Pope Benedict and German Enlightenment

light of reasonThe lifelong engagement of Josef Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) with the German Enlightenment and its contemporary manifestations and heirs is the subject of a new book written by Fr. Maurice Ashley Agbaw-Ebai, who recently earned a doctorate in philosophy from Boston College. Contemporary European disdain for organized religion and the rise in secularism has deep roots in the German Enlightenment. In Light of Reason, Light of Faith: Joseph Ratzinger and the German Enlightenment (St. Augustine Press, 2021), Fr. Agbaw-Ebai demonstrates how Ratzinger’s extraordinary and sympathetic understanding of the sources of contemporary secularism equipped him to appreciate the gains of the Enlightenment, while still being a fierce critic of the losses humanity has suffered when reason falsely excludes faith. A native of Cameroon, Fr. Agbaw-Ebai is also a graduate of Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry.

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