Shortly after the close of the second Vatican council, a young theologian, who had been influential at the council, was invited to give a series of lectures at the University of Tubigidan, partially as a way to begin to interpret and receive the work of the council. That theologian’s name was Joseph Ratzinger. Who would become, as we know, Pope Benedict XVI nearly four decades later. The series of lectures that he delivered were collected into a book published under the title: “Introduction to Christianity” in 1968. By one unscientific estimation, the way to deem if a book is indeed a classic if it is still in print and widely read 50 years after its publication.

At a recent conference of the McGrath Institute for Church Life, we observed the 50th anniversary of this text. Today I talk with the key-note presenter from the conference, Fr. Richard Schenk. Father Schenk is a Dominican Priest, who is currently honorary professor of the philosophy of religion at the theological faculty of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg and a member of the Roman Catholic chaplaincy there. He previously served as professor of philosophy and theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and concurrently as director of the Hannover Institute of Philosophical Research, as well as of the Intercultural Forum for Studies in Faith and Culture in Washington, D.C.. He was also President of the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt from 2011 to 2014 and is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

‘Introduction to Christianity’ by Joseph Ratzinger –

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