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Shannon Whitmore reviews a new compilation of the last writings of Pope Benedict XVI, from Ignatius Press.

Benedict XVI’s final work, What Is Christianity? The Last Writings, is a collection of letters, public addresses, and essays that cover a variety of topics ranging from Jewish-Christian relations to reform of the liturgy. It is an eclectic collection of writings that beautifully reveal issues that were close to the heart of Benedict XVI. Although he resigned from the papacy in 2013, he did not cease to be an astute theologian and a wonderful author during the decade that followed. Like all of his other writings, these last essays are easy to read and help the reader to gain a better understanding of the issues Benedict XVI has chosen to address. 


What Is Christianity


It was a great privilege and gift to receive one final chance to delve into the mind of Pope Benedict XVI, one that came as a wonderful surprise after his passing late last year. He addresses controversial and sensitive topics with a gentleness that I have come to associate with his writings. He speaks the truth with charity and is a wonderful example of how all Catholics might be able to better engage with our Jewish, Muslim, and secular brothers and sisters (as well as fellow Christians).  

If you were a fan of Pope Benedict XVI already, I would highly recommend this book. If you’ve never encountered this great theologian’s writings before, this is a great place to start. What Is Christianity? The Last Writings offers readers a final chance to encounter the thoughts of one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century, and that is definitely a chance worth taking. 

Ask for What Is Christianity? at your local Catholic bookseller, or order online from Amazon.com or the publisher, Ignatius Press.




Copyright 2023 Shannon Whitmore
Images: Holy Cross Family Ministries (2005); Canva