George Weigel is distinguished senior fellow of Washington's Ethics and Public Policy Center and one of America's leading public intellectuals. The first volume of his biography of Pope John Paul II, Witness to Hope, was a New York Times bestseller, and his writing appears regularly in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal. He lives in North Bethesda, Maryland.
Weigel advances a bold but credible interpretation of almost 200 years of ecclesiastical history, tracing the Church's engagement with modernity from the 19th century through today.... Weigel's ideas are certainly worth serious examination. Highly recommended. --National Catholic Register A fascinating look at the Catholic Church's encounter with modernity...Weigel is at once highly intellectual and thoroughly accessible as a writer as well as balanced and opinionated...A must-read book for Catholics and devotees of religious history. --Kirkus (starred review) The Irony of Modern Catholic History advances a bold new interpretation of the Church and modernity with characteristic authority, deep erudition, and literary panache. It is the latest reminder among many that George Weigel is unrivaled not only as a Catholic intellectual, but as an intellectual, period. --Mary Eberstadt, senior research fellow, Faith and Reason Institute, and author of Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics George Weigel's sweeping account of 150 years of Catholic history challenges the long-held assumption made by traditionalists, progressives, many historians, and mainstream media that secular modernity has always been the prime mover, forcing the Church to either resist or accommodate it. In reframing the narrative with the church as the creative protagonist in this drama, Weigel describes how the encounter with modernity led to the renewal of the church's gospel-centered mission in its third millennium, and suggests that the church might redirect -- indeed, redeem--the modern project itself. --Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, University of Notre Dame George Weigel is deeply learned and passionately engaged -- one of the important intellectual assets of the 21st century Catholic Church. His book is fascinating and visionary. --Lance Morrow This deeply learned and crisply written book reaffirms George Weigel's status as the preeminent American Catholic intellectual of our time. Weigel recasts recent history to show how we owe much of what is best and most noble in modernity to Catholicism and why, even in this season of ecclesial despair, Catholics have sound reasons to be hopeful. --Sohrab Ahmari, author of From Fire, By Water: My Journey to the Catholic Faith Weigel has an eye for a good story. Whether discussing the affairs of popes and princes, of conclaves and concordats, he seems always to come up with a telling anecdote or witty utterance to brighten the historical account. For a lively and informative overview from the 18th century to the present, The Irony of Modern Catholic History is the book to read. --Robert Louis Wilken, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia