This book originated in 1993 when two Polish philosophers - the late Father Jozef Tischner and Krzysztof Michalski - taped a series of conversations with Pope John Paul II on the impact of Nazism and communism on Polish history. When the transcripts were done, the pope decided to delay publication until after 2000 to refine his views, resulting in this new book.
A historical and philosophical meditation on freedom and its limits, as well as on ideas of Homeland and Nation, and on the Christian roots of Europe, it offers an extraordinary message of peace and hope in the salvation of humankind.
The world's greatest communicator offers a moving insight into his intellectual and spiritual journey and pastoral experience. Each chapter suggests the answer to a question which either exercised his mind or which he provoked in discussion with laymen and priests. Using the encounters at his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo where conversations took place with leading intellectuals - philosophers as well as theologians - Pope John Paul II addresses in his book many of the questions which arose from these discussions. Here he leaves for posterity an intellectual and spiritual testament in an attempt to seek the answer to defining problems that vex our lives.
The book ends with the Pope's first ever published comments on the assassination attempt upon his life in 1981. The conversational tone and form of this book indicates to the reader that this is not an academic thesis, more of a friendly talk. Each chapter is, as it were, the answer to a question which many of us carry in our heads or hearts.
- Table of Contents
THE LIMIT IMPOSED UPON EVIL
- Mysterium Iniquitatis: The Coexistence of Good and Evil
- Ideologies of Evil
- The Limit Imposed Upon Evil in European History
- Redemption as the Divine Limit Imposed Upon Evil
- The Mystery of Redemption
- Redemption: Victory Given as a Task to Man
FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
- Toward a Just Use of Freedom
- Freedom is For Love
- The Lessons of Recent History
- The Mystery of Mercy
THINKING "MY COUNTRY"
(NATIVE LAND - NATION - STATE)
- On the Concept of Patria (Native Land)
- The Concept of Nation
- Nation and Culture
(POLAND - EUROPE - CHURCH)
- Europe as "Native Land"
- The Evangelization of Central and Eastern Europe
- The Positive Fruits of the Enlightenment
- The Mission of the Church
- The Relationship Between Church and State
- Europe in the Context of Other Continents
DEMOCRACY: POSSIBILITIES AND RISKS
- Modern Democracy
- Back to Europe?
- The Maternal Memory of the Church
- The Vertical Dimension of European History
- "Someone Must Have Guided That Bullet"
- Pope John Paul II
Memory and Identity: Conversations at the Dawn of a Millennium
Publisher: Rizzoli, March 2005
192 pages, hardcover
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