Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II

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9780060187934: Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II

A comprehensive and compelling account of the life and work of Pope John Paul II.

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”. In this the only account of his life to be written with the Pope’s co-operation, a remarkable and unique person is revealed.

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 privileged 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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Review:

For his monumental authorised biography, Witness to Hope, George Weigel was given unprecedented access to Pope John Paul II and the people who know and work with him. Other biographers have either had a political agenda, or didn't have the theological and cultural expertise to fully analyse this "pope from a far country". Not so with Weigel.

Witness to Hope not only tells the story of the boy who grew up in occupied Poland to become the first non-Italian pope for centuries, but it also explores the Pope's part in the second Vatican Council, his role in the downfall of communism, the rapprochement between Israel and the Vatican, and the downfall of dicatorships around the world. Weigel understands the motors that drive Pope John Paul. He shows how the Pope's intellect is given heart by his love of poetry and drama, and how intellect and creativity merge to create a mystic personality in a world of action. History, theology, spirituality and a profound humanism are all woven together in the Pope's life and in Weigel's analysis. Witness to Hope is scholarly and complete, but the author's journalistic experience means he also knows how to keep the reader's interest with human stories, anecdotes and fascinating detail.

Only three popes have earned the title "The Great". Many Catholics want the present pope to be the fourth. They are more likely to enjoy this biography than his critics, who may find it too admiring. In this reviewer's judgement, Weigel does admire the pope, but he has maintained his objectivity and given us a book which steers clear of both adulation and biased criticism. --Dwight Longenecker

Review:

“A lucid account of John Paul II’s life is the best we have.” Daily Telegraph

“The first full scale biography that presents the Pope’s life from the inside and the convictions that shaped his life.” Catholic Times

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Book Description U.S.A.: Harper, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st Edition. Harper, 1999. Book Condition: New. Brand New, signed by George Weigel, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition from the agency collection of Loretta Barrett, George Weigel's longtime literay agent. This is an absolutely beautiful copy! 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 information. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 5

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