From scholarly monographs to papal homilies, Joseph Ratzinger has insisted consistently over decades that Christianity is not a set of ideas to believe or, even less, moral laws to follow. Rather, Christianity is about a person and our encounter with that person.
In The Word Made Love, Christopher Collins identifies in the structure of Ratzinger's thought the presentation of God as one who speaks and who ultimately speaks Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. Humanity's posture before God is one of hearing and responding. For Ratzinger, then, dialogue is the basic structure of all reality, and the Christian vision articulates the radical transformation that happens when we enter into this divine dialogue. Collins argues that this dialogical, communicative structure is a distinctive aspect of Ratzinger's thought and a unique contribution to the renewal of theology in our day.
Fr. Christopher Collins entered the Society of Jesus in 1995. As a Jesuit, he obtained an MA in history from St. Louis University, taught high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and obtained an MDiv and an STL from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After being ordained in 2006, he served as a pastor on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota before returning to Boston College to begin a doctorate in systematic theology. He is currently an assistant professor of theology at St. Louis University and is also the chair of the board of the Apostleship of Prayer in the United States. He has recently published a book through Liturgical Press titledThe Word Made Love: The Dialogical Theology of Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI.