum but rather to try and balance the poles in a creative tension. on the contrary. it is much more concerned with God in history. that Ratzinger appears closer to the eschatological end of the spectrum than to the incarnational. He is wary of neo-Pelagian presumptions about the perfectibility of human nature through education and he regarded the terminology in the discussion of freedom in Gaudium et spes as ‘downright Pelagian’. for Ratzinger. whatever ‘is said and thought is intrinsically bound to the opening. the whole purpose of the Church as the universal sacrament of salvation is to act as the agent by which the eternal is mediated to the present. unlike Heidegger. to the context which makes it possible’. as one might at first suspect from all the talk of belief or faith. ethos and religion and the emergence of counterfeit notions of faith. no culture is ever theologically neutral. This is because of his scepticism about the possibility of a moral ‘leap forward’ in human behaviour and organization. In his Introduction to Christianity. hope and love. human nature.BENEDICT XVI notions of God.58 108 . with the eternal. As Bonsor has expressed the idea in Heideggerian terms. by making us meet God as man. including the transcendence of one’s culture. as one of us. it understands itself as revelation. what can be thought’ and conversely. As de Lubac argued.

saw the task of his generation as one of combating the materialism of the Marxists. As a result the true historical character of human existence evaporates. from the sphere of pure philosophy to a participation in the factuality of theology. on the one side. indeed. raised. the need for Catholic theologians and philosophers to attend to the significance of time and history was well appreciated. Contemporary religious existential philosophy has. is the ultimate ground of man’s being human. rationalism must end up by emptying human reality of its ontological content and of its intrinsic reference to the Transcendent. this insofar as the coming-to-be of being (esse accidens in Arab scholasticism). to some extent. of the Logos.59 By the 1950s. 109 . open in its depths to that in which it is grounded: the sphere of existence as ek-sistence. its time dimension. the surging out of essence into time and history. materialism and intellectualism make inter-subjectivity something incomprehensible. existentialism and phenomenology among those who were to become the Conciliar generation. which at the religious level is its openness to the encounter of God’s will and command. Marcel and Jaspers have shown that by eliminating from man’s inheritance corporeity as well as the inter-subjectivity and the being-in-history that follow from it. He noted that by emptying man of his interior life and by stripping the interior life of its bodily exteriority.60 He added that the neglect of the human person’s embodiment within the world exercised a disastrous influence on the ontological interpretation of human existence: Thinkers like Newman. and the intellectualism of the neo-scholastics. by as it were turning it around to leave the sphere of essences. a Conciliar peritus from Belgium. Albert Dondeyne. von Balthasar drew out the consequences of this approach in the following paragraph: The value of the historical pole of human existence is thus heightened by the historical character of Christ’s revelation and to some extent liberated from its unjust imprisonment within an unhistorical philosophy of essences. on the other. at least by the more intellectual of the Europeans. which explains the surge of interest in personalism. gone a step beyond the Platonic scheme of thought.HISTORY AND ONTOLOGY AFTER HEIDEGGER In A Theology of History.

being related. Nonetheless Ratzinger is aware that an explicit appreciation of the dimension of relationality was a long time coming in Christian 110 . the importance in metaphysics of Blondel’s theme of action . but it is the person itself’. Hence. it follows that the body.63 Moreover. for whom life has neither rhyme nor reason. its ‘image’. but they are real existing relations. They are. he argues that the notion of ‘relation’ or ‘relationality’ needs to be recognized as a third specific fundamental category between the Greek categories of substance and accident and he believes that it is impossible to approach the Trinity without this category. Instead. the notion of person only makes sense when understood as relation. not therefore. the three persons that exist in God are in their nature relations. uttered and rendered accessible to our gaze’. towards making us participate in . as the individual substance of a rational nature.62 Ratzinger concludes that ‘relation. is the place where the divine is portrayed. and the person is the image of God. ‘substances that stand next to each other. coined by Boethius. The whole article is based on a rejection of the classical definition of the person. . . Embodiment contributes to our insertion in being. Ratzinger observes that the body is not something external to the spirit. the era of defining the person solely with reference to the dimension of substantiality is over. and nothing besides’.61 Ratzinger addressed these themes in an essay first published as a chapter in Dogma und Verkudigung in 1973 and then re-published in the Communio journal in 1990 with the title ‘Concerning the Notion of Person in Theology’. since there is really nothing he can do. is not something superadded to the person. it is the latter’s self-expression. the mystery of being. This is an understanding of the person defined entirely in terms of substance.BENEDICT XVI To reduce the human person to a bloodless and anonymous spectator is to destroy the very idea of a ‘person’ and make man a being without soul or destiny. . in its whole context of relationships. According to Augustine and late Patristic theology. Ratzinger believes that it ‘cannot clarify anything about Christology or the Trinity’ and is ‘an affirmation that remains on the level of the Greek mind which thinks in substantialist terms’. Within Trinitarian theology.64 For Ratzinger. The constituents of biological life are also constituitive of the human person: ‘Since the body is the visible form of the person. . echoing Dondeyne and countering Descartes.

. it is important to see from the start how the two aspects are interwoven . . .65 Scholastic theology was thereby able to develop categories of existence out of this contribution.66 Prescriptively Balthasar observes that the task of making the historical existence of Christ the norm of every individual existence is the work of the Holy Spirit: This carving out of a section of history in order to make it relevant to the whole of history is a process involving several factors. all interconnected in their dependence upon the Holy Spirit. He acknowledges that at the beginning of the Middle Ages. A third completes this relation by creating the missions of Church and individual as applications of the life of Christ to every Christian life and the whole life of the Church . thus transformed. This was somewhat short-sighted and corresponded to an eclipse of the notion of deification in the theology of the West which was brought back into focus by the ressourcement scholarship of the mid-twentieth century. human existence is not canceled. in the man who is completely with God. Its defect was that it limited these categories to Christology and to the doctrine of the Trinity and did not extend them to the human person. everything in the sacramental order has to be embedded in the personal level. which consists in transcending itself into the absolute and in the integration of its own relativity into the absoluteness of divine love. The whole point of Gaudium et spes 22 is that Christ is the Second Adam. to the historical Church of every age. Richard of St Victor found a concept of the person derived from within Christianity when he defined the person as ‘the proper existence of spiritual nature’ and he praises the Victorine for this insight which ‘correctly sees that in its theological meaning “person” does not lie on the level of essence. which is expressed typically in the sacraments. as mediation and encounter. The first concerns the working of the Spirit upon the Incarnate Son himself . and most fully in the Eucharist. 111 . .HISTORY AND ONTOLOGY AFTER HEIDEGGER anthropology. but comes to its highest possibility. . the true fulfilment of the idea of the human person: In Christ. . A second factor is the working of the Spirit as he relates to Christ. but of existence’. but nonetheless distinguishable. If the first and the third is primarily personal and the second is primarily sacramental.

which defended. the irreducible subjective singularity of the person that emerges in love and. the originality of the knowledge that love permits and that is qualitatively distinguished from other forms of knowledge. published in 2009. historical graces. and hence it always communicates personal. In a preface to the second volume of his collected publications. Newman or Guardini.BENEDICT XVI as a gesture expressing personal intention. Ratzinger reflected that ‘if neo-Scholastic theology essentially understood Revelation as the divine transmission of mysteries. has observed: This singular correlation between love and person was perceived and expounded systematically by the personalism of the last century. and creates personal. on the other side. As Livio Melina. although directed to the whole of creation. not by an opposition between salvation history and its ontological unfolding. is always individually and personally mediated. Maximilian Heinrich Heim argues that Ratzinger’s theology ‘is defined.67 This is another dimension of the paradox that the human person perceives the whole only through fragments. on the one side. This is one of those Guardinian watermarks. but it would be difficult to reach such a position from reading Augustine. Ratzinger’s concerns about Rahner’s attempt to address the relationship between history and ontology in Hearers of the Word being neglectful of this element is perhaps further evidence that Ratzinger’s theology is in the tradition of Augustine. historical situations. Newman and Guardini with their emphasis on the very personal response of the human heart to a divine conversation.68 In keeping with the Patristic tradition. and one might add that this action.69 These are insights he owes to Guardini. Söhngen and Buber and principles he shares with von Balthasar. a former colleague of Ratzinger’s in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. today 112 . Rahner’s theology could lead to the positing of the existence of an anonymous Christian. which remain inaccessible to the human mind. but rather by a mutual ordering of the two that constantly adheres to the prae [logical and temporal priority] of God’s action’. Throughout his publications Ratzinger frequently refers to the fact that the event of love is always linked to an encounter with a person.

70 The fact that this is so within the field of Catholic theology is largely due to the efforts of Söhngen.72 Among fellow Christians this leaves him in a position that is closer to Barth than Bultmann. von Balthasar. Söhngen and von Balthasar. Within his theology there can be no other ‘ends’ to history than Christ. The Liberal he rejected in various works from his 1960’s criticism of the account of human freedom in Gaudium et spes through to the papal encyclicals Spe Salvi and Caritas in Veritate. 113 . His habilitationsschrift topic. closer to Cullmann than to Barth. and no other end to human nature than eternal beatitude in the presence of the triune God. It might also be argued that it inoculated him against the positions of Teilhard de Chardin and the liberation theologians for whom history is a progressive movement.71 From these he concluded that the anti-Aristotelian elements in St Bonaventure’s thought are related to his theology of history and that his theology of history was thoroughly Christocentric. but ultimately with Daniélou. beginning with his criticisms of the 1960s enthusiasm for an allegedly benign secularism. Within his humanism of the Incarnation there is a place for beauty and art and other human works which is not negated by the nakedness of the Cross. later as Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. either toward the noosphere or the immanentization of the eschaton. In the final analysis Ratzinger’s theology cannot accommodate either the Liberal (Whig) or Marxist accounts of history or ontology. and freedom is only freedom if it is linked to truth and love. Education and technology. Rahner and Ratzinger himself. recommended by Söhngen. and finally as pope in his first two encyclicals. Such Christocentrism becomes emblematic for all of the mature Ratzinger’s work. and salvation history is seen as a central element of Revelation’. who is simultaneously the alpha and omega.HISTORY AND ONTOLOGY AFTER HEIDEGGER Revelation is considered as God’s manifestation of himself in an historical action. cannot in themselves bring about an improvement of the human condition. brought him into the territory of the scholarly debates about St Bonaventure’s criticisms of the influence of Aristotle in theology. Daniélou. It is consistent with his youthful enthusiasm for the works of de Lubac and his intellectual affinities with von Balthasar and ultimately Wojtyła. The Marxist he rejected as a professor at Tübingen in 1968. though capable of being put to a good use.

some force that is supra-human. There is simply a kind of basic human quest for contact with something divine.CHAPTER 6 CHRISTIANITY IN THE MARKETPLACE OF FAITH TRADITIONS In November of 1999 to mark the arrival of the millennium the Sorbonne held a colloquium entitled Deux mille sans après quoi? Eighteen speakers were invited. Ratzinger suggested that the best place to find an answer to the question of how Christianity originally saw itself in the marketplace of faith traditions. others its ears and so on. The fable is often quoted by people who believe that there is no possibility of one true religion. political theology and natural theology or physics. Varro identified 3 different approaches to theology: what might be termed mystical theology. some having caught hold of its trunk. Human beings have no capacity to understand the supra-human. is in Augustine’s work on the philosophy of religion according to Marcus Terrentius Varro (116–27BC). especially in Europe. the classical poets were the mystical theologians. including Ratzinger. Different faith traditions merely represent different human experiments fostered by this basic psychological need. His address was framed by the question of how Christianity originally saw itself in the marketplace of faith traditions. They are like blind men grasping parts of an elephant. they composed hymns to the 114 . no faculty for contact with the divine. He also noted the popularity of the Buddhist fable which compares the different faith traditions to different perceptions of an elephant as given by blind men. He began by observing that in the year 2000 Christianity is in deep crisis. others its tail. Within Varro’s framework. He further identified the foundation of the crisis as the loss of belief in the idea that reason and religion have anything to do with one another. In his response to the fable.

it had to consider itself universal – ‘it had to be taken forth to all peoples not as a specific religion elbowing its way among others.1 Since it did not concur with the relativity and changeability of the civic gods it frustrated the political usefulness of religion and as a result its adherents were subjected to successive waves of persecutions by Roman emperors.CHRISTIANITY IN THE MARKETPLACE OF FAITH TRADITIONS gods. but to the order of mores. Moreover. Civil theology does not ultimately have any god. following Augustine. classified Christianity under the banner of a natural religion. The political theologians were those whose natural habitat was found in the organs of government and the content of their theology covered cult worship. According to popular conviction theatre shows were established in Rome on the orders of the gods. Ratzinger noted that within this triad of theological types. Augustine placed Christianity in the realm of physical or natural theology. rather the state instituted its own gods. and their worship is important to the state in order to maintain the good conduct of its citizens. while natural theology has no religion. but only some deity. religion is essentially a political phenomenon or what today would be called an ideology. According to this view. Christianity therefore has its antecedents in philosophical rationality. he observed that with Christianity there is a profound modification of the philosophical image of God: the God in whom the Christians believe is truly a 115 . the concrete world of religion. but as truth which makes illusion superfluous’. From this foundation Ratzinger concluded that precisely because Christianity understood itself as the triumph of knowledge over myth. only religion. The gods did not create the state. within this triad the order of worship. From these sets of distinctions Varro concluded that natural theology deals with the nature of the gods and the remaining theologies deal with the godly institutions of men. Nonetheless. or customs. The content of mystical theology was thus the myths of the gods. The natural theologians were the philosophers. does not belong to the order of reality as such. not through any sort of religious imperialism. not in mythical cults which have their ultimate justification in their political usefulness. those who went beyond the mundane and searched to understand reality as such. while Ratzinger. Their natural habitat was in the academies and the content of their theology focused on the subject of what the gods are made. Their natural habitat was the theatre which in classical times was thoroughly religious and cultic in character.

whereas 116 . one of faith.2 In a more recent work Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions. in the final analysis.4 What results from this difference is that the beliefs of the monotheistic traditions are historical in character. Ratzinger observed that there are essentially three ways of moving beyond the realm of primitive human religious experience and myth. monotheistic revolution and enlightenment. God. Ratzinger emphasizes that Christianity is essentially faith in an event. Christianity and Islam. the poor and the weak: We have seen that in the conception of Early Christianity the notions of human nature. whereas for the monotheistic traditions. whereas the mystical traditions are unhistorical in character. Further. There is a certain separation between all embracing nature and the Being which affords it its origin and beginning.5 With reference to the work of Jean Daniélou. God is God by his nature. such as Judaism.3 Ratzinger identifies the difference between the mystical and monotheistic ways as a different understanding of God. in contrast to the mythic and political gods. the choice is. Christianity was convincing precisely because it joined faith and reason and because it directed action to caritas. He further argued that the real questions concerning relations between religions arise between mysticism and monotheistic revolution and that no choice can be made in favour of one or the other on rational grounds since to do so would be to presuppose the absolute validity of the rational way. ethos and religion were inextricably linked to one another and that precisely this bond helped Christianity to see and navigate clearly amid the crisis of the gods and the crisis of ancient rationality. albeit. According to Ratzinger’s reading of history. to charity – the moral practices which were a part of the Christian package placed an accent on the loving care of the suffering.BENEDICT XVI natural God. but not everything which is nature. He identified these as mysticism. this God is not a silent God. Accordingly. in the case of a choice for monotheistic revolution. such as Buddhism. God is entirely passive and the decisive element is human experience. is God. For the mystical traditions. but nature as such is not God. a faith that makes use of rational standards. This God entered human history. God is active and in some sense invites the person into a relationship.

in their paradoxical tension. that is. Ratzinger suggests that Christianity today must meet the challenge of a new ‘first philosophy of sorts’. on this basis. is experienced as the end of all history and. bring into focus the paradox of this consciousness itself: it is characterized simultaneously by both personalization (individuation) and universalisation. Jewish or Islamic sense of the 117 .7 In Principles of Catholic Theology.CHRISTIANITY IN THE MARKETPLACE OF FAITH TRADITIONS the mystical traditions believe in the existence of an eternal world that stands in opposition to the world of time. Today Christian thought is itself being construed to be unscientific since the popularist theory of evolution holds that there is no creator in the Christian. which is found in the theory of evolution. as the long-awaited manifestation of what is truly human and the definitive revelation to man of his hidden nature. but that it makes the person who receives the revelation into an actor in divine history. that is.8 Having agreed with Augustine that Christianity emerged in classical times as a type of natural theology. Its meaning is. It is not primarily the discovery of some truth. which. rather. for that reason. it is oriented toward the whole human race and presumes the abrogation of all partial histories. The beginning and end of this new history is the Person of Jesus of Nazareth. affects all mankind. not that divine reality becomes visible to man. a claim about what God is. which paradoxically. It would not be difficult to identify. for this very reason. whose partial salvation is looked upon as essentially an absence of salvation. at the same time. who is recognized as the last man (the second Adam). Ratzinger further argues that the revelation of Christ presumes a loss of credibility on the part of the late Judaic concept of history: Its interpretation by Paul gives radical expression to the historicocritical fact.6 He concludes: We could say that biblical ‘mysticism’ is not a mysticism of images but of words and that its relation is not contemplation by man but the word and the act of God. understands Jesus’ message as the foundation of a new history. it is the activity of God himself making history. it completes the break with the former concept of history and. two criteria of the rising Christian historical consciousness.

but rather aggressively anti-theistic . Love appears too insecure a foundation for life . whether ancient or modern. . but only to a world still to be created. . . of substitutionary redemption. instead of being a beautiful promise. of love. It means one has to depend on something unpredictable and unenforceable. He believes that all the monotheistic traditions share this basic belief that the world was created by God according to his own principles. In a series of essays published in 1995 under the title of A Catholic Understanding of the Fall and Creation he wrote: I see the common core of Gnosticism. While accepting that there are micro-evolutionary processes at work. the effort to restore an understanding of Christianity as the true religion or religion of truth in the classical sense. Today as in the past.BENEDICT XVI term. its deepest aspect must consist in love and reason converging with one another as the essential foundation pillars of reality: real reason is love and 118 . . .9 Thus the place occupied by love in the Christian framework finds its analogue within the evolutionary ethos with the concepts of power and adaptability. but can only wait and receive . . is rejected in favour of a control of the world and of life through knowledge. and God as the reason for dependence . Amidst this contemporary crisis of humanity. nor is there any ‘soul of the world’ or interior dynamic in the classical Stoic sense. in all its different forms and versions. of subjection . something we cannot certainly make ourselves. love becomes an unbearable feeling of dependence. Ratzinger believes that the world was created in time by God and that Christians cannot surrender this principle if Christianity is not to mutate into some kind of Gnosticism. as the repudiation of creation. .Gnosticism will not entrust itself to a world already created. must be based equally upon orthopraxis as well as orthodoxy. creation appears as dependence. giving the natural order an internal coherence and beauty. . . In the Gnostic view of the world. As a consequence. [this is] the reason why Gnosticism can never be neutral in matters concerning God. . . This common core has a common effect on the doctrine of humankind to be found in the various models of Gnosticism: the mystery of suffering.

11 This is a sophisticated way of presenting the standard account of Christianity as the union of Athens and Jerusalem (faith and reason) and the resolution of the aporia of the Greek achievement. He further argued that it was only an account of revelation based on the notion that God is love which can provide such a point of unity. In their unity.10 This notion of the convertibility of being and love was emphasized in Ratzinger’s first papal encyclical Deus Caritas Est. the early Church fathers presented this message against the backdrop of the then powerful world religions . they are the real basis and goal of all reality. Balthasar believed that this approach was possible in classical times because Christian thinkers took over the identity between philosophy and theology that had prevailed in the ancient cultures as a self-evident fact. Instead they have always aimed at a point of unity that would serve to provide a justification for the demand for faith. Many of the themes to be found in this encyclical can be traced back to von Balthasar’s 1963 work Love Alone is Credible. . the other the anthropological reduction. . [Against the pagan backdrop]. Christianity stood out against this background as the fulfillment of the fragmented meaning of the world . . however he believed that this self-evidentiary quality of the nexus between faith and reason began to break down during the 119 . In its preface von Balthasar wrote that never in the history of the Church have Christian thinkers thought it adequate to answer the question of what specifically is Christian about Christianity with reference to a series of mysteries one is required to believe. Christianity could be made credible. A nutshell summary of his account of the cosmological reduction is as follows: In order to bring home the credibility of the Christian message to the ancient world. both because it unified what was fragmented and also because it ransomed what was held captive by converting what was perverted. He believed that both are inadequate in the intellectual climate of today. . In the first two sections of Love Alone is Credible Balthasar offered an intellectual history of two approaches to a defence of the reasonableness of Christian revelation: one he called the cosmological reduction.CHRISTIANITY IN THE MARKETPLACE OF FAITH TRADITIONS love is real reason.

