Practicing Catholic

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Practicing Catholic

Essays Historical, Literary, Sporting, and Elegiac

Charting a course from the 1960s crack-up of social certitudes through current political meltdowns, George Weigel’s whirlwind tour of Catholicism, politics, literature, sports, and society yields telling insights from a keen observer and a master of the art of the essay.

For decades, George Weigel, the author of Witness to Hope, has written unforgettable essays informed by his orthodox Catholic faith, his impatience for foolishness, and his appreciation for the inherent dignity of each person. Whether he’s tweaking authoritarian liberalism or reminding us of the world-changing life of Pope John Paul II, Weigel invites us to celebrate Catholicism’s radical vision of the human being.

Practicing Catholic offers Weigel’s most provocative, wittiest essays in one unforgettable book. With the moral clarity that has made the author an international leader in Catholic thought, each page challenges us to embrace Catholic faith so that it can inform every part of our lives. Practicing Catholic demonstrates how Catholicism is truly practiced—not just for a few hours every Sunday, but day after day, as the very basis for how we see the world.

Topics include:

The six cultural "moments" in the 1960s that came to define America
The impact of "narrative" on the career of Barack Obama
John Courtney Murray and the prospects of post-Christian America
Vatican II and the Christian personalism of Pope John Paul II
The memoirs of Tony Blair and the civic degeneration of Great Britain
The prophetic challenge of Pope Benedict XVI
Some key figures whom Mr. Weigel has known, including: Rep. Henry Hyde, Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., Richard John Neuhaus, and Leszek Kolakowski.

Reviews and endorsements

"In this spectacular collection of essays, George Weigel applies a profoundly Catholic sensibility to subjects that range from politics to theology and from H.L. Mencken to Johnny Unitas. In the process he succeeds brilliantly in translating his own 'biblically informed moral convictions into a language that people of different faiths or no faith' can read with endless profit and pleasure."
Norman Podhoretz, Commentary Magazine

“John Paul II, H.L. Menken, and Johnny Unitas. George Weigel's range and intelligence is wonderful, full of urgency, romance, and wickedly pungent wit. Read and enjoy.”
R.R. Reno, editor, First Things


“Weigel is one of the great writers of our time, a master of the essay. With sharp and elegant prose, he plumbs the profundities of subjects as diverse as baseball and Vatican II, and he takes the measure of some of the great men of the age. These essays are a joy to read, and they enrich both mind and heart.”
Mark Henrie, chief academic officer, Intercollegiate Studies Institute


“If Titian could handle a brush and Haydn had an ear for music, then one corollary is that Weigel knows how to write. These essays are of historical importance and someday the same thing will be said of their author.”
Rev. George Rutler, Eternal Word Television Network

Paperback / 310 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9