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Joseph Ratzinger - Essays

Joseph Ratzinger
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Joseph Ratzinger

Colin O’Connor
Joseph Ratzinger was born at Marktl am Inn. Marktl am Inn is located in Bavaria, Germany. Joseph’s father was an anti-Nazi police officer. His father later retired from his job in 1937. He settled in a town called Traustein. In 1941 when Joseph Ratzinger turned 14, he had to join the Hitler Youth by law. Later in 1943, when he was 16 he was drafted by the anti-air force corps along with the rest of his class. They were drafted to protect a BMW plant outside Munich. Then Joseph Ratzinger was sent to military training. Then he was sent to Hungary to re-construct an anti-tank defense. Then in April 1944, he deserted the plan. He was held at a POW camp in 1945. When he was there he attended de-Nazification classes. When he was released in June, he went to a Catholic seminary. His brother Georg entered as well. Cardinal Faulhaber of Munich ordained Joseph and Georg Ratzinger on June 29, 1951.
From 1959 until 1963, he was a professor at the University of Bonn. Later in 1966, at the University of Tubigen, he took a chair in diplomatic theology. In 1969, at the University of Regensburg, in Bavaria, Germany he rose to be the dean and vice-president.
He founded a theological journal “Communio” in 1972. The theological journal “Communio” was published into many different languages. Some of the languages were German, English, and Spanish. “Communio” is one of the most important journals. He was named archbishop of Munich in March 1977.
He was elected pope on April 19, 2005. It was only the second day of the papal conclave. Just after four ballots. He was only the 8th German elected pope. He was also one of the oldest people to be elected pope. Pope Benedict XVI can speak 10 different languages.
In November of 2007, I went to Italy with my uncle Father David O’Connor on a pilgrimage. We went to Assisi, Venice, and Rome. When we got to Rome we went to see the Vatican. We served mass 10 feet away from Pope John Paul II in the Catacombs.

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Karl Ratzinger was born on April 16 in 1927. This was in Marktl in Bavaria which is in the neighborhood of the shrine of Marian. This shrine had been the pilgrimage site for the Austrians and Bavarians for many years and which can be traced to the middle ages. There is something special in this day because it was on a Holy Saturday of Easter and as the Easter service was being celebrated that day, he was baptized. He is the third born to his parents, Joseph and Mary. Joseph worked as a police constable and therefore the nature of his duties required him to move from place to place with his family. However, this was also partly influenced by the unstable politics during those days. The family moved to Tittmoning in 1929 where they stayed until 1932 when life became intolerable as a result of Joseph's opposition to the Nazi. The family moved to Aschau that year where Ratzinger started his education at a local school. The family stayed in Aschau until 1937 when Joseph retired from the police service. Meanwhile, Joseph had bought a house at Traunstein in 1933 and the family moved into this house after his retirement.Following the family's settlement at Traunstein, Ratzinger started secondary school studies in history, Greek and Latin. In 1939, he joined the minor seminary at the request of his elder brother Georg who was studying there himself. Life at the seminary was however not very comfortable for Ratzinger due to the inflexibility of the studies and his indifference to sports especially athletics. The seminary was later to be relocated to a convent school following the use of the seminary as a military hospital during the World War 2. Ratzinger and his colleagues were compelled to to join the anti-aircraft unit and then transferred to Munich to continue with their secondary education when not on duty. In 1944, had become of age to join the military and served at the border of Austria and Hungary. He however became sick and was excused of his duties. That was to be a short while though because when the Americans arrived, he was forced to go back to military. He served for a short while and later escaped with a hurt in his arm.

Ratzinger and his brother George joined the major seminary in 1945 at Freising which at that time was also being used as a hospital for prisoners of war from foreign countries. He started his studies in theology in 1947 in Munich and in 1951, together with his brother Georg, they were ordained to become priests. He served in the parish in Munich for fifteen years after which he went back to the seminary at Freising as a teacher. His responsibilities at the seminary school included attachment with the youth and in liturgy. He completed his doctorate degree in 1953 and consequently became a doctor but had to do another book to attain the pinnacle of scholarship in Germany which he did and in 1957 acquired the degree.