This anthropological reduction culminates in Kant and indeed Balthasar argued that all the pathways of modernity intersect in the thought of Kant: Luther deposes Aristotelian reason in order to make room for faith. natural religion and philosophy. but this rejected reason acquires a Cartesian structure and Kant tries to tame it by bringing it under human control. The fact that the bible’s moral pronouncements can be traced to other cultures or to philosophical thought in no way implies that morality is a function of mere reason – this is a premature conclusion we should not allow to pass unchallenged any longer. . a graduate of University College. Christianity’s originality consists rather in the new total form into which human searching and striving have been forged under the guidance of faith in the God of Abraham. reason no longer has anything to do with religion and it becomes what Karl Barth called an ‘idol factory’.13 In the book Balthasar and Ratzinger jointly published as Principles of Christian Morality. A central villain in Balthasar’s genealogy is Lord Edward Herbert of Cherbury (1582–1648).12 In the following generations. Oxford. Ratzinger was critical of the idea that morality is a function of pure reason. and one time ambassador to Paris (1619–1624). others were to pursue the pure religion of reason shifting the criterion from the cosmological to the anthropological.BENEDICT XVI Renaissance when it was gradually replaced with so called natural ethics. Being thus limited. the God of Jesus Christ. Balthasar noted that while his concept of God remains saturated with content from the Christian tradition he presents this content as something that can be established and justified by pure reason. .14 Von Balthasar’s third way. or preferred alternative to the cosmological and anthropological reductions. It is impossible to distill out what is specifically Christian by excluding everything that has come about through contact with other milieu. He wrote: The originality of Christianity does not consist in the number of propositions for which no parallel can be found elsewhere . Of Cherbury’s work. is to make the notion that 120 .

wherein God’s kenotically condescending Logos expresses himself as love. face to face. We can love Him and He is able to give us a communion which reflects the intimacy in which He lies upon the bosom of the Father. We can speak to Him and He answers. however.17 Ratzinger began his first encyclical with the passage from scripture so emphasized by Balthasar (1 Jn 4:16) – ‘God is love and he who abides in love abides in God and God abides in Him’ – and he noted that it is very difficult to find texts of this kind in other religions. eros is the chosen place of beauty: whatever we love always appears radiant with glory. According to Guardini: This Logos. He observed that ‘already in the realm of nature. is no order of forms and laws.19 121 . and whatever is objectively perceived as glorious does not penetrate into the onlooker except through the specificity of an eros’. but rather by allowing the incarnate Logos to interpret himself. He is the living son of the eternal Father. and which St John experienced when His Master permitted him to lay his head upon His heart. truth is a person. Agape. This fact established a contrast to everything which natural philosophy and piety can experience or invent. We can stand before Him. he argued that the subsequent events of the Gospel reveal that John does not seek to demonstrate this by projecting the life of Jesus onto the level of Greek wisdom. this one and all. and thus as Glory. which is perfectly simple and yet immeasurably rich. as that which grants all things their intelligibility. indeed. Significantly. This Logos.15 He concluded that the poles of eros and agape are transcended in the realm of revelation. no world of prototypes and arrangements. He Himself gives us the power to stand before Him and He can grant our request.16 He also concluded that the designation of Christ in the Gospel of John as the Logos points to the fact that the evangelist envisions him as fulfilling the role of cosmic reason. but Someone.CHRISTIANITY IN THE MARKETPLACE OF FAITH TRADITIONS God is love the key to understanding the originality of Christian revelation.18 In the first paragraphs of Deus Caritas Est he also reiterated the principle which he had learned from Guardini. in the Greek sense. He began this section of his work with an analysis of the relationship between eros and agape and beauty. that this notion is an element that is peculiar to Christianity. that for Christians. steps into history and becomes man.

24 The principles of this new order are therefore not derived from considerations of what is according to nature but from the dreams of scientific and entrepreneurial elites who represent a new ruling class and bring with them new forms of coercion.BENEDICT XVI Guardini went on to say that if one tries to mute this personal and historical side. verum quia factum (the true is what we make). Baur theology turned into history. It takes as its criterion of rationality the experience of technological production based on science. Ratzinger notes that through Hegel and Comte being itself came to be understood as an historical process.23 This theme is treated in the series of essays Ratzinger published as Values in a Time of Upheaval. Vico advanced a new formula. Human life becomes a product and hope is 122 .22 By the end of the twentieth century Ratzinger suggests that Vico’s verum quia factum had been replaced with verum quia faciendum with the result that the truth with which we are now concerned is feasibility. The greatest scope for their operation lies in the fields of biotechnology.20 In his own genealogy of the destruction of the classical-theistic synthesis of faith and reason Ratzinger agrees with the view that all roads to modernity run through the Kantian intersection. With F. but he is also interested in the side-road of the Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico (1668–1744). In these he traced the transition from mutations in the concept of God in the eighteenth century (from God the Creator to god the mechanic) to a ‘second Enlightenment’ which renders all conceptions of God and even of Marxist eschatology and epistemology obsolete. C.21 Vico thereby introduced the problematic of the relationship between being and history. The dominance of history is being replaced by the dominance of techne. This more contemporary conceptual mutation markets itself under the label of a ‘new world order’. all ecstasy that you may have is nothing’ since one will have ‘dissolved Christ’. Against the Scholastic equation verum est ens (being is truth). all intellectual keenness. Marx then gave economics an historical slant and Darwin gave biology an historical slant. Ratzinger observes that proponents of this concept share with Marxism ‘the evolutionistic idea that the world we encounter is the product of irrational chance’ and ‘cannot bear any ethical directives in itself as the old idea of nature envisaged’. ‘then all depth of thought.

which by necessity identifies its key concept in the selection model. Spe Salvi. The cultures of modernity and post-modernity are thus held together by numerous concepts. ‘severed’. against the Social Darwinist values of the new managerial and scientific elites. In his millennium address to the scholars of the Sorbonne Ratzinger noted how the links or ‘intellectual glue’ uniting faith and reason have in successive centuries been detached or. as with the example of the Christian theological virtue of hope and its liberal mutation in the concept of progress addressed in Chapter 4. have co-penetrated one another and become one . the primacy of the Logos and the primacy of love were revealed to be one and the same’: The Logos was revealed to be not only the mathematical reasoning at the basis of all things. hence in the struggle to survive. Ratzinger reiterates his often repeated statement that ‘reason needs faith if it is to be completely itself: reason and faith need one another in order to fulfil their true nature and mission’. in paragraph 23 of his second encyclical. he makes the point that it is not science but love that redeems the human person. In A Theological Anthropology. as Alasdair MacIntyre argues. while in paragraph 26.CHRISTIANITY IN THE MARKETPLACE OF FAITH TRADITIONS reduced to something like trust in the future promises of genetic manipulation.25 The linking of love and knowledge is a common Augustinian and Balthasarian motif. survival grounded in successful adaptation – has little comfort to offer. in survival of the fittest. [The] evolutionary ethos [of the second Enlightenment]. however. He believes that a restoration of these links is a necessary component of the work of evangelization and that one of the most important Patristic insights which requires restoration is the notion that ‘within the ordering of religion to a rational view of reality. . a work praised 123 . Contrary to all conceptions of rationality which seek to isolate themselves from faith and theology. but as creative love to the point of becoming com-passion. The cosmic aspect of religion which worships the Creator in his power of existence and its existential dimension. values and institutional practices many of which are either severed fragments of an older Christian culture or mutated variations on creedal Christian themes. . co-suffering with creation. the question of Redemption.

hope and love is the ultimate basis of Christian understanding or knowledge whose nearest analogy is the knowledge of a beloved human being . Balthasar linked the logos of love and knowledge with the theological virtues in the following manner: Such unity of the Christian attitude of faith. to humanity through Christ. this is not a matter of removing the intellectual component of faith but understanding it as a component in a wider whole. are not only a reality that we await. the promise of Christ. open approach to all the treasures and secrets of God. he believes that the movement of Revelation proceeds from God (the Father). As was made evident in Ratzinger’s various anti-Suárezian interventions. but a real presence’. the theme that love transcends time: ‘the saints way of acting and living is de facto a “proof ” that the things to come. and that the purpose of this dialogue between God and the human person is not so much the transmission of information but rather the transformation of the person in the life of the Trinity.28 He believes that ‘the act of faith is an event that expands the limits of individual reason’ and ‘brings the isolated and fragmented individual intellect 124 . While not dismissing the need for sound philosophy. For Ratzinger.27 Christians believe not only because something is logically coherent but because they have seen the beliefs embodied in the practices of the lives of the saints whose love for others is what makes belief plausible and persuasive and even compelling. .26 This notion of the need for childlike receptivity to the work of the Holy Spirit steers the Catholic faith away from the danger of presenting itself as an intellectual system requiring mostly sound philosophical foundations for its comprehension. The mediator of such understanding in love is the Holy Spirit which. as the ‘Spirit of Childhood’ encourages two attitudes. . in his encyclicals Ratzinger has emphasized the more personalist or affective dimensions of the act of comprehension. The epistemic rôle of the saints as the most authentic witnesses to the truth about existence to which reference was made by John Paul II in Fides et ratio is here reaffirmed.BENEDICT XVI by Ratzinger. In Spe Salvi he adds to this accent on the response of the human heart to God. and admits the faithful into the fellowship of God in the Holy Spirit. The first is the immediate. the second is the childlike spirit which does not presume to take what does not belong to it.

He has also stated that he prefers the epistemology of St Augustine because Augustine ‘is well aware that the organ by which God can be seen cannot be a non-historical “ratio naturalis” [natural reason] but only the ratio pura. but the faith without reason will not be human’. is logos of the one logos. since if that were so.34 Nonetheless.35 In his Introduction to Christianity. however. he says. as Augustine expresses it echoing the Gospel. cannot. and the reasonable ground of all being.29 Thus ‘Man can rethink the logos. because his own logos. all things. which stands alongside practical knowledge as something independent and particular and cannot be traced back to it or deduced from it. the cor purum [pure heart]’. of the creative spirit that permeates and governs his being’. especially from Kant.30 The model of reason members of Western cultures have received from the eighteenth century.33 Karl Barth. Ratzinger believes that there are different rationalities associated with different theological traditions and thus that some theological frameworks may be more or less open to fostering the expansion of reason’s range.32 Ratzinger is also of the opinion that ‘neo-Scholastic rationalism failed in its attempts to reconstruct the “preambula fidei” with wholly independent reasoning. on the changing philosophical theories’. It is rather an essentially different kind of intellectual attitude. accommodate the structure of the faith by such an expansion of the range of reason.31 Belief in the sense intended by the Creed is not an incomplete kind of knowledge.CHRISTIANITY IN THE MARKETPLACE OF FAITH TRADITIONS into the realm of Him who is the logos. he believes that Barth was wrong to propose faith as a pure paradox that can only exist against reason and totally independent of it. purificata [purified reason] or. was ‘right to reject philosophy as the foundation of faith independent of faith’. For Ratzinger faith and reason need one another and their relationship is an intrinsic one: ‘Reason will not be saved without the faith. Like MacIntyre. an opinion that subsequently can or should be converted into practical knowledge. Ratzinger wrote that ‘the Christian corrects philosophy and lets it know that love is higher than mere thought’. ‘our faith would be based from the beginning to the end.36 With the arrival of Christianity. thought of the original thought. thought 125 . the meaning of being. that is. his own reason. and all mankind’. purely philosophical thinking was transcended on two fundamental points: whereas the philosophical God is essentially self-centred. the reason. with pure rational certainty’.

Accordingly. the God of faith is basically defined by relationship. for Christianity. Moral neutrality is the new civic virtue required to give effect to this political theology. Today Christians find themselves in a position where they are struggling to defend the reasonableness of their beliefs since many people no longer accept there is any order in the cosmos. While this is the situation in the West. ‘this passage from individual to person contains the whole span of the transition from antiquity to Christianity. myth had lost its credibility.40 It completely transcends the logos of the Stoics since a ‘world created and willed on the risk of freedom and love is no longer mathematics’.38 Christian belief is also the option for the view that the receiving precedes the making and that what cannot be seen is more real that what can be seen – it is an avowal of the primacy of the invisible as the truly real. and whereas for the philosophical god. Ratzinger suggested that they seem to 126 . At the same time there is a return to treating the state as a highest good and secularism is emerging as a political theology to underpin this.39 The Christian sees in man. According to Ratzinger. love is divine. but by then it was merely a ‘political religion’. but a person. any design. it is difficult for Christianity to present itself as it did in classical times as the natural theology. to use Varro’s terminology. the Roman state religion had become fossilized into simple ceremony which was scrupulously carried out. and philosophical rationalism had confined the gods within the realm of unreality. not an individual. end or purpose. Meanwhile many people do conclude that God is like an elephant with different faith traditions representing a glimpse of only one side of his divinity. While noting that the two philosophies are fundamentally different both for their departure point and for the orientation they imprint on human existence. from Platonism to faith’. in his 1996 lecture to the bishops of Mexico.41 In Spe Salvi Ratzinger as Benedict XVI drew attention to the similarities between the state of society when the First Letter to the Corinthians was written and the state of contemporary western culture. Ratzinger spoke of a ‘strange closeness between Europe’s post-metaphysical philosophy and Asia’s negative theology’. thought is divine. At the time of St Paul. and of freedom as against the primacy of some cosmic necessity.37 He further argued that the fact that the Christian God is personal is at the same time an option for the primacy of the particular over the universal.BENEDICT XVI simply contemplating itself.

but by overcoming the subject. in this Mexican address. In this way. God is not a person to be distinguished from the world. The historical Jesus – it is now thought – is no more the absolute Logos than any other saving figure of history. For the New Age movement’s adherents: [T]he solution to the problem of relativity must not be found in a new encounter of the self with another. in an ecstatic return to the cosmic dance. Knitter joins the theologies of pluralist religion (God is like an elephant) with the theologies of liberation and their primacy of praxis over belief. it also seems necessary for Christian theology in India to set aside the image of Christ from its exclusive position – which is considered typically Western – in order to place it on the same level as the Indian salvation myths. This emphasis on praxis and in particular political practices is evocative of the political theologies of the classical world. the support of European and American thought to the philosophical and theological vision of India.43 Ratzinger therefore wishes to present Christianity as a natural religion. Ratzinger also situated the New Age movement into the category of a mystical religion. . The Absolute is not to be believed but to be experienced. as something which is philosophically defensible. reinforces the relativism of all the religious forms proper to the Indian heritage . .42 While this represents a kind of decline to what Varro would call mystical religion. Finally. and from a mystical religion as he believes various 127 . but a spiritual energy present in the universe. In turn. in the same article Ratzinger also noted another kind of permutation and combination which he illustrated by reference to the work of Paul Knitter. as he believes secularism is.CHRISTIANITY IN THE MARKETPLACE OF FAITH TRADITIONS mutually confirm one another in their metaphysical and religious relativism: The a-religious and pragmatic relativism of Europe and America can get a kind of religious consecration from India which seems to give its renunciation of dogma the dignity of a greater respect before the mystery of God and man. and he wishes to distinguish it from a mere political ideology. The primitive rites must be renewed in which the self is initiated into the mystery of the Whole and is liberated from itself. or others.

he has to demolish eighteenth-century conceptions of rationality. However to do so. philosophy in the Hellenistic epoch is not identical with the modern project of scientific and autonomous rationality. It is intimately connected with the existential search for meaning and ultimate wisdom.44 It is this more classical understanding of philosophy which Ratzinger seeks to restore as a kind of preambula fidei.BENEDICT XVI Asian and New Age religious movements are. 128 . It is much more religious and ethical. As Adriaan Peperzak and others have argued.

2 Alternatively. if any. Ratzinger describes such projects as an attempt to reduce religion to a political moralism or ideology and he has referred his readers to Robert Spaemann’s criticisms of Hans Küng’s Weltethos project which carries some of these hallmarks. often of a theological nature.3 He believes that ‘religions can encounter one another only by delving more deeply into the truth. not by giving it up’. that is. both religious types could decide that their real goal is orthopraxy. Ratzinger then observed that there are two basic types of universal religions – the mystical and the theistic.5 With respect to the project of assimilating the theistic religions to the 129 .CHAPTER 7 THE VISION OF UNITY In an essay on inter-religious dialogue Ratzinger posed the question: What sort of unity. Those who foster some version of the orthopraxy alternative gloss over the fact that concepts like justice and peace and the integrity of creation do not come with a ready-made definition and praxis but rely for their very meaning on presuppositions. or it can pursue the opposite course’. but be ordered to a particular common praxis. can there be? What standard can we use to seek this unity?1 As in his Sorbonne Address. Ratzinger rejects both the project to reduce religion to orthopraxy and the project of assimilating the theistic religions into the mystical type and conversely of assimilating the mystical into the theistic. As a logical consequence he believes that inter-religious dialogue can adopt one of two strategies: ‘it can attempt to assimilate the theistic into the mystical type. he noted that Jesus never resorted to sugar-coating his message and even preferred the defection of his own disciples to any dilution of his teaching. they could retain all their formulas. forms and rites.4 In one speech. which implies regarding the mystical as a mere comprehensive category ample enough to accommodate the theistic model.

He emphatically rejects the idea that missionary work is wrong-headed. can lead the way to mutual understanding and thus to a deepening and purification of religion’.9 Also rejected is the notion that somehow a pure enlightened reason might be able to stand outside of all religious traditions and judge them from a neutral standpoint. but actually flows out of didache or teaching.7 Central to the theistic religions is the idea that ethics is in some sense linked to the will of God and with this comes the notion that faith in God cannot do without truth which must have a specifiable content. in which man’s truth is made visible and lifted up to a new level by God’s truth. ‘in order to understand religion. Consistent with his belief that the Scriptures need to be read from within the horizon of faith itself.8 For these reasons he rejects the ideas of those who wish to call an end to the Catholic Church’s centuries-long commitment to converting those of other religious traditions. which is inevitably particular and tied to a definite historical starting-point. Ratzinger has further warned that one needs to guard against any temptation to view doctrine as divisive and hence an impediment to the seemingly more pressing and immediate task of improving the world. it is fundamentally opposed to a praxis that first wants to produce facts and so establish truth.10 With respect to the particular issue of doctrine. indeed. becoming a matter of individual therapy. it is necessary to experience it from within. 130 .12 Ratzinger’s emphasis on the importance of doctrine and the continued relevance of the Church’s missionary works is consistent with the stance of his papal predecessor in Redemptoris Missio.11 In Principles of Christian Morality he wrote: Christian praxis is nourished by the core of Christian faith. He argues that the history of the Church demonstrates that praxis is not only inseparable from. but argues that preaching must be a dialogical event. Hence. that only such experience. he states that there is a ‘broad consensus that such a standpoint is an impossibility’ and thus. that is. the grace that appeared in Christ and that is appropriated in the sacrament of the Church.6 Such a form of religion loses its power to form a communion of mind and will. Faith’s praxis depends on faith’s truth.BENEDICT XVI mystical. Ratzinger concludes that ‘such a reduction means that the world of the senses drops out of our relation to the divine’ and the cosmos and history no longer have anything to do with God.

or out of relation to.THE VISION OF UNITY Gavin D’Costa. Yahweh in Judaism. His criticisms of the shared praxis projects of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries are of a similar mind-set to those 131 . or Allah in Islam. For Ratzinger what is primary is the individual person’s participation in the life of the Trinity.15 As D’Costa describes the early Hick’s position: ‘basically. the 1990 encyclical of John Paul II which was written as an affirmation of the Church’s missionary activity. or when Jesus is seen as one of many instantiations of the eternal Logos. the notion of myth ‘is applied not only to the incarnation. Respectively. and so on’. but rather the divinity of Christ should be viewed mythologically’. such as the Hindu Brahman. they are not an end in themselves. and he notes the affinity of this project with that of John Hick.16 By mythologically he means ‘a story which is told but which is not literally true. but to the very idea of God and is further extended to the ultimate realities designated by the various religions.13 In particular D’Costa describes Paul Knitter’s position as one of a ‘liberation-cum-theological form of pluralism’ in which ‘the divine is to be found in socio-political-ecological emancipatory movements and “mother-earth” affirms and guides this process’. or when the trinity is potentially envisaged within the economy of history as apart from. [his] argument has been that Jesus should not be seen as God incarnate. and while the ethical practices assist this. or an idea or image which is applied to something or someone but which does not literally apply. such that a universal ethical imperative is prioritized over metaphysics and religion’. these are notions whereby ‘the Spirit is shorn of its relationship to Christ or the Church. one can find a critique of the types of theology and approaches to dialogue that have come to be advanced by Paul Knitter. the historical church and the kingdom’.17 D’Costa notes that in the later Hick. an advisor to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. has noted that within Redemptoris Missio. He uses the term ‘moralism’ to describe projects which focus on ethics as ends in themselves.14 He suggests that this amounts to a proposal wedded to the Enlightenment project begun by Kant. Raymond Panikkar and Jacques Dupuis. but which invites a particular attitude in its hearers’.18 Ratzinger’s frequent affirmations of the personal nature of the Christian God such as one finds in the opening paragraphs of Deus Caritas Est are related to his opposition to the eighteenth-century Kantian project of reducing Christianity to the dimensions of a moral framework.

that they are also related to certain pragmatic necessities and reconfigurations of power. Christians are also Semites.BENEDICT XVI found in John Milbank’s ‘The End of Dialogue’ essay. Ratzinger stated that ‘the Catholic Church feels obliged to respect the Covenant made by the God of Abraham. which run counter to their very project of affirming the non-Western ‘others’. He also draws attention to the paradox that those who are most vocal about the need for religious pluralism and building a new world order based upon shared ethical practices tend to be basing their stance on Enlightenment values and attitudes. as her beloved brothers and sisters in the faith’. that to be 132 . that the characteristic “liberal” values of the modern West are in specific yet complex ways related to its Hellenic-Roman-Christian-Jewish inheritance.19 Milbank argues that the emphasis on justice and liberation one finds in the ‘praxis solution’ glosses over the fact that religions have differed as much over political and social practices as they have over notions of divinity. that spiritually. and the 1939 statement of Henri de Lubac. In a meeting with representatives of the Jewish community in the Elysée Palace. This is a matter of intellectual and spiritual development and is most evident in Ratzinger’s engagements with Jewish scholarship. and she respects the children of the Promise. that is.20 Ratzinger acknowledges that the approach to dialogue one finds in documents such as Redemptoris Missio are not universally accepted. Paris. Isaac and Jacob’ and indeed ‘the Church herself is situated within the eternal Covenant of the Almighty. Such dialogue becomes an exchange between positions which are mutually relative and in his judgment requires a relativist dissolution of Christology and even more so of ecclesiology.22 In this address Ratzinger also reiterated the 1938 statement of Pius XI to Belgian Pilgrims. one consequence of Ratzinger’s understanding of preaching and missionary work as dialogical events is that he is genuinely open to acquiring a deeper understanding of his inter-faith interlocutors’ traditions and he is certainly open to finding aspects of other traditions which are perfectly consistent with the Catholic faith. the children of the Covenant. whose plans are immutable. what he calls the ‘relativist reading’ which requires placing one’s own faith on the same level as the convictions of others. second. Milbank concludes that the ‘praxis project’ has tended to disguise two important facts: ‘first. in 2008.21 However. which ensured upon the disintegration of Christendom’. There is an alternative reading. Western liberal values and attitudes.

he is present in the believing community. as stated above. It is characteristic of the Christian faith that all three dimensions are contained and sustained in the figure of Christ.25 Similarly. For Christ is the one who came to us without therefore ceasing to be with the Father. . Ratzinger described Christ’s death on the cross as an act endured in ‘innermost solidarity with the Law and with Israel’ and noted that the Catechism of the Catholic Church understands Christ’s death as the perfect realization of what the signs of the Day of Atonement signify. and yet at the same time is still the one who is coming. It implicitly rejects the ‘two covenants’ approach for Jews and Christians and prefers to use the terminology of a single covenant stemming from Abraham and fulfilled in Jesus. represents a very precise and highly nuanced exposition. The issue of the relationship between the covenant made by the God of Abraham. hope and love corresponds in a certain respect to the three dimensions of time: the obedience of faith takes the word that comes from eternity and is spoken in history and transforms it into love. the living Torah . Christ is the present Sinai. . and the expectation of the Messiah in such a way that the three dimensions of time are connected: ‘obedience to God’s will bears an already spoken word that now exists in history and at each new moment has to be made present again in obedience’ and this obedience is ‘oriented toward a future when God will gather up the fragments of time and usher them as a whole into his justice’. At an even deeper theological level Ratzinger defines the faith of Israel as consisting in the commitment to God’s will as expressed in the Torah. 24 In an earlier address given in Jerusalem in 1994 at the invitation of Rabbi Rosen. Isaac and Jacob and the new revelation of Christ is obviously the most theoretically complex and controversial in the territory of Jewish-Christian dialogue and thus Ratzinger’s description of it. who also introduces them into eternity. For Christians. into presence.23 He then observes that Christianity follows this basic configuration: The trinity of faith. time and eternity exist together. and the infinite gulf between God and man is bridged. .THE VISION OF UNITY anti-Semitic also signifies being anti-Christian. and in this way opens the door to hope. The Church too awaits the Messiah . In him. . in an address to the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences in Paris he noted that ‘both the Letter 133 .

