A Living Sacrifice focuses on the inherent relationship between eschatology and the liturgy in light of Ratzinger’s insistence upon the primacy of logos over ethos. When logos is subordinated to ethos, the human person becomes subjected to a materialist ontology that leads to an ethos that is concerned above all by utility and progress, which affects one’s approach to understanding the liturgy and eschatology. How a person celebrates the liturgy becomes subject to the individual whim of one person or a group of people. Eschatology is reduced to addressing the temporal needs of a society guided by a narrow conception of hope or political theology. If the human person wants to understand his authentic sacramental logos, then he must first turn to Christ the incarnate Logos, who reveals to him that he is created for a loving relationship with God and others.
The primacy of logos is the central hermeneutical key to understanding the unique vision of Ratzinger’s Christocentric liturgical theology and eschatology. This is coupled with a study of Ratzinger’s spiritual Christology with a focus on how it influences his theology of liturgy and eschatology through the notions of participation and communion in Christ’s sacrificial love. Finally, A Living Sacrifice examines Ratzinger’s theology of hope, charity, and beauty, as well as his understanding of active participation in relationship to the eschatological and cosmic characteristics of the sacred liturgy.
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As a work of academic scholarship, it would have been sufficient for Roland Millare to provide a thorough and faithful guide to Ratzinger’s unified vision of liturgical eschatology, something which this book certainly accomplishes. But this is also the contribution of a disciple, who joins Ratzinger in prayerfully attending the God who speaks in his Incarnate Son. Ever cooperatores in veritatis, Millare and Ratzinger provide the right focus and orientation for the whole of the Church’s faith and life.
—Most Rev. Steven J. Lopes Bishop of the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter
Whether Logos is prior to ethos or whether praxis trumps everything is the most important question in Catholic theology at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Joseph Ratzinger was firmly of the view, as was his intellectual hero of his youth, the great Romano Guardini, that Logos must be prior to ethos if the world, including the Church, is not to sink into a totalitarian nightmare. Roland Millare offers the best account available of why this is so, with reference to the theology of a raft of contemporary authors, above all, the theology of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. This work is a great contribution to the fields of fundamental and liturgical theology.
—Tracey Rowland University of Notre Dame, Australia
Millare’s eminently scholarly study focuses our appreciation of Ratzinger’s vast oeuvre on its central, Christocentric concern and thereby raises our faith above facile political categories to beholding the form of the Risen Christ and apprehending therein the proper source for a robust and confident New Evangelization.
—Fr. Emery de Gaal University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary
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