The Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI (1927-2022) | “Source and Summit: The Liturgy as the Theology of Joseph Ratzinger''



The Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy will hold a Public Lecture on The Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI (1927-2022) titled “Source and Summit: The Liturgy as the Theology of Joseph Ratzinger” on 20 April 2023.


For Joseph Ratzinger the liturgy was not simply one subject amongst others in the work of theology: it was the privileged place of the encounter with God – it was his theology. As theologian, bishop and pope, he wrote within an explicitly liturgical framework which was nourished by and itself sought to nourish the Church’s liturgy. Conscious always that we are servants of the apostolic tradition, he drew upon the words and actions of the Liturgy understood as the principal monument to that tradition and as the complement to Sacred Scripture, to forge a view of the Christian faith that was ever ancient ever new.  This notion of liturgical custodianship of tradition is seen most clearly in his rejection of magisterial positivism in his theological works The Feast of Faith and The Spirit of the Liturgy, and in both his encyclicals as Pope and the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. This paper will consider these themes and ask whether Ratzinger’s vision can outlast him, particularly within the context of the distinctly different perspective of his successor. 


Stephen Morgan is the Rector of the University of Saint Joseph and an Associate Professor of Theology and Ecclesiastical History in the Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy.

He holds a DPhil in Theology from the University of Oxford, where he was a post-doctoral Research Associate of St Benet’s Hall between 2013 and 2015. He has been a member of the academic staff of the Maryvale Institute of Higher Religious Sciences since 2011. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of Great Britain in 2021. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and of the Royal Society of Arts. A member of the Society for Catholic Liturgy, he sits on the editorial board of “Antiphon: a journal for liturgical renewal”. 

His John Henry Newman and the Development of Doctrine (CUA Press: Washington DC, 2021), has been described as “brilliantly written…a ‘must-read’ for everyone who is seriously interested in Newman’s theology.” (Reinhard Hütter, Nova et Vetera, 20(4), Fall 2022, p.1339).


Date: Thursday, 20 April 2023
Time: 6:45 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. (GMT+8) 
Location: Library Conference Room, USJ Ilha Verde Campus

Organised by: Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy, University of Saint Joseph

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*Free event, open to the general public
*Sessions will be conducted in English