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Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures

ISBN-10: 1586171429
ISBN-13: 9781586171421
Edition: 2006
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Description: In this new work, written before his election to the Papal throne, Joseph Ratzinger addresses the "crisis of culture" that is evident in Europe today, and the serious problems that have resulted from that cultural crisis, a crisis that affects not  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Ignatius Press
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 116
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.814
Language: English

In this new work, written before his election to the Papal throne, Joseph Ratzinger addresses the "crisis of culture" that is evident in Europe today, and the serious problems that have resulted from that cultural crisis, a crisis that affects not only Europe but the West in general. Some of the results of the crisis are greather threats to security, growing poverty, the dangers of genetic engineering, and a decline in "moral energy." Europe's Christian roots and foundation are being replaced by "modern Enlightenment philosophy" says the Pope. Such philosophies recognize only what can be mathematically or scientifically proven, and deny any metaphysical reality. Unable to recognize God's existence or objective truth, morality is consequently reduced to a relative concept, leading to a "confused ideology of freedom that leads to dogmatism" and ultimately "to the self-destruction of freedom," says Pope Benedict. He cited the growing intolerance of the criticism of homosexuality as an example of this phenomenon. What the Poep offers as an answers to the nihilistic secularism that pervades Europe, and the West, is not politics, but a spiritual renewal based on the powerful example in history of St. Benedict and the amazing cultural impact the Benedictine Order had on a similarly declining Europe in the Middle Ages. Beginning in the 6th century, Benedictine monasteries and spirituality saved Western Europe from a descent into barbarism after the fall of the Roman Empire and subsequently became the continent's main instrument of learning, literature and cultural revival. The book is divided into three main sections titled: "The Crisis of Cultures"; "The Right of Life and Europe"; "What Doesit Mean to Believe?"

Joseph Ratzinger was born on April 16, 1927 in Marktl am Inn in the state of Bavaria, Germany. Ratzinger entered the minor seminary in Traunstein, in 1939 and in 1943 along with the rest of his seminary class he was drafted into the Flak [anti-aircraft corps]. In 1944 he was released from the Flak and returned home only to be drafted into labor detail under the infamous Austrian Legion. In the spring of 1945 Ratzinger deserted the army and headed home but when the Americans arrive at his village shortly thereafter, he was identified as a German soldier and incarcerated in a POW camp for a brief time. Following his release he re-entered the seminary. In 1951 Joseph was ordained into the priesthood and began lectures as a full professor of fundamental theology at the University of Bonn. From 1962-65 Ratzinger was present during all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council as a peritus, or chief theological advisor to Cardinal Joseph Frings of Cologne, Germany. . In 1977 Joseph Ratzinger was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and on June 27 elevated to Cardinal of Munich by Pope Paul VI. In 1981 Ratzinger accepted Pope John Paul II's invitation to take over as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and in 1986 he was appointed head of a 12-member commission responsible for drafting the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Ratzinger was elected vice dean of the College of Cardinals in 1988. In 2002 Pope John Paul II, approved his election as dean of the College of Cardinals. On April 8, 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger presided over the funeral of Pope John Paul II. On April 19, 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Bishop of Rome on the fourth ballot of the conclave and took the name Benedict XVI.

Marcello Pera has been professor of philosophy of science at the Universities of Catania and Pisa and is now teaching at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He is a senator and has served as the President of the Italian Senate from 2001 to 2006. A visiting fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, the Linguistics and Philosophy Department at MIT, the London School of Economics, the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute, Pera has lectured in many universities and research centers throughout Europe and America. Pera’s numerous publications includeThe Ambiguous Frog: The Galvani-Volta Controversy on Animal Electricity(Princeton University Press, 1991) andThe Discourses of Science(University of Chicago Press, 1994). In 2005, he co-authored a book with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) entitledWithout Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam(Basic Books).

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