The Vocation of a Theologian: The Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI

Event details

  • Sunday | May 7, 2023
  • 7:00 pm

Co-presented with The Lumen Christi Institute, The Collegium Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture and The Portsmouth Institute for Faith and Culture.


From his role as a key peritus at the Second Vatican Council, a professor in Germany, to his tenure as prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger was a part of almost every Catholic theological conversation in the latter half of the 20th century. As pope, he brought his lifetime of learning to bear on his preaching, encyclicals, and continued publishing.

This webinar takes a look at Pope Benedict’s theological vocation and offers perspectives on his enduring legacy and witness.

Russell Hittinger is Senior Fellow at the Lumen Christi Institute, visiting professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies and Law at the University of Tulsa. He is also Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Hittinger is the author of many books, including A Critique of the New Natural Law Theory, The First Grace: Rediscovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age, Thomas Aquinas and the Rule of Law, and most recently Paper Wars: Catholic Social Doctrine and the Modern State (forthcoming).

Tracey Rowland is John Paul II Chair of Theology at the University of Notre Dame (Australia). She earned her doctorate in philosophy from the Divinity School of Cambridge University and her pontifical STL and STD degrees from the Pontifical Lateran University.  From 2014-2019 she was a member of the 9th International Theological Commission. For her theological work, she is a 2020 recipient of the Ratzinger Prize. She is the author of Culture and the Thomist Tradition after Vatican II, Ratzinger’s Faith: The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI, and Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed.

Fr. Thomas Esposito, O.Cist., is a monk of Our Lady of Dallas Cistercian Abbey in Texas, where he currently serves as Subprior and Junior Master. He is an Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of Dallas, where he teaches courses on biblical languages, Scriptural interpretation, and world religions. Fr. Esposito holds an SSD and SSL from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and is author of Jesus’s Meals with Pharisees and their Liturgical Roots (Analecta Biblica Dissertationes) and The Roots that Clutch: Letters on the Origins of Things.