The long-awaited and authoritative biography of Pope Benedict XVI, a giant of the Catholic Church.
Benedict XVI: Volume One offers insight into the young life and rise through the Church's ranks of a man who would become a hero and a lightning rod for Catholics the world over. Based on countless hours of interviews in Rome with Benedict himself, this much-anticipated two-volume biography is the definitive record of the life of Joseph Ratzinger and the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI.
Volume I follows the early life of the future Pope, from his days growing up in Germany and his conscription into the Hitler Youth during World War II to his career as an academic theologian and eventual Archbishop of Munich. Volume II, to be published in 2021, will cover his move to Rome under Pope John Paul II, his ascension to the papacy, and his controversial retirement and news-making statements under his successor, Pope Francis I.
This necessary companion to Benedict's own memoir, Last Testament, is the fullest account to date of the life of a radical Catholic leader who has continued to make news while cloistered in retirement in the Vatican gardens.
“Stimulating ... Readers will enjoy the thorough investigation of Ratzinger's intellectual development” —Publishers Weekly
“Seewald artfully weaves together politics, church history, philosophy, and theology to show how these influenced and shaped the man who would become Pope Benedict XVI ... An engaging portrait that engrosses the reader in the subject.” —Library Journal
"Seewald pays careful attention to the rise and fall of Nazism, and the way this shapes the young Joseph Ratzinger’s view of the neo-pagan dimensions of modernity which we now see all around us." - First Things
"Volume 1 of Seewald’s revealing biography covers Joseph Ratzinger’s life from his birth during the last years of the Weimar Republic through the rise of Nazism, the Second World War, the division of Germany in the postwar world, to the Second Vatican Council." - The New York Journal of Books