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Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions [Paperback]

Joseph Ratzinger , Henry Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 10.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158617035X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586170356
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.6 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 458,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Is truth knowable? And if we know the truth, must we hide it in the name of tolerance? In this newly translated work, Cardinal Ratzinger engages the crucial problem of the encounter between truth, tolerance, religion and culture in the modern world. "But what if it is true?" is the question that he poses to cultures that decry the Christian position on man's redemption. A work of extreme sensitivity, understanding, and spiritual maturity, this book is an invaluable asset to those who struggle to hear or make heard the voice of truth in the modern world. Describing the vast array of global religions, Ratzinger embraces the difficult challenge of meeting diverse understandings of spiritual truth while defending the Catholic teaching of salvation through Jesus Christ. In this way, he develops the themes which were set out in Dominus Jesus, the document addressing the question of salvation through other religions, issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in August 2000. "Beyond all particular questions, the real problem lies in the question about truth. Can truth be recognized? Or, is the question about truth simply inappropriate in the realm of religion and belief?

But what meaning does belief then have, what positive meaning does religion have, if it cannot be connected with truth?" - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, from the Preface

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only the truth makes us free 1 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a compilation of lectures delivered mainly between 1992 and 2002 by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, on faith, religion, culture, truth and tolerance. He has brought them together in the context of exploring how religions can "relate to one another peacefully" and contribute to educating man towards peace, an urgent goal for the world today.

The subject unsurprisingly is tackled primarily from the perspective of Christianity being the one truth - the only way to salvation - and whether there is any scope beyond this seeming impasse for finding some kind of unity between religions, as this perhaps offers the only genuine hope for a better future. The book therefore begins in Part One with a look at the unity and diversity of religions, and the place of Christianity in the history of religions. Ratzinger explores the meanings of faith, religion and culture in the search for a way to have fruitful dialogue between Christianity and other faiths and cultures, and in separate essays looks variously at the relevance in this context of the questions of inclusivism, exclusivism and pluralism, the charge, (refuted), that Christianity is a European religion, the influence of Greek culture and Roman law on Catholic and Eastern Christianity, the relevance of the Old Testament to the Christian religion, and the role that multireligious prayer can play in global endeavours for world peace.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The philosophy of the new pope 25 April 2005
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
This book by Cardinal Ratzinger, the new pope Benedict XVI, is an exploration of the philosophy of religion. As such, it is an important guide to the philosophical underpinnings of the theological statements made by Ratzinger while he was Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (one of the 'high offices' of the cardinals in the Vatican), and the kinds of philosophical guidelines he is likely to follow in the future.
He explores the construct of religion and religious truth from an historical perspective, drawing from three primary strands - ancient mysticism, the development of monotheism, and the Enlightenment. What we in the West live in today is a post-Enlightenment world, with monotheistic tendency in religion, with continuing strands of mysticism that often impact society in unpredictable and uncomfortable ways.
With regard to monotheism, he explores through different religious traditions the way in which this concept can be played out in culture. In terms of the Enlightenment, he explores philosophical antecedents in Plato and Aristotle carrying forward through the Phenomenologists of the early twentieth century. This is where Ratzinger's academic strength lies - in philosophy and theology.
Ratzinger also looks at the different ways in which Christian perspectives of the idea of philosophical and theological truth are seen in other religions, including perspectives can lead to the idea of the anonymous Christian (a Rahner-ian concept, often termed inclusive or pluralistic, depending upon the details), as well as an exclusivity standpoint - this is not where Ratzinger ultimately comes down in terms of philosophy.
This book is derived from lectures and sermons, it is clear.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Profound and deep knowledge base 23 Feb 2014
By Sasha
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As always, the books by Joseph Ratzinger are based on thorough knowledge, both in breadth and depth, and well explained for the lay person. Any person with an interest in spiritual affairs should find this book interesting particularly in this day and age when so many people are floundering.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 27 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ratzinger is, in my opinion, as fair as possible to all sides of opinion. He's not afraid to say things that don't necessarily suit his view and is rigorous in his reasoning. I would certainly recommend this to anyone who is concerned by relativism or who is interested in learning more about objective truth and whether it can be known or not.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review 9 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Everything fine; can't complain about anything. Punctual, well kept and cheap. Thanks very much for everything, It's been a satisfacting deal.
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