Monday, September 12, 2016

Pope Benedict Roundup

Regensburg Revisited - The 10th Anniversary

  • Benedict the Brave: The Regensburg Address Ten Years Later, by James Day. "On September 12, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI took to the dais of the University of Regensburg’s Aula Magna to offer a few “memories and reflections.” Contrary to the resulting rebukes, the 79-year-old pontiff knew exactly what he was doing."
  • On anniversary, can we finally catch Benedict’s point at Regensburg?, by John Allen Jr. Crux 09/12/16:
    Lost in the noise, however, is the central thing to know about the Regensburg speech, to wit: It’s not really about Islam at all.

    In the 4,500-word address, Benedict devoted barely three paragraphs to the remark quoted above from Manuel II Paeologus, which he used to set up his reflections on the topic, which was “Faith, Reason and the University.” He was trying to make a point about the importance of religion never parting company with reason, and could just as easily have taken his cautionary tale from Hinduism, Buddhism, or, for that matter, Christianity.

    Benedict’s real target in the speech is the West, identifying two worrying trends he saw (and no doubt still sees) in Western thought - one inside the Christian church, and the other in the broader culture.

  • Regensburg, Ratzinger, and Our Crisis of Reason, by Dr. Samuel Gregg. The Public Discourse 09/12/16:
    Those who write the histories of the twenty-first century will, I suspect, list an address delivered at a German university on this day ten years ago as one of this century’s most important speeches. In just 4,000 words, what we now call the “Regensburg Address” managed to identify the inner pathology that is corroding much of the world, how this malignancy emerged, and what can be done to address it.

    The fact that it was the Roman Pontiff who showed how a collapse of faith in full-bodied conceptions of reason explains so much of our world’s evident disarray probably made Voltaire roll over in his grave. But Benedict XVI’s analysis—which enraged many Muslims but also drew scorn from some secular and religious progressives—didn’t emerge from a vacuum. The need to defend an understanding of reason that goes beyond the natural and social sciences has long featured in Joseph Ratzinger’s writings.

  • Regensburg Revisited: Ten Years Later, A West Still in Denial, by Samuel Gregg. Catholic World Report 08/04/16. "Irrationality not only manifests itself in violence but also in an inability to apply authentic reason to the many pressing challenges of our age."
  • Is Dialogue with Islam Possible? Some Reflections on Benedict XVI's Address at the University of Regensburg, by Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ. Ignatius Insight Editor's note: This essay was originally published on Ignatius Insight on September 18, 2006. It is republished here on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Benedict XVI's Regensburg Address.