The Lord’s Sermon on the Mount. . or he was a blasphemer. This left the authorities with only two logical choices: either he was the Son of God as he claimed.27 Accordingly Ratzinger is keen to emphasize that Jesus did not act as a liberal reformer recommending a more enlightened interpretation of the Torah. where man chooses between the pure and the impure. in which the New Testament is the fulfilment. releases their hidden potential and has new demands arise from them: it reveals their entire divine and human truth. . In Ratzinger’s words. in which case they were witnessing the birth of a new revelation. The gospel thus brings the Law to its fullness through imitation of the perfection of the heavenly Father. It does not add new external precepts. the Cross cannot simply be viewed as an accident that actually could have 134 . This theme is strong in paragraph 1968 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church which Ratzinger helped to draft: The Law of the Gospel fulfils the commandments of the Law [= the Torah]. he likes to emphasize an analogous hermeneutic of continuity between the Old and New Testaments. ‘fundamentally misunderstands the conflict of the New Testament and does justice to neither Jesus nor to Israel’.BENEDICT XVI to the Hebrews and the Gospel of John (in Jesus’ high-priestly prayer) go beyond the traditional link between the Last Supper and the Pasch and see the Eucharist in connection with the Day of Atonement’.29 Obedience clashed with obedience leading to a conflict that had to end on the Cross: In the Catechism’s theology of the New Testament. of the Old Testament. hope and charity are found . the root of human acts. this was the ‘tragic depth of the conflict’. where faith. but proceeds to renew the heart. popular with some liberation theologians.26 One might say that just as Ratzinger likes to employ a hermeneutic of continuity in his presentation of the Church’s teaching before and after the Second Vatican Council. The view. that Jesus was a liberal confronting an ‘ossified traditionalist hierarchy’.28 In Ratzinger’s judgment the fundamental nature of the conflict between Jesus and the Jewish authorities of his day was his claim to be acting on the authority of God himself. far from abolishing or devaluing the moral prescriptions of the Old Law. not the abrogation.

who can now accept it as their own in this its wholeness. the Rabbi gave a positive response to the invitation and in this he stated that the policy and doctrine of describing the Jewish people as G-d’s Chosen People and the Older Brothers of Christians is something deeply appreciated. In 2008 when Ratzinger invited Shear-Yashuv Cohen. which is saving and reconciling. According to Christian faith. all the sacrificial symbols of the Old Testament are brought to their deepest meaning – the symbols themselves can ultimately be laid aside as Jesus himself becomes the sacrificial lamb – but in such a way that not one iota of their meaning is lost: The universalizing of the Torah by Jesus. In the New Testament there are not two effects of the Cross: a damning one and a saving one. thereby becoming children of Abraham. is not the extraction of some universal moral prescriptions from the living whole of God’s revelation. as the New Testament understands it. It preserves the unity of cult and ethos. indeed. for whom the Cross signifies redemption. in his 2009 Address to the two chief Rabbis of Jerusalem. The ethos remains grounded and anchored in the cult. Head Rabbi of Haifa. for the first time has become fully real. but only a single effect.THE VISION OF UNITY been avoided or as the sin of Israel with which Israel becomes eternally stained in contrast to the pagans. to address the Synod on the Word. in this event of the Cross. Ratzinger frequently uses this older sibling language and emphasizes that together Christians and Jews can offer a shared witness to the One God and his commandments.32 Thus. the sanctity of life and the promotion of human dignity and the rights of the family. Ratzinger reiterated his commitment to the path chosen at the Second Vatican Council for a ‘genuine and lasting reconciliation between Christians and Jews’ which ‘continues to value the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews and desires an ever deeper mutual understanding 135 . on the Cross Jesus opens up and fulfils the wholeness of the Law and gives it thus to the pagans.30 According to Ratzinger.31 Jews are thus the ‘older brothers’ of Christians and this expression of solidarity is one which has been well received in Jewish quarters. in such a way that the entire cult is bound together in the Cross. in the worship of God.

they await the Day of Judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. they revere Him as a prophet. Finally. the Vatican II Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions: The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. almsgiving and fasting. As a consequence. By far the most dramatic of Ratzinger’s engagement’s with the Islamic world occurred with the delivery of an address at Regensburg University on 12 September 2006. Islam regards itself as a correction of the distorted interpretations of the Jewish prophets. They also honor Mary. and further.33 While the Jews precede Christians in the order of salvation history. It included drawing attention to the common element in militant Islam and contemporary Western liberalism – the fact that both ideologies have a philosophical foundation in voluntarism. In addition. Ratzinger’s addresses to representatives of the Islamic world tend to focus on the themes of a common interest in peace and tolerance and on a reiteration of paragraph 3 of Nostra Aetate. they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer. living and subsisting in Himself. His virgin Mother. Christian and Islamic traditions. Ratzinger cited the Muslim theologian Ibn Hazm as saying that God is not bound even by his own word. who in turn is regarded as merely another prophet. and of Christ. the Creator of heaven and earth.BENEDICT XVI and respect through biblical and theological studies as well as fraternal dialogues’. at times they even call on her with devotion. merciful and all-powerful. with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself. just as Abraham. They adore the one God. and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to mere humans. submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God. It is thus not possible (at least not from a Christian perspective) to situate Christianity within the Islamic tradition the way that it is possible to situate it within the Jewish tradition. His analysis took the form of a discussion about the relationship between faith and reason in the Jewish. that were it God’s will. Muslims belong to a tradition which arose after the time of both the Old and New Testaments. humans would even 136 . they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees. who has spoken to men.

it is not a ‘given’ in a divinely created order of reality. For the militant Islamicist. In drawing this comparison between militant Islam and militant liberal-secularism. This position affirms that God is not Himself bound by His own truth. Reality becomes both enormously mysterious and intrinsically arbitrary. James V. What it is has no foundation. The effect of this view is to eliminate any secondary causality which would attribute to nondivine things an inherent order. Ratzinger’s apostolic journey to Turkey in November 2006 was not. It would limit His glory to impose any restrictions. The Pope sees this exact same problem in later Western thought. as some portray it. which is no doubt one of the reasons he brought the issue up in the first place. merely ‘my will’ and ‘my own personal values’ or there is ‘truth’ but it is whatever I decide it will be. for the militant liberal-secularist. no guarantee of its own truthfulness in being.THE VISION OF UNITY have to practice idolatry. Notwithstanding the militant Islamic protests and random acts of violence against Christians following the Regensburg Address. Such a truth is personally constructed. In the Regensburg Lecture he noted that the voluntarism of the West did not however begin in the eighteenth century when philosophers self-consciously started to reconstruct the relations between faith and reason but its origins may be traced back earlier to the ideas of Duns Scotus (c. the truth is whatever Allah decides it will be.34 The term Ratzinger uses to describe the West’s version of voluntarism is that of ‘de-Hellenisation’ – the tendency from the Reformation through to the eighteenth century and beyond of severing the symbiotic relationship between faith and reason through the rejection of the Greek conception of philosophy and the medieval classicaltheistic syntheses. either there is no truth as such. In his reflection on this section of the Regensburg Lecture. Scotus is regarded by many scholars of political theory as the father of Western liberalism with its emphasis on the freedom of the human will. Thus. an ‘exercise in damage control’.1266–1308). in principle anything could be otherwise. Ratzinger was making the point that both neglect the search for truth itself. even that of contradiction. Revelation is not itself ‘obliged by God’s own truth’. It was already 137 . Schall wrote: The logic of this position is that obedience to Allah is absolute even when unreasonable.

37 On the occasion of the Feast of Saint Henrik he even described the joint prayer of Lutheran and Catholic Finns as ‘the royal door of ecumenism’.BENEDICT XVI planned long before the Regensburg Address and the main intention was for the pope to participate in the annual St Andrew’s Day delegation of the Holy See to the Fanar. The basic message of this visit was papal support for those Muslims and Christians who live in a political culture deeply ingrained with secularist ideologies and opposed to any religious expression in the public square. which ‘reinforces our bonds of communion. and implores members of the Islamic world not to follow those who fit into the first category.36 Similarly. In a meeting with members of the Diplomatic Corps to the Republic of Turkey Benedict XVI remarked that ‘Christians and Muslims. and enables us to face courageously the painful memories. priesthood and covenant and when confronted with the various versions of the ‘praxis project’ he makes MacIntyresque noises about how notions like justice are themselves tradition-dependent and Milbank-sympathetic observations about how eighteenth-century Western liberal philosophical presuppositions lie dormant at their foundations. For example in his Letter to the Participants in the Third European Ecumenical Assembly he wrote that ‘two elements must guide us in our commitment: the dialogue of truth and the encounter in the sign of brotherhood.35 Like many world leaders Ratzinger makes a distinction between violent religious fanatics and pious people of good will. sacrifice. point to the truth of the sacred character and dignity of the person’. When one moves from inter-faith dialogue to ecumenical dialogue Ratzinger tends to emphasize the primacy of prayer for unity and the path of ‘spiritual ecumenism’ – a theme which was prominent in John Paul II’s encyclical Ut Unum Sint (1995). in his Catechesis on the Work of Prayer for Christian Unity. Both need spiritual ecumenism as their foundation’. 138 . following their respective religions. when addressing members of the Jewish tradition he appeals to common theological elements in the Jewish and Christian traditions such as atonement. he wrote that common prayer is what ‘distinguishes the ecumenical movement from any other initiative of dialogue and relations with other religions and ideologies’. In summary one might argue that when addressing members of the Islamic tradition he makes appeals to reason and to a common belief that human beings have been created by God.

that the ecumenical process is one of acquiring unity in diversity. Ratzinger agreed that while Christians are obliged to do good works. we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit. head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. prayer is the primary element of ecumenical efforts. First. justification and final judgment remain God’s gracious acts. Ratzinger’s most significant ecumenical achievement as a Cardinal was to be instrumental in saving the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification with the Lutheran World Federation (which the Methodist World Council has now also signed as its own confession of faith on this matter).39 Consistent with his first concession above. not structural reintegration. in his Ecumenical Meeting Address during World Youth Day at Cologne Ratzinger remarked that ‘Ecumenism does not mean what could be called ecumenism of the return: that is. in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part. Secondly. he acknowledged the authority of the Lutheran World Federation to reach agreement with the Vatican (this was something which the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity had questioned). to deny and to reject one’s own faith history – it does not mean uniformity in all expressions of theology and spirituality. at the Second 139 .40 In this address he also spoke of dialogue as an exchange of gifts in which the Churches and Ecclesial Communities can make available their own riches. publicly acknowledged that it was ‘Ratzinger who untied the knots’ when it looked as though the document would be shipwrecked by officials from the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. It is said that at that meeting Ratzinger made three concessions that salvaged the agreement. Ratzinger got the agreement back on track by organizing a meeting with the Lutheran leaders at his brother Georg’s house in Regensburg. in liturgical forms and in discipline’. he agreed that the goal of the ecumenical process is unity in diversity.THE VISION OF UNITY social burdens and human weaknesses that are so much a part of our divisions’. not structural reintegration. Bishop George Anderson. Thirdly. This theme was reiterated in a parallel address in the Crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.38 Since grace is the most effective healer of the wounds of the eleventh and sixteenth centuries. The actual wording of the key sentence of the declaration is: ‘By grace alone. who renews our hearts while equipping us and calling us to do good works’.

He noted that whereas an idea aims at truth. Insofar as these traditions express in a distinctive way the faith that is held in common. Both. For Anglo-Catholics the barriers to full communion with the See of Peter have tended to be primarily juridical and cultural rather than doctrinal.41 In his published commentary Levada noted that this proposal of a Personal Ordinariate was consistent with earlier twentieth-century ecumenical efforts of Cardinal Mercier of Belgium who explored the possibility of an Anglican union with the Catholic Church under the principle of an Anglicanism ‘reunited but not absorbed’. to some degree.BENEDICT XVI World Youth Day of his pontificate. he concluded. their practice of ordaining married clergy. Although the Pope has not made any public statements about what he thinks might be the ‘gifts’ such Anglicans could bring home to the Church. The unity of the Church does not require a uniformity that ignores cultural diversity. Many such Anglicans have long held that for them the major barrier to their return to full Communion with the Catholic Church is precisely the banality of many post-Conciliar parish liturgies and what Digby Anderson has dared to call the ‘oikish translation of the Mass’.42 In response to 140 . as the history of Christianity shows. a gift expresses love. but otherwise retain their own liturgical forms and perhaps even. According to Cardinal Levada: It is the hope of the Holy Father. many commentators have observed an affinity between the AngloCatholic approaches to liturgy and Ratzinger’s concern about banal and pathetic home-made ‘parish tea party’ liturgy. that the Anglican clergy and faithful who desire union with the Catholic Church will find in this ecumenical structure the opportunity to preserve those Anglican traditions precious to them and consistent with the Catholic faith. Levada also noted that paragraph 13 of the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism recognised the special place of the Anglican Communion as a body in which Catholic traditions and institutions were to some degree retained after the Reformation. they are a gift to be shared in the wider Church. were essential elements of dialogue. Pope Benedict XVI. A dramatic example of these principles in operation has been the announcement of the establishment of a Personal Ordinariate for Anglicans who wish to place themselves under the jurisdiction of the Petrine Office.

‘what is it that Anglican Catholics could bring with them as a small gift on their trip to Rome?’ Anderson suggests better translations and the moral sensibility associated with the idea of the gentleman. and perhaps the Eastern Churches would hardly need to change anything in terms of concrete juridical structure’.THE VISION OF UNITY the question. Ratzinger described ecumenical outreach to the Orthodox Church as a fundamental commitment of his papacy. He made a visit to the Fanar in November 2006 and invited the Ecumenical Patriarch to address the Synod on the Word held in 2008. Since the patriarchal principle is essentially administrative he believes that ‘extensive patriarchal ‘autonomy’ is compatible with the true essence of primacy. In his first pastoral visit outside of Rome in the Italian city of Bari in which the remains of St Nicholas of Myra are venerated by Orthodox pilgrims. Even higher on the list of Ratzinger’s concerns than the Anglicans is his hope of healing the 1. its instinct administrative and its application closely tied up with political and geographic data. This was the first time in history that a Patriarch of Constantinople has been present to address a Synod in Rome.45 This was in part due to the fact that the Orthodox Church attaches a fundamental ecclesial importance to the synodical system. In his pre-papal theological works Ratzinger noted that one source of the conflict between the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the papacy has been the difficulty in distinguishing between patriarchal and apostolic primacy. while the apostolic principle relates to matters of faith. including the cult of understatement and self-deprecation and traditional manners.46 Ratzinger believes that the patriarchal principle is post-Constantinian. Patriarch Bartholomew described the gesture as ‘an important step towards restoration to full communion’. one of the intellectual heroes of his youth.000-year rift with the Orthodox Church. In the Episcopate and Primacy. the head of the Department of External 141 .43 Ratzinger is likely to recognize such attributes in the character of John Henry Newman. he observed ‘that confusion between the primitive claim of the apostolic see and the administrative claim of the patriarchal city characterizes the tragic beginning of conflict between Constantinople and Rome’.44 To this end he has cultivated a very strong relationship with the Ecumenical Patriarch.47 Ratzinger has also been seeking to improve relations with the Russian Orthodox Church and in September 2009 he met with Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev. Bartholomew I.

BENEDICT XVI Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church. Khomiakor. Of all these elements arguably the most seminal was Henri de Lubac’s presentation of the relationship between the Eucharist and the understanding of the Church as the mystical body of Christ. Behind Congar there stands the influence of Russian Orthodox ecclesiology. Archbishop Alfeyev has most recently presided over the establishment of the St Gregory Nazianzus Foundation to work together with Catholics and others in the West to support traditional Christian values. Nicholas Afanasiev and Vladimir Lossky. Archbishop Alfeyev described the goal of his work as ‘bridging the gap between Catholics and Orthodox by means of cultural collaboration. While the dominant post-Tridentine 142 .49 An interest in these relationships between ecclesiology and Eucharistic theology was also strong among the Russian émigré theologians of the Institut de Théologie Orthodoxe Saint-Serge in Paris who exerted an influence over the work of Congar. Jean Daniélou and Yves Congar. with dashes of Louis Bouyer. Ratzinger has described de Lubac’s Corpus Mysticum as a work of ‘imposing and comprehensive scholarship’ in which he found ‘a new understanding of the unity of the Church and the Eucharist’ which further helped him to enter into ‘the required dialogue with Augustine’. including elements from A. de Lubac and von Balthasar. liberalism and relativism’. Underpinning Ratzinger’s approaches to inter-faith dialogue and ecumenism is his ecclesiology which represents a mixture of ingredients taken from St Augustine. Sergei Bulgakov. Francesca Murphy has also noted that Communion ecclesiology (the label generally used to cover this cocktail of influences) has its origins in the appropriation of the insights of German Romanticism by nineteenth-century theologians. the Russian Orthodox find the official Catholic magisterial teaching against the ordination of women and homosexual marriage a reason for respecting the Petrine Office and establishing closer relations with it. in the hope of hastening the time of closer doctrinal and ecclesial relations between Catholics and the Orthodox worldwide’. S. He has also been quite open in conversations with journalists about his admiration for Ratzinger’s stance against secularism and he has recommended the establishment of a European Catholic-Orthodox Alliance to form a common front to protect Europe from being ‘irrevocably devoured by secularism. Like members of the Traditional Anglican Communion. who is often described as the Russian Church’s ‘Foreign Minister’. George Florovsky.48 To this end.

