Notre Dame to host conference on the theology of Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

Before he was Pope Benedict XVI, before he was a cardinal and a Vatican bureaucrat, and before he was archbishop of Munich, the German priest and professor Joseph Ratzinger taught theology at the Universities of Freising, Bonn, Munster, Tubingen and Regensburg, served as a theological consultant at the Second Vatican Council and wrote several widely acclaimed and influential books of theology.

Touching on nearly every imaginable theological topic, that career, uninterrupted and even magnified by the theologian’s election to the papacy, will be the subject of a conference, “God is Love: Explorations in the Theology of Benedict XVI,” to be held at the University of Notre Dame March 25-27 (Sunday-Tuesday).

The conference, sponsored by the Institute for Church Life, will bring together an international group of theologians and other scholars to explore and reflect upon some 60 years of Ratzinger’s theological scholarship and teaching on the works of Augustine and Bonaventure; such books as his “Introduction to Christianity,” “The Spirit of the Liturgy,” “Dogma and Revelation” and “Eschatology”; his recent two-volume “Jesus of Nazareth”; and his papal encyclicals, especially “God is Love.” Inevitably, participants will pay close attention to continuity and differences between writings published by Ratzinger and those published by Benedict XVI.

Conference speakers will include Rev. Edward T. Oakes, S.J., professor of systematic theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary; Simona Beretta, professor of international economics and policy and political science at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan; and Peter Casarella, professor of Catholic studies and director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University. Among Notre Dame faculty speaking at the conference will be Lawrence S. Cunningham, emeritus Rev. John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology; Gary Anderson, Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Theology; Cyril O’Regan, Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology; Robert M. Gimello, professor of theology and of East Asian languages and cultures; Francesca Aran Murphy, professor of theology; and Daniel Philpott, associate professor of political science and peace studies.

The conference is free and open to the public. A conference schedule is available online.

Contact: Jenny Monahan, assistant director, Institute for Church Life, 574-631-9195,

Originally published by Michael O. Garvey at on March 15, 2012.

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