A general introduction to the theology of Pope Benedict XVI, including his approach to issues in moral and political theology, ecclesiology, liturgy, interpretations of the of the documents of the Second Vatican Council, and the theology of history. Tracey Rowland also addresses the question of Pope Benedict's place in the constellation of contemporary Catholic theologians. It has become a commonplace observation that Pope Benedict has been influenced by the thought of St Augustine, in contrast to many of his predecessors in the papacy who were much more strongly influenced by St Thomas Aquinas. Rowland therefore asks in what way Benedict is an Augustinian, and how this marked difference in theological perspective may play out in the coming years. Her book includes an extensive thematic bibliography, which will be valuable for students.
Tracey Rowland is Dean and Associate Professor of Political Philosophy and Continental Theology at the John Paul II Institute (Melbourne) and a member of the editorial board of the English language edition of the journal Communio, founded, among others, by Joseph Ratzinger and Hans Urs von Balthasar. Her first book, Culture and the Thomist Tradition: After Vatican II, was published in the Radical Orthodoxy series.