He became a lecturer in a Munich University in 1958. In 1959, he was appointed as the chairman of fundamental theology at Bonn. In 1962, he was appointed by Joseph Frings, then a cardinal archbishop to be a theological advisor to him in Vatican and also to be an official theologian. In 1963, he moved from at Bonn to the University of Munster. In 1966, he was appointed as a chair in the University of Tubingen at the dogmatic theology. He taught at the faculty until 1969 when he moved to the University of Regensburg due to unrests by the students. He remained at this University for the entire life in academics. In 1969, he was appointed to the International Theological Commission. He was appointed the archbishop of Bavaria in 1977 and later in the same year, he was made a cardinal.He was made prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education in 1981 and during this time as a prefect, he wrote twenty books. In 1992, he was formally given the Academie Francaise. He was a member in five top Vatican congregations, Christian unity and pontifical commissions. He authored the book "Introduction to Christianity" which was once the best selling book and also very pivotal in Catholic theology (WEIGEL, G. 2005). He was elected the pope in 2005.

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On the other side of the argument, most Americans are against same-sex marriage (Ratzinger 23-24). . The Catholic Church considers homosexual unions evil, and the legalization of an evil, as happens when gay marriages are sanctioned, is different from merely tolerating the evil of homosexual unions.Allowing same-sex couples to adopt children would.
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On the other side of the argument, most Americans are against same-sex marriage (Ratzinger 23-24). . The Catholic Church considers homosexual unions evil, and the legalization of an evil, as happens when gay marriages are sanctioned, is different from merely tolerating the evil of homosexual unions.Allowing same-sex couples to adopt children would.
1593 Words 6 Pages Has Bibliography

Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) points out in his writings for the Vatican Information Service (1998:1-2) that there are some passages and certain points made in De MelloÆs writings that are, at least in part, at odds with Catholic Church doctrine.Ratzinger (1998:1-2) first notes that de MelloÆs writings have some very.
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Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) points out in his writings for the Vatican Information Service (1998:1-2) that there are some passages and certain points made in De Mello's writings that are, at least in part, at odds with Catholic Church doctrine.Ratzinger (1998:1-2) first notes that de Mello's writings have some very.
1172 Words 5 Pages

One of the things that characterises an adult is scepticism about anyone's claim of goodness. We learn from harsh experience that everyone û and every institution, which after all is made up of fallible human beings û is capable of behaving badly under the proper circumstances.The faith of true be.
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This paper is an examination of the issues and controversies surrounding the ordination of women in the Catholic Church. An increasing number of theologians, scholars, feminists, and others, including both men and women, has begun pressing the Church to reevaluate its ban on ordaining women and allowing them to play an active role in the ministry.
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The 20 Most Influential Christian Scholars

Super Scholar’s 20 most influential Christian scholars have profoundly influenced the world by advancing Christian belief, by reconceptualizing it, or even by fundamentally challenging it. In any case, each of the thinkers below has deeply impacted Western culture’s self-understanding.

Francisco Ayala

Francisco Ayala (b. 1934), an evolutionary biologist and geneticist at the University of California, Irvine, is well known as both a Catholic cleric and defender of Darwinian evolution. He has derided the idea that the universe or life show evidence of intelligent design. He urges lay people to embrace Darwinism and has called design “blasphemous.” Despite ongoing controversies over Darwinism, especially in the United States, he commented on 2009’s bicentennial celebrations of Darwin as follows: “Charles Darwin would be ecstatic, overcome with joy and fulfillment. At age 200, he would be celebrating the greatest and happiest birthday of his life.” Ayala has received many honors for his work, including the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion and the National Medal of Science.

Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger)

Joseph Ratzinger (b. 1927) was elected Pope Benedict XVI. As Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before his election, he was responsible for maintaining the integrity of Roman Catholic doctrine. To this end, he organized a re-edit of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He has been noted for prayer cards, widely distributed in Rome in many languages, saying that we are not exclusively a product of evolution. Not shy of controversy, he claimed, in his Regensburg Address, that Islam has a tendency to descend into violence. Though much derided for this address, he claimed it is firmly anchored in the Catholic teaching on natural justice.

Peter Berger

Peter L. Berger (b. 1929) is a sociologist, who, starting in 1985, was director of the Institute for the Study of Economic Culture based at Boston University. He is best known for his sympathetic treatment of traditional religious beliefs that have guided humanity for thousands of years. Accounting for a worldwide resurgence of religion, he noted that there is an intractable conflict between the certainties by which people have lived for thousands of years and the secularity of an elite culture advancing rapidly to power in the Western world. His best known work is in social constructionism, a school of thought that focuses on uncovering the ways in which individuals and groups participate in the creation of their perceived reality.

