Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II

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Harper Collins, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 1016 pages
41 Reviews

Given unprecedented access to Pope John Paul II and the people who have known and worked with him throughout his life, George Weigel presents a groundbreaking portrait of the Pope as a man, a thinker, and a leader whose religious convictions have defined a new approach to world politics -- and changed the course of history.

John Paul II has systematically addressed every major question on the world's agenda at the turn of the millennium: the human yearning for the sacred, the meaning of freedom, the glories and challenges of human sexuality, the promise of the women's movement, the quest for a new world order, the nature of good and evil, the moral challenge of prosperity, and the imperative of human solidarity in the emerging global civilization.By bringing the age-old wisdom of biblical religion into active conversation with contemporary life and thought, the Pope "from a far country" has crafted a challenging proposal for the human future that is without parallel in the modern world.

Weigel explores new information about the Pope's role in some of the recent past's most stirring events, including the fall of communism; the Vatican/Israel negotiation of 1991-92; the collapse of the Philippine, Chilean, Nicaraguan, and Paraguayan dictatorships during the 1980s; and the epic papal visit to Cuba. Weigel also includes previously unpublished papal correspondence with Leonid Brezhnev, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Deng Xiaoping, and draws on hitherto unavailable autobiographical reminiscences by the Pope.

Witness to Hope also discusses the Pope's efforts to build bridges to other Christian communities, and to Judaism, Islam, and other great world religions; presents an analysis of John Paul's proposals for strengthening democratic societies in the twenty-first century; and offers synopses of every major teaching document in the pontificate.

Rounding out the dramatic story of Pope John Paul II are fresh translations of his poetry; detailed personal anecdotes of the Pope as a young man, priest, and friend, sketched by those who knew him best; and in-depth interviews with Catholic leaders throughout the world.

A magisterial biography of one of the most important figures -- some might argue, the most important figure -- of the twentieth century, Witness to Hope is an extraordinary testimony to the man and his accomplishments, and a papal biography unlike any other.

 

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Review: Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II

User Review  - Kevin Hughes - Goodreads

I was fascinated to learn about Poland's history and JPII's early life, but the later parts of the book became hard to read. Here and there I found some interesting matters, but it was tough going. I'd never read it a second time! Read full review

Review: Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II

User Review  - Russ - Goodreads

While I'm always hesitant to characterize a biography as definitive, I do think of Weigel's biography of Pope John Paul II as magisterial. It is a magnificant summation of a man who used what he lived ... Read full review

Contents

A SON OF FREEDOM
16
3
56
CALL ME Wujelt
88
4
122
A NEW PENTECOST
145
the Council
181
7
235
8
259
13
437
RELIVING THE COUNCIL
481
15
527
16
582
18
678
19
740
A REASONABLE FAITH
789
Epilogue
843

9
265
How MANY DIVISIONS HAS THE POPE?
291
THE WAYS OF FREEDOM
326
II
363
12
396
Afterword
865
Notes
888
Bibliography
951
Acknowledgments
981
Copyright

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Page 338 - You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Page 165 - This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others...
Page 779 - Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
Page 485 - extrinsic" to us, but in a certain way is "intrinsic" to our own religion. With Judaism therefore we have a relationship which we do not have with any other religion. You are our dearly beloved brothers and, in a certain way, it could be said that you are our elder brothers...
Page 81 - God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Page 728 - I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful, (n.
Page 165 - The Synod further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person, as this dignity is known through the revealed Word of God and by reason itself. This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed. Thus it is to become a civil right.
Page 288 - Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it."45 The love between husband and wife and, in a derivatory...
Page 318 - All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore And make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. "Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

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About the author (2001)

George Weigel is a Catholic theologian. Weigel was educated at St. Mary's Seminary College in Baltimore, Maryland and at the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto, Canada. Weigel moved to Seattle where he was Assistant Professor of Theology and Assistant (later Acting) Dean of Studies at the St. Thomas Seminary School of Theology in Kenmore. In 1977, he became Scholar-in-Residence at the World Without War Council of Greater Seattle. In 1984-85 he was a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Weigel is the author or editor of a number of books including Tranquillitas Ordinis: The Present Failure and Future Promise of American Catholic Thought on War and Peace (Oxford University Press, 1987); The Final Revolution: The Resistance Church and the Collapse of Communism (Oxford, 1992); The Truth of Catholicism: Ten Controversies Explored (HarperCollins, 2001); The Courage To Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church (Basic Books, 2002); God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church (HarperCollins, 2005); Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism (Doubleday, 2007); and Against the Grain: Christianity and Democracy, War and Peace (Crossroad, 2008). His scholarly work and his journalism are regularly translated into the major European languages. Weigel has been awarded ten honorary doctorates, the papal cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, and the Gloria Artis Gold Medal by the Republic of Poland. George Weigel and his wife live in North Bethesda, Maryland.

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