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The Surprising Pope

Understanding the Thought of John Paul II

Maciej Zieba O.P. and Adam Pawlowicz - Translated by Karolina Weening - Foreword by Michael Novak

On the wave of Pope John Paul II's recent extraordinary journeys to places such as Cuba and Israel comes this new, accessible survey of his teachings from one of his closest associates. Father Maciej Zieba, a Pole who came back to Catholicism after studies in physics and activist efforts with Solidarnosc, was ordained as a Dominican priest. Young, media-savvy, and down-to-earth as well as erudite and profound, Father Zieba has become known in Poland as an engaging interpreter of the Pope's teachings.

Published here in English are eleven "conversations"—originally interviews conducted for a series of programs on Polish television—on the most important points of John Paul II's teachings. Journalist Adam Pawlowicz represents the reader in dialogue with Zieba, who not only clarifies these teachings but also confronts contemporary critiques. Tackling such complex issues as freedom, democracy, ecumenicalism, and sexuality with grace and equanimity, The Surprising Pope is a major contribution to our understanding of the papacy of John Paul II.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 272Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-0-7391-0145-2 • Hardback • August 2000 • $101.00 • (£70.00)
Maciej Zieba, O.P., is a close associate of John Paul II and regularly represents the Pope to the Polish media. He is the founder of the 'Tertio Millennio' Institut in Krakow. Karolina Weening has translated numerous books and articles in German, Italian, and Polish, and English.
Chapter 1 Introduction: The Pope and the Dominican
Chapter 2 An Explanation and an Invitation
Chapter 3 Stereotypes
Chapter 4 Be Not Afraid!
Chapter 5 Reading History
Chapter 6 Place Demands on Yourself
Chapter 7 The Lessons of Solidarity
Chapter 8 The Test of Freedom
Chapter 9 Democracy and the Church
Chapter 10 The Christian in the Free Market
Chapter 11 Sex and the Church
Chapter 12 Our Brothers and Sisters: Reflections on Ecumensim
Chapter 13 The Church and the Contemporary World
Chapter 14 Epilogue: Time: God's Expression
Chapter 15 Concluding Notes: Diary of a Polish Priest
In a marvelously accessible manner, [Zieba] here responds to questions on everything from the Pope's role in the end of communism to his teachings on human sexuality and the nature of democracy. . . .The Surprising Pope is warmly recommended.
First Things