Gregory Boyd

Gregory Boyd (b. 1957) is a Yale-educated open theology advocate and senior pastor at the mega Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minneapolis. An atheist who became a Christian in 1974, Boyd turned to open theism in response to the many unanswered questions and objections that he saw raised by traditional understandings of God. Explaining why God cannot know the future, he has said, “The primary reason I hold to the open view is that I simply can’t with integrity make sense out of a wealth of Scripture unless I suppose that the future somewhat consists of possibilities.” As founder of Christus Victor Ministries, he seeks to promote this understanding of God. Two of his most influential books are God of the Possible and Satan and the Problem of Evil.

Benjamin Carson

In 1987, neurosurgeon and Johns Hopkins professor Benjamin Carson (b. 1951) made medical history when he took the risk of operating on a pair of Siamese twins (the Binder twins) joined at the back of the head. These operations had usually failed, in previous medical experience, resulting in the death of either or both of the twins. The operation, led by Dr. Carson, lasted 22 hours. At the end, the twins were successfully separated and can now survive independently. The author of several popular books and the recipient of numerous awards and honorary doctorates, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Carson is a vigorous defender of religious values in the public square. A well known quote by him states, “To THINK BIG and to use our talents doesn’t mean we won’t have difficulties along the way. We will—we all do. If we choose to see the obstacles in our path as barriers, we stop trying.”

Francis Collins

Francis Collins (b. 1950) is a geneticist recognized for completing, on behalf of the United States government, the map of the human genome (this project, more than a decade in the making, was completed in April 2003). He is best known in the popular literature for his book The Language of God (Free Press, 2006). In that book he argues for the compatibility of evangelical Christianity and Darwinian evolution. His thinking is welcomed by many Christians who want science and faith to be fully compatible. He founded Biologos, a website dedicated to faith and science, whose main aim is to promote “theistic evolution.” When President Barack Obama appointed him to head the National Institutes of Health in 2009, Collins resigned his position with Biologos (though he retains strong ties to its leadership).

John Dominic Crossan

John Dominic Crossan (b. 1934) was co-chair of the Jesus Seminar from 1985 to 1996, which at semi-annual meetings debated the historicity of the life of Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels. Overwhelmingly, the Jesus Seminar has concluded that the vast majority of sayings usually ascribed to Jesus were never in fact uttered by him. Crossan has written twenty-five books on the historical Jesus and the historical Paul, five of which have been national religious bestsellers, including The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant (1991). He has lectured worldwide to lay and scholarly audiences, and appeared in many key media venues. His basic message is that Jesus must be understood in historical context not as God per se but as a liberating figure who advanced the Kingdom of God.

Robert P. George

Robert P. George (b. 1955) is Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. As a conservative Roman Catholic, he encourages students to confront contentious issues such as abortion, the death penalty, war, and affirmative action. Currently he serves on UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology. He is the author of In Defense of Natural Law, Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality, and The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis. He was the principal intellectual architect behind the highly controversial Manhattan Declaration, which advocates civil disobedience once the power of government infringes too directly on Christian ethical norms.

John Hick

John Hick (b. 1922) began his career teaching Christian theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. Turning to a pluralistic conception of faith, he has since focused on bringing religious harmony to the global society. In his view, a deeper underlying unity underlies otherwise divergent ideas about God. He has spoken against attempts by politicized neuroscientists to “debunk” belief in God. Perry Schmidt-Leukel, Chair of World Religions for Peace at the University of Glasgow, has said, “John Hick’s search for universal truth and globally valid moral standards is, despite some of his unorthodox conclusions, far more in line with the intellectual thrust of the theological tradition than the post-modern defenders of neo-‘orthodoxy’.” Hick’s work stresses the need for dialogue across religious divides as well as the view that all human responses to God are culturally conditioned.

Hans Küng

Hans Küng (b. 1928), a Swiss Catholic priest, is known as a severe critic of Catholic teachings on lifestyle, especially in the matter of sexual abuse charges involving Catholic clergy. He charges the current pope of merely “whining” about criticism and being “principally responsible for the worldwide cover-up” and believes that Catholic culture encourages abuse of minors. He is known for the millennial belief that “after two world wars, the collapse of fascism, Nazism, communism and colonialism and the end of the cold war, humanity has entered a new phase of its history.” For many years a professor at the University of Tübingen and a prolific author (notably of On Being a Christian and Does God Exist?), he is inclined to view all religions as equal.

