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Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II
Witness to Hope is the authoritative biography of one of the singular figures -- some might argue the singular figure -- of our time. With unprecedented cooperation from John Paul II and the people who knew and worked with him throughout his life, George Weigel offers a groundbreaking portrait of the Pope as a man, a thinker, and a leader whose religious convictions defined a new approach to world politics -- and changed the course of history. As even his critics concede, John Paul II occupied a unique place on the world stage and put down intellectual markers that no one could ignore or avoid as humanity entered a new millennium fraught with possibility and danger.
Portrait of a Colossus
By Richard Kew
- May 17, 2000
I did not expect to find Weigel on the Pope so engrossing. I decided to buy it because I have come to realize just how significant a figure in both Christian and world affairs the Pope has been. Karol Wojtyla's biography has inspired me to look beyond the present. As I read I realized how deeply I had misunderstood the Pope. There is little doubt that he is one of the greatest figures of our time. Some of my misconceptions of John Paul were due to my own personal discomfort as an Anglican with various facets of Roman Catholicism. However, our own limited perceptions should not distort our recognition of greatness.Just as I brought my own preconceptions to the man, so have the media who have been covering him since that day in 1978 when he was elected. The press have distorted this man because they have read him through glasses tinted by their own secular conditioning. As a result there is a "good" John Paul who affirms some of their social agendas, and... read more
A superb and deeply serious book.
By Ervin S Duggan
- October 14, 1999
For this Presbyterian, George Weigel's book about Pope John Paul II was a revelation not only about a remarkable figure in history, but also about Catholic thought and practice. Weigel has written far more than a conventional biography. "Witness to Hope" is also a sweeping history of John Paul's times and his papacy, a trenchant observer's comments on politics in the '70s and '80s, and a sharp-minded theologian's explication of John Paul's voluminous writings. A couple of critics have sniped that Weigel's book lacks "incisive criticisms" of John Paul. In fact, Weigel does speak critically at many points; he simply does so with such civility and respect that bloodthirsty adversaries of the Pope and his church are likely to be disappointed. Far more valuable is Weigel's fidelity to a principle that he states at the outset: that John Paul's life and papacy can only be understood "from the inside." Weigel's vantage point is as... read more
Impressive scholarship, yet readable
By A Customer
- December 12, 1999
This is a comprehensive biography of Pope John Paul II, based on extensive interviews and a thorough study of writings by the Pope covering more than 50 years. Despite the size of the book, it is very readable. The author places emphasis on the significance of John Paul's contributions to philosophy, theology, evangelism, and the Catholic Church over the long run. Hence the book is more than journalism, a common fault of most treatments of the life of this Pope. While the author has made a strong case elsewhere (in the magazine First Things) for Pope John Paul II as the most important person of the 20th century, this book leaves one with the clear impression that of all the leaders of the 20th century, John Paul is the most likely to have the greatest influence on the course of the 21st century. I cannot think of a better book to read as the new millenium approaches.
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Witness to Genocide: The Children of Rwanda This book presents art and drawings of Rwandan children who survived the genocide that occured in that country in 1994. The graphic tale told through their ...
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Karol ("Lolek") Wojtyla and Jerzy ("Jurek") Kluger were schoolmates until the autumn of 1938. They played hockey and went to dances together, went skiing and swimming, and studied in one another's ...
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The Catholic Church may be the most controversial institution in the world. Whether the question is the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, the relationship of Catholicism to other religious communities, ...
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Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, the person of St. Joseph has remained relatively hidden. This obscurity has led to misunderstandings, exaggerations, and distortions that directly ...
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Pope John Paul II led the Catholic Church during a time of great upheaval. During his pontificate (1978-2005), the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall collapsed, and great strides were made for freedom ...