New York: Sheed and Ward, 1966. First American edition. Octavo. Original pink cloth, original dust jacket. An about-fine copy. Item #126
"YOU HAVE ONE TEACHER AND YOU ARE ALL BRETHREN" (MT 23:8)
First American edition of the English translation of Joseph Ratzinger's ecumenical essay, foreshadowing the work of the Second Vatican Council. As a young peritus to Cardinal Josef Frings, Ratzinger was one of the brightest young minds at the Council. Though the essay—originally delivered as an address in Vienna during Easter 1958—was written before the Council, it wasn't published until after the close of the last session in December 1965. The work is divided into three main sections: The Idea of Christian Brotherhood before and outside Christianity, The Development of the Idea of Brotherhood in Early Christianity, and An Attempt at Synthesis. Ratzinger develops the theme of "brotherhood," contrasting the closed brotherhoods of the ancient mystery religions with the idea of an open brotherhood fostered by the Enlightenment. The Introduction by Robert McAfee Brown of Stanford University (and a Protestant observer at the Council) stresses the "pre-conciliar and pre-Johannine" nature of the work and reminds his American readers that Ratzinger's essay "is not so much the sort of thing made possible by Vatican II, but on the contrary, the sort of thing that made Vatican II possible." Translated by W. A. Glen-Doeple and published in England in the same year under the title Christian Brotherhood. With Ratzinger's brief Foreword, dated "Bonn, August 1960." Approbations.