The file on Benedict

The following materials, all of which appeared before Joseph Ratzinger became Benedict XVI, are essential background for understanding the pope.

John Allen, Pope Benedict XVI (Continuum, 2000; reissued 2005). Allen, a well-known Vatican reporter, has lately foresworn the largely negative tone of this volume and written more favorably about Benedict. But this remains useful as a running criticism of Ratzinger’s thought and work.

Aidan Nichols, O.P., The Thought of Benedict XVI: An Introduction to the Theology of Joseph Ratzinger (Burns & Oates, 1988; reissued 2005). One world-class theologian writes about another. Nichols gives a step-by-step account of Ratzinger’s theological work through the late 1980s.


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