Baptism in the Tradition of Augustine? The Theology of Joseph Ratzinger with Respect to Baptism

Matthijs van Ittersum

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisScientific

Abstract

Baptism is one of the great sacraments of the Church. Even though much has been said and written about Baptism, it remains somewhat of a mystery. Questions about its administration and effects continue to create discussions among theologians. What is the nature of Baptism? Should children be baptized? What does Baptism’s water effect? Forgiveness of sins? Removal of original sin? Rebirth? Incorporation into the Church? Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI (1927-), has often expressed that he considers himself a disciple of one of the great theologians of the Church, Saint Augustine (354-430). Due to various controversies, Augustine left the Church extensive writings on the sacrament of Baptism. This study shows to what extent Ratzinger’s views concerning the sacrament of Baptism are similar to those of Saint Augustine. The first part sketches the development of Ratzinger’s theology of Baptism. The second part charts the theology of Baptism as presented by Augustine. The study concludes with a comparison, which shows that Ratzinger’s view on the effects of Baptism may be considered more social while Augustine’s perspective is more personal. For Ratzinger, Baptism effects the incorporation into the Church, the new humanity; for Augustine, the sacrament primarily works the cleansing from sins.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • van Geest, Paul, Promotor
  • Goudriaan, Aza, Co-promotor, External person
Award date21 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Fingerprint

Theology
Pope Benedict XVI
Augustine of Hippo
Baptism
Sacrament
Theologians
Forgiveness
Mystery
Water
Disciples
Original Sin
Rebirth
Charts

Cite this

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title = "Baptism in the Tradition of Augustine?: The Theology of Joseph Ratzinger with Respect to Baptism",
abstract = "Baptism is one of the great sacraments of the Church. Even though much has been said and written about Baptism, it remains somewhat of a mystery. Questions about its administration and effects continue to create discussions among theologians. What is the nature of Baptism? Should children be baptized? What does Baptism’s water effect? Forgiveness of sins? Removal of original sin? Rebirth? Incorporation into the Church? Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI (1927-), has often expressed that he considers himself a disciple of one of the great theologians of the Church, Saint Augustine (354-430). Due to various controversies, Augustine left the Church extensive writings on the sacrament of Baptism. This study shows to what extent Ratzinger’s views concerning the sacrament of Baptism are similar to those of Saint Augustine. The first part sketches the development of Ratzinger’s theology of Baptism. The second part charts the theology of Baptism as presented by Augustine. The study concludes with a comparison, which shows that Ratzinger’s view on the effects of Baptism may be considered more social while Augustine’s perspective is more personal. For Ratzinger, Baptism effects the incorporation into the Church, the new humanity; for Augustine, the sacrament primarily works the cleansing from sins.",
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van Ittersum, M 2018, 'Baptism in the Tradition of Augustine? The Theology of Joseph Ratzinger with Respect to Baptism', Doctor of Philosophy, Tilburg University.

Baptism in the Tradition of Augustine? The Theology of Joseph Ratzinger with Respect to Baptism. / van Ittersum, Matthijs.

2018. 263 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisScientific

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AB - Baptism is one of the great sacraments of the Church. Even though much has been said and written about Baptism, it remains somewhat of a mystery. Questions about its administration and effects continue to create discussions among theologians. What is the nature of Baptism? Should children be baptized? What does Baptism’s water effect? Forgiveness of sins? Removal of original sin? Rebirth? Incorporation into the Church? Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI (1927-), has often expressed that he considers himself a disciple of one of the great theologians of the Church, Saint Augustine (354-430). Due to various controversies, Augustine left the Church extensive writings on the sacrament of Baptism. This study shows to what extent Ratzinger’s views concerning the sacrament of Baptism are similar to those of Saint Augustine. The first part sketches the development of Ratzinger’s theology of Baptism. The second part charts the theology of Baptism as presented by Augustine. The study concludes with a comparison, which shows that Ratzinger’s view on the effects of Baptism may be considered more social while Augustine’s perspective is more personal. For Ratzinger, Baptism effects the incorporation into the Church, the new humanity; for Augustine, the sacrament primarily works the cleansing from sins.

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