Robert J. Marks II

Robert J. Marks II (b. 1950), Baylor University’s leading research professor, has emerged as the public face of intelligent design. As the movement’s premier scientist, he has been dubbed “the Charles Darwin of intelligent design.” At one point, his research on intelligent design was removed by Baylor officials from the university’s website. Since then he has published seminal work on such themes as whether computers have minds and whether Darwinian processes can generate biological information. He is widely quoted as saying, “Computers are no more able to create information than iPods are capable of creating music.” His Law of Conservation of Information purports to demonstrate inherent limitations on natural selection, suggesting that the intricate information needed for life requires an intelligent source.

Michael W. McConnell

As director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center, Michael W. McConnell (b. 1955) is a widely respected authority on the separation of powers between church and state, federalism, constitutional law, as well as originalism—the idea that the Founders’ words mean what they say, as opposed to later creative interpretations. He is well known for his work on freedom of religion—a critical area of constitutional law, currently much debated. He supports a constitutional amendment banning abortion. His center at Stanford was founded in 2006 to explore and improve public understanding of the most pressing constitutional issues. Before joining Stanford in 2009, McConnell served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

R. Albert Mohler

R. Albert Mohler (b. 1959) is professor of systematic theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, where he serves as its president. Mohler epitomizes the resurgence in conservative theology that is sweeping the evangelical Christian world. The history of 20th century Christianity showed a steady disintegration of traditional Christian belief in the face of creeping secularization and liberalism. Mohler’s Southern Baptist Convention was the first instance of a large Christian denomination that had been sliding into secularity radically moving to the right. Mohler, as leader of the Southern Baptist’s flagship seminary, is the most visible intellectual and public face of the New Evangelicalism.

Wolfhart Pannenberg

A Lutheran, Wolfhart Pannenberg (b. 1928) learned wariness of all ideologies when pressed into service in the last days of the Nazi Third Reich. Rational reflection on the devastations the Nazis had wrought led him to become a serious Christian, especially through a high school literature teacher who was a member of the endangered Confessing Church (the element of the Christian church that remained faithful to the tenets of Christianity, often at ultimate cost). Pannenberg champions the idea that faith should be based on reason and evidence. His best known work is Jesus: God and Man in which he argues that the Resurrection is “the ground of Jesus’ unity with God.”

Alvin Plantinga

Alvin Plantinga (b. 1932), professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, has led the way in the rational defense of Christian belief, turning Christian philosophy into a recognized area of academic scholarship. An expert in epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion, he has authored many influential books, including God and Other Minds, The Nature of Necessity, and a trilogy on epistemology—Warrant: The Current Debate, Warrant and Proper Function, and Warranted Christian Belief. Coming from a Dutch reformed background, he is a proponent of Reformed epistemology. His evolutionary argument against naturalism has placed him at odds with atheistic Darwinists.

Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson (b. 1943) is both a fiction and non-fiction writer. She is author of the novel Home, which won the Orange Prize (2009) and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her Gilead (Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2004) won a Pulitzer Prize. She also wrote Housekeeping (FSG, 1980), as well as two books of nonfiction, Mother Country (FSG, 1989) and The Death of Adam. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. An Economist review (February 5, 2009) pointed out that “Her work always evokes a reverence for the landscape, a grateful humility before nature.” She has always been quite clear on the divide between the Christian tradition and scientific reductionism.

Rosemary Radford Ruether

Among the most widely regarded and readable of feminist theologians, Rosemary Radford Ruether (b. 1936), a Roman Catholic, is the Carpenter Professor of Feminist Theology at the Pacific School of Theology. Her book Sexism and God-Talk is considered a classic in the field of feminist theology and has been described as “the only systematic feminist treatment of the Christian symbols to date.” Situating herself on the Christian left, she has been controversial in supporting abortion rights and gay marriage. At the same time, she sees herself as conventionally Christian for embracing the “prophetic” rather than the “hierarchical” tradition of the Church.

Allan Rex Sandage

Allan Rex Sandage (b. 1926), a student of Edwin Hubble, is considered the greatest living observational astronomer. He is credited with the discovery of quasars (high energy distant galaxies) and with empirically determining the age of the universe. After Hubble died in 1953, Sandage continued his work. In 1965, Sandage introduced a method of identifying quasars by using specific radio position. Sandage, who became a Christian at age 60, has argued that “science can answer only a fixed type of question. It is concerned with the what, when, and how. It does not, and indeed cannot, answer within its method (powerful as that method is) why.”

