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John Paul II (1978-2005) was the first pope to speak extensively on the challenges of the historic changes of the situation of women in modernity and postmodernity. He addressed matters such as the inherent dignity of women; aspirations for personal fulfillment including achievement and economic success outside the home; the roles pertaining to marriage, family and children; and the vital contributions of women in the life of the church. He offered a profoundly personalist vision that united contemporary concerns with ancient faith, in a way that can advance discourse within and beyond the Catholic church.
In Pope John Paul II Speaks on Women, Brooke Williams Deely presents a comprehensive record of John Paul II's reflections. This collection brings to the forefront the full context and content of his original contributions. Since John Paul II encouraged women and men to expand what he has adumbrated, this book facilitates ongoing dialogue. The principle of the organization of the volume is chronological, compiling John Paul II's teachings on the subject of women arranged by date over the entire term of his Papacy. Since this influential Pope addressed the situation of women from the beginning of his pontificate, this overview of his writings and his spoken addresses best showcases the development and historical context of his thought.
This distinctive book, in a handy assembling of encyclicals, Apostolic letters, and public remarks, should be attractive to readers of diverse perspectives and disciplines. Whether in the fields of women's studies, history, philosophy, psychology, or theology (especially for theologians and seminarians interested in his Mariology, theology of the body, and philosophical anthropology), this collection is ideal for classroom use. It is also readily suitable for the general public and for people who want to deepen their appreciation of John Paul II as a person, saint, thinker, cultural critic, and world leader.
Brooke Williams Deely is in the Women, Culture, and Society Program at the University of St. Thomas, Houston.
"This book deserves pride of place on any Catholic bookshelf. It is a testament to the riches of Catholic teaching on women. It is also a standing invitation to immerse oneself in the contemplations of a major figure of the Catholic intellectual tradition."~C.S. Morrissey, The B.C. Catholic
"John Paul II speaks in a deeply thoughtful way about the roles of women, whose emergance in the cultural forefront coincided with his lifetime… There are no other books in English (and only a few in Polish) of teachings on women by John Paul II, which makes this volume a unique and valuable resource."~J. Dickinson - U of CA Berkeley, CHOICE
"A significant contribution to scholarship about John Paul II and about the study of women... Makes a cumulative-case argument for John Paul II's Christian personalist philosophy of women."~Curtis Hancock, Rockhurst University