It took nearly thirty years for a forgotten box of cassette tapes, mislaid in an abbey in Austria, to be brought to light. On these tapes, recorded in 1985, the voice of Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) walks his listeners, with small, careful steps, through the thick terrain of contemporary theology. Now, after decades, these lectures have been dusted off, transcribed, and published for readers across the globe.
The Divine Project is a study of God the Creator and of man as this Creator's masterpiece. "Ratzinger", as Professor Matthew Levering writes, "guides us through the most difficult domains of modern theology and modern life: how to read the Bible; the Reason of God and the reasonableness of the cosmos; the meaning of original sin; technology, ecology, and creatureliness; the Cross and the Eucharist; and Vatican II, pluralism, the Magisterium, and the nature of the Church."
This once-forgotten work offers a short and accessible tour of the whole theological world of Joseph Ratzinger, one of the most important minds of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
"These lectures are 'vintage Ratzinger'—a theological treasure. Any Catholic could follow them without a formal training in theology. A copy would make a great present for friends, godchildren, students, priests, seminarians, and anyone else trying to make sense of the Church and the world."
— Tracey Rowland, St. John Paul II Chair of Theology, University of Notre Dame (Australia)
"A summa theologiae of the first thirty years of Ratzinger's theology, a key to the mindset he brought to his task as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and a herald of much of the thinking he would develop in his later years, not least in The Spirit of the Liturgy."
— Aidan Nichols, O.P., Author, The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI
"This is a work of genius, as readable as it is profound. If you can only read one book by Ratzinger, read this one."
— Matthew Levering, James N. Jr. and Mary D. Perry Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary
"Ratzinger's penetrating answers to the difficulties raised by modern science and philosophy, as well as his astute prognosis of the dangers that follow from rejecting the biblical vision, are even more pertinent now than when first presented forty years ago."
— Margaret Turek, Author, Atonement: Soundings in Biblical, Trinitarian, and Spiritual Theology
"A rare gem. This transcription allows the reader to 'hear' the voice of a master—and know why he was called the Mozart of theology. The publisher is to be thanked for providing the English-speaking public with such an excellent translation of the talks."
— D. Vincent Twomey, S.V.D., Author, The Dynamics of the Liturgy: Joseph Ratzinger's Theology of Liturgy
"A vitally important retrieval of the ecclesiology of Vatican II viewed in the light of the Church as the sacrament of Christ's presence. These essays are a priceless treasure for the Church that we should cherish and meditate upon in the light of our current ecclesial crises."
— Larry Chapp, Emeritus Professor of Theology, DeSales University