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Ratzinger on Evolution and Evil: A Christological and Mariological Answer to the Problem of Suffering and Death in Creation

Department of Theology, Benedictine College, Atchison, KS 66002, USA
Academic Editors: Piotr Roszak and Sasa Horvat
Religions 2021, 12(8), 583; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12080583
Received: 23 June 2021 / Revised: 25 July 2021 / Accepted: 26 July 2021 / Published: 28 July 2021
This article argues that a compelling way to address the presence of suffering and death across evolutionary history lies in the thought of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. By situating human evolution within the broader divine plan for man’s salvation through the cross of Jesus, Ratzinger is able to show that the presence of natural evils in this world is not incompatible with God’s goodness but on the contrary is an eminent means by which the love of God is made manifest. Exploring Christ’s kenosis and the sinless suffering of the Blessed Virgin, it is argued that suffering properly embraced is the raw material for love and thus essential for true human flourishing in this life. The real problem for man, it is contended, is not having to suffer and die, but how to suffer and die well. Finally, it is suggested that the full Christian answer to the problem of suffering connected with evolution nevertheless lies in the eschatogical hope for a new heaven and new earth, where man—and all creation with him—will undergo a definitive “evolutionary leap” of “transubstantiation” in Christ. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ratzinger; evolution; theodicy; evil; suffering; death; love; kenosis; Mariology; eschatology Ratzinger; evolution; theodicy; evil; suffering; death; love; kenosis; Mariology; eschatology
MDPI and ACS Style

Ramage, M.J. Ratzinger on Evolution and Evil: A Christological and Mariological Answer to the Problem of Suffering and Death in Creation. Religions 2021, 12, 583. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12080583

AMA Style

Ramage MJ. Ratzinger on Evolution and Evil: A Christological and Mariological Answer to the Problem of Suffering and Death in Creation. Religions. 2021; 12(8):583. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12080583

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ramage, Matthew J. 2021. "Ratzinger on Evolution and Evil: A Christological and Mariological Answer to the Problem of Suffering and Death in Creation" Religions 12, no. 8: 583. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12080583

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