National Catholic Reporter: Electing a new pope April 19, 2005:
"As a young priest, Ratzinger was on the progressive side of theological debates, and served at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) as a peritus for reform-minded Cardinal Josef Frings of Cologne, Germany. After the student revolutions of 1968, however, Ratzinger shifted to the right. In the Vatican, he has been the driving force behind crackdowns on liberation theology, religious pluralism, challenges to traditional moral teachings on issues such as homosexuality, and dissent on issues such as women's ordination."
Really that should say "a great mass of academic theologians, especially ones that were paid attention to by the media, shifted to the left making Ratzinger, a theologian seem to be on the right.
As best I can tell, I've got Ratzinger's memoir, but I've just started reading it, Ratzinger is in the vein of the synthesis of Thomism, philosophical personalism (with such proponents as Martin Buber, Karol Wojtyla [tempered by phenomenology], and more recently Leon Kass], and the nouvelle theologie of de Lubac and von Balthazar, a school that doesn't really have a name other than "the ascendent modern orthodoxy", rather than the further left Kung, Rahner, and Schillebeckx.