Religion Booknotes

These four books on Benedict XVI, hustled into print just months after the installation of the new pope, are written by four journalists working in Rome (two of them are American, one is Italian, and one is German).

They show the inevitable haste of writers anxious to get into the marketplace; at least one (by Marco Bardazzi) is barely more than an extended potted biography: one hundred pages plus thirty pages of filler, including a chronology of the pope’s life and some snippets from his recent writings.


Let God’s Light Shine Forth
The Spiritual Vision of Pope Benedict XVI
Edited by Robert Moynihan
Doubleday, $17.95, 215 pp. 

Let God’s Light Shine Forth is an anthology of recent addresses by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. These talks are mainly “spiritual” and homiletic; the book includes no serious theological essays. As a consequence, the texts do not illuminate the thinking of the new pope in any detail. Robert Moynihan’s introduction makes it clear that he is an unabashed admirer of the pope; he writes extensively about his conversations with the former cardinal. Unfortunately, most of what...

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About the Author

Lawrence Cunningham is John O'Brien professor of Theology (Emeritus) at the University of Notre Dame.