- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 13 hours and 57 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 2 May 2007
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQ1UE4
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
Jesus of Nazareth
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My reluctance and bias were in fact killed by the sheer brilliance and luminous style of this work: if the Pope is Christ's representative on Earth, then the Pope has created a masterpiece "autobiography". His message is clear and goes straight to the heart, presenting the reader with a Jesus who is incredibly real and divinely human, the whole text compelling and inspirational.
No complicate theology is offered (for this you should read Ratzinger's Faith: The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI), nor any sophisticate exegesis of biblical texts . His Holiness is lucid and crystal-clear in his exposition of facts and ideas, not at all homiletic or speaking ex-cathedra with the authority of his position. Actually, he states, in his foreword, "this book is in no way an exercise of the magisterium, but is solely an expression of my personal search 'for the face of the Lord'"
I believe the author has excellently succeeded. You have a Jew's word!
The result is a most beautiful book that may take you years to fully digest. Benedict's writings, at times scholarly but always compassionate and deeply spiritual, reveal a personal knowledge of his subject.
The paintings and sculptures also provide endless scope for admiration or contemplation as the mood takes you. Almost all the works of art have a direct spiritual or religious theme, and as Christianity has provided the single biggest artistic inspiration the world has ever known, there are a lot of famous names here.
The book is printed on quality art paper and many of the artworks come from world-famous collections. For the paintings alone, the book would be impressive. Combined with Benedict's text, it's extraordinary. (Well done to the commissioning editor.) At £40, this book is a bargain; at the £34 Amazon is selling it for, it's enormous value for money. Most highly recommended
When I read Naomi Alderman's "The Liar's Gospel", I did a bit of research, and Pope Benedict's books featured amongst other scholarly tomes. So I thought I'd read this one. I have to start by saying that I'm an Anglican layman, and that whilst I have great respect for Pope Francis and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Pope Benedict comes across in a less favourable light. So I was prepared to be critical.
The first thing that I realised was that this book is indeed scholarly and the work of a very learned man. It is not an easy read, even though I
suppose I'm relatively well educated/informed. But it very perceptive and makes some valid and helpful points which would not have occurred to me.
Also he explores the links between the Old and New Testaments with care and precision. The pieces on St John's Gospel are particularly
interesting. Also, as a great scholar, Benedict is able to illustrate symbolism and allegory in a meaningful way. What he says about The Lord's Prayer is also most interesting. In addition it was reassuring that even His Holiness is "familiar with the danger of reciting habitual formulas while our mind is somewhere else entirely".
Nowhere does the book dwell on contraception, divorce (except once in passing), abortion or the (supposed) invalidity of Anglican orders, topics which Benedict was prone to dwell on during his Papacy.. Instead it is about Jesus Christ, and it is much the better for that. Also I
notice that unlike Cristina Odone's worthy "No God Zone", the criticisms of this book don't seem to have attracted the incursions of the hapless "new atheists". I imagine that they would have been floored by this worthy book.
It might be tempting on occasion to portray Pope Benedict as blinkered. But certainly in this book he is not, as is evidenced by his discussions of the works of Jewish and Protestant theologians, most of whom he seems to respect. Indeed, I can't see any mainstream Anglican being anything else but inspired by this book.