--Here's the English translation of the Preface.
--This is volume 1 of a proposed 2 volume work.
--Volume 1 is called "Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration", and it will cover (not surprisingly) the Baptism to the Transfiguration.
--The Pope decided to break it into two volumes because he realized he might not have the strength to complete the whole project.
--He started writing it in 2003. (Which conflicts with what I've heard elsewhere... Perhaps he envisioned this particularly work then and it was at that time that he started writing--though his interest in writing a book on this topic goes back much further).
--The book comes out next spring.
--The German edition will be published by Herder Verlag.
--CNS describes the book as "a major scholarly and spiritual book"
--CWN reports: "The Rizzoli publishing house described the forthcoming book as Pope Benedict's "very original reading and historico-theological analysis of the foundation of Christian faith." The book incorporates the product of the Pope's years of scholarly research in theology, the publisher says, yet it is written with remarkable clarity and simplicity, which will appeal to the ordinary reader. The book, Rizzoli says, combines rigorous scholarship with "great passion," as the Pope invites readers to "let themselves be touched by Christ."
--CNA cites the publisher as well: ""Benedict XVI describes Jesus with great passion, permitting every reader to reflect inwardly and to be touched by Christ; at the same time conserving a rigorous scientific line that characterizes the writings and speeches of the scholar."
Is the Bishop of Rome writing a book on Jesus in the style of a certain Bishop of Durham? Sounds like it...
One final note, some have grossly misrepresented the Pope's closing words:
"Certainly, there should be no need to say explicitly that this book is absolutely not a magisterial action, but is only the expression of my personal research into the 'face of the Lord" (Ps 27,8). And so everyone is free to contradict me."In fact, a number of headlines have come out with wordings such as "Pope's book opens up debate over infallibility", implying that the Pope is overturning the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility. That's ridiculous. Zadok has more on that.