Final Revolution The Resistance Church and the Collapse of Communism

ISBN-10: 0195166647
ISBN-13: 9780195166644
Edition: 2003
Authors: George Weigel
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Description: The collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe--the Revolution of 1989--was a singularly stunning event in a century already known for the unexpected. How did people divided for two generations by an Iron Curtain come so suddenly to dance  More...

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Book details

List price: $51.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/18/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 9.02" wide x 6.10" long x 0.91" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

The collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe--the Revolution of 1989--was a singularly stunning event in a century already known for the unexpected. How did people divided for two generations by an Iron Curtain come so suddenly to dance together atop the Berlin Wall? Why did people who had once seemed resigned to their fate suddenly take their future into their own hands? Some analysts have explained the Revolution in economic terms, arguing that the Warsaw Pact countries could no longer compete with the West. But as George Weigel argues in this thought-provoking volume, people don't put their lives, and their children's futures, in harm's way simply for better cars, refrigerators, and TVs. Something else--something more--had to happen behind the iron curtain before the Wall came tumbling down. In The Final Revolution, Weigel argues that that "something" was a revolution of conscience. The human turn to the good, to the truly human, and, ultimately, to God, was the key to the political Revolution of 1989. Weigel provides an in-depth exploration of how the Catholic Church shaped the moral revolution inside the political revolution. Drawing on extensive interviews with key leaders of the human rights and resistance movements, he opens a unique window into the soul of the Revolution and into the hearts and minds of those who shaped this stirring vindication of the human spirit. Weigel also examines the central role played by Pope John Paul II in confronting what Vclav Havel called communism's "culture of the lie," and he suggests what the future role of the Church might be in consolidating democracy in the countries of the old Warsaw Pact. The "final revolution" is not the end of history, Weigel concludes. It is the human quest for a freedom that truly satisfies the deepest yearnings of the human heart. The Final Revolution illustrates how that quest changed the face of the twentieth century and redefined world politics in the year of miracles, 1989.

George Weigel is a Catholic theologian. Weigel was educated at St. Mary's Seminary College in Baltimore, Maryland and at the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto, Canada. Weigel moved to Seattle where he was Assistant Professor of Theology and Assistant (later Acting) Dean of Studies at the St. Thomas Seminary School of Theology in Kenmore. In 1977, he became Scholar-in-Residence at the World Without War Council of Greater Seattle. In 1984-85 he was a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Weigel is the author or editor of a number of books including Tranquillitas Ordinis: The Present Failure and Future Promise of American Catholic Thought on War and Peace (Oxford University Press, 1987); The Final Revolution: The Resistance Church and the Collapse of Communism (Oxford, 1992); The Truth of Catholicism: Ten Controversies Explored (HarperCollins, 2001); The Courage To Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church (Basic Books, 2002); God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church (HarperCollins, 2005); Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism (Doubleday, 2007); and Against the Grain: Christianity and Democracy, War and Peace (Crossroad, 2008). His scholarly work and his journalism are regularly translated into the major European languages. Weigel has been awarded ten honorary doctorates, the papal cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, and the Gloria Artis Gold Medal by the Republic of Poland. George Weigel and his wife live in North Bethesda, Maryland.

Introduction: The Final Revolution
The Quest for the Millennium
Back to the Present
The Tyranny of the Political
The Priority of Conscience
Not by Politics Alone: Unwrapping the Revolution of 1989
The Standard Account: Mikhail Gorbachev Did It
The Realist Account: Ronald Reagan Did It
The Diplomatic Account: The Helsinki Final Act Did It
The Great Ideas: Economics and/or History Did It
The Heart of the Matter
Calling Good and Evil by Name: The Communist Lie Confronted
Signs Among the Onions
The Web of Mendacity
From Complicity to Resistance
Revolutionary Morality, Reconsidered
Breaking the Fever of Fear
Catholics and Commissars: 1917-1978
Opening Gambits
The Confrontation Intensified
John XXIII and the Spirit of Dialogue
Vatican II and the Catholic Human Rights Revolution
A New Ostpolitik: The Quest for a Reasonable Accommodation
The Wojtyla Difference
Whose Humanism?
A Man for This Season
"Breathing Space"
A Changed Game
Training for Moral Combat
Going on Offense: The Ostpolitik of John Paul II
Questions of Conviction
Poland: Igniting the Revolution
Saddling the Cow: Stalinist Poland, 1944-1956
The Years of the "Great Novena": 1956-1970
Prelude to Revolution: 1970-1978
The Rise of Solidarity: 1978-1981
The Hard Road to Freedom: 1982-1989
The Challenge of the Free Society
Czechoslovakia: A Church Reborn in Resistance
From Gigantism to "Normalization"
A Taste of Ashes
Rebirth in Resistance
St. Agnes's Gentle Revolution
The Lazarus Church
No Monopolies on Virtue: Christian Conviction and the Democratic Prospect
The Communist Hangover
The Church Being Itself
Truth and Freedom
The Peace and Freedom Connection
Surprises from the Lord of History
Notes
Index

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