Wednesday, October 18, 2006

An addendum

When I was working on my post entitled "You will know them by their fruits", in the paragraph in which I briefly wrote about the work of Fr. Jacques DuPuis, S.J., I was looking for a quote I had read sometime ago about Professor Joseph Ratzinger's engagement with Hinduism during his first teaching post in the Theological Faculty at the University of Bonn, which began before shortly before he turned 30. Anyway, here is the quote from an article in 30 Giorni, written by Gianni Valente, in the March 2006 edition.

"Another 'borderline' friendship marking Ratzinger’s years in Bonn was with the Hindologist Paul Hacker, whose qualities of genius are traced in strong colors in Ratzinger’s autobiography. Coming from Lutheranism, Hacker also became a Catholic, by a route made up also 'of whole nights' spent 'discussing with the Fathers or with Luther, in front of a bottle or even more than one of red wine'. Ratzinger benefited largely from Hacker’s boundless knowledge of Hinduism when he had to shape the lectures on the history of the religions that were part of the course of Fundamental Theology. It was precisely on Hinduism that Ratzinger’s interest in the world of the religions focused in those years. 'Some students', Kuhn recalls, 'complained jokingly about it. They said: Ratzinger is totally absorbed in Hinduism, he talks to us only of Rama and of Khrisna, we can’t take it any more'."

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