The Liminal Papacy of Pope Francis

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An expert on the papacy and Vatican II, Massimo Faggioli draws from world history, politics, papal biographies, and the documents of Vatican II for this incisive analysis of Francis’s developing pontificate. He notes that Francis’s is a “liminal” papacy, one that gives attention to the poor, to the peripheries, and to relations between the Vatican and other religions, with an emphasis on synodality and on the Church as the people of God. He also contrasts Francis with his immediate predecessors Benedict XVI and John Paul II, and shows his similarities with the spirit of John XXIII, the architect of Vatican II.

Massimo Faggioli is professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University and a contributing writer to Commonweal magazine. His recent publications include Pope Francis: Tradition in Transition and The Rising Laity: Ecclesial Movements since Vatican II.

Book Details

The Liminal Papacy of Pope Francis
Moving toward Global Catholicity
Catholicity in an Evolving Universe
Massimo Faggioli
Foreword by Ilia Delio

The Liminal Papacy of Pope Francis Table of Contents (978-1-62698-368-7_toc.pdf, 83 Kb) [Download]

Massimo Faggioli’s masterly analysis of Pope Francis’s papacy goes beyond simplistic assertions. With balanced historical judgement and theological acumen, he charts the historic significance of this pontificate as an ongoing reception of Vatican II within the new complexities of our globalized world.
With depth and extraordinary geopolitical gaze, Faggioli describes Francis’s papacy as existing in a liminal place and time in which unity in difference is clearly the new starting point of Catholicism.
A work of great utility that situates the pontificate within the contemporary historical horizon characterized by the crisis of globalization. Massimo Faggioli unites Francis with John XXIII, the pope of Vatican II, in opening the Church to the world, beyond the limits of the West. An essential tool for all those who, outside of the ideological debate, wish to understand the true challenges of Catholicism today.
No one in the United States has a firmer grasp of the global reality of the church today and of the dynamics of Pope Francis's pontificate than Massimo Faggioli. In this book, he puts that expertise to work with great originality and with stunning results.
In a single, concise, and digestible volume, Massimo Faggioli pulls off a minor miracle: a wide-angled, authoritative interpretation of the epochal shift of the Francis pontificate even while it is still in full flow. He shows Francis boldly grasping that history's turning wheels demand a new Christian inculturation, one that requires not just reform but a renewal of mindset, culture, and custom. A masterful interpretation of a pivotal papacy.
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