Pope Benedict XVI
His Life and Mission
ISBN 9781585424504 | 208 pages | 21 Jul 2005 | Tarcher | 5.66 x 8.50in | 18 - AND UP
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While often regarded as a conservative influence on the church, the Pope and his story defy easy categorization, argues bestselling author Stephen Mansfield. John Paul became a priest only after attending an underground seminary during the Nazi occupation of Poland. To keep his national culture alive during those dark years, young Karol started an outlawed theater troupe. He became a poet and a playwright, and, even after gaining an international reputation as a theologian, he still kept the artist's touch.
Mansfield vividly recalls the Pope as the churchman whose courage helped to bring down communism, as the world figure who visited his would-be assassin's prison cell to extend forgiveness, and as the theologically conservative icon who fought for the poor and against the corruptions of capitalism more than any other world leader of his time. He is the first pope to enter a synagogue, the first to apologize for the Holocaust, and the first to visit a concentration camp.
What is certain, says Mansfield, is that Pope John Paul II has had a decisive impact on our times, and not only as a religious leader: He has shaped our world as a philosopher, a statesman, an artist, and a "great soul."
In Pope John Paul II, Mansfield examines the Pope's influence on the world specifically from the perspective of a non-Catholic-a committed Christian without fealty to Rome. Mansfield's academic depth, his poetic but widely accessible writing style, and his ability to render complex religious ideas understandable to the non-religious, lend his treatment of Pope John Paul II significance for readers of all philosophies and faiths.
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