Thursday, September 22, 2011
A New B16 Book of Note
No, it is not Jesus of Nazareth Part I, although the cover looks almost identical. Rather, it is a collection of seventy addresses given by Pope Benedict during his public audiences from March 2007 to December 2010. This volume is entitled Great Christian Thinkers: From the Early Church through the Middle Ages, and it is published by Fortress Press, a Lutheran publishing house. It covers the great Christian thinkers from Clement of Rome to Julian of Norwich. The volume comes in a very flexible softcover and each page is well laid-out. There are 316 total pages.
While other publishers have printed the Holy Father's audiences in smaller, more limited volumes, like this from Ignatius Press, this one from Fortress is far more complete and comprehensive. (The only negative is that it doesn't include the audiences by the Pope on the Apostles.)
I mention this volume, primarily, due to it being published by a Protestant publisher. Quoting from the Publisher's Foreword: "It is a matter of particular pride at Fortress Press that we offer this compilation of brief portraits composed and presented by Pope Benedict XVI on key figures from Christian history (ix)." The foreword goes on to say that this volume contains "a set of seventy expert and reliable yet quite accessible introductions to the key framers of the pre-Reformation tradition, East and West, as useful for personal reading or study as for classroom or congregation (ix)." Quite an endorsement if you ask me! Some have referred to Pope Benedict as the "Pope of Christian Unity" which I think is quite true. Projects like this can help, perhaps only in a very small way, heal the wounds that divide Christendom. The editors from Fortress note that they were "grateful to the Vatican Library Press for their enthusiasm for the project and willingness to facilitate it by providing lucid and accessible translations (ix)."