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God and the World: Believing and Living in Our Time Paperback – May 27 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Pr (May 27 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898708680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898708684
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 13.5 x 3.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #450,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 8 2006
Format: Paperback
Pope Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, gave an interview to Peter Seewald a few years before the turn of the millennium, in a book entitled 'Salt of the Earth'. A few years after the turn of the millennium, Seewald followed up this earlier publication with this book, 'God and the World'. In it, Seewald take a bit more of a systematic approach to discussing theological topics.
In the first section, the Prologue, Seewald continues in a vein similar to the earlier book, asking questions that are both academic and personal, discussing issues of faith, vocation, mystery and belief. Ratzinger speaks of his personal devotion and prayer practices, which include traditional forms of standard communal prayer (noontime Angelus, Vespers, Compline) as well as his own personal prayer practices, such as reciting a prayer before rising in the morning. He gives an account of how this kind of practice strengthens and reinforces itself, saying that 'the organ of sensitivity to God can atrophy to such an extent that the words of faith become quite meaningless.'
Seewald directs the questions in a format that might serve as a guide to following a systematic theology - while this is not Ratzinger's systematic theology by any means, one can see the philosophical and theological consistency even in the answers to the question-and-answer format. He speaks of God, creation, Christology, scripture, sacraments, ecclesiology, and more. These are done in creative but traditional ways - for example, the section of Christology (speaking of Jesus Christ), the conversation falls under broad headings of Revelation, The Way, The Truth, and The Light (as separate sections). He also explores issues of Mariology and the significance of the Cross.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joe on Nov. 25 2003
Format: Paperback
I don't like writing reviews, but I was moved to after reading the 2* review given to this book. After 'The Ratzinger Report' and 'Salt of the Earth', here we come to the 3rd instalment of the Cardinal at interview. Frankly, it's the best of the lot, and I can't help but come back to it time after time. It touches on many issues with such resonating authenticity and authority that I reckon that you cannot fail to find something to take away and be enriched by. It really does enrich. And it is amazing to think that it is answered off the cuff, as the moment called for. Buy it. It's well worth it. Even if you don't like Ratzinger, or don't give a flying f*ck about religion, he comes up with some real pearls.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An Extraordinary conversational catechesis of the Catholic faith communicated particularly for the people of our time. It is the Excellent follow up to Ratzinger and Seewald's interview 'Salt of the Earth'.
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D on Sept. 29 2003
Format: Paperback
Ratzinger is rather ambiguous in this book in certain doctrines. he doesn't sound 'staunch' or 'orthodox'. seems to be trying to please everyone and it gets 'foggy' at times. rather sad.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Recent reflections by the new pope April 22 2005
By FrKurt Messick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Pope Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, gave an interview to Peter Seewald a few years before the turn of the millennium, in a book entitled 'Salt of the Earth'. A few years after the turn of the millennium, Seewald followed up this earlier publication with this book, 'God and the World'. In it, Seewald take a bit more of a systematic approach to discussing theological topics.

In the first section, the Prologue, Seewald continues in a vein similar to the earlier book, asking questions that are both academic and personal, discussing issues of faith, vocation, mystery and belief. Ratzinger speaks of his personal devotion and prayer practices, which include traditional forms of standard communal prayer (noontime Angelus, Vespers, Compline) as well as his own personal prayer practices, such as reciting a prayer before rising in the morning. He gives an account of how this kind of practice strengthens and reinforces itself, saying that 'the organ of sensitivity to God can atrophy to such an extent that the words of faith become quite meaningless.'

Seewald directs the questions in a format that might serve as a guide to following a systematic theology - while this is not Ratzinger's systematic theology by any means, one can see the philosophical and theological consistency even in the answers to the question-and-answer format. He speaks of God, creation, Christology, scripture, sacraments, ecclesiology, and more. These are done in creative but traditional ways - for example, the section of Christology (speaking of Jesus Christ), the conversation falls under broad headings of Revelation, The Way, The Truth, and The Light (as separate sections). He also explores issues of Mariology and the significance of the Cross.