Ratzinger’s argument in Sacramentum Caritatis is that the Church embodies this end above all in her 143 . the ecclesiological document of the Second Vatican Council. The nouvelle théologie which emerged in the late 1930s promoted the notion of church fellowship as common life within the mystical Body of Christ. body and soul. the reception of the sacrament is still described as ‘going to Communion’. as well as the eschatological form of redeemed creation. In Lumen Gentium. efficacious sign and embodied form) by which Christ’s mission is extended to include the whole of man. such as Newman in his Essay on Development (1848) and Matthias Scheeben in Die Mysterien des Christentums (1865) was that the church is the organic outgrowth of the Incarnation. in the language of the Church. Through this sacrament Christians enter into a blood relationship with Jesus Christ. and labored to make the more recent sources of this ecclesiology available: the pilot volume in the Unam Sanctum series which Congar edited was a French translation of Möhler’s Die Einheit der Kirche. which is why.50 Murphy writes: What was important to Möhler’s immediate heirs. But the element of Möhler’s ecclesiology which outlived Romanticism was the conception of the church as the mystical Body of Christ. and also as the sacrament (that is. Johann Adam Möhler in his Die Einheit in der Kirche oder das Princip des Katholicismus (1825) described the Church as a community whose growth is conditioned by the presence of the Holy Spirit. As the mystical body of Christ.THE VISION OF UNITY ecclesial model was juridical. the Church is defined as an ‘instrument for the redemption of all. In his Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis he reiterated the words of John Paul II in his Encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia that the memorial of Christ is ‘the supreme sacramental manifestation of communion in the Church’.51 Ratzinger argues that Communio or communion is anchored first and foremost in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist. 1:10) in Christ. sent forth into the whole world as the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Yves Congar built on his own historical scholarship to show that Thomas Aquinas understood the Church in terms of the grace flowing from the Head (Christ) to members. and through that totality the whole of nature created by God’. the Church is thus the instrument for God’s plan to gather ‘all things’ (Eph.

the Archbishop of Quebec City. in the same faith and in the same spirit. He also described baptism as the nuptial bath 144 . In Sacramentum Caritatis he wrote that the Eucharist. as the sacrament of charity. it is the communion of each human being with the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit. This link between the invisible and the visible elements of ecclesial communion constitutes the Church as the Universal Sacrament of Salvation. In the Church there is a relationship between the invisible communion and the visible communion in the teaching of the Apostles. and with the others who are fellow sharers in the divine nature. which are very visible realities. and an article published in L’Osservatore Romano in 2000 as ‘The Ecclesiology on the Constitution on the Church. Lumen Gentium’. both of whom were strongly influenced by von Balthasar. By means of these divine gifts. in the passion of Christ. in the sacraments and in the hierarchical order.53 In the CDF document he summarized the Communio ecclesiology in the following terms: Ecclesial communion is at the same time both visible and invisible. particularly in the works of Cardinal Angelo Scola.BENEDICT XVI celebration of the Eucharist. Christ carries out in different ways his prophetical.54 Often these ideas are expressed in the Pauline language of the nuptial mystery (the spousal relationship between Christ and the Church). Vatican II. has a particular relationship with the love of man and woman united in marriage and that the entire Christian life bears the mark of the spousal love of Christ and the Church.52 The two most important documents authored by Ratzinger on the Communio ecclesiology theme are a 1992 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith publication entitled ‘Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of the Church understood as Communion’. Ratzinger also frequently uses the nuptial imagery in his references to the Church. As an invisible reality. In the gift of the Eucharist Christ endows the Church with the ‘real presence’ of his body and blood together with an inner participation in his mission to the world. priestly and kingly function for the salvation of mankind. Ratzinger describes the miracle of the conversion of bread and wine into Christ’s body and blood as a ‘sort of “nuclear fission” which penetrates to the heart of all being’. the Patriarch of Venice and Cardinal Marc Ouellet.

Two of his most common ecclesiological themes are the ontological priority of the universal Church over that of the local Church and the inadequacy of all merely sociological accounts of the Church. Kasper wanted to give priority to the local church. It was then translated and published in the journal America of the American and Canadian Jesuits and in the London Tablet. ‘Church’ had a multi-dimensional meaning: it indicated a part of God’s assembly in a specific place (a city. Sometimes he refers to Paul alone. a country.THE VISION OF UNITY which precedes the wedding feast. The article by Kasper originally appeared in the Jesuit journal Stimmen der Zeit in 2000. From these observations Ratzinger concludes that we see that for St Paul the word. Ratzinger’s doctrinal point was that ‘in its essential mystery’ the universal Church is a reality ‘ontologically and temporally prior to every individual Church’. Thus. In other Letters St Paul speaks of the Church of God which is at Corinth and of the Churches of Galatia. Kasper noted that ‘many Catholics and their clergy can no longer understand certain rules imposed by the universal Church and hence disregard them. Other Pauline motifs can also be found in Ratzinger’s ecclesiological essays. This applies both to moral questions and to questions of sacramental and ecumenical practice. which is the Eucharist. a house) but it also referred to the Church as a whole.56 To defend 145 . the Church of God is not only a collection of various local Churches but these various local Churches in turn make up one Church of God. All together they are ‘the Church of God’ which precedes the individual local Churches and is expressed or brought into being in them. such as the admission of remarried divorcees to Communion or the extension of Eucharistic hospitality’.55 This was the central point in the pre-papal debates between Ratzinger and Cardinal Walter Kasper. At the final Mass of World Youth Day in Sydney he explained to the half a million youth assembled before him that the annunciation of the angel Gabriel to Mary was ‘God’s marriage proposal to humanity. Ratzinger notes that the term ekklesia comes for the first time from the pen of St Paul and makes its first appearance in the First Letter to the Thessalonians. particular churches therefore. accepted on our behalf by the Virgin Mary’. at other times it is Paul refracted through Augustine. but he also says he persecuted the Church of God: not a specific local community. Kasper further argued that Ratzinger ‘has not tackled pastoral concerns’ and ‘comes from the theoretical point of view of systematic theology’.

on the day of Pentecost. too. that is. Cardinal Dulles then weighed into the debate on the side of Ratzinger and said that while he suspected that Ratzinger ‘had a certain affinity for Christian Platonism’ in the present debate he believed that Ratzinger’s arguments came from Scripture and Tradition rather than from Platonic philosophy. so that it became necessary to establish local congregations with their own hierarchical leaders. He claimed that many exegetes are convinced that this report in Acts is a construction of Luke. in the community of the 120 gathered around Mary and the 12 apostles. He believes that Ratzinger has a pre-disposition to think Platonically. rather than in a more Aristotelian mode.58 Dulles added: The ontological priority of the Church universal appears to me to be almost self-evident. Ratzinger addressed the topic of pluralism within the Church with reference to the notion of symphonia which he described as offering an understanding of the synthesis of unity and multiplicity within the ecclesial community. in terms of ideas. . whereas the concept of the universal Church does not imply that it is made up of distinct churches .59 In a pre-papal chapter on ‘Pluralism as a Problem for Church and Theology’. . but also the unity of the diverse writings of 146 . since the very concept of the particular church presupposes a universal Church to which it belongs. Professor Michael Theobald claims that at Pentecost the focus is not on the universal Church but on the Jewish diaspora gathered there. or empirically. Historically. Particular churches emerged only after the Church became dispersed. Kasper regarded this line of argument as ‘questionable’. Kasper asked why the one Church should not pre-exist as a Church ‘in and from’ the local Churches?57 He suggested a psychological explanation for Ratzinger’s stance. the priority of the universal Church is evident because Christ unquestionably formed the community of the disciples and prepared the apostles for their mission while they were still fathered together. In paragraph 9 there is a reference to the Church being manifested in time.BENEDICT XVI this principle Ratzinger quoted paragraph 9 of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith document entitled Some Aspects of the Church understood as Communion. of prophets and apostles.60 He suggested that the concept functions on four levels: (i) it serves to express the unity of the Old and New Testaments – which is the unity of law and gospel.

The faith itself he describes as a ‘polyphonic melody composed of many apparently quite discordant strains in the contrapuntal interplay of law. the fresh discovery that Christ can exist only as a whole must not lead us to forget the complementary truth that he can only be one and that we accordingly possess him in his entirety only when we possess him together with others. Aidan Nichols has described theological projects as representing a ‘refraction of revelation. not because these theologians wished to do something French. He then expounded on this theology with reference to the tension between the local and universal Church: On that account [the notion that the Eucharist makes the Church].63 The truth. (ii) it describes the unity of Christians with one another through the work of the Holy Spirit. He noted that the achievements of ‘the great French theology’ (presumably here a reference to de Lubac. but when the truth itself is sought. prophets. And only pluralism in relation to unity is great’. Congar. Bouyer and Daniélou) was born. yet at the same time it is the power which unifies us. not merely a parcel of the whole. ‘but because they expected nothing less from themselves than to find the truth and to express it as adequately as possible’. (iii) it describes the unity between the Creator and the creature. The unity of the universal Church is in this sense an inner moment of the local church. because our mind beholds it only in fragments. which presents a part at least of revelation’s own content in a new medium of thought’ and he suggests that ‘the richness and complexity of the internal structure 147 .61 Following de Lubac he emphasized that the Church is built up by the sacrament of the Eucharist and that the Church is wholly present wherever the Eucharist is present. and (iv) it describes the internal unity of the person within the life of grace.THE VISION OF UNITY the New Testament authors among themselves. he concluded.62 In this same essay and in the context of the idea of pluralism among theologians. when we possess him in unity. Gospels and apostles’.64 In his account of a legitimate pluralism within the Catholic theological tradition. just as the multiplicity and inherent dignity of the local churches is an essential component of ecclesiastical unity. the local churches have the whole reality of the Church. nor is it ever exhausted in a single form. Ratzinger argued that genuine pluralism happens not when one makes it an object of desire. ‘is never monotonous. On the other hand.

there was always an openness to a genuine intellectual dialogue with those who came from other traditions. including Heinrich Schlier who had been a student of Rudolf Bultmann. Damaskinos Papandréou and Stylianos Harkianakis. This account of a plurality or symphony of different refractions of revelation would seem to be a more concrete exposition of the position put forth by Ratzinger. metaphors.68 Thus. the Incarnation. Ratzinger was always deeply convinced that the Christian ‘myths’ so to speak. and a divine aesthetics forming the foundation for a ‘dramatics’ and finally a ‘logic’. the Jesuit Order in general. Ratzinger’s interest in restoring the Christian unity which was lost through centuries of human error. but never from a position of indifference or prejudice to matters of doctrine. 148 . models. political and theological conflicts and poorly managed cultural sensitivities was evident in his early academic life. an account of the divine-human mode in which we understand the beauty communicated in that action (von Balthasar). In the 1960s at the University of Bonn he had directed a thesis by Vinzenz Pfnür on the doctrine of justification in Luther and in the circle of those taking doctorates under him there were two Orthodox students. motifs. Nor has he ever lost faith in the Catholic Church as the universal sacrament of this salvation. but a variety of different theologies. Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. found in the New Testament can and do suggest entire perspectives on the Christian mystery as a whole’.67 The young Ratzinger also had a number of Lutheran convert academic friends. This means that for Ratzinger there is not one officially approved Catholic theology. ‘the themes.BENEDICT XVI of Christian revelation is able to suggest an infinite number of theological approaches to revelation’s content’. are true.66 He gives as examples the idea of theology as mystical exploration (Denys). who was a scholar of Hinduism and who influenced Ratzinger’s understanding of the history of religions (though Hacker was later to be highly critical of the Second Vatican Council. who today are both metropolitans of the Ecumenical Patriarchy of Constantinople. each refracting different lights of revelation but all capable of a harmonious interaction and application to particular pastoral needs. as the construction of a Christian wisdom (Augustine).65 Thus. and the theology of Karl Rahner and Hans Urs von Balthasar in particular). and there has obviously never been any experience intellectual or emotional which has shattered his belief in this. and Paul Hacker. the second Person of the Trinity. as a science (Aquinas).

It conveys something of the spirit that animates so much of Ratzinger’s work in the ecumenical field and his approach to the different spiritual and theological traditions internal to the Catholic Church: In the Church. rejected is the notion that each ecclesial community might have its own little piece of the truth. and the returning Lutherans are returning with volumes of valuable scriptural studies. one might argue that the returning Anglicans are coming home. with the gift of a great tradition of choral music. might form a much larger theological jigsaw as each party comes to the table with its own pieces of the puzzle. . but nonetheless that those outside the Church. otherwise known by its Latin title Dominus Iesus. there is nothing in his writing to suggest that he would not concur with the assessment that these external ecclesial communities may have done an excellent job at conserving particular pieces of the jigsaw. In an article published in 1986 just a few years into the pontificate of John Paul II. as openness to the divine Being in order to become a sharer in its life . According to Dominus Iesus. governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in Communion with him’. took with them parts of the picture which continue to provide them with ‘elements of sanctification and truth’. The expression ‘subsists in’ was taken directly from Lumen Gentium. the debate (about freedom) concerns liberty in its deepest sense.THE VISION OF UNITY In 2000 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published the Declaration on the Unity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church. this expression sought to harmonize two doctrinal ideas: that the Church of Christ exists fully only in the Catholic Church. reiterated the teaching of the Second Vatican Council that the single Church of Christ ‘subsists in the Catholic Church. In other words. To extend this metaphor. which through dialogue. All other liberties in the Church 149 . Aidan Nichols quoted from an unpublished paper delivered by Ratzinger at the Centre d’Etudes saint-Louis de France in Rome. but that nonetheless outside of her Communion there exists many elements of sanctification and truth in other ecclesial communities. Ratzinger’s position is that only in the Catholic Church is the full picture with all of its hues and shades of light visible. . when they left. so to speak. . Further. This Declaration issued under Ratzinger’s leadership of the CDF. For example. The fundamental right of Christians is the right to the whole faith . .

Under this common denominator of faith we must leave a wide space for differing projects and forms of spiritual life. Those who have been advocates for the ‘praxis projects’ which bracket out doctrine and considerations of what is true. have not been well received by those who have spent much of their academic careers writing about dialogue. Robert Moynihan in an editorial for Inside the Vatican. Ratzinger’s ecumenical achievements. the basic right of the faithful to a faith which is pure. and simply try to boil down the great religious traditions to a few ethical principles.BENEDICT XVI are ordered to this foundational right. the right to express that faith in the thought and language of their own time. a body which is composed of what might be called common garden variety God. It demonstrates that an approach which takes doctrine seriously does not necessarily lead to more conflict but can lead to a deeper understanding on both sides. While Küng lamented the gift of a personal ordinariate to the traditional Anglicans. and.70 Here the reference to ‘right-wing extremists’ is a reference to the 400. on the other. on the one hand. What is in question is. Queen and Country Anglicans who oppose the ordination of women and the appointment of practicing homosexual clergy and bishops. He is trying to reunite all those factions and denominations and groups in the West that share common beliefs in the eternal destiny of human beings.69 Paradoxically. in the sacredness of human life (since human beings are ‘in the image and likeness of God’). . .000 strong membership of the Traditional Anglican Communion. drew the following conclusion: Benedict is rallying his troops. and. Thus Hans Küng responded to the announcement of the Anglican Ordinariate with a polemical attack on Ratzinger published in Italian in La Repubblica and in English in The Guardian in which he accused Ratzinger of fishing for converts in the muddy waters of right-wing extremists. analogously. in the existence of a moral standard which is true for all times and in all places (against the relativism of the 150 . find that the kind of healing that is taking place through declarations like the one on justification which Ratzinger brokered with representatives of the Lutheran tradition. undermines their own projects. such as the creation of the Anglican Ordinariate. to differing forms of thought. so that each with its own richness may contribute to the faith of the Church .

to which all those who share these beliefs about human dignity may repair. to build an ark. for example. One might conclude therefore that from Ratzinger’s perspective. Ratzinger has demonstrated that he will use the power of his office to cut through the bureaucratic barriers to make their reception as painless as possible. he is trying to be hospitable by finding a place on the ark for those with attachments to different liturgical and ecclesial cultures. He has made it clear that Anglicans. in the need for justice in human affairs. centered in Rome. his duty is to teach and defend the Catholic faith. Ratzinger believes this can be done in a way that is sensitive to the historical memories of the wound. new formulae. and there is no reason to believe that the same principle would not apply to other Christian communities who wanted to join as a group. and to find ways of healing the wounds and divisions among Christians and drawing all those who bailed out in the eleventh and sixteenth centuries into Communion with the See of Peter. to intellectually engage with those outside that faith who are open to dialogue. sensitive to cultural and linguistic differences and aware that the formulae in which doctrines are expressed can sometimes be so problematic that new language. do not necessarily have to drop their liturgical baggage into the Tiber before applying for admission. for the rule of right. need to be considered without doing violence to the doctrinal concerns on either side.71 Significantly. So long as there is no doctrinal inconsistency if people want to come with prayers written in King James English and hymns in seventeenth-century German.THE VISION OF UNITY modern secular culture). And so he is doing his best. 151 . As he showed by his action in regard to the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in 1999. not might. in what seems perhaps to be the ‘twilight of the West’.

which is our birthright. . meditation chapels. but the man. von Balthasar wrote that ‘those of us who know him at all realize that he is not simply another writer of Jewish race who has been admitted into the German pantheon. Philip Blosser offered the following indictment of post-Conciliar Catholic culture: For more than two generations now. we [Catholics] have been robbed of the fullness of Catholicism.N. our hymns are embarrassing. our collective acquaintance with Scripture is piecemeal. who remained in the forefront of German literature throughout the last half-century. what is more. our religious art is ugly. With respect to the latter. For the second half of the twentieth century (especially since 1968) and the beginning of the twenty-first he has represented Catholic theology in the face of a militant secularism and various crises internally created within the Catholic Church. our churches look like U.CONCLUSION Speaking of Martin Buber. our knowledge of tradition is pathetic. With a few thankful exceptions. representing the Jewish race in the face of a blind hatred of everything Jewish’. and. and our aesthetic and spiritual sensibilities are so far from being sublime that they almost look ridiculous .2 Amidst this general condition of cultural poverty. . For over two generations our faith formation has been shaped by a media culture that has portrayed our Church as a dinosaur that is either an impediment to social progress or simply irrelevant. A parallel judgment can also be made of Ratzinger. the only one. our ethics are slipshod. but he 152 . as was the preferred option of so many of his generation.1 Unlike so many others he did not pursue a strategy of assimilation but he endeavoured to ‘recapture the essential spirit of Judaism’. Ratzinger never pursued a strategy of accommodation to the culture of modernity.

The development of a Christian personalism. that religion has been through a long crisis. In the first half of the twentieth century those who understood these things were often members of the laity. particularly its insistence on the convertibility of being and love. Blondel and Gilson were philosophers employed in secular institutions.3 For Claudel. but ‘the tragedy of a starved imagination’. not to the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. he wove together a synthesis of insights into successive theological crises. The separation of spirituality from dogma. from which it is barely beginning to emerge’. liturgy from scripture. In every instance he highlighted the sui generis character of Christian Revelation. including a large number of converts. with a direct engagement with Scripture. has been one of the positive post-Conciliar developments helping to counter balance Blosser’s long list of humiliating failures. one heavily indebted to St Augustine and Guardini. Drawing inspiration from the theological works of Sts Augustine and Bonaventure and John Henry Newman. Significantly. the noble faculties of imagination and sensibility. the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the theological virtues from an ethics that became deeply casuistic are also part of the story behind the impoverished condition of contemporary Catholic culture.CONCLUSION did set about in works such as An Introduction to Christianity. as well as the personalism of philosophers like Buber and Wust. whose intellectual formation took place outside of seminaries. but to a whole series of intellectual derailments stretching all the way back to the rise of nominalism in the fourteenth century and to the many scholastic distinctions which were hardened into dualisms in the post-Tridentine era. The Germans were particularly creative and tried to take seriously the arguments of their Lutheran colleagues and engage with the leading intellectuals of their time. the crisis was not primarily an intellectual crisis. de Lubac and von Balthasar.4 153 . Guardini. in Ratzinger’s case. Principles of Catholic Theology and The Spirit of the Liturgy to recapture the essential spirit of Christianity. others were literary types like Paul Claudel and Georges Bernanos. Some like Wust. The French were determined to overcome both secularism and Jansenism. and the treatment of virtue in Pieper. Ratzinger belongs to a tradition of thinking which traces the failures. to which certain lunatics would have added reason itself. Claudel wrote that perhaps it is because Jansenism ‘held one part of God’s work in contempt.

whose moral authority was such that the Nazis dare not arrest him. – the model of the Church as a modern corporation – has in recent times fostered this ‘tragedy of a starved imagination’. annual reports and mission statements. If he were still alive Wust would no doubt appreciate the prophetic nature of his words composed during the prelude to the Nazi era. Peter Wust concluded that since the forces of anti-Christian destruction broke forth in their fullest fury from the region of Teutonic culture. (though dozens of his priests were sent to Dachau). with a Pole being chosen to see off European Communism and a German succeeding him to begin healing the fractures of the sixteenth century and offer a sustained intellectual response to the nihilist wing of nineteenth-century Romanticism which reached its extreme in the Nazi death camps. It may also be providential that this particular German pontiff is not deeply wedded to Baroque 154 . the ‘lion of Münster’. It is as if the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI represent a double act of Divine Providence. on that section of the Catholic people which lives in the heart of Europe.5 Those words were written in 1931 before the numerous martyrdoms in the concentration camps and the flamboyant opposition of those like Clemens-August Graf von Galen. has had to put up one single unbroken struggle to preserve its Christianity and Catholicism’. and which. ‘we may say that the brunt of responsibility rests on the shoulders of German Catholicism.BENEDICT XVI The rise of Catholic Inc. provide case studies of his interventions against what could otherwise be bureaucratically insurmountable pastoral disaster zones. ever since Luther and the Council of Trent. In his Crisis of the West. Against this contemporary sociological development Ratzinger constantly reiterates the importance of the prophetic Pauline charism and the personalist nature of Catholic welfare and community service. Ratzinger’s use of the phrase ‘our bureaucratized faith’ and his many warnings against this tendency of the Church to ape the managerial processes of the corporate world represent an acute sociological observation about the source of pastoral problems in the contemporary Church. The pneumatological dimension of the Church is constantly suppressed by people with narrow imaginations focused on figures. His treatment of the Lefebrvist problem (in part but not entirely a creation of the hermeneutic of discontinuity and its self-secularizing pastoral strategies) and the situation of Anglo-Catholics who retain an attachment to their high English cultural heritage but nonetheless concur with all elements of Catholic doctrine.

