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This preamble to the revised edition of the New Catholic Encyclopedia focuses on the pontificate of Pope John Paul II and on events in the last decades of the twentieth century. Promising the same scholarship and comprehensive coverage praised in the NCE, the Jubilee Volume is a registry of people and issues that shaped the Church in the period after the Second Vatican Council. Their importance lies in the influence they have had on shaping the future of the Church as it crosses the threshold from one millennium to the next.
The volume has two distinctive parts. The first is a series of interpretative essays that survey developments and analyze the principles that have determined church policy in the years of Pope John Paul's pontificate. They trace political and cultural influences that formed the outlook and values that Karol Wojtyla brought with him from Poland to Rome and to the world. Each of the authors focuses on a particular aspect: his personalist philosophy, approach to theology, social thought, implementation of Vatican II, and ecumenical concerns. The essays show that his vision and influence transcend theological issues and extend well beyond the institutional Church to basic human rights and family values, to the arts and science, to economics and geopolitics.
The second part of the volume follows the traditional encyclopedia format in reporting the hard data that one expects to find in a reference work: dates, place names, information about people, institutions, and events. A major section of this second part presents thumbnail sketches of hundreds of saints and beati declared by John Paul II.
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