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Benedict XVI: An Intimate Portrait [Hardcover]

By Peter Seewald, Henry Taylor (Translator) & Anne Englund Nash (Translator)
Our Price $ 15.26  
Retail Value $ 17.95  
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Item Number 91135  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   260
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.26" Width: 6.3" Height: 1.14"
Weight:   1.35 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2008
Publisher   Ignatius Press
ISBN  1586171909  
EAN  9781586171902  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In the person of Benedict XVI, the Church has a Pope who is one of the most significant of Europe's intellectuals. The journalist Peter Seewald, who has known Ratzinger since 1992, conducted the "longest interviews in Church history" with him, for two books which were best-sellers world-wide, Salt of the Earth, and God and the World. Now, for the first time, Seewald describes these intensive encounters in detail, and draws a portrait of this brilliant theologian who has put his life entirely at the service of the Catholic Church. This book is also the story of a long dialogue that changed Seewald's life. Many people are trying to understand who Benedict XVI really is. On one point they all agree: in the person of Joseph Ratzinger, the chair of Peter is occupied by one of the most brilliant minds in the world. Peter Seewald's portrait of Benedict recounts details about the personality and life of Benedict that were hitherto completely unknown.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A delightful glimpse at the life and thought of the Pontiff  Jul 5, 2009
Peter Seewald's "Benedict XVI: An Intimate Portrait" is highly recommended for anyone who is looking for glimpses into the life and thought of the Holy Father. In the book, Seewald describes the details surrounding his book-length interview with Cardinal Ratzinger that eventually became "Salt of the Earth." The two books naturally overlap a bit, but not in a way that should prevent interested readers from delving into both. "Salt of the Earth" is more matter-of-fact; Seewald asks questions for which Ratzinger provides detailed answers ex tempore. "Benedict XVI: An Intimate Portrait" is, as its name suggests, a bit of a lighter read. Seewald is an excellent writer and I found the book delightful.

Fr. Philip Halfacre is a priest of the Diocese of Peoria and the author of "Genuine Friendship: The Foundation for All Personal Relationships, including Marriage and the Relationship with God."
Best Benedict Biography  Dec 18, 2008
Three and a half years into Pope Benedict XVI's reign as the Vicar of Christ, this is exactly the type of biography that should be coming out. After the flurry of hastily prepared books (some quality, some not), Seewald gives us a thoughtful, in-depth portrait of the pontiff.

Seewald, of course, was the impetus behind Salt of the Earth and God of the World, two important books written in conjunction with the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. This book offers a glimpse into the process of Seewald's introduction into the world of Ratzinger and his subsequent reconversion back into the Church. Seewald tells of his commission in 1993 to write an article on the oft-mistunderstood "Panzerkardinal" and in what I think is the most interesting part of this book, recounts some of the interviews he conducted in preparation for that story. Interviewees include those supportive of the Cardinal (including his own brother, Georg) and those who resent the Cardinal (like Hans Küng). In his interviews, Seewald says that he came away with a dual view of the Cardinal.

Eventually, Seewald gets to interview Cardinal Ratzinger himself for the two books, and he recounts the travails involved in this process. In addition, Seewald credits Ratzinger for his move from an atheist-Communist-apostate to reentry into full communion with the Church. In this sense, it is as much Seewald's story as it is Ratzinger/Pope Benedict's, but God as he works through Pope Benedict exists at the center of the work.

While not as detailed as Brennan Pursell's Benedict of Bavaria with regard to Ratzinger's childhood experiences, I found these sections to be sufficient and appropriate given the goals of the book. One is given an overall impression of Ratzinger's life from childhood, through his appointment to as the Cardinal Archbishop of Munich, to the sometimes-shackling position as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Throughout, Benedict's great intellect and humility shine forth as perhaps his defining qualities.

Overall, this is the best biography of Benedict I have read and I greatly appreciate Mr. Seewald's work. I recommend it to anyone who wants to gain knowledge about perhaps the most important man of this age.

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