From the July/August, 2007 issue of Touchstone
Prodigal Continent by Robert Hart

Prodigal Continent

Without Roots
by Joseph Ratzinger and Marcello Pera
Perseus Books Group, 2006
(135 pages, $22.00, hardcover)

reviewed by Robert Hart

We know the story of the Prodigal Son, and its message of repentance and forgiveness. The opening of the story focuses on the beginning of his fall, the waste of his inheritance, by which he is known forever. Prodigality in this case was about extravagance, and the satisfaction of lusts.

It seems that another kind of prodigality can take hold of people, just as wasteful and disrespectful of a father’s labor. It is the throwing away of a valuable inheritance in return for nothing at all, as if it were, itself, spent on the husks that the swine did eat rather . . .


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