- Paperback: 156 pages
- Publisher: Ignatius Pr (Nov. 1 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0898707021
- ISBN-13: 978-0898707021
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.3 x 19.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 113 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #862,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977 Paperback – Nov 1 1998
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About the Author
Pope Benedict XVI (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) is widely recognized as one of the most brilliant theologians and spiritual leaders of our age. As Pope he authored the best-selling Jesus of Nazareth; and prior to his pontificate, he wrote many influential books that continue to remain important for the contemporary Church, such as Introduction to Christianity and The Spirit of the Liturgy.
Top customer reviews
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But in addition to the personal, we also have insight into the theological and cultural currents in the Church from the end of the Second World War into the late seventies. Especially interesting is Ratzinger's view of the Second Vatican Council from within and how destructive forces have exploited the Council in ways unimaginable to the Council Fathers. The other related facet is the frank portrayal of the ongoing conflict within the Church-- a conflict between those who accept the revelation of the living God given in both Scripture and Tradition always necessarily together (and never apart), and those who wish to remake the Church into an essentially agnostic society whose beliefs fluctuate with the latest academic fads. This book makes a perfect introduction to Cardinal Ratzinger's theological works.
It's a nice read, and a quick one, but one would do better to read the two volumes of interviews that Peter Seewald conducted with Ratzinger to get an understanding of his mind in a less formal setting than in his published theology.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The book has been around since 1997 but the last paragraph of the book is especially touching in the light of his recent election as pope. The, then, Cardinal recounts the story of a bear who is forced to carry the load of St. Corbinian's beast of burden which the bear had earlier torn to pieces. He goes on to say: "It is said of Corbinian that, once in Rome, he released the bear to freedom. The legend is not concerned about whether it went up into the Arbuzzi or returned to the Alps. In the meantime I have carried my load to Rome and have been wandering the streets of the Eternal City for a long time. I do not know when I will be released, but one thing I do know: that exclamation applies to me too: "I have become your donkey, and in just this way am I with you."
It is also a good book to grasp how was the theological environment in Germany before and after the Council V-II.
I learned a lot of catholic theology while reading this book.
Not being an intellectual myself, I can only marvel at the life and character of this man. Maybe the reading of this small book is a little dry, but if you are interested in learning about him - it is well worth the reading. However, because it is written by himself, there is a lot about the man that I would like to know that isn't covered.
I like the fact that the love for his family and his Bavaria is very evident - almost tangible - all throughout the book, but it is difficult to "crack the code" of his obviously deep and complex personality. Yet, I can understand that unwillingness to expose the deeper self in a book.
For me the book is gratifying, if only for getting the basics but a biography would be better.
As a caveat: if you're looking for a comprehensive autobiography, this isn't quite the book for you. It's more snapshots of the most important points in Ratzinger's life. There are obviously a lot of details missing, but still very worth reading!