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Ratzinger and Reformation: scholars from three continents visit The Center for Scriptural Exegesis, Philosophy and Doctrine at Mundelein Seminary

The year of our Lord, 2017 marks two anniversaries. This Fall is 500 years since the beginning of the Reformation and 90 years since the birth of Joseph Ratzinger. The Center for Scriptural Exegesis, Philosophy and Doctrine at Mundelein Seminary marked both events by hosting twenty-one scholars for a conference “Joseph Ratzinger and the Healing of the Reformation-Era Divisions. The conference was planned and directed by Dr. Matthew Levering and Fr. Emery de Gaál. The two-day meeting, October 19-20, 2017, featured papers and discussion from the visiting scholars, who came from Australia, Cameroon, Germany, the United Kingdom, and in the United States from the District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Pope Benedict XVI / Joseph Ratzinger published an enormous body of material. Whether as priest, professor, bishop, pope or pope emeritus, his output touched many areas of theology. Once particular focus throughout his theological career has been the doctrinal and theological issues related to the Reformation. As a theologian and bishop from Germany (Bavaria) he was privileged to bring first-hand experience of the culture and context of much of Protestant history and thought. This makes him an important contributor to the ongoing questions related to the Reformation and the divisions which issued from it.

The keynote address for the conference was delivered by the Most Rev. Rudolf Voderholzer, Bishop of Regensburg and Director of the Pope Benedict Institute. He is the editor-in-chief of the Collected Works of Joseph Ratzinger.

The scholars participating included: Fr. Maurice Ashley Agbaw-Ebai (Boston College), Fr. Thomas A. Baima (University of Saint Mary of the Lake), Dr. Mariusz Biliniewicz (University of Notre Dame, Australia), Dr. Stephen Bullivant (Saint Mary’s University, Twickenham), Fr. Emery de Gaal (University of Saint Mary of the Lake), Dr. Daniel Houck (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), Dr. Timothy Larson (Wheaton College), Dr. Peter Leithart (New Saint Andrew’s College, Moscow, Idaho), Dr. Matthew Levering (University of Saint Mary of the Lake), Dr. David Luy (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), Dr. Bruce Marshall (Southern Methodist University), Dr. Mickey Mattox (Marquette University), Dr. Kenneth Oakes (University of Notre Dame), Fr. Matthew Oliver (Nashotah House Theological Seminary), Dr. Willemien Otten (University of Chicago), Fr. Aaron Pidel, S.J. (Marquette University), Dr. Jacob Phillips (Saint Mary’s University, Twickenham), Dr. Michael Root (Catholic University of America), Dr. Tracey Rowland (University of Notre Dame, Australia), Dr. Douglas Sweeney (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School).

The Center for Scriptural Exegesis, Philosophy and Doctrine is supported by the James N. and Mary D. Perry, Jr. Chair of Theology at Mundelein Seminary of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake.