Benedict the teacher
Three decades ago, University of Chicago theologian David Tracy distinguished three audiences for the theologian: the church, the general public and the academic community. Most theologians make their mark in one of those venues. Joseph Ratzinger, however, has spoken powerfully to all three.
As a member of the theological faculty at the University of Tübingen and later at Regensburg in Germany, Ratzinger was a resonant academic voice for Catholic theology. As a churchman—first as archbishop of Munich, next as head of the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith in the Vatican and then as pope—he has been an authoritative voice within the Catholic Church. Finally, he has been, especially in Europe, a powerful public intellectual.
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