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Saved in Hope: Spe Salvi

4.57 of 5 stars 4.57  ·  rating details  ·  417 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The second encyclical from Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict XVI’s second encyclical, Saved In Hope, (“Spe Salvi” in Latin) takes its title from St. Paul, who wrote, “In hope we have been saved”. In this special deluxe hardcover edition of the work, the Holy Father continues a line of thought he began with his first encyclical, God is Love. Love and Hope are closely related ...more
Hardcover, 107 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Ignatius Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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Read this. Don't wait for the book, go to and read it.

It's accessible, enlightening, and true.

There's incredible richness and depth in the Holy Father's words here, richness and depth that will take several readings spaced out over months -- and years -- to sink in.

I could fill this review with a wall of quotes, but it might just be easier if you'd read Spe Salvi in its entirety. It's that good.

The Pope casts a wide net in this encyclical, the net of hope
Feb 26, 2010 §-- rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Richard Dawkins
Shelves: religion, encyclicals
Everything we have come to expect from Benedict XVI--lucidity and a depth steeped in the classics. The Pope replies to Marx, Adorno, Bacon, and all of those, common in our time, who think that human progress is attainable here on earth independent of God. Benedict simply flattens all of them. "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain." (Psalm 127) Unless the Lord builds the civilization, progress is illu ...more
Suffice it to say, there were several things I found quite intriguing in this encyclical: the frankness with which Pope Benedict approaches the problems of materialism, fatalism, and the "faith in progress," bequeathed to us by the Enlightenment (he cites Francis Bacon); the steering away of Christian life from a self-centered concern for merely one's own salvation, focusing instead on creating hope in others, and not merely in this world, but in the "Kingdom of God"; and lastly, his treatment o ...more
I'm re-reading this for an article I'd like to read. I'm understanding it better the second time through and I REALLY prefer reading it in a nice little booklet instead of a computer print-out. :)
One of only three encyclicals Pope Benedict XVI penned before stepping down as Supreme Pontiff, "Spe Salvi" is an examination of the nature of hope, its relationship to faith, how it is experienced in life, and its place in salvation. Perhaps surprising for those unfamiliar with Benedict, or relying on the media's portrayal of the former Cardinal Ratzinger to form their opinion of the man, "spe Salvi" is a joy to read and presents some of the central tenets of Christianity in a way that fosters ...more
Benedict does a nice job of expounding on the Christian hope and the future in breaking of the Kingdom for which the Church longs.
Particularly praiseworthy is the clarity and accessibility of Benedict's prose. He certainly is a great author. I think there is a great deal of depth here. His use of historical examples brings the topic alive. Benedict is a responsible exegete of scripture. This encyclical is a joy to read.

Most of the criticisms of this Encyclical stem from the aspects of the Chris
Maurizio Codogno
Dopo Deus Caritas Est, la seconda enciclica di papa Ratzinger tratta della speranza. Si possono fare delle scommesse se un'eventuale terza enciclica sarà sulla fede :-) A parte questa battuta piuttosto scontata, ammetto che questa enciclica mi ha piuttosto deluso. Io da un'enciclica mi aspetto un testo che, anche se non a livello di dogma, riporta il pensiero ufficiale della Chiesa Cattolica. Qua, almeno nella prima metà dell'enciclica, abbiamo tutta una serie di dottissime citazioni papali che ...more
Neil Coulter

I find Benedict a very encouraging and challenging writer, and both of those characteristics are in the forefront of his second encyclical, Saved in Hope. He begins with Romans 8:24--"in hope we were saved"--and then asks: "what sort of hope could ever justify the statement that, on the basis of that hope and simply because it exists, we are redeemed? And what sort of certainty is involved here?" From that question, Benedict spins out a beautiful answer.