While Lutherans are wary of those who think that they can earn their passage to heaven through good works. and his interest in the nineteenth-century Romantic movement themes like history. Ratzinger’s more Benedictine. Wojtyła’s spirituality was more Carmelite.CONCLUSION scholasticism and actually regards extrinsicist accounts of nature and grace as highly problematic. including the human-divine relationship. Both sought to shift Catholic theology from a preoccupation with a notion of life as duty parade and obedience to moral precepts (what Ratzinger calls ‘moralism’). Wojtyła was working on the Aquinas-John of the Cross-Mounier-Scheler line. simply of the heart. to an understanding of life as a theo-drama in which obedience is always linked to love and truth and beauty – ultimately to participation in the life of the Trinity. give him an affinity with the more intellectually inclined Lutherans and Anglicans for whom Baroque scholasticism is alien territory. Both John Paul II and Benedict XVI understood this from their earliest pastoral years and while one worked on developing the Thomist tradition in a more personalist direction. Ratzinger more often. Wojtyła spoke of the ‘theatre of the inner self’. Both encyclicals in their own way offered a critique of utilitarian and pragmatic approaches to relationships. Since postmodern thought is very much rooted in the Romantic reaction against the philosophy of the eighteenth century and focused on topics like the uniqueness of each and every human being. Both however were concerned to re-establish relations between intellectual judgment and the movements of the human heart. and provide him with the intellectual capital with which to engage the concerns of the postmoderns. the other worked on mining the Augustinian tradition with reference to the same pastoral ends. The difficulty of navigating 155 . At the intellectual centre of the Romantic movement is the intersection between being and history. The deepest lesson Ratzinger learned from Guardini is that spirituality is intimately personal. not contractual. Wojtyła’s flagship moral encyclical was titled Veritatis Splendor (the Splendour of the Truth) and Ratzinger’s first encyclical was titled Deus Caritas Est (God is Love). Ratzinger’s love of the early Church fathers and of Newman. Ratzinger similarly cautions against a pious Pelagianism in which one tries to notch up spiritual credit with which to ‘buy’ grace. while Ratzinger was working on the Augustine-Newman-Guardini-Buber-Wust line. it is impossible to deal with it unless one moves beyond the boundaries of Aristotelian categories. hermeneutics and tradition.

in union with Rahner. It was central to the modernist controversy at the turn of the century. 156 . resting as it does. thereby overcoming some of the problems in the fields of revelation and tradition. all claims to know the whole and to be an advocate for the universal subject. the crisis of Modernism and the experience of ‘the heart against the head’. de Lubac and Congar. In his L’experience chretienne (1952). the crisis of Quietism and the experience of purity of spirit. Jean Mouroux argued that the most serious crises faced by the Church in the modern era all deal with this issue. In recognizing the importance of history and the organic development of the tradition Ratzinger has not however embraced the attitude that all meta-narratives. the Tübingen theologians and Blondel and which represents a much more theologically sophisticated treatment of tradition than the framework offered by Lérins. including the crisis of Protestantism and the experience of Justification. generated by a narrow reliance upon Lérins and an uncritical acceptance of Suárez. and to the conflicts over nature and grace which arose in the 1940s and still remain controversial. He has also signalled his preference for the theological anthropology of von Balthasar over that of Rahner and for the philosophy of Buber and Blondel over that of Heidegger. he managed to inject some of the insights of Guardini. It is also an essential component of conflicts in the territories of ecclesiology and moral theology. on conceptions of the relationship between nature and grace and culture. Newman and Blondel into Dei Verbum. Jansenism and the experience of delectation. the crisis of Traditionalism and the reaction of ‘experience against reason’.6 Ratzinger has not himself offered the ultimate theoretical resolution for those trying to find an orthodox path through the intersection. are flawed and oppressive. Included within this general problematic is the theological significance of experience.BENEDICT XVI Catholic theology through this intersection can be seen to be behind almost all the theological controversies of the twentieth century. but he has helped to steer the barque of Peter around various icebergs and he has signalled strong reservations about Rahner’s approach to the problem in Hearers of the Word. Nonetheless. Dei Verbum can be read as a vindication of the anti-Suárezian arguments made in Ratzinger’s controversial habilitation thesis on the theology of history in St Bonaventure and a vindication of the notion of an organic development of tradition which is strong in the works of Newman.

Ratzinger has opened Catholic theology to a consideration of the problem of history. reached the first conclusion. Consistent with de Lubac and Möhler he believes that the faith of a twenty-first century Catholic in any diocese of the world is not essentially different from that of a first-century Christian. Küng’s projects fall into the category of ‘political theology’. One context in which the contemporary Catholic Church has been very open to the spirit of the times has been that of music and 157 . under the trusteeship of the hierarchy and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. read John Paul II’s collections of scholarly interventions in the field of sexuality. Archbishop. as a development of the Tradition in the wake of the pastoral crises thrown up by the Jansenist heresy and its maladie catholique as well as by the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and now Supreme Pontiff – place him in a position where he either accepts the thesis that the human capacity for knowledge of the divine is so limited it is like asking a group of blind men to describe an elephant. published under the banner of a ‘theology of the body’.CONCLUSION The burdens of his various offices – Theology Professor. He does however acknowledge that some dimensions of the Tradition may now be more deeply appreciated through the interventions of scholar-saints and the work of the magisterium under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In Varro’s terminology. Ratzinger represents the choice for the alternative path. Accordingly his global ethic projects are focused on an analysis of the practices which the different world religions commonly uphold and can be distilled to a corporate moralism. He insists that Christianity is the natural theology. Hans Küng. that in effect the hierarchy is no guarantor of the truth. or continue to hold that the Catholic faith is the master narrative. In this sense it can be said that history is a major factor in the development of the Tradition. but he does not allow the Tradition to be constructed from historical elements external to revelation itself. As Newman noted. One can. In this way history can be a catalyst for the development of the Tradition but it is always (from Ratzinger’s perspective) a matter of judging the new historical realities with reference to the Tradition itself. Following the lead of Newman. for example. not bringing the Tradition before the tribunal of the Zeitgeist. They are about the pursuit of social consensus rather than about the pursuit of truth or what Varro would identify as a natural theology. His contemporary. such developments usually take place in moments of cultural crisis.

Given the traumatic history of twentieth-century experiments with allegedly ‘rational’ ideologies. 158 . Tracy and Schillebeeckx. He believes that good liturgy requires more than the use of the correct words.BENEDICT XVI the arts in general. Aquinas was rather hard to place in the line of authorities for whom beauty was a significant transcendental. it nonetheless remains the case that for Ratzinger’s generation of Catholic theologians. Although he was in favour of liturgical reform. For Ratzinger everything associated with the Eucharist must be marked by beauty. Ratzinger was never in favour of any movement to dumb down the liturgical language to the lowest common denominator expressions or to introduce rock and sacropop music into the liturgical context. One of the most popular pastoral initiatives of the 1970s was that of accommodating liturgical practices to the standards of mass culture. for example. The Catholic elite of this generation was left to look effete and irrelevant. Many agree with Jean-François Lyotard that the summer of 1968 represented a moment in history when the elite of a whole generation rebelled against the idea of ‘pure reason’ and its social embodiments and inaugurated the era of postmodernity. They came out of their bunkers with their hands in the air as the enemy was departing for a new battlefield. Catholic intellectuals gave themselves up to modernity just as the real avant-garde was beginning to critique it. The tragic and humiliating nature of this was a common theme in the reflections of the British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge. This strategy has not however succeeded in increasing the numbers attending Church services. It is in this context that he finds himself least understood by both Thomists in the pre-Conciliar mould. Here it would seem that this is partly because of the importance that the transcendental of beauty plays in his spirituality and theological judgments. Speaking of Rahner. a wide variety of scholars has reached the conclusion that the culture of modernity with its foundations in the notion of reason severed from all theological presuppositions is hostile to human flourishing and as such far from liberating. and liberation theologians influenced by Marxism. Küng. While a new generation of Thomist scholars is emerging which is more sensitive to the importance of beauty (one thinks. of the works of Thomas Hibbs and Graham McAleer). It is arguably in this context that he is at his most Augustinian. However precisely the same generation of Catholic scholars had a tendency to hop on board the modern project as everyone else was leaving it. Metz.

has quipped that this pontificate has become one of ‘all dialogue. (the editor of Inside the Vatican). but rather ‘how does the Christian narrative relate to the plurality of religious and non-religious fundamental life options?’9 Ratzinger has also asked this question in the various articles about how Christianity sees itself in the market place of faith traditions. It rests on what he calls the ‘twin pillars’ of love and reason and because of this belief Christians cannot place Christ in some post-modern pantheon of the gods.8 With reference to the transition to postmodernity. For Ratzinger Christianity is the natural theology in the classical Roman sense. Robert Moynihan. but what Ratzinger does not accept is that one might through this process of dialogue discover some element of truth in an alternative tradition which was not already present and available to Christians through their own Tradition. He believes that everything necessary for salvation has already been revealed. and the Orthodox.7 However. Anglicans. resulting in a relevant and plausible modern Christian mode of existence’. has passed into history’. all the time’.CONCLUSION Boeve noted that they all presupposed that it was possible to identify continuity between modernity and Christian faith as a point of departure. The most significant of these was the Sorbonne address delivered in the context of the millennium celebrations. His belief that doctrine matters. With reference to the multiple dialogues going on with Lefebvrists. They can certainly dialogue with those who worship other gods. One might say 159 . that the dream of unity based on practices without any reference to theological foundations is futile and that secularism is just the latest in a long list of atheistic ideologies which end up destroying human freedom places him on a collision course with those who would privatize faith and eliminate it from the public sphere. Boeve concludes that the most relevant theological question no longer appears to be: ‘how can the Christian tradition be productively involved in a dialogue with modern secularity. ‘the modern context. Themes in this address have subsequently been taken up in his papal encyclicals with particular emphasis given to the centrality of the Christian doctrine that God is love. However Ratzinger’s conclusions to this question do not appeal to those who remain in some sense wedded to the view that secularism is a benign and theologically neutral or even welcome social development or who are committed to one or other of the praxis projects. and through this dialogue they can deepen their understanding of alternative traditions.

‘a humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism’. is precisely the idea at the centre of Ratzinger’s humanism of the Incarnation. He is also at war with the official European Union ideology which suppresses any acknowledgment that Christianity is the cultural glue which holds the concept of Europe together.BENEDICT XVI that he is at war with the mentality that wants to remove crucifixes and nativity sets from public spaces and regulate the teaching of Christmas carols in kindergartens. Scruton’s conclusion that the art of European culture bears witness to this communion of the European peoples ‘either by honoring or by defiling the thought of God’s incarnation’. based on what he described in the late 1960s as a ‘daring new’ presentation of Trinitarian anthropology. The myth of a purely secular rationality not only ‘lied’ but it failed to liberate and incite to love.11 While modernity represents salvation through the state. and thus. 160 . together. According to Cavanaugh’s reading of the intellectual and social history. is rather the political theology which provides the intellectual infrastructure for what his papal predecessor called the ‘culture of death’. far from being theologically indifferent. 10 This theme was rather poignantly presented in the Belgian movie Joyeaux Noël which recalled the Christmas truces in the battlefields of the Somme and the celebration of midnight Mass by soldiers from opposing armies.12 In Benedict XVI. Catherine Pickstock and William T. the modern state arose not by secularizing politics but by supplanting the imagination of the body of Christ with an heretical theology of salvation through the state. He would no doubt warmly endorse Roger Scruton’s judgment that ‘the high culture of Europe acquired the universality of the Church which had engendered it’ and that the ‘core experience of membership survived to be constantly represented in the Mass – the “communion” which is also an enactment of community’. as he wrote in Caritas in Veritate. post-modernity is coming to represent salvation through the globalization of capital and universal access to commodities. he believes that salvation will never come through the market or through the state but only through Christ. and indeed any Christian civilization. Cavanaugh have also argued this point. For Ratzinger and Scruton it is the Eucharist rather than economics that holds Europe. Though Ratzinger is not opposed to advances in the material order. Secularism. the nihilist wing of the Romantic movement is being confronted with the alternatives of the Catholic wing. Death in Darwin’s jungle is not the reason of being and creation.

God’s Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church (New York: Harper Collins. 11. 11. 178. p. Interview with Fr D. 5 T. Michael Jones. Milestones: Memoirs 1927–1977 (San Francisco: Ignatius. p. 4 Fergus Kerr. p. p. 1987). p. 30 Days. Etudes 249 (1946). 2 C. 158. pp. 14 Joseph Ratzinger. Principles of Catholic Theology: Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology (San Francisco: Ignatius. 9 Ibid. 11. 10 Joseph Ratzinger. Note in this publication Haecker was written with an umlaut over the “a”. Beyond the Blue Glass: Catholic Essays on Faith and Culture (London: Saint Austin Press. 15 Ibid. Both styles of spelling are found in the literature. and P. 13 George Weigel. Azzardo. 17 E. 12 For an account of the formation of Communio which includes direct quotations from Ratzinger see: M. p. 2004). 7 June. 60. 1 (2006). ‘Interview with Alfred Läpple’. 44. 2005). 2005). p. Twentieth-Century Catholic Theologians (Oxford: Blackwell. E. pp. p. In the Vineyard of the Lord: the Life. Faith. ignatiusinsight. Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium an Interview with Peter Seewald (San Francisco: Ignatius. Valente. . Bardazzi. Living Machines (San Francisco: Ignatius. 2002): 33–53. but Haecker himself used the “ae” rather than “ä”. 50. 61. p. 1860– 1914 (Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press. and Teachings of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI (New York: Rizzoli. 1995). 6 Jean Daniélou. F. p. ‘Les orientations présentes de la Pensée religieuse’. 66. 1991).NOTES INTRODUCTION 1 Joseph Ratzinger. Vincent Twomey. Ignatius Insight. 11 Ibid. Introduction to Christianity (San Francisco: Ignatius. 8 G. Olsen.sp 3 Joseph Ratzinger. 1998). 42 & 43. 7 Joseph Ratzinger. Salt of the Earth. 14. O’Meara. 16 Ibid. For a short essay on the debates and personalities of this period. 161 . Church and Culture: German Catholic Theology. 60. 2007). p. 1997).com/features2007/vtwomey_interview_jun07. see: Aidan Nichols. 50–55. p.

). p. as John Milbank has noted. Union Theological Seminary at New York College. R. Contubernium. 16. 21 Ibid. p. p. Introduction to Christianity. Introduction to Christianity. p. 26 Joseph Ratzinger. Communio: International Catholic Review. Drey. Kuhn. Ecumenism and Politics (New York: Crossroad. Schenk. 4 Grant Kaplan. Quoted by Grant Kaplan. Die Katholische Tübinger Schule. p. NJ: Princeton University Press. (ed. 5 J. xviii. 107. 1988). Beiträge zur Geschichte der Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen 16. See. and which. Dietrich and M. 1979). ‘Aphorismen über den Ursprung unserer Erkenntnisse vonGott – ein Beitrag zur Entscheidung der neuesten Streitigkeiten über den Begriff der Offenbarung’. Tübingen: J. The Legacy of the Tübingen School: The Relevance of Nineteenth-Century Theology for the Twenty-First Century (New York: Crossroad. E. 20 Joseph Ratzinger. 1997). G. p. 1977.NOTES 18 Joseph Ratzinger. 25 Black Liberation Theology was pioneered in the United States by James H Cone. 17. Mohr. J. ‘The Gift of Ruling: Secularization and Political Authority’. F. Die theologische Quartalschrift 8 (1826): 237–84. John Milbank. p. 8 Joseph Ratzinger. 80. 2 In this context it is interesting to note that arguably the country in which Aeterni Patris has had the greatest long-term popularity is the US. 23 Ibid. 162 . ‘The Church and Economics’. 1964) and Reinhardt. 4. ‘in a sense never had a 19th century – never had historicism and the cult of society and culture and socialist popularism’. 199–201. 2004: 212–38 at 235. p. O’Meara. Romantic Idealism and Roman Catholicism: Schelling and the Theologians (Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press. 16. 6 J. p. Die theologische Quartalschrift 14 (1832) 411 f. S. R. D. ‘Über den Begriff und das Wesen der speculativen Theologie oder christlichen Philosophie’. The Mind of the European Romantics (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 22 Ibid. Answering the Enlightenment. CHAPTER 1 1 H. Answering the Enlightenment. p. Ihre theologische Eigenart (Freiburg. 1982). 21. B. 2006). Professor of Systematic Theology. 1997). and D. Tübinger Theologen und ihre Theologie. Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte der Katholischtheologischen Fakultät Tübingen. p. p. 7 Grant Kaplan. 3 For histories of the Catholic Faculty of Theology at Tübingen see: J. The Dominican Council. 154. 24 Maurice Gauchet. 104. 15. 19 Joseph Ratzinger. Haines (eds). Introduction to Christianity. The Church. C. 13 (1986): pp. Geiselmann. Quoted in T. 14. The Disenchantment of the World: A Political History of Religion (Princeton. Answering the Enlightenment: The Catholic Recovery of Historical Revelation (New York: Herder and Herder.

Ferber (ed. F. see: Aidan Nichols. (ed. see: Virgil Nemoianu. 22 E. in M. Ferber A Companion to European Romanticism. Band I. 1928). Phenomenology and Vatican II: A Review of Eric Borgman’s Edward Schillebeeckx: A Theologian in His History: Vol. 2005). 20 Heinrich Fries. (Spring. 26. p. 1971). Kardinal Newman. p. The Catholic Herald. 12 The affinity between Newman and von Balthasar has been examined by Aidan Nichols. Verwirklichung und Wirkungsgeschichte. 414 and 416. 2005): 393–412. Schillebeeckx. Number 957. (München: Theatiner Verlag. ‘Woman who defied Hitler was inspired by Newman’. 16 Theodor Haecker. 1990 Centenary Symposium paper. O’Meara. (ed. ‘Wir schweigen nicht. 406. 25 Martin Buber. XX) (Frankfurt am Main: 28-01-2010). sein Gottesgedanke und seine Denkergestalt (Daun: Aurel Verlag. 23 J. 11 Ibid. Jennings. 2002): 67–86. Rome. Jakob Knab. 15 G. Watkin. 163 . Wirklichkeit. ‘Sacrality and the Aesthetic in the Early Nineteenth Century’ in M. ‘Newman belongs to the Great Teachers of the Church’. Beyond the Blue Glass (London: Saint Austin Press.). 1946). John Henry Newman: Briefe und Tagebucher bis zum Übertritt zur Kirche 1801–1845. p. 101. A Catholic Theology of Culture (1914–1965) Trans. T.). 1937). 2005). as published in Benedict XVI and Cardinal Newman. Between Man and Man (London: Fontana. 24 Martin Buber. 26 Ibid. Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly. July 2007. 1990. 1982). pp. 18 Joseph Ratzinger. (trans. Vorwort zu Satire und Polemik (Innsbruck: 1922). New Blackfriars. I. Introduction to Crisis in the West by Peter Wust: (London: Sheed and Ward. 75. 2005). By John Bowden. John Henry Newmans ‘Realizing’ als Basis einer praktischtheologischen Theorie (Newman Studien vol. (Oxford: Blackwell. F.). Presentation on the Occasion of the First Centenary of the Death of Cardinal John Henry Newman. ‘Sacrality and the Aesthetic in the Early Nineteenth Century’. Vol. pp. P. 1931). I and Thou (Edinburgh: T & T Clark. Biemer. 19 Gottlieb Söhngen. ‘Theodor Haecker: In the Footsteps of John Henry Newman’. Romantic Idealism and Roman Catholicism: Schelling and the Theologians (Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press. p.) A Companion to European Romanticism. wir sind Euer böses Gewissen: Die Newman-Rezeption der Weissen Rose – und ihre Wirkungsgechichte’. 81. 406. 17 This was published in 1952 with the title Der Einzelne in der Kirche. xxxiv. 21 Joseph Ratzinger. 14 Simon Caldwell. 28 April. 1. 10 Virgil Nemoianu.NOTES 9 For an overview of the intellectual milieu of these times. 3 April 2009. Die Religionsphilosophie Newmans (Stuttgart: Schwabenverlag 1948). p. in Bernd Trocholepczy (ed).159–60. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Kobler. 13 Edith Stein. (Oxford: Family Publications. p.

Communio: International Catholic Review 17 (3) (1990): 439–54. p. 50 Ibid. Romano Guardini: Reform aus dem Ursprung (München: Kösel-Verlag. 1999). 43 Joseph Ratzinger. 1987). No One Could Have Known: An Autobiography: the Early Years 1904–1945 (San Francisco. 1996): 14–15 at p. 2005). Koppf. 45 Joseph Ratzinger. 39 Ibid. 28 For example. Martin Buber and Christianity: A Dialogue between Israel and the Church (London: Harvill Press. 38 Josef Pieper. p. 44. Hope and Love (New York: Crossroad: 1991). 126. 14. Kopff. p. 21.). CT: Mariel Publications. Perché siamo ancora nella Chiesa.NOTES 27 Joseph Ratzinger. 1960).(Rome: Rizzoli. 32 E. p. Die Relationalität Gottes bei Martin Buber und Joseph Ratzinger (Munich: Grin Verlag. 41 R. 1970) and the English version Tradition: Concept and Claim (Wilmington: ISI Books. xxiv. see Karol Wojtyła. 2008). p. 2008). ‘Guardini on Christ in our Century’. A. (June. The Yes of Jesus Christ: Spiritual Exercises in Faith. 15. Theresa Sandok (trans. I-Man: An Outline of Philosophical Anthropology (New Britain. On the Way to Jesus Christ (San Francisco: Ignatius. 49 Hans Urs von Balthasar. p. p. 9. 1970). p. Tradition: Concept and Claim. 261. 2008). A. Person and Community: Selected Essays. 1997). Krieg. The Twentieth Century: A Theological Overview (London: Continuum. 1990). p. 27. pp. 2000). Scholasticism (New York: 1960). An Interview with Peter Seewald (San Francisco: Ignatius. 9. Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium. C. 31 Joseph Ratzinger. in Gregory Baum (ed. p. 44 Ibid. Consemius. Krapiec. C. 7.) (New York: Peter Lang. 61. 1997) 42 V. p. 46 Ibid. p. 8. C. 164 . 47 Joseph Ratzinger. p. 37 Joseph Ratzinger. Crisis Magazine. Ignatius. p. 40 Joseph Ratzinger. Introduction to Josef Pieper. 33 Josef Pieper. as quoted in E. xxv. 48 Hans Urs von Balthasar. ‘Concerning the Notion of the Person in Theology’. ‘The Condemnation of Modernism and the Survival of Catholic Theology’. Prüfet alles – das Gute behaltet (Ostfildern: Schwabenverlag. Introduction to Josef Pieper. The Spirit of the Liturgy (San Francisco. 30 For an entire work which compares the theme of relationality in the works of Buber and Ratzinger see: M. xxiv. p. Introduction to Christianity (San Francisco: Ignatius. 34 E. Romano Guardini: the Precursor of Vatican II (Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press. 35 Josef Pieper. 1983). 36 Joseph Ratzinger. p. p. 46. 1986). 34–5. 37. Rutsche. Koppf’s introduction to Tradition: Concept and Claim. 1993) and M. 29 Hans Urs von Balthasar. 44. Überlieferung: Begriff und Anspruch (Munich: Kösel.

