In four superb homilies and a concluding essay, Joseph Ratzinger, provides a clear and inspiring exploration of the Genesis creation narratives.
While the stories of the world’s creation and the fall of humankind have often been subjected to reductionism of one sort or another—literalists treat the Bible as a science textbook whereas rationalists divorce God from creation—Ratzinger presents a rich, balanced Catholic understanding of these early biblical writings and attests to their enduring vitality.
Beginning each homily with a text selected from the first three chapters of Genesis, Ratzinger discusses, in turn, God the creator, the meaning of the biblical creation accounts, the creation of human beings, and sin and salvation; in the appendix he unpacks the beneficial consequences of faith in creation.
Expertly translated from German, these reflections set out a reasonable and biblical approach to creation. ‘In the Beginning...’ also serves as an excellent homiletic resource for priests and pastors.
The readable but challenging meditations attempt a balance between extremes of fundamentalism and rationalism and emphasize a unity between the Old and New Testaments.
These homilies on Genesis...will be a source of light to many priests and religious educators who are seeking the deeper meaning of the biblical truths of dependence or of the Sabbath rest or who are looking for an answer to the claim that God’s mandate ‘Fill the earth and subdue it’ is responsible for the shameless exploitation of the earth that we have witnessed.
With penetrating insight, Cardinal Ratzinger here treats the profoundly important and far-reaching doctrine of Genesis...I’ve not read a more profound or magisterial book in years.
—New Oxford Review
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Pope Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Alois Ratzinger in 1927, served as the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from April 2005 through February 2013. Formerly he was Dean of the College of Cardinals, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and President of the International Theological Commission. An outstanding theologian and teacher, he was one of the founders, along with Hans Urs von Balthasar and Henri de Lubac, of the international Catholic journal Communio, and he has also enjoyed a distinguished teaching career at such universities as Tübingen and Regensburg in his home country of Germany.