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Can Western civilization be brought back from the brink?

A collection of essays from Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) shines light on modern cultural challenges

SAN FRANCISCO — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, is one of the world’s most brilliant theologians, and remains a voice for authentic Catholic doctrine and morals. While he is well known for his contributions to dogmatic theology and biblical studies, he has also provided wise insight into the social and political challenges confronting modern Western societies.

WESTERN CULTURE: Today and Tomorrow is a powerful collection of essays by Joseph Ratzinger, most of which were written just before he was elected Pope. As explained by renowned author and historian George Weigel in the book’s foreword, this collection of essays shows Ratzinger’s sharp insight into the fundamental challenges confronting the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Ratzinger insists that these challenges are widely cultural in nature, before they are political or economic.

Ratzinger explains that the first essay in WESTERN CULTURE attempts to clarify the question of “what Europe is, what it can be, and what it ought to be,” while “the other texts address the question of the criteria for correct political action against the background of the present European and global situation.” Also included in this compilation is an epilogue, a new essay by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on the clerical sex abuse crisis, tracing the moral disorder that preys upon the young to the collapse of faith both inside and outside the Catholic Church.

“The witness of Christian lives nobly lived is the beginning of reconversion (or, in many cases, conversion) of the West — and that return to the truths taught by the God of the Bible is essential if the great Western civilizational project is not to crumble because of its current, postmodern incoherence,” George Weigel, distinguished senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, says in the foreword. “Joseph Ratzinger understood that danger long before many others. It would be well to attend to his prescription.”

For more information, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Ignatius Press founder and editor Father Joseph Fessio, please contact Kevin Wandra (404-788-1276 or [email protected]) of Carmel Communications.


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