[English] „Licht aus dem Osten!“ Ratzinger Studienwoche IV Joseph Ratzinger/Papst Benedikt XVI. und das Östliche Christentum

„Ex Oriente Lux!“ Throughout four days (19th to 22nd of June 2024) a total of 30 participants engaged themselves at the fourth Ratzinger Studienwoche with Joseph Ratzinger and his relation to Eastern Christianity. The Studienwoche was organised by the Wiener Studienhaus Johannes von Damaskus (CCVU) with the St. Ephräm Wissenschaftliches Zentrum für Orient&Okzident-Studien (STEP) in cooperation with the ITI Catholic University (Trumau). Following three intensive seminar sessions, a series of lectures set in. A wide variety of subjects was covered, all centering on the question of how and in what way the light of the christian east is reflected in the work of Ratzinger. Thus Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Feulner (Vienna) delineated with Ratzinger the authority of the pope in matters of liturgical rite and highlighted eastern influences on Ratzinger`s liturgical thought (by the likes of the cosmic dimension of the liturgy or the orientation towards the east). Whereas Dean Prof. Dr. Michael Wladika (Trumau) pointed to the continuity between Ignatius of Antioch and Ratzinger on matters of unity and christological realism, Prof. Dr. Michaela C. Hastetter (STEP/Trumau) demonstrated the impact of the thought of the Russian philosopher Wladimir Solowjew on a whole range of areas in Ratzinger`s Œvre (not least in the field of the development of doctrine). On Friday morning the christological themes of the prayer of Christ in Gethsemane in the work of Maximus Confessor and Joseph Ratzinger (Prof. Dr. Manuel Schlögl, Cologne) as well as the recovery of a positive view of the neochalcedonian patristic writers within catholic scholarship accomplished by Ratzinger (Prof. Dr. Stefanos Athanasiou, Munich) were addressed. In the last lecture on Friday morning P. Dr. habil. Ephräm Givi Lomidze (STEP/Wien/Trumau) tackled the controversial topic of the indissolubility of marriage in orthodox theology and as viewed by Ratzinger. In the early afternoon two STEP graduates had the opportunity to present discoveries from their research. While Mag. Veronika Chornous spoke on eastern influences on Ratzingers interpretation of the beatitudes, Mag. Tornike Dzindzibadze referred to overlaps in the reception of the First Vatican Council in André Scrima and Joseph Ratzinger. Afterwards Dr. Miroljub Gligorić (STEP) demonstrated the significance of eastern ecclesiological thought on Ratzinger`s communio-theology. At the end of the day Prof. Dr. Martin Rehak (Munich) elaborated on the renunciation of the title „Patriarch of the West“ by Pope Benedict XVI. Saturday morning started with an interview with Prof. em. Dr. P. Stephan O. Horn SDS (Passau), questions being asked by P. Dr. habil. Ephräm Givi Lomidze. Prof. Horn recounted his experiences with Ratzinger with particular emphasis on Ratzinger`s relation to Eastern Christianity. Subsequent to a panel discussion, abbot Dr. Maximilian Heim OCist (Heiligenkreuz) celebrated the closing mass. The Ratzinger Studienwoche IV wholly succeeded in fulfilling the wish of Pope Benedict XVI., who exemplified and entrusted to the STEP to engage in the dialog between western and eastern christianity through an „interplay of thought and life“.

Walther H. Wladika