Luke has written an obit for the Pope Emeritus over on the main site. So I have little to add to that. I may have something further to say related to Benedict’s passing later, but for now I’m curious to find out if any of our readers would care to join me in reading some of the works of Joseph Ratzinger, later Benedict XVI, throughout this year.
The reading list I have in mind at present would be something like this:
- The three enyclicals
- The Jesus of Nazareth trilogy
- Introduction to Christianity
- The Garden of God
- Selections from the Pope Benedict XVI Reader
We could also consider adding his book on eschatology or some of his works on ecclesiology, but my thought with the above list is that it hits most the major works while also providing two compendiums of his writings, one on a neglected element of his thought (ecology) and the other a broader selection of his works.
We could also add the Lexham volume of essays on him to the list, if people were interested in doing that—it’s a fine book and you’d be rewarded if you took the time to read it. My main goal, though, is to simply spend more time with the man myself and to help others to do the same. I once heard a pastor use the phrase “put yourself in the path of that which is marvelous” when explaining to people why they ought to read Scripture. Obviously that exhortation applies uniquely and preeminently to Scripture. But it is not a bad word in support of reading the church’s great doctors either, and I think we can safely count Benedict in that number.
It pains me to include this note, as I should hope it can be safely assumed but prudence likely requires me to include it: I am not undertaking this project as anything more than a Reformed Protestant admirer of the late pontiff. Indeed, I feel more settled in my particular ecclesial and theological home today than I ever have before in my walk with Christ. The point of this project is simply to read together with other brothers and sisters a great theologian and pastor of the church, knowing full well that we will have points of sharp disagreement. Anyway, that’s done now.
So… anyone interested? Let me know via email if so: firstname.lastname@example.org