The sections on the sacraments and the future are both firmly grounded in a sense that they need to be connected to the happenings in this world. Ratzinger looks forward to a resurgence of the spiritual in Christianity, and this perhaps taps into one of his namesakes, the St. Benedict who was an early pioneer in the development of monastic community and spirituality.

Interestingly, given Ratzinger's selection of papal name as Benedict XVI, this interview (the third in-depth interview with Seewald) was conducted at a Benedictine Abbey, the famous Abbey of Monte Cassino.

There are many books that can give good insight into the thinking of the new pope, but this book is a key text to show both his recent thinking, as well as his responses to crucial questions of concern in the current situation in the church and in the world.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
"The belief of Christendom from beginning to end" July 26 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a Cardinal the current Pope gave an astonishing interview to Peter Seewald. The astonishing part of this book is the breadth of the questions asked and the simple but deeply moving answers that were given. If you have read Ratzingers own works, you know that they are not easy reading. This book is very very different. It is an interview and the tone is conversational. Some of the questions asked of him are provoking eg., "Was Jesus a Catholic?" The answers are surprisingly moving, tolerant and reveal a depth of knowledge. Other questions such as "Is God male or female". "What does God look like?" "Is faith an auto-suggestion" etc are handled in the same manner.

If regular theology is too much of a chore for you but you want to know what the theology of Ratzinger/Benedict is, then look no further. This is a very easy-to-read book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Fine Introduction to the Theology of Pope Benedict XVI Dec 5 2005
By Steven K. Szmutko - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In a series of conversations, which took place over several days with journalist Peter Seewald, Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, offers theological insights and explains doctrine in simple direct language. Covering a variety of topics, he systematically explores the notion of God, Jesus Christ, and the Church, and applies the theology to the lives of men and women in contemporary society.

The dialogue format works extremely well, enabling the reader to digest complex issues in small, well-written presentations. The style is simple and direct which flows well, maintaining the reader's attention despite the nature of the topic. Originally written in German, the translation is exceptional; the author's ideas and thoughts are conveyed smoothly, while occasional difficulties are addressed through accompanying footnotes and commentary.

GOD AND THE WORLD is probably the most engaging of all of Pope Benedict's longer works and can be read sequentially or by topic. For those unfamiliar with the Holy Father's writings, this book is probably the best introduction to his understanding of Catholic Theology.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Conversation with the Next Pope March 3 2006
By M. Schleimer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In an interview with Peter Seewald, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) humbly expresses his views and beliefs about God, Jesus and the Church, which gives us an insight into this man's great wisdom and the reasons why he has so rigorously defended these tenets of our faith. When reading this book, one can only marvel that Cardinal Ratzinger's responses are very down-to-earth. You can imagine him sitting across the living room from you, quite at ease, answering your questions, perhaps about creation, about the Trinity, genetics, love and just matter-of-factly explaining this all to you, like a kindly professor or grandfather. On one level, this book appears to be easy to read and understand and it is, yet on another level it is not because his explanations are profound theological thought for clergy, his fellow peers. An intelligent and scholarly theologian, Cardinal Ratzinger responds to probably most of the questions you ever had about our faith. This book is good for everyone who wants information about both the Old Testament and New Testament.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, Insightful, Approachable, Interesting! June 9 2006
By Franciscan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Read this book.

There are so many things that are wonderful about this book; it is hard to know where to begin. First and foremost, this is a fantastic comprehensive synthesis of Ratzinger's views regarding much of the current concerns of the Church and of the world.

Additionally, the question and answer format makes this book extremely accessible, even for those who might think they are too busy to read about the new Pope. I would even say that the topics that are discussed in this interview are of interest to everybody as they do not necessarily revolve around interior Church issues.

Like I said earlier, I suggest that you read this book. It's a great way to start learning more about what Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) is like and how he thinks.


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