A comprehensive and compelling account of the life and work of Pope John Paul II. The only account of his life to be written with the Pope's co-operation reveals a remarkable and unique person. When the Holy Father first asked George Weigel to write his biography he said: "You have the interior disposition to do this...you know my mind". Drawing ...
A comprehensive and compelling account of the life and work of Pope John Paul II. The only account of his life to be written with the Pope's co-operation reveals a remarkable and unique person. When the Holy Father first asked George Weigel to write his biography he said: "You have the interior disposition to do this...you know my mind". Drawing on unique access to Vatican papers and based on extensive interviews with the Pope himself, George Weigel draws together the two main strands of the ministry of the head on the Catholic Church. Others have written about the Pope as a political figure, but none with so much priveleged information. The spiritual side however, has largely been neglected by commentators and observers alike. This authoritative and complete biography examines the driving forces of the Pope's Christian faith and his dramatic reform of the papacy for the modern world. It looks at his philosophical position, prophetic outlook, his profound understanding of human freedom and his work for unity. The book explores his challenge to the sexual revolution, his concern for young people and his dialogue with science. For those of all faiths and none, Witness to Hope will make a powerful impact on every reader.
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Perhaps one of the most well written spiritual autobiographies of our time. This book is thoroughly researched, well written and delivers it's content with a style that engages the reader. The work reveals many things unknown about the multi-faceted life and works of this great pope, now called "John Paul the Great": his philosophical work (he was a first-rate philosophical thinker and writer), his deep regard for humanity and the human condition, his love and theology of the figure of Mary, and his concern for the church and the direction of Catholic thought in the twentieth century. Unlike the rather silly and amaturish attempt at biography by the jounalist Woodward, this author knows the Catholic territory very well and it shows in his knowlegable prose, which in comparison, the Woodward book reads like a comic book. Highly recommended and very readable.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-09-13 Weigel's massive work aspires to be definitive: it is subtitled "the," not "a," biography of John Paul II. Weigel, a Catholic layman and a fellow at the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., enjoyed the cooperation of the pope and access to top Vatican officials, so the book is rich in new detail. Determined to explain this papacy from the "inside out," Weigel successfully focuses on John Paul's trademark ideas: Christian humanism, the inner connection between freedom and truth, and culture as the driving force of history. As a guide to the pope's thought, Witness to Hope is invaluable. Yet as biography, it is often defective. Weigel frequently dismisses John Paul's critics rather than debating their ideas. The author's strong pro-Americanism leads him to misrepresent the pope as opposing a "third way" between capitalism and socialism and to treat his criticism of the Gulf War as a rare misjudgment. Though John Paul is a towering 20th-century figure, the assertion that his papacy is the most important since the Counter Reformation seems overblown. The book is well written (if somewhat repetitive, perhaps inevitably so with more than 900 pages) and Weigel's command of the material is impressive, but Witness to Hope reads more like a valedictory hagiography than a sober work of journalism. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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