Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Reading: Memory and Identity: Conversations at the Dawn of a Millennium by Pope John Paul II

Growing up in Poland during the Nazi occupation, and later struggling under communist rule, Karol Josef Wojtyla faithfully served the Catholic Church and ascended through the ranks of Catholic leadership to become Pope John Paul II in 1979. Drawing from his own experiences in Poland, John Paul II uses Memory and Identity to explore the idea that nations are repositories of memory and thus make possible the preservation of a national identity.

Christianity as preserved in the Catholic Church in Poland played a huge role in the demise of communist domination in that country, and ultimately in much of Eastern Europe. John Paul II's thesis is that Poland's historically implanted DNA is their Christian root which ultimately sprung forth and delivered that nation from fifty years of occupation and oppression. There is, of course, much, much more to Memory and Identity. The late Pope explores the nature of evil as seeded and brought forth through false, ungodly ideas which take hold of nations.

In terms of writing style, the book is well written. But the ideas it presents are laden with philosophical terminology and reading and digesting the material requires effort. Anyone interested in understanding the power of Worldview should consider a look at this book.


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