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God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church [Hardcover]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   307
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.26 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2006
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN  0066213312  
EAN  9780066213316  


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Alternate Formats List Price Our Price Item Number Availability
Hardcover $ 26.95 $ 22.91 55969
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Item Description...
Overview
When John Paul II lapsed into illness for the last time, people flocked from all over the world to pray. He had become a father figure to millions, who now felt orphaned. After more than 26 years of his guidance, the Catholic Church is entering a new age, with its bedrock traditions intact but with pressing questions to address in a rapidly changing world. Beginning with the story of John Paul's final months, this book offers an inside account of the conclave that produced Benedict XVI. Vatican correspondent Weigel also surveys the current state of the Church around the world: its thriving populations in Africa, Latin America, and parts of the post-communist world; its collapse in western Europe; its continued struggles in Asia; and the vibrancy of Catholic life in the United States, even as the Church in America struggles to overcome its recent experience of scandal.--From publisher description.An incisive look at the election of Pope Benedict XVI and its meaning in terms of the Catholic Church examines both the current status of the church around the world and its future role.

Publishers Description

George Weigel's bestselling biography of Pope John Paul II, Witness to Hope, set the standard by which all portraits of the modern papacy are now measured. With God's Choice, he gives us an extraordinary chronicle of the rise of Pope Benedict XVI as well as an unflinching view of the Catholic Church at the dawn of a new era.

When John Paul II lapsed into illness for the last time, people flocked from all over the world to pray outside his apartment. He had become a father figure to millions in a world bereft of strong paternal examples, and those millions now felt orphaned. After more than twenty-six years of John Paul II's guidance, the Catholic Church is entering a new age, with its bedrock traditions intact but with pressing questions to address in a rapidly changing world. Beginning with the story of John Paul's final months, God's Choice offers a remarkable inside account of the conclave that produced Benedict XVI as the next pope, drawing on George Weigel's unrivaled access to this complex event.

Weigel also incisively surveys the current state of the Church around the world: its thriving populations in Africa, Latin America, and parts of the post-communist world; its collapse in western Europe; its continued struggles in Asia; and the vibrancy of many aspects of Catholic life in the United States, even as the Church in America struggles to overcome its recent experience of scandal.

Reflecting on John Paul II's greatness, drawing on firsthand interviews to paint an intimate portrait of the new Pope, and boldly assessing the Church's current condition, God's Choice is an invaluable book for anyone seeking to understand the Catholic future and the larger human future the Church will help to shape.



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More About George Weigel

George Weigel George Weigel, a Catholic theologian and one of America's leading public intellectuals, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies. Weigel was educated at St. Mary's Seminary College in Baltimore and at the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto. He has been an assistant professor of theology at St. Thomas Seminary School of Theology in Kenmore, a scholar-in-residence at the World Without War Council of Greater Seattle, and a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. From 1989 until 1996, Weigel was president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. The author of numerous books on Catholicism and faith, Weigel lives with his wife in North Bethesda, Maryland.


George Weigel currently resides in Bethesda, in the state of Maryland. George Weigel was born in 1951 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, DC the Ethics and Public.

George Weigel has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Library of Religious Biography
  2. Month by Month Gardening
  3. Pennsylvania-German History and Culture Series


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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious   [5128  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General   [5549  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Popes   [88  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Nice, Brief Look at the 265th Pontiff  Feb 23, 2007
Having studied the work of Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) and read more than half-a-dozen works on him, I came to "God's Choice" with a significant cache of knowledge on the subject. While Weigel's work and social commentary (perhaps best known through his syndicated column) remains a source of contention and, at times, controversy, I was rather pleased with this book. I believe that the major fault of the work rests in the initial focus on John Paul II (which occupies more than 100 pages of the 268-page book). Like David Gibson in his "The Rule of Benedict," Weigel apparently felt it necessary to remind the reader of all the great details of Benedict's predecessor - a task I find to be superfluous. That said, it is a good book.

I was delightfully surprised at times while reading this book to find that Weigel had occasionally rendered his advisories an appropriate level of respect. Citing John Allen, Jr., (chief Vatican correspondent for National Catholic Reporter, often noted by being at ends ideologically with the views of Weigel) and others, Weigel significantly avoids polemical spin in a way that has garnered new respect from this reader. However, it should also be noted that there remains a peppering of Weigel's clear and present agenda throughout the book. While at times is appears fleeting or subtle, reader beware that his ecclesial and cultural politics surface here and there. Perhaps one example would suffice.

While addressing his opinion of a "progressive Catholic movement" and its possible Cardinal-elector representatives, he makes the unfounded and impertinent remark: "That, in turn, may explain why the progressive project is infertile - increasingly unable to attract the brightest students in graduate schools of theology in the United States." (Weigel 136-137) Without any substance, using vague terms, Weigel makes a sweeping statement regarding the state of graduate theological students - as it pleases him.

All in all, this is a wonderfully written work. Weigel is clearly intelligent, while politically transparent, and his writing style engages the reader. I would recommend this book as a companion volume to the many other works dedicated to elucidating the life and work of Benedict XVI (see John Allen, Jr.'s "Pope Benedict XVI," H. J. Fischer's "Pope Benedict XVI: A Personal Portrait," and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's "Milestones.").
 
The transition of the papacy brought to life  Jan 18, 2007
George Weigel chronicles the last days of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict with clarity and sensitivity. Weigel blends with ease the narrative of the story and the profound human and spiritual legacy of John Paul II.
 
A hint of things to come  Jan 14, 2007
As the author who 'wrote the book' on the late Pope John Paul II (the biography "Witness to Hope") George Weigel is particularly well informed. He also gives us rare insights into the origins and backgrounds of an ancient ritual, the election of a new pope.
Although the book predates the speech of Pope Benedict XVI in Regensburg, there are already hints there of things to come, as Weigel points out that the, then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, doesn't consider it a coincidence that Christianity was first "incultured" in the late classical world.
 
Insightful Presentation of Benedict and the Modern Catholic Church  Jul 13, 2006
As the official biographer of the late Pope John Paul II, Weigel has special insight into the historical context set by Pope Benedict's predecessor. In God's Choice, he devotes a significant amount of time recalling John Paul's last days, and thus sheds light on the circumstances surrounding Benedict's election. He analyzes the positions of Benedict in relation to those of John Paul, underscoring the similarities and differences between the two leaders. This helps the reader formulate a sense of where the church has been, where it is now, and where it may go in the future under Benedict's leadership. Weigel presents many sides of Benedict, painting a portrait that captures the depth of Benedict's Bavarian heritage, his scholarly background, his relationship with John Paul, and his reluctance to assume the papacy. Weigel is at his best when he can tell the story of a dynamic and spiritual character, and shows yet again why he is the most celebrated papal biographer in Church history. Highly recommended reading for those interested in issues pertaining to the modern Catholic Church.
 
A sequel to Winess to Hope  Jul 8, 2006
George Weigel is the preeminent Catholic author in America today, and would be my vote for Vatican Press Secretary. However, I bought this book to gain deeper insight into Benedict XVI, and find it has much more to do with the end of John Paul II's life and his legacy. It isn't until halfway through the book when the conclave is covered. This book is in reality a sequel to Weigel's monumental biography of John Paul II - not that there's anything wrong with that. Well written, with Mr. Weigel's usual great attention to accurate detail, this book sets the table for an earnest biography of Benedict XVI. If he writes it, George will undoubtedly earn a full five stars.
 

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