Gerard Mannion and his contributors have presented insightful, accessible analyses which hold promise of generating dispassionate, non-polemic discussion of the complex work of a multi-faceted Pope, John Paul II.
Catholic Books Review
The book will serve these two audiences well: professional theologians will learn much from the authors in their own and especially other disciplines, and ordinary churchgoers will be introduced to a larger view of John Paul II. The book would be excellent for discussion groups in Catholic parishes worldwide. Each of these finely tuned essays shows the greatness of this man by replacing the mythological account with the historical record.
The various essays in this collection reflect the complexity of the Pope’s legacy. This collection provides an important resource for a better understanding of the recent history of the Church and the manifold issues that mark this history. The various essays offer a critical and balanced interpretation of John Paul II’s vision.
Catholic Library World
This book could well serve as a primer for those wishing a better understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of John Paul II’s potificate. . . . what emerges from this volume is a deeper appreciation of the challenges facing a pope who straddled the 20th and 21st centuries. There is little doubt that the authors share a profound respect for John Paul.
This is a valuable bookchallenging and provocative. It brings together many insights that will be foundational for further research on the life and influence of John Paul and his lengthy pontificate.
The length of John Paul II’s tenure of the papacy, the complexity of his personality, and the ambivalence of his legacy make him not only a compelling subject of study, but also a challenging one. This book, however, succeeds admirably in depicting both the light and shadow of John Paul. The authors have crafted a text that is comprehensive in its themes, nuanced in its approach, and always accessible in its expression. The book will serve as a valuable guide for all those wishing to engage further with John Paul II.
Richard Lennan, Professor of Systematic Theology, School of Theology and Ministry, Boston College
Gerard Mannion is to be congratulated for this splendid collection on the papacy of John Paul II. Well-focused and insightful essays help us to understand his thoughts on philosophy, the papacy, women, the church, religious life, morality, collegiality, interreligious dialogue, and liberation theology. With authors representing a wide variety of perspectives, Mannion avoids the predictable ideological battles over the legacy of Pope John Paul; rather he captures the depth and complexity of this extraordinary figure by the balance, intelligence, and comprehensiveness of the volume. A well-planned and beautifully executed project!
James F. Keenan, SJ, Founders Professor in Theology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Scenes of the charismatic John Paul II kissing the tarmac, praying with global religious leaders, addressing throngs of adoring young people, and finally dying linger in the world's imagination. This book turns to another side of this outsized religious leader and examines his vision of the church and his theological positions. Each of these finely tuned essays show the greatness of this man by replacing the mythological account with the historical record. The straightforward, honest, expert, and yet accessible analyses situate John Paul II in his context and show both the triumphs and the ambiguities of his intellectual legacy. This masterful collection is absolutely basic reading for critically appreciating the papacy of John Paul II.
Roger Haight, SJ, Union Theological Seminary, New York