Luke has written an obit for the Pope Emeritus over on the main site. So I have little to add to that. I may have something further to say related to Benedict’s passing later, but for now I’m curious to find out if any of our readers would care to join me in reading some of the works of Joseph Ratzinger, later Benedict XVI, throughout this year.
The reading list I have in mind at present would be something like this:
We could also consider adding his book on eschatology or some of his works on ecclesiology, but my thought with the above list is that it hits most the major works while also providing two compendiums of his writings, one on a neglected element of his thought (ecology) and the other a broader selection of his works.
We could also add the Lexham volume of essays on him to the list, if people were interested in doing that—it’s a fine book and you’d be rewarded if you took the time to read it. My main goal, though, is to simply spend more time with the man myself and to help others to do the same. I once heard a pastor use the phrase “put yourself in the path of that which is marvelous” when explaining to people why they ought to read Scripture. Obviously that exhortation applies uniquely and preeminently to Scripture. But it is not a bad word in support of reading the church’s great doctors either, and I think we can safely count Benedict in that number.
It pains me to include this note, as I should hope it can be safely assumed but prudence likely requires me to include it: I am not undertaking this project as anything more than a Reformed Protestant admirer of the late pontiff. Indeed, I feel more settled in my particular ecclesial and theological home today than I ever have before in my walk with Christ. The point of this project is simply to read together with other brothers and sisters a great theologian and pastor of the church, knowing full well that we will have points of sharp disagreement. Anyway, that’s done now.
So… anyone interested? Let me know via email if so: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jake Meador is the editor-in-chief of Mere Orthodoxy. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied English and History. He lives in Lincoln, NE with his wife Joie, their daughter Davy Joy, and sons Wendell, Austin, and Ambrose. Jake's writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Commonweal, Christianity Today, Fare Forward, the University Bookman, Books & Culture, First Things, National Review, Front Porch Republic, and The Run of Play and he has written or contributed to several books, including "In Search of the Common Good," "What Are Christians For?" (both with InterVarsity Press), "A Protestant Christendom?" (with Davenant Press), and "Telling the Stories Right" (with the Front Porch Republic Press).