King Rat

I’m delighted to report that a copy of Aidan Nichols The Theology of Joseph Ratzinger: an Introductory Study is on its way to me: I’ve managed to snaffle the last copy on sale through abebooks.com, which – happily – was sitting in a shop in Hay-on-Wye. Now I’ll just have to hope his theology hasn’t changed too much in the 17 years since the book was written…

I’d never heard of this book until a few hours ago, when I read this 1988 piece [pdf] of Andrew Sullivan’s from The New Republic, which he’s just posted at his blog. As I remarked over at B&T, it’s a reminder of how much better a writer the pre-blog Sullivan was, once upon a time, and what he says about Nichols’ book makes me want to read it:

The great merit of Aidan Nichols’s dense, scholarly study of Ratzinger’s theology is that it places Ratzinger in the context and language of this abiding, Germanic Augustinianism. It is an emphasis that manages to cut through the usual, unhelpful categories of left and right, progressive and reactionary, to focus on the arguments of the Church rather than the preoccupations fo the world.

Well, I’m always a sucker for a bit of hardcore Augustinianism.(And if anyone else has got some good Ratzinger bibliography, do please pass it along. This is going to be interesting.)

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