‘Homily at the Funeral Liturgy of Hans Urs von Balthasar’. 165 . p. p. Milestones – Memoirs 1927–1977 (San Francisco: Ignatius . 64 Joseph Ratzinger. 53 and Principles of Catholic Theology (San Francisco: Ignatius. 3 Joseph Ratzinger. 56 Joseph Ratzinger. 138. Schindler. ‘Georges Bernanos and Francis Poulenc: Catholic Convergences in Dialogues of the Carmelites’. 55 Ibid.). 293. A Soul of a Lion (San Francisco: Ignatius. Logos. p. 52 Ibid. 1929). (San Francisco: Ignatius. p. Spring. 66 The author is indebted to David van Gend for his knowledge of the relationship between Mozart and the Romantic composers. 12:2. 2004. CHAPTER 2 1 Erich Przywara. 1998). L. 60 Joseph Ratzinger. Zenit. 1998). 3 Aug. Washington DC. (San Francisco: Ignatius. 98. p. 2005). (ed. See: Erich Przywara. 2 James Cardinal Stafford. 58 Joseph Ratzinger. Ratzinger’s Faith: the Theology of Pope Benedict XVI (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Introduction to Maurice Blondel: A Letter on Apologetics and History and Dogma (Grand Rapids. D. in Hans Urs von Balthasar: His Life and Work. On the Way to Jesus Christ (San Francisco: Ignatius. 1982). 1991). 54 Ibid. MI: Eerdmans. ‘Knights of Columbus-States Dinner Keynote Address”. Milestones: Memoirs (1927–1977). 2009: 17–40 at 21. 60–2. 60. 65 Aidan Nichols makes the observation that it was not so much the Rhine flowing into the Tiber. 143. 45. pp. pp. 1966). 1969). p. p. 59 An extensive analysis of Ratzinger’s critique of Gaudium et spes can be found in Chapter 2 of Tracey Rowland. 2008). 502.). 1994). regarding aspects of it as too modernist. ‘Zur Geschichte des ‘modernistischen’ Newman in Ringen der Gegenwart: Gesammelte Aufsätze 1922–1927 (Augsburg: Benno Filser Verlag. 21. Preface to Alice von Hildebrand. p. 48. as the Neckar flowing into the Tiber – Tübingen is situated on the Neckar. 11–12. p. Vorgrimler (ed. p. Weg zu Gott (Einsiedeln: Johannes Verlag. 2000). 57 Ibid. 1962). 22. 62 Joseph Ratzinger. 61 David Schindler on Cardinal Ratzinger’s Ecclesiology: Interview with Editor of Communio: International Catholic Review. 1 May 2005. 53 Mark Bosco.NOTES 51 Alexander Dru. The Meaning of Christian Brotherhood (London: Sheed and Ward. 63 Joseph Ratzinger. p. ‘The Dignity of the Human Person’ in H. It should be noted that Przywara did not entirely agree with Bremond’s appropriation of Newman. Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II (New York: Herder and Herder.

Chesterton Review. 32–3. Message to Comunione e Liberazione. Aspekte der Geschichtestheologie (Einsiedeln. 7. 28 Ibid. Oct. On the Way to Jesus Christ. p. 2002). 40. Music and Ministry: A Biblical Counterpoint (Peabody. 19 L’Osservatore Romano. Wald (Hamburg. Rimini. 126–7. ‘Christ. ‘Sacro-pop’. 20 Josef Pieper. The Spirit of the Liturgy. (1986). XII. p. 18 Joseph Ratzinger. 2001). p. 17 Ibid. Internationale katholische Zeitschrift. M. The Ratzinger Report: An Interview with Vittorio Messori (San Francisco: Ignatius. 1985). 198f as quoted in John Saward. 36. 15 Ibid. Das Ganze in Fragment. 33 Ibid. p. p. p. B. p. 130. 30 Joseph Ratzinger. XXII. 2002. On the Way to Jesus Christ. ‘Chesterton and Balthasar: the Likeness is Greater’. 6 Ratzinger. 124. Burbach. 31 Joseph Ratzinger. p. No. 124. 21 Joseph Ratzinger. 1. Darstellung und Interpretationem: Platon. 18–19. J. p. www. August 2002. p. 36. 2006 Vol. Viii (1) Mar. Faith and the Challenge of Cultures’. 25 Ibid. 32 C. 27 Joseph Ratzinger. pp. On the Way to Jesus Christ. 1. 34 Ibid. p. 166 . 314. 1998). The Spirit of the Liturgy. 129. 132–3. 24 Ibid. The author is indebted to Karl Schmude for this reference. 16 Joseph Ratzinger. 35. 29 Joseph Ratzinger. 7 Ibid. No. pp. 10 Joseph Ratzinger. Origins 18 (1989): 800–7. 5. 14 Joseph Ratzinger. Vol.NOTES 4 Hans Urs von Balthasar. Image and Artists’. pp. Italy – published in Adoremus. 6. Address to the Presidents of the Asian Bishops’ Conference. 12 International Theological Commission.HTM. 129. p. 22 Joseph Ratzinger. p. 8 Ibid.ewtn. Johansson. 37. No. I. pp. 3. 26 Joseph Ratzinger. MA: Hendrickson. 3:148–57 (1974). 55. p. 13 Aidan Nichols. p. 5 Joseph Ratzinger. 1996. Adoremus Bulletin. 10ff. pp. ‘Art. J The Spirit of the Liturgy (San Francisco: Ignatius. Say It is Pentecost (Edinburgh: T & T Clark. Vol. 16. 11 Aidan Nichols. ‘Faith and Inculturation’. Say It is Pentecost. 199). 35 H. The Spirit of the Liturgy. 44. Vol. p. p. Aug. ed. 9 Ibid. 2000). 3. p. 129. p. 3. 2–5 March 1993. Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year (San Francisco: Ignatius. On the Way to Jesus Christ. 1992). 23 Ibid.

214. 52 Minlib Dahll. 62 Ibid. 37 Hugo Staudinger and Wolfgang Behler. p. p. On the Way to Jesus Christ. ‘God and Meaning in Music: Messiaen. 32. A Theology of History (San Francisco: Ignatius.NOTES 36 Joseph Ratzinger. p. 64 Joseph Ratzinger. 109. ‘Fides ex Auditu: Dogmatic Theology and the Ecclesial Practice of Music’. 41 Ibid. p. Sacred Music. (Winter 2007) 40–62. 45 Ibid. 58 Joseph Ratzinger. 46. The Philosopher on Dover Beach (Manchester: Carcanet. 1994). 97. 1998) 12–25. 123–4. The End of the Modern World. 63 Hans Urs von Balthasar. 65 Hans Urs von Balthasar. p. City Journal. p. 38 Joseph Ratzinger. 59 Ibid. 82. 42 Ibid. pp. 167 . p. ‘Theological Problems of Church Music’. University of St Andrews (2008). 387. A New Song for the Lord. (San Francisco: Ignatius. 1990) 113–27. Catherine Pickstock. pp. Deleuze and the Musico-Theological Critique of Modernism and Postmodernism’. ‘Theological Problems of Church Music’ Crux et Cithara (1983): 214–22 at p. 43 Joseph Ratzinger. 55 Joseph Ratzinger. 96 61 Romano Guradini. 54 Joseph Ratzinger. 1957). 56 Ibid. 81. p. Communio: International Catholic Review 13 (1986): 377–91 at p. p. (Autumn. 128–9. pp. Chance und Risiko der Gegenwart: Eine kritische Analyse der wissenschaftlichtechnischen Welt (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh. ‘Feeling Beauty’ The Age Good Weekend. 88–9. A. A New Song for the Lord. 29 April 2006. 588. A New Song for the Lord. p. 109. 44 J. Bernanos: An Ecclesial Existence. 125. p. 60 Ibid. The Spirit of the Liturgy. 108 39 Ibid. 126. 50 Alain de Botton. The Feast of Faith. 1976). MPhil dissertation. 40 Ibid. 46 Ibid. 1999). 214. 1996). 53 Christian Gnilka. 134 (4). p. p. 51 Joseph Ratzinger. 97. 175. 175. p. p. 49 Roger Scruton. (London: Sheed & Ward. 48 Roger Scruton. ‘Liturgy and Sacred Music’. Review of Ratzinger’s Faith: the Theology of Benedict XVI in Conversations in Religion and Theology 7 (2) (2009) 172–84. 27–8. The Aesthetics of Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press. ‘Youth Culture’s Lament’. 47 Roger Scruton. p. p. 95. Edwards. p. 57 Joseph Ratzinger. Chrêsis: Die Methode der Kirchenväter im Umgang mit der Antiken Kultur: Vol II Kultur und Conversion (Basel: Schwabb & Co. Vol. 1993). p. 78.

‘Benedict XVI’s Bold Move for Church Unity’ L’Osservatore Romano. 70 S.) Glory. America. 26 Nov. Vol. L’Osservatore Romano. 2 Casarella. 2. The Thomist 72 (2008): 569–95 at p. 72 Joseph Ratzinger.NOTES 66 This Rite was slightly amended by Blessed John XXIII. 79 Alexander Boot. p. ‘Modern English in the Mass’. 590. 168 . 75 Ibid. 1999) pp. ‘Literature in the Drama of Nature and Grace: Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Paradigm for a Theology of Culture’ in Ed. 77 Editorial. 22. Adoremus Bulletin.. 22 Oct. Block Jnr (ed. 4 Dec. July–Aug. 22 Oct. 67 Paul VI. 12. see also a reference to Edwards in ‘Distant Early Warning: Translation Hazards’. 26 January 2009. 2004). 71 A widely held belief. XIV (5). 1966. Ecclesiae Unitatem (4). Yeago. Grace and Culture: the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar (Mahwah. ‘St Thomas and the Sacramental Liturgy’. America. 2. p. p.. 4 Ibid. 1969) pp. 34. Co-Workers of the Truth. 10 March 2009. NJ: Paulist Press: 2005). How the West was Lost (London: I. 38–64. 1969. ‘The False Legacy of Suárez’. Tauris. p.). 81 Joseph Ratzinger. 83 David S. in John Milbank . is that Paul VI was impressed by the name Agatha Christie on the petition begging for a reprieve of the suppression and promptly granted the indult. Reid. 2008. 76 Benedict XVI. Acta Apostolica Sedes forthcoming. ‘Commentary on the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation: Origin and Background’. 2000). Vol. 1996). 2008. p. Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II. 74 Joseph Ratzinger. Catherine Pickstock and Graham Ward (eds) Radical Orthodoxy (London: Routledge. ‘Modern English in the Mass’. Faith and the Challenge of Cultures’. July–Aug. Adoremus Bulletin. 57. Wednesday Audience Address. 16. 2006). p. which is impossible to substantiate with reference to any document. P. 1969. P. 73 Aidan Nichols. The Spirit of the Liturgy. III (New York: Herder and Herder. 82 Joseph Ratzinger. (Farnborough: St Michael’s Abbey Press. Vol. ‘Christ. 3 John Montag. p. 78 Letter of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops of the Catholic Church Concerning the Remission of the Excommunication of the Four Bishops Consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre. see also a reference to Edwards in ‘Distant Early Warning: Translation Hazards’. XIV (5). M. 119. p. 68 Gareth Edwards. 69 Gareth Edwards. B. 1966. p. Preface to The Organic Development of the Liturgy 2nd edition. xvi. 155–272. A Bitter Trial (Curdridge: Saint Austin Press. Introduction to the 2000 edition of Scripture in the Tradition (New York: Herder and Herder. 80 Ibid. CHAPTER 3 1 Joseph Ratzinger. in Herbert Vorgrimler (ed.

p. ‘Biblical Interpretation in Crisis: On the Question of the Foundations and Approaches of Exegesis Today’. p. Milestones: Memoirs 1927–1977. 18 Cyril O’Regan. p. 5 (2). 24. 4. 169 . 188. 329–30. Granados. 2007). On Theology of Revelation: A Theology of History (New York: Sheed & Ward. 2008). 30 Ibid. 17 Ibid. ‘Bonaventurian Resonances in Benedict XVI’s Theology of Revelation’. 1994). 14 Joseph Ratzinger. MI: Eerdmans. 22. 1–12. pp. pp. 19 Joseph Ratzinger. 20 Ibid. A. MI: Eerdmans. 6 Joseph Ratzinger. 28. p. ‘The Transmission of Divine Revelation’ in Herbert Vorgrimler (ed. 23 Hans Urs von Balthasar. 27. 276. MI: Eerdmans. 19. (Grand Rapids. 330. MI: Eerdmans. ‘The Reception in the Church of the Dogmatic Constitution “Dei Verbum”’ in J. 5. Biblical Interpretation in Crisis: The Ratzinger Conference on Bible and Church. (Spring 2007) 249–67 at p. 1999).). 29 Ibid. 10 Joseph Ratzinger. 9 Joseph Ratzinger. ‘Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church’ in Herbert Vorgrimler (ed.). p. 187. 26 Joseph Ratzinger. Vol. 172. 24 Canty. 113. 15 Ibid. Modern Theology 14:3 (July 1998) 325–53 at pp. Prefatory Note to Maurice Blondel: History and Dogma (Grand Rapids. 1998). 20. (San Francisco: Ignatius. 8 Albert Vanhoye. p. 1997) pp. 337. 254. 12 Alexander Dru. Carlos Granados and Luis Sanchez (eds). p. p. ‘Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation: Origin and Background’ in Herbert Vorgrimler (ed. 184.).NOTES 5 John Milbank. Jesus. 155–6. Jesus of Nazareth: Message and History (Peabody. 102–3. MA: Hendrickson Publishers. 11 Joseph Ratzinger. p. p. 6. 108–9. ‘Balthasar: Between Tübingen and Postmodernity’. 16 Ibid. 27 Ibid. pp. Introduction to Radical Orthodoxy (London: Routledge. p. ‘Balthasar: Between Tübingen and Postmodernity’. History and Dogma (Grand Rapids. ‘The Transmission of Divine Revelation’ in Herbert Vorgrimler (ed). 25 Joachim Gnilka. p. p. the Apostles and the Early Church (San Francisco: Ignatius. 28 Ibid. pp. p. 21 Cyril O’Regan. 22 Ibid.). 24–5. in Richard John Neuhaus (ed. 1989). p. Opening Up the Scriptures: Joseph Ratzinger and the Foundations of Biblical Interpretation (Grand Rapids. 1963). p. 7 Ibid. 176. p. Nova et Vetera. p. 13 Maurice Blondel. 1994). 214. p.

‘Biblical Interpretation in Crisis’ in Jose Grenados. 51 Lieven Boeve. 36 Ibid. Explorations in Theology Vol. 2003). (London: Routledge. p. 41 Joseph Ratzinger. 40 Kevin J. Vanhoozer. p. Opening Up the Scriptures: Joseph Ratzinger and the Foundations of Biblical Interpretation. (June 1996) 14–16 at p.NOTES 31 Ibid. pp. p. Dooley (eds). 37 Ibid. (2000) 208–49 at p. 34 Ibid. 38 International Theological Commission: ‘Memory and Reconciliation: the Church and the Faults of the Past’. Note this particular essay of Ratzinger’s has been published in English twice. 29. p. 245–58 at p. The translations are different. Communio: International Catholic Review. 152–3. p. 24. 14. 1998) pp. 2007). 23. Granados. in J. so that while they remain the same in substance. footnote 25 of ‘Biblical Interpretation in Crisis’ in Richard John Neuhaus (ed. 49. 250. 50 Ibid. 16. 224. 31. Die Schildgenossen 8 (1928) 24–57. p. Guardini. and secondly in the work edited by Granados. Carlos Granados and Luis Sanchez (eds). 15. Interrupting Tradition: An Essay on Christian Faith in a Postmodern Context (Louvain: Peeters Press. Biblical Interpretation in Crisis’. 20. 14. 52 Joseph Ratzinger. Questioning Ethics: Contemporary Debates in Philosophy. MI: Eerdmans. the precise words used vary. p. 170 . 4. 39 See for example: Alasdair MacIntyre. I: The Word Made Flesh (San Francisco: Ignatius. 47 Joseph Ratzinger. 165. 11. p. Crisis Magazine. 15.). ‘Biblical Interpretation in Crisis: On the Question of the Foundations and Approaches of Exegesis Today’ in Jose Granados. 33 Ibid. p. 2008). Carlos Granados and Luis Sanchez (eds). God Interrupts History: Theology in a Time of Upheaval (London: Continuum. in R. p. Carlos Granados and Luis Sanchez (eds). p. 43 Romano. 6. 49 Ibid. 46 Kevin J. 18. 1989). 48 Lieven Boeve. 42 Joseph Ratzinger. 35 Ibid. Vanhoozer. (1998) 29–41 at p. 19. ‘Interreligious Dialogue and Jewish-Christian Relations’. 25. ‘Guardini on Christ in our Century’. 32 Joseph Ratzinger. 45 Hans Urs von Balthasar. first in the work edited by Neuhaus. p. ‘Scripture and Tradition’ in The Cambridge Companion to Postmodern Theology (Cambridge University Press: 2003). The Pope Speaks 45. Kearney and M. p. 44 Joseph Ratzinger. ‘Some Enlightenment Projects Reconsidered’. Biblical Interpretation in Crisis: The Ratzinger Conference on Bible and Church. (Grand Rapids. ‘Heilige Schrift und Glaubenswissenschaft’. ‘Scripture and Tradition’ . 35. p. 21. p. p.

O. (San Francisco: Ignatius.). Address at the Australian Catholic University. (New York: Crossroad. ‘Eschatology and Utopia’. S. 5 (2). 1968). Ignatius Insight. 1988). B. 69 Aaron Canty. 1999). 57 Joseph Ratzinger. 65 Ibid. The Church. L’Osservatore Romano. 3 December 2007. p. 58 Joseph Ratzinger. pp. 91. 54 Gregory Hoskins. 61 Joseph Ratzinger. 3 (2) (Spring 2006) 31–7. 12 (Spring. 1987). p. Images of Hope: Meditations on Major Feasts (San Francisco: Ignatius. Journal of Philosophy and Scripture Vol. p. 1997) and Josef Pieper. ‘Gottes Kraft – unsere Hoffnung’ in Klerusblatt 67 (1987) 342–47. p. A Theology of History. Hope and Love. 18–19. 113–16. 2006). 2009). 60 Ormond Rush. 23. (Sydney: Columban Mission Institute). 64 Ibid. 1982) pp. 59 Hans Urs von Balthasar. ‘The Encyclical on Hope: On the De-immanentizing’ of the Christian Eschaton’. 4. 56 Paul J. Cordes. 5 (1978) 211–27.NOTES 53 Henri de Lubac. p. Saint Paul: the Apostle (Huntington: Our Sunday Visitor. ‘Vorfragen zu einer Theologie der Erlösung’ in L. 167–79. 62 Ibid. p. pp. North Sydney. 2009). 2 Josef Pieper. Faith. 91. 7. 6–7. 90. pp. CHAPTER 4 1 See also: Joseph Ratzinger. Vol. ‘Address during Meeting with Organizations involved in Interreligious Dialogue at the Auditorium of Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem’. 101. (Washington. p. p. Nova et Vetera. ‘Not without the Light of Faith: Catholic Social Doctrine Clarifies Its Self-Understanding’. Le Révélation Divine (Paris: Cerf. ‘Address to the International Congress for the 40th anniversary of Dei Verbum’. 1985) 71–84. 67 Joseph Ratzinger. 26. p. 21 September 2005. 63. 63 Ibid. (ed. DC: Catholic University of America Press. 2007) 249–67 at 266. p. ‘On Hope’ Communio: International Catholic Review. The End of Time: A Meditation on the Philosophy of History (San Francisco: Ignatius. 22 and p. 68 Joseph Ratzinger. 3 James V. Principles of Catholic Theology (San Francisco: Ignatius. ‘An Interview with Lieven Boeve: “Recontextualizing the Christian Narrative in a Postmodern Context”’. 27 November 2009. Robert Lowell and Dame Frideswide Sandemann. Ecumenism and Politics: New Essays in Ecclesiology Trans. 34. 66 Joseph Ratzinger. ‘Bildung und Glaube in unserer Zeit: drei Thesen zur christlichen Bildung’ in Informationsdienst des deutschen Instituts für Bildung und Wissen. Scheffczyk. 82. Erlösung und Emanzipation (Munich. Heft 8/9 (15 September 1975). Schall. (Spring. 55 Benedict XVI. p. ‘Bonaventurian Resonances in Benedict XVI’s Theology of Revelation’. 63. James 171 . Communio: International Catholic Review. ‘The Eyes of Faith: The Sense of the Faithful and the Church’s reception of Revelation’.

