Pope John Paul II: Prophetic Politicianby Jo Renee Formicola
In this highly riveting profile, political scientist Jo Renee Formicola examines John Paul II and the relationship between his religious beliefs and political practices. Placing the pope in the context of highly transformational religious leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mohatma Ghandi, and Desmond Tutu, she argues that John Paul II's vision of a higher order of politics has made him a catalyst for social change in the late 20th century-and beyond.
Formicola likens John Paul's role in the global arena to that of prophets from antiquity who critiqued political/religious leaders in the name of God. This function, however, fell out of favor during the Renaissance due to the rise of the nation-state and the Enlightenment, and was virtually nonexistent by the end of the Industrial Revolution. But the unprecedented brutality of the 20th century-world wars, the Holocaust, the nuclear arms race, totalitarian regimes, and the Cold War-has forced many to reconsider the model of a "prophetic politics" as a means to elevate human dignity and implement social justice around the world.
Drawing from John Paul's social encyclicals, diplomatic speeches, and international reportage, Formicola tells the engaging story of an unlikely religious leader whose impact on global politics has been unprecedented. She emphasizes his outreach to China, Russia, and Cubaand the United Statesin the midst of the post-Cold War shift in international relations. She pays particular attention to the role of reconciliation in international politics, citing the Pope's peacemaking efforts in the ongoing conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors. In a stirring final chapter Formicola argues that the Christian economic and political principles John Paul so passionately advocates are the basis for new and profound ways to transform society.
This book provides an intimate look at one man's attempt to change the world. Written for students and the general public, it serves as both a primer on the impact of John Paul II and an astute analysis of the integral relationship between religion and politics.
- Georgetown University Press
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.44(w) x 8.62(h) x 0.73(d)
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