Charles Margrave Taylor

Charles Margrave Taylor (b. 1931), professor emeritus at McGill University in Montreal, has dedicated his career to advancing peaceful co-existence of diverse cultures. Peaceful co-existence has been a perennial concern in his native Canada, as with its threatened breakup in 1976 when a separatist party became the government of Quebec. As a philosopher and political theorist, Taylor’s scope is global. His best known book is Sources of Self, in which he traces the disintegration in western culture of theistically grounded morality. Taylor has received many honors and awards for his work, including the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

N. T. Wright

Nicholas Thomas Wright (b. 1948), widely known as “Tom” or “N.T.,” is the former Anglican bishop of Durham and presently a research professor at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He is a preeminent New Testament scholar, best known for his works defending orthodox Christian belief. His book The Resurrection of the Son of God was so influential that even Antony Flew, the late atheist scholar turned deist, praised it in his own book There IS a God (2007). Wright has defended his practice of writing “god” with a small “g” explaining that “in the first century, as well as the twenty-first, the question is not whether we believe in god … but which out of many available candidates we might be talking about.”

A Jesus Worth Dying For: A Review of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger s On The Way to Jesus Christ

Christology seems to have come full circle.

Beginning with Albert Schweitzer’s Quest For the Historical Jesus. initiated at the turn of the twentieth century, and accented with Rudolf Bultmann’s existentialist approach, theological inquiry into the person of Christ has been gradually picking up speed on a downward spiral, hitting rock bottom in the last many years when many theologians, under the pretext of licit academic freedom, have been found writing off even the most rudimentary elements of ecclesiastical teaching; teachings hammered out in the beginning centuries of the post-apostolic era.

Most recently, Roger Haight–former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA)–was under investigation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) for ideas he forwarded in his book, Jesus Symbol of God. The inquiry into his work climaxed at the beginning of this year when the CDF, then under of leadership of Joseph Ratzinger–now, Pope Benedict XVI–published a notification on Haight’s book, claiming that it denied the divinity of Jesus, the Trinity, the salvific value of Jesus’ death, the exclusive and universal mediation of Christ in salvation, and the resurrection.

One would be naive to think that the lack of such notifications on the part of the magisterium would mean that Haight is a black spot on a white wall; this could not be further from the truth. In the midst of a quite telling defense given to the theologian throughout the academic world, the most appropriate of responses came from Jesuit, Gerald O’Collins, who said, "I wouldn’t give my life for Roger Haight’s Jesus. It’s a triumph of relevance over orthodoxy". Indeed, it is.

It is into this scene that we welcome Ratzinger’s newest book, On the Way to Jesus Christ . In this timely collection of essays, from a scholar who has so often been at the forefront of these debates, he responds again to the question of Christ: "Who do you say that I am". While many theologians seem to suggest that there can be no true and orthodox response to this inquiry, Ratzinger shows that the mystery of Christ is such that while there are certainly boarders within which one must swim, theological speculation, faithful to the Church, is like an ocean–virtually inexhaustible.

It is ironic that the re-construction of the "historical Jesus" is being taken on by the same strand of thinkers whose philosophical presuppositions led to the deconstruction to begin with. This "band of scholarship", notes Ratzinger, "forbids God access to the world" because is starts with the inference that "history is fundamentally and always uniform and that therefore nothing can take place in history but what is possible as a result of causes known to us in nature and in human activity." "Divine interventions", he continues, "that go beyond the constant interaction of natural and human causes…cannot be historical." What follows, then, is a God that has no real activity in the world, and "consequently…no ‘revelation’ in the proper sense."

The Church, in the last 2000 years, has encouraged and kept the sciences alive, but in the hands of human beings they have honest limits that many adherents seem unwilling to admit. Ratzinger explains that a science which begins by asserting an inept God–a God that cannot act supernaturally in the world–starts with a tenant that is as un-provable as the notion of a "Creator". Nevertheless, that does not, and should not, keep mankind from reaching beyond the scope of this world into the universe in response their innate thirst for knowledge, and making logical deductions based on clues found within nature.

