Benedict XVI's "Complete Works" Being Prepared

German Publisher Teams Up With Vatican

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 22, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The secret of Benedict XVI’s theology is not just in his extraordinary knowledge, but in the fact that he lives what he believes, says the bishop in charge of the publication of his “Complete Works.”

Bishop Gerhard Muller of Regensburg presented today in the Vatican’s press office the first volume of a 16-volume series in German with the Pope’s complete works. The project, which will include previously unpublished texts, is being prepared by the German publishing house Herder in collaboration with the Vatican Publishing House.

The writings of Joseph Ratzinger, the bishop said, “unite scientific knowledge of theology to the figure of a living and lived faith.”

“As a science genuinely within the framework of the Church, theology can indicate for us the particular vocation of man as a creature and image of God,” he said.

Bishop Muller called Benedict XVI “one of the great theologians to arrive to the See of Peter” and “one of the most significant intellectuals of the 20th and 21st century.”

Clarity

“In his scientific activity, Benedict XVI has always been able to draw from his admirable knowledge of the history of theology and of the dogmas, which he transmits in an illuminating way, highlighting the divine vision of man, upon which everything is based,” the prelate continued. “This is made accessible to many by way of the language adopted by Joseph Ratzinger. Complex themes are not subjected to a complicated reflection that impedes common understanding, but rather presented with transparency.”

At the center of all his thought, Bishop Muller added, “is the divine will to speak with each person and his Word that becomes light to illuminate every man.”

The Regensburg bishop explained that the Pope had personally asked him to take charge of the publication of the “Complete Works.” He added that the elaboration of the project is being carried out in agreement with the Holy Father, who has approved the organization of each volume.

The first volume, for example, presents two academic theses: his licentiate thesis on St. Augustine’s doctrine of the Church and his work on St. Bonaventure’s doctrine on revelation. The volume also includes other essays and texts dedicated to Augustine and Bonaventure.

Another volume is based on the 1959 inaugural conference given by Father Ratzinger: “The God of Faith and the God of the Philosophers.” It also includes other texts on the theme of faith and reason.

Another volume begins with his 1968 “Introduction to Christianity” and includes other texts on the profession of faith, baptism, conversion, the following of Christ and Christian life.

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