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Salt of the Earth [Paperback]

Joseph Ratzinger
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 9.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Salt of the Earth + The Ratzinger Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Catholic Church
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Product details

  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; Reprint edition (Dec 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898706408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898706406
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.4 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 479,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


An interview in the late 1990s with the future Pope, then an important Vatican official, explores his life and role in the Church, the problems faced by the Catholic Church at the time, and its future in the twenty-first century.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insights into the new pope's directions 25 April 2005
For those who want a keen insight into the life and formation of the new pope, Benedict XVI, most recently known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, this book is a must read. Most of the text is done as an interview with Peter Seewald, a German journalist, who does a question-and-answer format, but not in a choppy form. The answers are extended reflections, giving ample space to discussion of real, substantive issues of the church and the world.
The first section of the book concentrates on Ratzinger himself; the interview is nearly ten years old now, but the insights are still apropos to the man who is now the pope. Ratzinger did not look at the questions beforehand, and his responses, while not quite off-the-cuff, still have a spontaneity to them that is perhaps at odds with the more conservative image Ratzinger has come to bear. He is a conservative, to be sure, but in these pages along with other books, one may find a bit more compassion and humour than one might expect.
Ratzinger reflects upon his strict upbringing as a child, his time as a child of a 'simple commissioner', and his growth in a devout Catholic family who tended to go to Mass twice on Sundays.
Ratzinger became a theology professor, teaching at the universities at Tubingen and Regensburg. Heidegger is a big influence on Ratzinger's philosophical development, as are notions of Personalism (a philosophy of profound influence on Martin Luther King Jr. among others). Like his predecessor, Ratzinger has a great interest in Phenomenology and other modern philosophical schools. This led him to be a theological advisor to the Second Vatican Council, at which time Ratzinger was classified as a progressive, perhaps even a liberal.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible, fresh, very hopeful 29 May 1998
By A Customer
I found Ratzinger's book refreshing and I think most Catholics will find it so. I have now given four copies of it away including one to our parish priest and another to someone who has been on the edge considering converting. If you are a Catholic it is certainly worth reading. If you adore the things of Christ my guess is that this book, in its reverence, will help to quiet the soul by saturating it in hope.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting. Well written. Partly biographical. 21 Aug 1998
By A Customer
I couldn't put this one down. Ratzinger is one of the foremost intellectuals in the Church today, and this book lets us see both the man as well as his theology. It's well written and intellectually stimulating. I had to resist the temptation to underline many of his statements; so many had the ring of significant truth. Anyone who ever questioned Ratzinger's sincerity or ever thought him a "fascist" or "panzerkardinal" should read this book and see just what a complex individual he is. I always liked him before I read this book; now I see him as one of the most pivotal figures in the Church today. Buy this - get another copy for your skeptical friends!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insightful view of the Church 22 Jan 1998
By A Customer
A very readable, interresting book! Cardinal Ratzinger gives his views on a wide range of topics in the course of an extended interview with Peter Seewald, including his life and the state of the *world-wide* Church. This book offers valuable insights from a man who is uniquely positioned to "see" the workings of the Church as a whole.
In the more "liberal" circles, there's apparently a tendency to villify Cardinal Ratzinger as some kind of "right-wing", closed-minded fringe type. Having read this book, I find that claim hard to believe: whether one agrees with his views or not, it is hard to see the Cardinal as anything other than a thoughtful, intellegent and learned man.
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