While faith is certainly the foundation of Christianity, it is a faith that "first acknowledges the dignity and scope of reason". "Reason is critical of religion in its search for truth; yet at its very origins," says Ratzinger, "Christianity sides with reason, and considers this ally to be its principle forerunner"–an admittance that sets Christianity out among the other world religions. Christianity’s believability, nonetheless, transcends the sciences, and one would be remiss to not acknowledge the witness of martyrdom accompanied by a "renewed life", on the part of believers, "which reopens our closed horizons." The Church has historically "regarded conversion to the faith as a positively intellectual journey, in which man is confronted with the ‘doctrine of truth’ and its arguments". Therein man "acquires a new life companionship", and consequently "new experiences and interior progress become possible for him."

While the newest Pontiff explicitly and implicitly responds to the crisis in Christological scholarship throughout the book, his other essays range from a more "aesthetic" approach, reminiscent to that of Hans Urs von Balthasar–one of Ratzinger’s greatest influences–and into a discussion of the Eucharist, including an epilogue reflecting on the reception of the Catechism ten years after its publication.

A book that the average to more advanced reader can appreciate, On the Way to Jesus Christ refrains from mere dogmatic regurgitations. The essays are novel, yet faithful to, and at the service of, the Church, written by a theologian that swims within the ocean of Catholic thought, presenting a Jesus that is truly worth dying for.

[A version of this review will be appearing in Lay Witness magazine. Also, please see this summary on the Haight notification from John Allen Jr. and this piece from]

• John Allen Jr. "Doctrinal Jousting: Theologian's Work Raises Ire of Vatican, as Well as Questions About Authority, Process and the Limits of Scholarship", in National Catholic Reporter (February 25, 2005) p.5-6.
• Roger Haight, Jesus: Symbol of God (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis, 1999).
• Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, On the Way to Jesus Christ (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005).

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Academics at AMU - AMU Professor Awarded Ratzinger Scholarship

Anthony Valle, Adjunct Professor of Theology at Ave Maria University, was awarded the Ratzinger Foundation 2014-2015 academic scholarship. A maximum of five scholarships are awarded annually to doctoral students working on dissertations in theology, patristics and scripture. Valle was one of two Americans awarded the 2014-2015 scholarship; he is joined by scholars from Chile, Benin and Congo.

“I was delighted to receive notification that I was awarded the scholarship,” Valle said. “Given that the aim and mission of the Fondazione Vaticana Joseph Ratzinger-Benedetto XVI is not to promote the thought and work of Joseph Ratzinger in particular, but more generally to promote theological scientific research in all its aspects, I thought they might exclude me from the get-go since my dissertation is specifically on Ratzinger.” Fortunately for Valle, the fact that his doctoral dissertation is on Ratzinger’s Logos doctrine did not preclude him from being considered for the generous scholarship.

The Ratzinger Foundation has three main objectives: first, to promote theological research of a high scientific nature; second, to conduct, carry out and organize academic conferences dealing with timely theological topics; and third, to recognize well-known academics and scholars for their contribution to theology (an award known as the “Ratzinger Prize”). An unofficial fourth objective of the Foundation is the awarding of scholarships (borse di studio ) to young scholars working on doctoral dissertations in theology, patristics and scripture.

Valle said he plans to use the scholarship funds to aid him in the task of completing his dissertation. The financial assistance will give him the means to access books and articles, attend conferences and make the occasional research trip to Europe. “It will enable me to buy books,” Valle explained, “without the usual trouble and difficulty, for example, of having to spend hours upon hours of photocopying. No pun intended, but it buys me time.” The funds will also be spent on things as mundane as paying the bills.

Presumably, the Foundation is funded in part by the royalties collected from Ratzinger’s published works. If that is the case, Valle joked, then “Pope Benedict XVI’s colossal brain power is paying my electricity bill!”

Valle is a member of the Neuer Schülerkreis Joseph Ratzinger-Papst Benedikt XVI. a group which consists of current professors and doctoral students who are working on topics related to Joseph Ratzinger. They are an ancillary part of the original Schülerkreis, a group of former doctoral students of Ratzinger himself, and participate in an annual academic symposium with Pope Benedict in Castel Gandolfo and the Vatican.

Valle’s academic interests include Christology-soteriology and mystical-ascetical theology. He is a candidate for the S.T.D. degree in dogmatic theology at the Pontificia Università della Santa Croce in Rome. He holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in Liberal Studies-Great Books, an M.A. from Columbia University in English and Comparative Literature, an M.A. from St. Joseph’s Seminary in dogmatic theology, and an S.T.L. from the Pontificio Ateneo Regina Apostolorum in dogmatic theology.