B. Faith. 2006). Joseph Ratzinger. 1996). Ibid. 78. 53. p. p. p. Vorgrimler (ed. Joseph Ratzinger. 5 (2) (Spring 2007) 231–48 at p. 1991. Zdizsław Krasnodebski. Spe Salvi. Ibid. paragraph 47. Ibid. Benedict XVI. ‘W oczekiwaniu na supermarkety. p.NOTES 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 V. MD: University Press of America. 39–40. 555. 55. For an English language survey of these ideas see: T. Joseph Ratzinger. Ibid. 4. 103. 172 . ‘The Dignity of the Human Person’ Commentary on Gaudium et spes. Joseph Ratzinger. The Yes of Jesus Christ. Medieval and Modern Political Philosophy (Lanham. ‘Nature and Grace in Deus Caritas Est’. No. Benedict XVI. 21–2. 237. 1984). pp. The End of Time? The Provocation of Talking about God (Co-authored with J. Ibid. p. p. H. Joseph Ratzinger. 20. p. p. and S. p. The Yes of Jesus Christ. Ibid. 21 (4): 505–13. Ibid. A. 14. 82. 42. p. Jürgen Moltmann and Eveline Goodman-Thau) (New York: Paulist Press. A. History of European Ideas Vol. 78. 44. Hope and Love (San Francisco: Ignatius: 1997). 2004). p. Hans Urs von Balthasar. Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration (New York: Doubleday. Schall. 88. pp. Ibid. Spe Salvi.). Faith. 2006). Values in a Time of Upheaval (San Francisco: Ignatius. Hope and Love (New York: Crossroad. p. Vol. Joseph Ratzinger. Josef Pieper. p. The Politics of Heaven and Hell: Christian Themes from Classical. p. Joseph Ratzinger. Rowland. czyli upadek komonizmu w swietle postmodernistycznej filozofii widziany’. 84. Joseph Ratzinger. paragraph 44. 1969). p. Hope and Love. Joseph Ratzinger. As quoted by von Balthasar in Bernanos: An Ecclesial Existence (San Francisco: Ignatius. p. Metz. Ibid. The Yes of Jesus Christ: Spiritual Exercises in Faith. Images of Hope: Meditations on Major Feasts. Res Publica. III (New York: Herder and Herder. 67. Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II. 22. Nova et Vetera. 1991). 41. 1994). 42. p. 155. 81. 130. Serge-Thomas Bonino. 81. Josef Pieper. Joseph Ratzinger. p. Vol. The Yes of Jesus Christ. A Theology of History (San Francisco: Ignatius. p. ‘Contemporary Central European Reflections on Civic Virtue’. p. p. 2007). p. Images of Hope: Meditations on Major Feasts (San Francisco: Ignatius. 73. Ibid.

National Review On-Line. Sydney. p. p. pp. 1996). pp. 23.. p. ‘Duplex Hominis Beatitudo’. Interview with the Italian Catholic Agency SIR. pp. 67. 1991). 55 Joseph Ratzinger. Paul Imhof and Hubert Biallowons. 120. ‘Nature and Grace in Deus Caritas Est’. ‘The Church and Economics’. ‘The Dignity of the Human Person’ in Herbert Vorgrimler (ed. 266. 535–65 at p. Liberalism and Liberation (Edinburgh: T & T Clark. Address at the Australian Catholic University. Philosophische Essays (Stuttgart: Reclam. p. Nova et Vetera. 546. 52 Ibid. V. p. p. 50 Joseph Ratzinger. p. 1983). p. ‘Not Without the Light of Faith: Catholic Social Doctrine Clarifies Its Self-Understanding’. 26–7. (New York: Crossroad. 121. 53. 2002). Heart of the World. Faith in a Wintry Season: Conversations and Interviews with Karl Rahner in the Last Years of His Life. 79. 38 Romano Guardini. 27 November 2009. 49. Images of Hope. Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium (San Francisco: Ignatius. 1993). 115–64. 1960). Communio: International Catholic Review (Winter 2008). ‘Henri de Lubac on Nature and Grace’. Wealth. 53 Joseph Ratzinger. 39 Jean Borella. 51 Joseph Ratzinger. 42 Nicholas Healy. 33 Joseph Ratzinger. Communio: International Catholic Review 13 (1986): 199–204 and On the Way to Jesus Christ (San Francisco: Ignatius: 2005). p. p. 26. Schindler. Schindler (eds). Center of the Church: Communio Ecclesiology. Communio: International Catholic Review 35 (Winter 2008) 599–612. The Yes of Jesus Christ. Poverty and Human Destiny (Wilmington: ISI Books. 26–7. 47 Karol Wojtyla. 37 Karl Rahner. 41 Ibid. 40 Robert Spaemann. The Sense of the Supernatural (Edinburgh: T & T Clark. 1998). (Spring 2007) 231–48. 68–69. 43 Serge-Thomas Bonino.NOTES 32 Ibid. Vol. The Ratzinger Report: An Interview with Vittorio Messori (San Francisco: Ignatius. pp. 49 Joseph Ratzinger. 5 (2). 173 . 77. 46 George Weigel. 48 Adrian Walker. 270–1. p. 1996). ‘The Poverty of Liberal Economics’. p. ix. translated by Theresa Sandok (New York: Peter Lang. 54 Joseph Ratzinger. 1985). in Doug Bandow and David L. Rome. 36 Fergus Kerr. 45 David L. 44 Paul J. 35 Henri de Lubac. The Conversion of Augustine (London: Sands & Co. p. (New York: Herder and Herder. After Aquinas: Versions of Thomism (Oxford: Blackwell. 7 May 2004. Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II Vol. 6. 7 July 2009. p. ‘Caritas in Veritate in Gold and Red’. Cordes.). 1969). 134. 34 Ibid. Person and Community: Selected Essays. 2003).

11 Ibid. Die Einheit in der Theologie (Munich: Karl Zink. 182–3. 54. 176. 4 Karl Rahner. Aus der Theologie der Zeit (Regensburg. for example: Oscar Cullman. 203. p. 7 Buber. 174. p. 22 Joseph Ratzinger. 1971). 54. p. 651.NOTES CHAPTER 5 1 Joseph Ratzinger. 6 John D. ‘The Conception of History in the Christian Tradition’. 153. Revelation Theology: A History (New York: Herder and Herder. p. p. 177. 546. 27 Joseph Ratzinger. 208. 9 Ibid. 174 . 430. 177–8. Ohio: Ohio University Press. p. 157. Salvation in History (London: SCM Press. p. Christ and Time (London: SCM Press. 12 Ibid. 1952). p. 30 (3) (1950) 171–9 at p. Principles of Catholic Theology. cited in Thomas Sheehan. p. 15 Joseph Ratzinger. Karl Rahner the Philosophical Foundations (Athens. 13 Ibid. 10 Joseph Ratzinger. p. 3 Rudolf Voderholzer. ‘Christian Universalism: On Two Collections of Papers by Hans Urs von Balthasar’. 55. 1948). Journal of Religion Vol. 1987). 25 Martin C. M. 1987). pp. 26 Joseph Ratzinger. p. p. p. Communio: International Catholic Review. p. Communio: International Catholic Review (Fall 1995) 545–57 at p. The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. XIII.). Between Man and Man (London: Fontana. 177. Principles of Catholic Theology (San Francisco: Ignatius. ‘Dogma and History: Henri de Lubac and the Retrieval of Historicity as a key to Theological Renewal’. DC: Catholic University of America Press. 158. Principles of Catholic Theology. 29 Paul Henry. 20 Ibid. 124. 1969). 174. p. Dogmatic Theology: Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life (Washington. 2 Ibid. xi. 177. p. 177. 8 Ibid. p. p. 24 Ibid. xi. 284. 28 (Winter 2001) 648–68 at p. 16 Jean Daniélou. 5 Ibid. Theological Studies. 1993). 1959). p. ‘Christian Philosophy of History’. No. 1952) 419–32 at p. p. D’Arcy. 1962). Gottlieb Söhngen. 18 Ibid. 1988). 210. 1967). p. 19 Ibid. 157. 14 See. 160. Caputo. p. The Sense of History: Secular and Sacred (London: Faber & Faber. p. 1 (March. 177. 23 Ibid. ‘Heidegger and Theology’ in Charles Guignon (ed. 17 Ibid. 28 Ibid. Vol. Principles of Catholic Theology. 21 Avery Dulles.

Drie Thesen zur christlichen Bildung’. ‘The Conception of History in the Christian Tradition’. 6 Oct. p. p. p.NOTES 30 Joseph Ratzinger. 1985). p. The End of Time?: The Provocation of Talking about God. 31 Ibid. Communio: International Catholic Review (Fall 1990): 439–55 at p. 16. 38 Ibid. 1995). 34 Ibid. 182. xii–xiii. 57 Jack A. 39 Joseph Ratzinger. p. p. IBW (Institute für Bildung und Wissen) Journal. 1986). p. Principles of Catholic Theology. 2009. 113–16 at p. IBW (Institute für Bildung und Wissen)Journal13 (1975). A Theological Anthropology. 185. 58 Joseph Ratzinger. 166. XL (1999): 280–300. p. Principles of Catholic Theology. 114. 42 Joseph Ratzinger. 43 Joseph Ratzinger. ‘Truth and History: The Question’. p. Drie Thesen zur christlichen Bildung’. 95. 15. ‘Bildung und Glaube in unserer Zeit. p. p. 50 Hans Urs von Balthasar. Hope and Love. p. 41 James V. 166. p. by D. 46 Ibid. Introduction to Christianity (San Francisco: Ignatius. p. Thérèse of Lisieux: A Story of a Mission. p. 171. p. 55 Ibid. 92. Principles of Catholic Theology. 51 Hans Urs von Balthasar. The Ratzinger Report: An Interview with Vittorio Messori (San Francisco: Ignatius. 95. 169. pp. 172. 1953). The Heythrop Journal. Ignatius Insight. p. 35 Joseph Ratzinger. 452. 160. The Yes of Jesus Christ. 13. Faith. The Beautiful Soul: Aesthetic Morality in the Eighteenth Century (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. p. trans. p. 54. 49 Joseph Ratzinger. 53. Principles of Catholic Theology. 47 Joseph Ratzinger. ‘Certain Fundamental Truths’. 45 Joseph Ratzinger. p. p. 158. 53 R. ‘Bildung und Glaube in unserer Zeit. Philosophy and History. ‘Concerning the Notion of Person in Theology’. 36 Ibid. p. 33. 54 Joseph Ratzinger. 56 Ibid. 22. 44 Ibid. 168. Principles of Catholic Theology. 169. Norton. 32 Joseph Ratzinger. Harrison. 95–6. (1975). 116. (Mahwah. p. 33 Joseph Ratzinger. ‘Homo Orans’: Von Balthasar’s Christocentric Philosophical Anthropology’. 37 Josef Pieper. See also for an extensive treatment of this subject Victoria S. Bonsor. Vol. E. 250. Jürgen Moltmann and Eveline Goodman-Thau). 182. 1990). 162. Behold the Pierced One (San Francisco: Ignatius. Schall. 40 Ibid. Metz. p. 52 Joseph Ratzinger. NJ: Paulist Press. 2004). (Co-authored with J. B. Nicholl (London: Sheed and Ward. 175 . 48 Jean Daniélou.

(San Francisco: Ignatius. . 71 For an extensive treatment of this theme in Ratzinger see Aidan Nichols. The Theology of Joseph Ratzinger (Edinburgh: T & T Clark. p. Joseph Ratzinger: Life in the Church and Living Theology: Fundamentals of Ecclesiology (San Francisco: Ignatius. p. 97. p. p. Principles of Catholic Theology. Love Alone is Credible. 42. 8 Joseph Ratzinger. p. 10 Ibid. Contemporary European Thought and Christian Faith (Pittsburg. p. 63 Ibid. 65 Joseph Ratzinger. 40. 452. A Catholic Understanding of Creation and the Fall’ (Grand Rapids. Preface to the 2nd volume of his Opera Omnia. ‘Concerning the Notion of Person in Theology’. von. ‘Love: the Encounter with an Event’ in Livio Melina and Carl Anderson (eds). p. Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions (San Francisco: Ignatius. Freiberg 2009. 6 Ibid. 13 Balthasar. p. 69 Maximilian Heinrich Heim. PA: Duquesne University Press. pp. 22. 5 Ibid. MI: Eerdmans. 1995). 82. p. H. von. 155–6. 449. 1999. Offenbarungsverständnis und Geschichtstheologie Bonaventuras Herder. p. Chapter 3. p. 7 Ibid. 61 Ibid. The Way of Love: Reflections on Pope Benedict XVI’s Encyclical Deus Caritas Est. 2006). ‘“In the Beginning”. 12 Ibid. p. 26. 39. 176 .NOTES 59 Hans Urs von Balthasar. A Theology of History (San Francisco: Ignatius. 1986). 83. 1994). CHAPTER 6 1 Joseph Ratzinger. 66 Ibid. ‘The Sorbonne Millennium Address’. p. U. 4 Ibid. Communio: International Catholic Review (Fall 1990) 439–55 at p. ‘Concerning the Notion of Person in Theology’. pp. 62 Joseph Ratzinger. p. 70 Joseph Ratzinger. 34–5. p. 2004). p. 9 Joseph Ratzinger. 11 Balthasar. 64 Joseph Ratzinger. Communio: International Catholic Review (Fall 1990) 439–55 at p. 35. translation by Maria Klepacka. 1988). A Theology of History. 32. Nov. 3 Joseph Ratzinger. 2007). 67 Hans Urs von Balthasar. 444. 39. Love Alone is Credible (San Francisco: Ignatius. 1962). 16. 10. 2004). U. . 444. p. 68 Livio Melina. 52. 72 The author is indebted to Aidan Nichols for this insight. Behold the Pierced One (San Francisco: Ignatius. H. 83. 60 Albert Dondeyne. 2 Ibid.

1967). p. Spe Salvi (8). Introduction to Christianity. (2000) 11–23. p. p. 44 Adriaan Peperzak. 27 November 1999. 72. 37 Ibid. 339. 22 Ibid. 15 Ibid. 20 Ibid. Vorgrimler. p. 35 Ibid. p. A Theological Anthropology (New York: Sheed and Ward. 29 Joseph Ratzinger. quotation in the text taken from translation of Maria Klepecka based on the Polish translation published in Christianitas. 71. 59. 33 ‘The Current Situation of Faith and Theology’. 19 Romano Guardini. 97. Numer 3/4. 30 Joseph Ratzinger. J. 160. L’Osservatore Romano. 6. P. ‘The Church and Scientific theology’ Communio: International Catholic Review (Winter. Introduction to Christianity. pp. Introduction to Christianity. 31 Joseph Ratzinger. Paris. pp. ‘The Dignity of the Human Person’ Commentary on Gaudium et spes in H.) Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II. p. 23 Ibid. 16 Ibid. p. 65. 18 Joseph Ratzinger. 43 Ibid. 27 Benedict XVI. 36 Joseph Ratzinger. 39 Ibid. 59. in P. The Word of God: On Faith. 53. 6 November 1996: 4–6 at p. 177. 6. p. 147. 54–5. 1980) p.NOTES 14 Joseph Ratzinger. Schner (eds). 73. 21 Joseph Ratzinger. p. p. p. 147–8. p. Values in a Time of Upheaval. 34 Ibid. Christian 177 . p. 5. p. 28 Ibid. 158. p. the Sorbonne. the Apostles and the Early Church (San Francisco: Ignatius. 32 Joseph Ratzinger. 24 Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. 29–56. 2007). Gestalt und Lebendigkeit unseres Glaubensbekenntnisses (Einsiedeln. p. 155. p. ‘The Current Situation of Faith and Theology’. (ed. Principles of Christian Morality. 1975). Vol. 62. 1963). 160. 26 Hans Urs von Balthasar. III (New York: Herder and Herder. 54. p. Hope and Charity (Chicago: Henry Regnery. 1969). In this context Ratzinger cites his reliance on the insights of Henri de Lubac in Credo. ‘Plotinian Motifs in Bonaventure’s Itinerary of the Mind to God’. 29. p. 40 Ibid. 41 Ibid. 25 Joseph Ratzinger. 5. 42 Joseph Ratzinger. 17 Ibid. Jesus. p. 38 Ibid. Casarella. 156. Introduction to Christianity. 6. 1986). Sorbonne Address. (Co-authored with Heinz Schürmann and Hans Urs von Balthasar) (San Francisco: Ignatius. ‘2000 Years after What?’. p. p. p. 53–4. pp. 28. and G.

p. p. 13 Gavin D’Costa. fn 6. 4 Joseph Ratzinger. Elysèe Palace. p. 34. CHAPTER 7 1 Joseph Ratzinger. 5 Benedict XVI. 16 Gavin D’Costa. Principles of Catholic Theology (San Francisco: Ignatius. 25 Joseph Ratzinger. p. p.). 1990). 17 Ibid. 63.NOTES Spirituality and the Culture of Modernity: the Thought of Louis Duprè. 39. the Church and the World (San Francisco: Ignatius: 1999). pp. p. 7 Ibid. p. p. D’Costa (ed. p. 1982). 523. The Meeting of Religions and the Trinity (New York: Orbis. ‘Interreligious Dialogue and Jewish-Christian Relations’. 18 Ibid. Crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. 9 Ibid. p. ‘Lecture on the Current Situation of Faith and Theology’. Address of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. 2008. 24 Ibid. 20 Ibid. Communio: International Catholic Review. 174–192. p. 36. 34. ‘Taking Other Religions Seriously: Some Ironies in the Current Debate on a Christian Theology of Religions’. 18 July 2008. Paris. 25 (Spring 1998) 29–40 at 32. 36. 178 . p. 34. Many Religions. 32. 1996. pp. 521. 23 Joseph Ratzinger. p. 8 Ibid. ‘Interreligious Dialogue and Jewish-Christian Relations’. 113. 26 Ibid. 3 Joseph Ratzinger. 12 Joseph Ratzinger. as reported in The Tablet. 4 June 2005. p. (Grand Rapids. June 2005. p. 38. Address to the Representatives of the Jewish Community. 11 Joseph Ratzinger. 15 Ibid. ‘Interreligious Dialogue and Jewish-Christian Relations’. 94. p. p. 30. 1998). Many Religions – One Covenant: Israel. 6 Nov. 31. 12 Sept. 32. p. 521. p. ‘The End of Dialogue’ in G. L’Osservatore Romano. 2 Ibid. One Covenant: Israel. 70. 14 Ibid. the Church and the World. Homily in Bari. 10 Ibid. 30. 6 Joseph Ratzinger. 50–63. MI: Eerdmans. The Thomist. 54 (3) (July 1990) 519–31 at p. ‘Interreligious Dialogue and Jewish-Christian Relations’. 22 Joseph Ratzinger. p. 21 Joseph Ratzinger. Christian Uniqueness Reconsidered: Myth of Pluralistic Theology of Religions (London: Orbis Books. 19 John Milbank. 30. 33. 2000). 27 Ibid.

Patriarch Bartholomew I. See for example: ‘Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the President of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews on the Occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Declaration “Nostra Aetate”’. Murphy. ‘Pope committed to unity with Orthodox’. pp. p. ‘Address to an Ecumenical Delegation from Finland on the Occasion of the Feast of Saint Henrik’. p. 29. 4 June 2005. Benedict XVI. ‘Note of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans Entering the Catholic Church’. 98 and Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year (San Francisco: Ignatius. 1963). 19 Aug. Joseph Ratzinger. Schall. p. Ibid. Ibid. 12 Nov. 2007. 2008. 1998). ‘The Regensburg Lecture’ (South Bend. 41. Inside the Vatican. Ibid. p. New Directions. Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche. 18 Oct. p. The Tablet. Digby Anderson. 18 Jan. ‘Speech delivered in the Sistine Chapel’. Oct. 2009. 1962). IN: St Augustine’s Press. A. Ibid. Address during Courtesy Visit to the two chief Rabbis of Jerusalem at Hechal Shlomo Center in Jerusalem in Pope Benedict XVI on Christian-Muslim-Jewish Relations: Excerpts from the Addresses and Homilies of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVU during his Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (8–15 May 2009). ‘Letter to the Participants in the Third Ecumenical Assembly organized by the Council of European Episcopal Conferences and by the Conference of European Churches’. ‘De Lubac. 40. Cologne. 2006. 1992). Oct. Joseph Ratzinger. p. James V. (Sydney: Columban Mission Institute. Asprey (eds). 58–9. Address of Benedict XVI to the Meeting with the Diplomatic Corps to the Republic of Turkey. Murphy and C. ‘A Walk by Night’. 2005. John Allen Jnr. 40. ‘English Gentlemen’. Catechesis on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. 124. p. Address of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. 30. Archbishop’s House. 2008. ‘Primat’ in Josef Höfer and Karl Rahner (eds). Joseph Ratzinger. 20 Aug. pp. 2006. 2009). ‘Ratzinger credited with saving Lutheran Pact’. 18 Jan. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Benedict XVI. 2009. (Freiburg: Verlag Herder. Castel Gandolfo. Benedict XVI. 763. 44–5. National Catholic Reporter. 2007). Joseph Ratzinger. p. Robert Mickens. 29. Benedict XVI.NOTES 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 Ibid. 1999. Robert Moynihan. 179 . A. Ratzinger and von Balthasar: A Communal Adventure in Ecclesiology’ in F. p. Milestones: Memoirs 1927–1977 (San Francisco: Ignatius. 39. 28 Nov. 10 Sept. p. The Episcopate and the Primacy (New York: Herder and Herder. 2008. F.

