Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times bestselling historian takes on a pressing question in modern religionwill Pope Francis embrace change?
Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope and the first from the Americas, offers a challenge to his church. Can he bring about significant change? Should he?
Garry Wills, the prizewinning historian, argues that changes have been the evidence of life in the Catholic Church. It has often changed, sometimes with bad consequences, more often with goodgood enough to make it perdure. In this brilliant and incisive study, he gives seven examples
of deep and serious changes that have taken place (or are taking place) within the last century. None of them was effected by the pope all by himself.
As Wills contends, it is only by examining the history of the Church that we can understand Pope Franciss and the Churchs challenges, and, as history shows, any changes that meet those challenges will have impact only if the Church, the people of God, support them. In reading the Churchs history, Wills considers the lessons Pope Francis seems to have learned. The challenge that Pope Francis offers the Church is its ability to undertake new spiritual adventures, making it a poor church for the poor, after the example of Jesus.
"The writing is exceptional throughout—rich with funny and surprising detail." —Chicago Tribune
"A swift and invigorating read." —The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Wills brings the same fresh scholarship, lively prose, and critical appreciation that characterize his well-known books on religion and American history to this outstanding biography of one of the most influential Christian philosophers.
Saint Augustine follows its subject from his youth in fourth-century Africa to his conversion and subsequent development as a theologian. It challenges the widely held misconceptions about Augustine’s sexual excesses and shows how, in embracing classical philosophy, Augustine managed to enlist “pagan authors” in the defense of Christianity. The result is a biography that makes a spiritual ancestor feel like our contemporary.
With the keen eye of a writer whose own intellectual analysis has won him a Pulitzer Prize, Wills examines this famed fourth-century bishop and seminal thinker, whose grounding in classical philosophy informed his influential interpretation of the Christian doctrine of mind and body, wisdom, and God.
About the Author
Garry Wills is one of the most respected writers on religion today. He is the author of Saint Augustine’s Childhood, Saint Augustine’s Memory, and Saint Augustine’s Sin, the first three volumes in this series, as well as the Penguin Lives biography Saint Augustine. His other books include “Negro President”: Jefferson and the Slave Power, Why I Am a Catholic, Papal Sin, and Lincoln at Gettysburg, which won the Pulitzer Prize.