A Conference with Pope Benedict XVI
Author: Fr. Stephan Horn
Length: 200 pages
Foreword by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn
In 2005 the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn wrote a guest editorial in The New York Times that sparked a worldwide debate about “Creation and Evolution”. Pope Benedict XVI instructed the Cardinal to study more closely this problem and the current debate between “evolutionism” and “creationism,” and asked the yearly gathering of his former students to address these questions.
Even after Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, he has continued to maintain close contact with the circle of his former students. The "study circle" (Schulerkrers) meets once a year with Pope Benedict XVI for a conference. Many of these former Ratzinger students have gone on to become acclaimed scholars, professors and writers, as well as high ranking Church prelates.
This book documents the proceedings of the remarkable conference on the topic of “Creation and Evolution” hosted by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 at the papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo. It includes papers that were presented from the fields of natural science, philosophy and theology, and records the subsequent discussion, in which Pope Benedict XVI himself participated.
it comes down to the alternative: What came first? Creative Reason, the Creator
Spirit who makes all things and gives them growth, or Unreason, which, lacking
any meaning, strangely enough brings forth a mathematically ordered cosmos,
as well as man and his reason. The latter, however, would then be nothing more
than a chance result of evolution and thus, in the end, equally meaningless.
As Christians, we say: I believe in God the Father, the Creator of heaven and
earth. I believe in the Creator Spirit. We believe that at the beginning of
everything is the eternal Word, with Reason and not Unreason.”
— Pope Benedict XVI
and Evolution is an extraordinary opportunity for the public to listen in on
the conversation as some of the greatest minds in the Catholic Church —
theologians, philosophers, scientists, and Pope Benedict himself — wrestle
with one of the most thorny and far-reaching of topics. Participants clash repeatedly
over what we really know about the forces that shaped life on earth, over what
is data and what is hype, over what certain scenarios might mean even if they
were true. I recommend it to anyone who wants to know where we might have come
from and where we might be headed.
— Michael J. Behe, Lehigh University, Author of The Edge of Evolution
a time when evolution is the subject of so many bitter polemics, it is refreshing
to see theologians and scientists together to engage in respectful, informed,
and thoughtful discussion of it."
— Stephen M. Barr, professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Delaware, and author of Modern Physics and Ancient Faith.
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