Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-1940-3 • Hardback • October 2012 • $113.00 • (£87.00)
978-1-4422-1941-0 • Paperback • December 2016 • $47.00 • (£36.00)
978-1-4422-1942-7 • eBook • September 2012 • $41.50 • (£32.00)
Richard Spinello is associate research professor at Boston College. He is the author of The Genius of John Paul II: The Great Pope’s Moral Wisdom.
1: Pope John Paul II: Priest, Philosopher, Theologian
2: The Pre-Papal Writings
3: Papal Encyclicals: Pronouncements to the Faithful
4: God and Man: The Trinitarian Encyclicals
5: Mother of the Redeemer
6: Work, Solidarity, and Free Markets: The Social Encyclicals
7: Faith and Reason
8: The Moral Life
9: The Pastoral Encyclicals
10: The Church and the Eucharist
Spinello (Boston College) has written the first general introduction to all of John Paul II's encyclicals. The book does not discuss the pope's other works except in passing, but Spinello devotes useful space to describing the pre-papal writings and their relation to the encyclicals. Written from the viewpoint of a convinced conservative partisan of John Paul II, the focus of this book is on the pope's anthropology, ethics, and relation to contemporary philosophical and theological currents. Spinello sees John Paul II's thought as a whole, resting on Thomistic metaphysics and a strong commitment to personal freedom and responsibility grounded in truth exercised in relationship to others. All of this is viewed through Saint John of the Cross's notion that love is self-gift: "Man finds himself through a sincere gift of self" (Dominus et Vivificantem, 1986)....It is a useful introduction. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty.
— Choice Reviews
Source: Splendor of Truth
This book really explores his writings and the consistent vision behind them. It helps to provide a better understanding of his underlying philosophy and how to get the most out of them and his other works.
Much more than just a quick summary and really a insightful guide into understanding these encyclicals
— Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies
Blessed John Paul II will rank among the truly great popes in history, not only for the immense impact he has had on the social and political fortunes of Poland and Europe, but also for the leadership he has provided in renewing the intellectual and spiritual life of the Church and world. Professor Spinello's collection of the Pope's fourteen encyclicals with his insightful introduction and commentary belongs in every thoughtful person's library.
— Rev. Matthew L. Lamb, Ave Maria University
Just as we should read again as adults the great books we first encountered in high school, so 'JP Catholics' who grew up under the fatherly care of that great Pope will want to study his teachings again, as mature Catholics who have perhaps started their own families, or followed a priestly or religious vocation. For that second look and deeper encounter, Richard Spinello's book will prove a helpful starting point and guide.
— Michael Pakaluk, Ave Maria University
With this very accessible and beautifully written book, Spinello has done us all a great service. Scholars of Blessed Pope John Paul II will find a depth of analysis that reveals both the foundations and the implications of the late Holy Father's body of work - while those who simply wish to understand the man himself will find the secret to his influence on the Church and on the world illuminated and explained. It is a must read for anyone with an interest in bringing the teaching of John Paul II to life in contemporary culture.
— Deborah Savage, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, University of St. Thomas
Like Sources of Renewal, the handbook that John Paul II himself composed while he was a young bishop for the better understanding of the documents of Vatican II in Poland, Richard Spinello’s handbook on the encyclicals of John Paul II is just the sort of volume that we need. John Paul II’s writings are worthy of our careful study, and this analysis provides all the necessary background and helps to guide a reader through even the most complex arguments.
— Joseph W. Koterski S.J., Fordham University
With this book, Richard Spinello fills an important lacuna in scholarly research on the thought of Pope John Paul II. For the first time, we have a consistent theological commentary connecting John Paul's early thought with the corpus of his encyclicals.
— Thomas Petri, Providence College