In this encyclical, as in other of Benedic

Excelente. Es sencillo, claro, pero profundo. Me resultó muy interesante la cuestión de la vinculación entre la esperanza personal y la esperanza de la humanidad. La salvación personal y la salvación de la humanidad.
Jon Coronel
Affirmed my perspectives about Faith.
Favorite part: On the exploration of Faith based on Heb 11:1
"Faith is the "hypostasis" of things hoped for. The "elechos" of things not seen."
Hypostasis as substance, essence, firm foundation and elechos as proof, evidence, demonstration implying objectivity rather than subjectivity.
Similarly in another article, Benedict demonstrated that Faith is indeed objective - which simply means knowing "God as Love". Thus, Faith, is an Objective Truth that gi
Benedict goes deep into philosophy, which means that the Catholic masses won't appreciate this very much. It's better for agnostic or apathetic scientist-types: the pope explains how the Church sees its relationship with science. This ties to the theme of hope: scientific progress hasn't led to moral progress, and Benedict sees the Church and faith as the way to hope.
My favorite encyclical of any Pope. So accessible.
Just as with Deus Caritas Est, this is one of the most profound works I've read in years. Pope Benedict has written a beautiful, concise explanation of the meaning of hope for everything from life after death, to the purpose of suffering, the interactions between politics and religion, science, atheism, and what it actually means when people talk about Jesus having "redeemed" us --

-- and he did it in 60 pages. Absolutely brilliant.
Ben De Bono
The formidable wisdom and intellect of Pope Benedict are on full display in his second encyclical. Reading this is a wonderful reminder of what a blessing the church was given by being placed under Benedict's leadership for eight years.

Many of the themes in this volume reminded me of N.T. Wright's Surprised by Hope. The two would make a wonderful paired reading and would not doubt prove fascinating if placed in conversational analysis with one another.
This encyclical is important in our times. It shows that God doesn't give up on people. There is hope, even in our modern times. And we are saved in hope - like the Bible says. I like also that this encyclical letter ends by the prayer to Virgin Mary. She is our Hope, she leads us to God and as long as we have Her we are saved and we have Hope.
J.T. Therrien
In Spe Salvi (Saved in Hope) Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explores man's historical, social and spiritual existence in the world, and how this existence is dependent upon hope.

Although this encyclical is more technical than some of the other more recent ones, this is a fundamentally important text that every Catholic needs to read.
My favorite of Benedict's first 2 encyclicals. Not that it was purposefully an answer to Obama, but he brilliantly exposes the emptiness in our president's Godless and ironically hopeLESS "Audacity of Hope."
Peter Calabrese
Interesting that the President of the United Sates and the Holy Father both bear names that mean blessing and both wrote books on Hope. This book is about hope in Jesus Christ.
Peter M.
I've read Pope Benedict's two other encyclical letters, I believe in the course of history he will be judged as a man of his times....
Better than Deus Caritas Est, in my opinion, and successfully explains, inspires, and draws forth the hope of Christians.
Mitchell Hebert
Absolutely amazing. Easy to read and follow for almost anyone. My 14 year old brother read it and loved it as well.
Enrique Hernandez
The pastoral nature of the encyclical is inspiring. The hope we have is more than real, it guides us.
Todd Zywicki
What it means to be human. Can you think of anything more important? A guide to human happiness here.
The book is a great joy to read and a wonderful explanation of Catholic teaching on hope.
Gracie Benedetto! A truly insightful and timely letter from our Pontiff.
Mar 09, 2008 Jon marked it as to-read
I have heard this is a good read and defintely have it on my to-read list!
Tim Fairchild
Hope requires confidence, confidence is developed through practice.
Claire Hoipkemier
were you a PLS major Papa?
Diane Yonchuk
Diane Yonchuk marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2015
Oscar Esquivel Soto
Oscar Esquivel Soto marked it as to-read
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Pope Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus PP. XVI; Italian: Benedetto XVI; German: Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on 16 April 1927) was the 265th Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the head of the Roman Catholic Church. He was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, an ...more
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Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration God Is Love--Deus Caritas Est: Encyclical Letter Jesus of Nazareth, Part Two: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection The Spirit of the Liturgy Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives

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“It is not by sidestepping or fleeing from suffering that we are healed, but rather by our capacity for accepting it, maturing through it and finding meaning through union with Christ, who suffered with infinite love.” 33 likes
“It is when we attempt to avoid suffering by withdrawing from anything that might involve hurt, when we try to spare ourselves the effort and pain of pursuing truth, love, and goodness, that we drift into a life of emptiness, in which there may be almost no pain, but the dark sensation of meaninglessness and abandonment is all the greater.” 20 likes
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