Today at the Vatican’s press office, a book series of great import for the theological world was announced by Bishop of Regensburg Gerhard Muller, the complete works of Joseph Ratzinger/ Benedict XVI.
The “Opera omnia” or complete works of Joseph Ratzinger are being published in German by the publisher Hender Verlag in 16 volumes.
During the press conference, Bishop Muller emphasized the impact of Pope Benedict’s work as a professor of theology, saying that he “produced an autonomous theological 'opus' which without doubt places him among the most important scholars of the 20th and 21st centuries. For more than 50 years, the name of Joseph Ratzinger has been linked to an original overview of systematic theology."
In order to compile the writings, Bishop Muller explained that he “founded the 'Pope Benedict XVI Institute' in Regensburg. This will house complete documentation on the life, thought and work of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, theologian, bishop and pontiff." According to the bishop of Regensburg, Pope Benedict expressed his desire that the 16 volume set be published under the name “Joseph Ratzinger.”
"The aim is to produce as complete as possible a presentation of already- published works, integrated with other texts either unpublished or not yet available in German, following a systematic order which creates a link between chronology and subject matter," Bishop Muller said.
Going on to describe the 16 volumes, Bishop Muller indicated that they begin with two university theses by the future Pope: his graduation thesis on the Augustinian doctrine of the Church, and his teaching degree thesis on Bonaventure's doctrine of the Revelation.
Volume three "takes as its starting point the inaugural lecture of Professor Ratzinger: 'The God of the Faith and the God of the Philosophers', given in Bonn in 1959," and includes all his reflections on the historical-ideal foundations of Europe.
Volume four, Bishop Muller explained, "begins with the 'Introduction to Christianity' of 1968, ... while volume six opens with the book 'Jesus of Nazareth' (2007) and brings together all his studies on the subject of Christology."
Volume thirteen "is a collection of the many interviews given by Joseph Ratzinger" and volume fourteen offers a selection of his "many homilies, including little-known and meditations unpublished until now."
As for the last two volumes, number fifteen is dedicated to the autobiography of Joseph Ratzinger which appeared in 1997/1998 with the title of "My Life," and his many declarations concerning such people as his predecessor John Paul II or his brother Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, as well as many other addresses delivered during Jubilee Years, etc. Volume sixteen contains a complete bibliography of Joseph Ratzinger's works in German, and an index to all the volumes.