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p. 25. (Summer 1996) 225–43. Mouroux. 1952). 7 Lieven Boeve. 175. 123. 4. p. 1926). 2007). 6 J. 1960). God Interrupts History: Theology in a Time of Upheaval (New York: Continuum. p. 8 Ibid. 5. New Oxford Review (April. L’experience chretienne (Paris: Aubier. 181 . Cavanaugh. CONCLUSION 1 Hans Urs von Balthasar. 3 Paul Claudel. p. 53. 4 Ibid. 5 Peter Wust. Martin Buber and Christianity: A Dialogue between Israel and the Church (London: Harvill Press. 1931). The Philosopher on Dover Beach (Manchester: Carcanet. p. 11 William T. 175. 2003). 26 Oct. the Penguin Book of German Verse (New York: Penguin. 1957). p. ‘Movement of all Fronts’ Inside the Vatican. 5 as quoted by A. ‘Verlorenes Ich’. 425–7. 9. Crisis in the West (London: Sheed and Ward. 2009. Maggiolini. p. 10 Roger Scruton. Communio: International Catholic Review. ‘Magisterial Teaching on Experience in the Twentieth Century: From the Modernist Crisis to the Second Vatican Council’. 4. 100. 2002) 18–25 at p.NOTES 71 Robert Moynihan. p. 9 Ibid. 2 Philip Blosser. Theopolitical Imagination (Edinburgh: T & T Clark. Positions et Propositions (Paris: Gallimard. p. 1990). 12 For a poetic expression of this idea see Gottfiried Benn. p. ‘The Kasper-Ratzinger Debate and the State of the Church’.

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26. 13. 153. 119. 121 Aggiornamento 48 Alfeyev. 38. 50–1. 61. 85. 159 Anglican Ordinariate 140. 113. 113. Saint 4. Jack Arthur 108 Boot. 153. 33. 81. 77. Franz Xaver von 10 Bach. 150 Annales de Philosophie Chrétienne 19 Apollonian music 34 Aristotle 3. 62. F. 54. 15. 122 Blake. 80. 153 Böckle. 85–6 Bonsor. Theodor 33. 71. Digby 140. Johann Sebastian 37 Bahrdt. 112. 39. Louis 84 Bio-technology 17. Harold 41 Adorno. C. 73. 97. 98. 80. 156 195 Barth. 30. Archbishop Hilarion 141–2 Alighieri. 144. 29. 25. Ernst 72. 96. 98. 55. 27. 82. Reiner 57 Bloch.INDEX Abelard. 105. 153 Bernard. 22. Maurice 19. 120. 20. 23. 19. 9 Afanasiev. 79. Bishop George 139 Anglicans 140. 149. 73 Blondel. 13. 52. Lieven 62. 20. 72. Peter 26 acedia 80 Acton. 56 Balthasar. Franz 5 Boethius 20. 105. 83 Borella. 19. F. 94. 15. 106 Billot. 141 Anderson. 9. 66. 155 Baader. 21. Hans Urs von 5. 53. 30. 115. 153. 112. 110. 156 Blosser. 158–9 Bonaventure. Serge-Thomas 82. Ludwig 37 Behler. Jean 85 . 65. Saint 26 Bildung 25. 146 Astrology 67 Augustine. 43. The 41 beauty 21. K. 32. Wolfgang 33 being and love 119 Bernanos. Nicholas 142 agape 82. 148. 156 Bonino. 72. 99. 22. 113. 148. 125 Bartholomew I 141 Basil the Great. 84. 153. 75 Aestheticism 33 Aeterni Patris 2. 142. 121. 71. Philip 152. 117. 113. 30. 118. 110 Boeve. 62. 150. Saint 4. 123–4. 104. 122 Beatles. Georges 4. Saint 37 Bauer. 145. Bruno 56 Baur. 14. William 13 Blank. 142. 151. 67. 53. 39. Karl 63. 110. 74. 55. 49. 17–18. Alexander 45. 158 Beethoven. 14. 152. Dante 76 alienation 35 Anderson. 16. 46.

19. 59. 144. 119. 111. J. 86 Council of Trent 48. Bulgakov. Marie-Dominique 27 Christie. 96–7. 30 Buber. 155. Cardinal Paul J. 153. René 2. Henri 19 ‘bourgeois Pelagianism’ 77. 103. Nicholas 31 Cajetan. 144 Comte. Mark 20 Botton. 51. 78. Martin 4. 33 Bureaucracy 91 Cabasilas. Martin 56. 156 Connolly. 29. 52 Dulles. 146. 114. 52. Jean 3. 21. 69. 34 Divino afflante Spiritu 59 Dominus Iesus 149 Dondeyne. 13.INDEX Bosco. 65. 146 Bremond. 154 Cullmann. 113 Chenu. 143. 94. 121 ethos 18. 57. 107–8. 113. 65 D’Arcy. 82. 118. 20. 25. Louis 73 Dupuis. 96–7. 112. Cyril 41 Cordes. 36. Aaron 55. Jacques 131 Ecclesia de Eucharistia 143 Ecclesiae Unitatem 44 Ecumenism 139 Edward Herbert of Cherbury. Albert 109. 113 culture 2. Cardinal Avery 97. Rudolf 56. 110 Dostoyevsky. 76 Drey. Albert 4 Elizabethan martyrs 41 eros 32. 110 Deus Caritas Est 71–2. Auguste 122 Concilium 5. Paul 4. 152. Martin 98 Dahll. 146 Dupré. 94 Canty. 155 Dibelius. 158 European Union 160 existentialism 109 experience 156 196 . 58. 99. 82. 116. 25. Gavin 131 Dei Verbum 48. 14. 89–90. 156 Buddhism 95. 70 capitalism 84 Caputo. 27. 156 democracy 84 Denys. Teilhard de 106. 97. 160 D’Costa. the 43. 49. Anton 24. 146 Darwin. Charles 122. Yves 5. 148 Burbach. Gareth 41 Edwards. 82. 143. 57 Dignitatis Humanae 40 Dionysiac orgies 35 Dionysian music 34 Dionysian cults 32. 98. Sergei 142 Bultmann. H. 64. 89–90. 78 Bouyer. 70. 49. Alexander 19. 15. Minlib 37 Daniélou. Andrew 34 Einstein. Lord 120 Edwards. 110. 95. Alain de 35. Cardinal Thomas 84. 37. 116. 135 Eucharist. 160 Chardin. 84. 98. 45 Bouillard. 113 Cartesian metaphysics 37 Cavanaugh. Shear-Yashuv 135 Communio 5. Oscar 96. 83. Henri 19 Bruckner. Agatha 41 Christology 3. Louis 142. 106 Congar. William T. 21. 87–8. 121. J. 116. 153 Cohen. John D 95 caritas 116 Caritas in Veritate 72. Johann Sebastian 10 Dru. 56. 142. or Pseudo-Dionysius 148 Descartes. 142. 113. 132 Classical Thomism 49 Claudel. Fyodor 4. 52.

112. Graham 41 Gregorian chant 30 Gregory Nazianzus. 112. 82. hope and love 16. Paul 148 Haecker. 125. 102. Martin 1. 95. Countess Amalie von 11. 133 family. 155. John 131 Hildebrand. Eveline 72 goodness 71 Goyau. Germain 87 Guardini. 100. 113. 86. 93. Hans Georg 60 Galen. 58. 60. 71. Sigmund 8 Fries. 121. Thomas 158 Hick. 155 Hibbs. 106. Etienne 84. 91. Paul 99 Herder. 113 Geist 25 German Idealism 104 Gifts of the Holy Spirit 71 Gilson. Joachim 76 Gnosticism 118 Goethe. 40. Alice von 22 Hildebrand. 38. 156 Gügler. 3. 99. 72. 85 “Heenan Indult” 41 Hegel. 112. Maurice 8 Gaudium et spes 21. Stylianos 148 Havel. Clemens-August Graf von 154 Gallitzin. 61. Saint 67 Gregory Nazianzus Foundation 142 Gregory of Nyssa. Georges 142 ‘folk liturgies’ 40 Freedom 2. Maximilian Heinrich 112 Heisenberg. 64. 12. 40. 113. Theodor 4. 154 hermeneutics 10. 123. Georges 19 Greene. 122 Heidegger. 60. 11. Franz von 11 Gadamer. 23 Hinduism 148 historical-critical method 56 history 1. 59. 19. 66. 153 Gnilka. Reginald 84 Gauchet. 51. 9. 81. 45. 84. 84. 137 Faith. 122. Werner 4 Hellenism 96 de-hellenization 137 Hemming. Ibn 136–7 Healy. 23. 111. 153. 121.INDEX Faith and history 10 Faith and reason 16. 117. 18. 62. 53. Heinrich 12 Frings. Vaclav 83 Hazm. 54. 107–8. 95 Harkianakis. 74. 129–30. 135 Feminism 59. 46. 149 French neo-Thomism 15 Freud. Dietrich von 22. 104. 121. the 45. 93. 59. Nicholas J. 101. 157 and ontology 96. 2. 22 Garrigou-Lagrange. 34. 97. 94. 58. 94. 106. Johann Wolfgang von 17 Goodman-Thau. Gustavo 5 Hacker. 124. 47. 38. 116. 116. 28. 103. 62 Feuerbach 95 Fides et ratio 124 Florovsky. 82. 96. 155. 73. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich 95. 56. 107. Saint 19 Grisez. 133. 105. 155 197 . Heinrich Alois 10 Gutiérrez. 103. 56. 109. 136. 49. 39. 156 Heim. 46. 127. Romano 4. Christian 37 Gnilka. 119. Johann Gottfried von 94 ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ 46 ‘hermeneutic of rupture’ 5. Laurence Paul 95 Henry. 17. 72. 106. 122. Cardinal Josef 2 Fürstenberg. 99–100. 108. 97.

142 liberation theology 6. 158–9 La Maladie Catholique 29 Laborem Exercens 88 Langgässer. 131. 75. Alfred 4. 82. David 41 Judaism 15. 29–30. 12 Le Fort. 63. 131 Kantian aesthetics 37 Kaplan. Hans 3. 66. 89. 109. 104. Max 72. 117–18. 149. 143. 136. Walter 145 Kerr. 150. René 44. 80. 16. 42. 158 logos 18. 116. Emmanuel 14 Liberalism 74. 73 Kriele. 37. Werner 15 Jansenism 29. Johannes Evangelist von 10 Kultur 25 Küng. 10. 133 Horkheimer. Archbishop Marcel 40. 131 Kobler. Johannes B. 101. 155. 83 Iconoclasm 30 Incarnation 28. 156 Lessing. 81. Immanuel 2. 32. Cardinal William 140 Levinas. 67. 121. 58. Søren 19. Zdzisław 83 Kraynak. 39. Pope 2 Leonine Thomism 2 Lérins. 148. 46. Grant 10. Vincent de 49. Vladimir 142 Lotz. 73. 104. Saint 78. E. 32. 55. Paul 127. 93. 109 Jewish eschatology 58 Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible. 113. 132. 88. 122–3. 97. Pope 6. 81. 91. 127. 136. John Francis 13 Kopff. 113. 107. 82. 152 Justification 148 Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification 139. 108. 8. Saint 25 Kant. Karen 95 Knitter. 153. 97.INDEX Hitler. Gertrude von 4 Lefebvre. 157 Jaspers. Friedrich 94 hope 16. Fergus 3 Kierkegaard. 91. 70. Karl 13. 64–5 Kasper. 138 Jaeger. 94 love 21. 7. 159 Lefebvre. 102. 63. 103 Kuhn. 123. 74. 93. 71. 95. 151 Justin. 13. 105. The 58–9 inter-religious dialogue 129. 142 Islam 116. 99. 71. 158 liturgy 22. 129. Robert P. 59 Interpretation of the Bible in the Church. Gotthold Ephraim 10 Levada. Christian 15 Krasnodebski. 105. 157. 62. 61. Calvin M 33 John. 5. 66. 125. Elisabeth 4 Läpple. 95 Kilby. 156. 80. 38. 75 Hugh of St Victor 30 Humanae Vitae 41. 154. 48. 127 Lossky. 117–18. Adolf 95 Hölderlin. 44. 4. 107–8. 73. 120. M. 81. 122. 123–4. 38. 124–5. 29. 157 Jones. 124. 131. 126. 160 individuality 105–6 International Theological Commission 28–9. 107 John of the Cross 155 John Paul II. 134. The 58–9 Johansson. 54. 86. 73. 154 Leo XIII. 124. 198 .

Paul de 38 Marcel. 66. 39. 117. 159 Mozart. 74. Jürgen 72 monotheistic revolution 116 Montag. Nancy 41 modernism 2 modernity 6. 73. 133. Saint 107 Mauriac. 131 Metz. 84. 99. 155. Martin 50. Cardinal Henri de 5. 72. 62. 156 Nemoianu. Emmanuel 155 Mouroux. 109. 37 Müller. 87. Graham 158 Meisner. 142. Cardinal Albert 48 Michnik. Johann Baptist 5. Friedrich 23. 62. 41. François 4 Maximus the Confessor. 30. Gabriel 109 Maritain. 154. 102. Alasdair 52. 64–5. 126 Nature and grace 47. John 49. 152–3. 85. 39. 25. 94. 84. 154 Lutherans 149 Lyotard. 69. 72.INDEX 107–8. 160 ‘Modman’ 45 ‘Modman Nihilist’ 45 ‘Modman Philistine’ 45. 12. 67. 113. 20. 42. Jean 156 Moynihan. 83 Möhler. 62. 154–5. 153. Francesca 142 Murray. 158–9 Meyer. 94. Max 94 Murphy. 65. 138 magnanimitas 80 Man. Wolfgang Amadeus 23. 109. 96–7. 122. Livio 112 memory 45 Memory and Reconciliation: the Church and the Faults of the Past 59 Mercier. 153. 109. Saint 19 McAleer. 132–3. John 131–2. 143. John Courtney 87 Mystical religion 127 Mystical theology 114. 11. 112. 74. 106. 115 Mysticism 116 Natural theology 114. 50 Montini (Pope Paul VI) 89 ‘moralism’ 131. 159 and knowledge 123–4 and reason 118–19. 45. 95 Nihilism 45. John Henry 4. 51. 122. 82. 156. Karl 95. 73. 159 Lubac. 108. 112. 72. 146. 82. 113. 94. Adam 83 Milbank. Jacques 78 Marx. 73. 88. 100. 148. 156. 86. 120. 45. 158 mass culture 35. 49. Saint 141 Nichols. Aidan 29. 87. 124. 138 Mitford. 21. 59. 123. Cardinal Joachim 23 Melina. 157 Nicholas of Myra. Richard John 87 New Age movement 127 New liturgical movement 42 Newman. 123. 158. 119. 19. 126. 122 Marxism 6. 67. 79 ‘mass man’ 38 material progress 84 Matthew. 8. 157 Moltmann. 118. 95. 28. 23. 125. Jean-François 158 MacIntyre. 157 Lumen Gentium 67. 19. 141. 125. 46 199 . Johann Adam 10. 36. Cardinal Désiré-Joseph 140 metaphysics 98–9. 155 Mounier. 115. 142–3. 112–13 Neo-Thomism 15 Neuhaus. 75. 149 Nietzsche. 20. 19. 99–100. 49. 146–7. Robert 150. 120. 143 Luther. Virgil 11 Neo-scholasticism 2.

25. 15. 99. 62–3 Paul. 82 personalism 109 Petrine office 21. 30. 18. 100. 99 Péguy. 91. 106. 46. 25. 142 Pfnür. 19. 56 relationality 15. 35 Populorum Progressio 88. 48. 77. 17. 153 ‘pious pelagianism’ 75. 84 ‘pure reason’ 16. Cyril 53. 66 ‘pastoral pragmatism’ 33 pastoral strategies. 76. 110 relativism 2. Raymond 131 Papandréou. 69. 160 Pieper. Vinzenz 148 phenomenology 109 Philistinism 38. 5. 106.INDEX ‘noosphere’ 106–7. 106. 129 Ouellet. 23. 106–10 Nostra Aetate 136 Novak. 16. H. 140. 113. 40. 109. the 159 Orthodoxy 118 Orthopraxis 118. 94. Damaskinos 148 ‘parish tea-party liturgies’ 33 Paschal mystery 32. 113 O’Regan. 142 200 . 54. 34 Pickstock. Catherine 35. 103. 95. 126 redemption 30. Karl 4. 81. 65. 95 Origen 19 Orthodox. 101. Michael 27 Political moralism 129 Political theology 114 polyphony 30 Pontifical Biblical Commission 58–9 Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue 131 Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace 88 Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity 139 pop music 34. 96. 158–9 rationalism 2. 103. 125. 101. 160 pragmatism 33 presumption 79 ‘primitive emotionalism’ 33 Progress 74 Protestantism 26. 45. 33. 27. 95. Saint 68. 156. 89 postmodernism 62 postmodernity 66. 158 puritanical functionalism 33 Radbertus. 51. 41. Erich 11. 63. R. Michael 87 Nuptial mystery 144 O’Meara. 72. 93. 23. Adriaan 128 perichoresis 71. 79. correlationist 27. Cardinal Marc 144 Panikkar. 112. 46. 23. 113 Norton. 123 Redemptor Hominis 99 Redemptoris Missio 130. 107. 145 Paul VI. 80. 82. 126. 120. 88. Pope 5–6. 91. 146 Polanyi. 109 Platonism 31. Charles 20 Peperzak. Alcuin 43 Reimarus. 96–7. 74. 34 Platonic 73. Pope 132–3 Planck. 84. 26. 155 Pius XI. 102. Max 4 Plato 30. Thomas F 3 Ontology 1. 30. Josef 4. 99. 148. 102. 94. S. 5. 158. 19. 48. 132 Reformation 26. 73. 45–6 Philosophical anthropology 15. 93. 96 Reid. E. 126. Paschasius 72 Radical orthodoxy 63 Rahner. 156 Providentissimus Deus 59 Przywara.

153. Max 13. 124. Duns 137 Scripture 1. 50. 49. James V. 126. 35. 68. 156 Summorum Pontificum 40. 29. Gottlieb 12. 96. 113. F. 79 rock music 32. 160 secularization 80 sexuality 6. 45. 43. 40. 10. 48. 83. 55. 43 Taylor. 155 Rosen. 69. 113 Sombart. 135–6. 119. 9. 126 Spinoza. 117. 84. Leo 73 Suárez. 41. 106. 69. 23. 5. 51. Jean-Paul 16 Schall. Robert 85. 137 Scheeben. 4. 144 ‘sacro-pop’ 33. 158–9 Schindler. 155 Schelling. 111–12 presence 46–7 Sacramentality 15 Sacraments 97. Baruch 95 Stafford. 46 Schillebeeckx. 85–6. 16. G. 105 Sacramentum Caritatis 42. 143. 56. 45. 143 Scheler. 158 Romanesque 31 Romantic movement 2. 148. Matthias Joseph 10–11. 158 Sailer. Gustav 94 Social Darwinism 73 Society of Pius X 44 Sollicitudo rei Socialis 88 Söhngen. 112. 70. 76. Michael 146 Theological anthropology 2. 159. 90. 142. D. 55. 95.INDEX Renaissance 26. Rabbi 133 Rush. Michael 50 scholasticism 2. 73. Roger 35. 31. 85–6. Ormond 68 Russian Orthodox Church 141–2 Sacramental life 105 order 66. Cardinal Angelo 144 Scotus. 127–8. 19. 97–8. Count Friedrich Leopold zu 11 Strauss. 99. 86. 71. Heinrich 148 Schmaus. 63. 156 201 . 61. 153 secularism 79. H. 21. Sophie 11 Schopenhauer 95 Scola. Werner 77 Spaemann. 65–6. 70. Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph 10 Schenk. 153 and tradition 62. 3. Cardinal James 26 Staudinger. 82. 46 Baroque 154–5 Scholl. 53. 160 Second Vatican Council 2. 88. 153. 56 Strauss. 119–20 Renan. 78. 51. 51. 157 Siewerth. 27. 102. 112–13. 34. 86 Schlier. Charles 73 Tertio Millennio Adveniente 100 Tertullian 25 Theobald. 112–13. Edward 4. 129 Spe Salvi 72. 156 Ricci. 148. Matteo 37 Richard of St Victor 111 rock concerts 34. Ernest 56 revelation 21. Hugo 33 Stein. Edith 11 Stoic philosophy 58. David L. 137. 123. 74. 152. 126 Stolberg. 104. 46. 146 Scruton. 41. 11. 25. 134. 73. 121. 42. 22. 72. 61. 96. Francisco 49. 9. 117–18. 93. 98–9. Johann Michael von 10 Salvation history 96. 113. 40. 36. 50. 136 Sartre.

94. 157 Veritatis Splendor 155 Vico. 40 Vanhoozer. 48. 156. 105. 40. Council of 54 Trinity 71. 66. David S. Carl Maria von 24 ‘Westman’ 45 ‘Whig Thomism’ 87. 79. 82. 153. 88 Williamson. Richard 44 Wojtyła. 148. Saint 2. 123–4 Thérèse of Lisieux. Saint 105 Thomas Aquinas. 74 Voluntarism 136. 85. 51. Cardinal Albert 51 Varro. 143. 14. Ernst 4 Wiegel. 50. 157 Traditional Anglican Communion 150 traditionalists 38. David 27. Rudolf 94 Voegelin. E. 99. 62–3. 155 Tracy. D. 17. 113 Wiechert. Eric 73. 137 Walker. 13. Giambattista 122 Voderholzer. Karol 5. 46. 14. 15. Peter 4. Vincent 1 Ut Unum Sint 138 ‘utlity music’ 33. 44. 88. 111 Truth 2. Kevin 61 Vanhoye. 49.INDEX Theological virtues 16. 64. 62–3 Trent. 3. 158–9 tradition 1. 90. 62. 155. George 87. 154. 53. 45. 80. 89. Evelyn 41 Weber. Adrian 89 Watkin. 115. 14. 13. 155 Yeago. 47 202 . 73. 104. 36. 41. 91. 71. Marcus Terrentius 114. 63. I. William 13 Wust. 113 Wordsworth. 46. 13 Waugh. 110. 3. 49. 71 and love 113 Twomey.