New Catholic Encyclopedia: Jubilee Volume (The Wojtyla Years) (Vol 20)

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9780787647872: New Catholic Encyclopedia: Jubilee Volume (The Wojtyla Years) (Vol 20)
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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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The Catholic University of America and the Gale Group have collaboratively produced this Jubilee Volume of The New Catholic Encyclo pedia, which reviews the pontificate of Karol Wojtyla, also known as John Paul II. It needs to be clearly noted that the Jubilee Volume (so called to mark the pope's designation of the year 2000 as a "Jubilee Year") is not the fifth supplement to the original 15-volume edition, published in 1967, but an introduction to the forthcoming revised edition, scheduled for release in October 2001.

Some 177 prominent scholars, theologians, and pastors worldwide contributed material. The encyclopedia has two distinct sections. Part 1 consists of 12 thematic essays that interpret, survey, and analyze the principles guiding and influencing the pope. George Weigel, author of a biography of John Paul II, considers the pontiff's role in the collapse of Communism. Gregory Baum, of the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, examines John Paul's economic teaching; and Lawrence Cunningham, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, studies Lumen gentium (universal call to holiness), a favorite theme of papal preaching. Part 2 chronicles the life of Wojtyla by pontifical year, with an additional section on the activities of the Synod of Bishops (an institution made up of the pope and all the Catholic bishops) and an alphabetical listing and evaluation of John Paul's more important documents and pronouncements. This is followed by 150 signed encyclopedia entries on people, places, institutions, and events associated with John Paul's nearly 25-year pontificate. Much of the material here is new, but some is recycled from the earlier New Catholic Encyclopedia. Almost one-third of the entries in this section are biographies of Catholic cardinals. Rounding out the volume are A-Z biographies of the recently canonized and beatified, for example, Katherine Drexel (1858-1955), the second U.S.-born saint after Elizabeth Seton, and the popular Pier Georgio Frassati (1901-1925), an Italian who died of polio at the age of 24. Appended is an exhaustive list of patron saints. A convenient index facilitates easy access to volume's contents.

This excellent Jubilee Volume is essential for all libraries with strong collections on Catholicism. REVWR
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Executive editor Bernard L. Marthaler, O.S.M. conv., indicates that this book is a preamble to the revised edition of the forthcoming New Catholic Encyclopedia. One could argue that it is also an appropriate concluding supplement to that venerable 15-volume work, originally published in 1967. In appearance, it is identical to the other volumes. Arranged into two parts, it closely chronicles the life, teachings, and activities of Karol Wojtyla. First, 12 thematic essays review and critique the contributions of Pope John Paul II and his influence on the 20th century. George Weigel from the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC, and Gregory G. Baum of McGill University thoroughly discuss John Paul's role in the new democracies of Eastern Europe and his economic teachings, respectively. The second part defines actual events, people, and teachings in the pontificate of John Paul II. Every Synod of Bishop that gathered is identified by initiating purpose and salient contributions. Many of their resulting statements became foundations for later magisterial documents, which are arranged alphabetically, from ad Tuendam Fidem to Veritatis Splendor. Next, in typical encyclopedia format, are the people, places, institutions, and events that have some resonance during the reign of John Paul II, such as Mother Teresa, Leonardo Boff, and Opus Dei founder Josemaria Escriva. Each entry is signed by one of 177 qualified contributors, and bibliographies are appended. The volume concludes with 200 pages of short biographies of individuals either beatified or canonized by John Paul II. Highly useful and thoroughly prepared, this work is essential for all libraries.
John-Leonard Berg, Univ. of Wisconsin, Platteville.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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