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The Roots of Pope Francis's Social and Political Thought: From Argentina to the Vatican (Paperback)
  • The Roots of Pope Francis's Social and Political Thought: From Argentina to the Vatican (Paperback)

The Roots of Pope Francis's Social and Political Thought: From Argentina to the Vatican (Paperback)

Paperback 230 Pages / Published: 14/03/2018
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In The Roots of Pope Francis's Social and Political Thought Thomas R. Rourke traces the development of Pope Francis's thinking from his time as a Jesuit provincial through today. Meticulously researched, the book draws on decades of previously untranslated writings from Father Jorge Bergoglio, SJ, who went on to become archbishop and cardinal; this volume also references his recent writings as pope. The book explores the deepest roots of Pope Francis's thinking, beginning with the experience of the Jesuit missions in Argentina (1500s - 1700s), showing how both the success and tragedy of the missions profoundly formed his social and political views. Subsequent chapters explore influences from the Second Vatican Council through today regarding culture, politics, and economics. In Pope Francis's understanding, there is a perpetual tension between the attempts to redeem the social order through the Gospel and the never-ending attempts to dominate peoples and their lands through a variety of imperial projects that come from the powerful. What emerges is a profoundly Christian approach to the social, political, and economic problems of our time. The Pope is portrayed as an original thinker, independent of ideological currents, rooted in the Gospels and the tradition of Catholic social thought. In a time of division and violence, the writings of Pope Francis often point to the path of peace and justice.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781538115558
Number of pages: 230
Weight: 354 g
Dimensions: 230 x 151 x 18 mm

[Rourke's] portrait explodes both the liberal Catholic and conservative myths.... Rourke analyzes the depth and the breadth of the Jesuit's deeply Ignatian vision of a Christian society and of a global culture of dialogue and fraternity. Most will be surprised at what he unearths.... Rourke's local reading of Francis's political vision is...both fitting and timely. * The Review of Politics *
The book offers a good introduction to popular culture as a collective subject that shares a common vision, struggle, and destiny and which allows faith to play a crucial role in daily discernment. The author makes another important contribution in showing the continuity of Francis's thought with the social teaching of the church.... This book is one of the best works available in English for understanding the ecclesial roots and foundations of Pope Francis's sociopolitical thought. * Theological Studies *
Rourke's book delivers well what its title promises: the roots of the pope's social and political thought. This is no small achievement. . . . Rourke is very good on identifying and summarizing key intellectual influences on the future pope. . . One is thus left with a rich palette of colors from which Pope Francis paints his prophetically challenging but also hope-giving vision. * Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society *
Thomas Rourke has written the best single volume in English on the origins of Pope Francis's thinking. Deeply researched and benefiting from the author's prolific contact with Argentine sources, it manages also to be an accessible synthesis of the key ideas that have shaped Francis's view of the world. The Roots of Pope Francis's Social and Political Thought deserves a readership well beyond academe. -- Austen Ivereigh, author of The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope
Everybody views Pope Francis through a particular lens, acknowledged or not. The reader in search of a much wider lens for viewing the first Jesuit pope will naturally be drawn to this rich and perceptive volume, which probes the myriad historical, religious, and social factors that made Francis who he is today. Rourke draws from extensive knowledge of the culture, politics, and even the literary heritage of Argentina that shaped Jorge Mario Bergoglio at pivotal junctures in his eventful life. The complex picture that emerges is fascinating in every way. -- Thomas Massaro, SJ, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, Berkeley; author of Living Justice
Among the more creative, provocative, and controversial social critics and commentators of the day, Pope Francis occupies a place in the first ranks. In The Roots of Pope Francis's Social and Political Thought, Thomas Rourke provides an illuminating analysis that utilizes many sources unavailable in English while bringing to his project extensive personal experience of Francis's native Argentina and a comprehensive familiarity with the social doctrine of the Catholic Church. This is a useful and important piece of work. -- Russell Shaw, author of Catholics in America
This book meets a real need: it takes Pope Francis seriously as a thinker, and it shows that his pastoral practice is guided by a profound and coherent-if not systematic-social and political vision. Rourke digs deep into Bergoglio's writings and speeches and sheds fascinating new light on some of the lesser-known influences on his thought, such as the Jesuit reductions and Suarez. What emerges is a Pope who-immersed in the Incarnation-always favors the concrete over the abstract, and common people over the domineering, homogenizing, and destructive forces of our time. This is an important book. It points the way ahead to Catholic social thought and action in the Francis era. -- William T. Cavanaugh, DePaul University
The Roots of Pope Francis's Social and Political Thought is an immense aid to understanding the Holy Father's teaching on social, economic, and political questions. Rourke opens up for us a clear entryway into Pope Francis's exposition of the Church's Social Doctrine by examining the rich subtlety and complexity of his intellectual roots and his experience in Latin America as a priest and bishop among his people. This book helps us get past the all-too-common half-understandings of Pope Francis's social magisterium. -- Bishop Daniel E. Flores, Catholic Diocese of Brownsville
Rourke's book provides a broad historical, social, political, and theological context for understanding Pope Francis's vision and teaching. It highlights the fact that with the election of Bergoglio as pope, the Latin American Church has become an inspiring and refreshing `source' for the universal church and the wider world. Rourke's book, drawing from many sources not accessible in English, enables the reader to better understand the message and teaching of the first pope from the New World. It is certainly a book worth reading. -- Elisabetta Pique, Vatican correspondent for La Nacion, author of Pope Francis: Life and Revolution

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