Acton Institute Powerblog

What is the Legacy of Pope John Paul II?

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When asked about the legacy of Pope John Paul II, Prof. Gregory R. Beabout responds “that the life and legacy of John Paul II is best understood in light of the history and culture of Poland.” The important distinctions between nation and state, culture and government, were operative both in Polish history as well as in the life of Karol Wojtyla.

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Jordan J. Ballor Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.


  • Beh Cyprain Goh

    I wish my own country could have such a portfolio as analysed above.The late pope is a man to be admired in every aspect especially his preaching for peace and unity; which is surely roots from his country Poland who struggled through tubulent periods in history before maintaining thier culture.

  • Ryszard Stocki

    It was very interesting for me as a Pole to see how John Paul II is perceived from the outside. It is particularly interesting if it is linked with Polish history, which in the form described above is still takibg place (= few Poles consider present day state as their own). Yet it would be also worthwhile to trace other roots of Pope’s thought.

  • Michael Luakenu

    To me this Pope is amazing. He won the hearts of many, not only the Catholics but everybody. The fall of Communism. The promotion of Ecummenism and the love he had shown to the young and old. He was the Pope for the people and the entire world. He had touched the hearts of many. He brought peace into the most trouble countries where Churches were barred from reaching out to the poor and needy. He unified the people of many cultures. He was the only Pope who travelled to many third world countries like my country Papua New Guinea and he is to be admired.

  • chumani thomas

    the greatest ever,a god sent, a savoir,a giver,a saint,a son, god messenger, he is the greatest ever!!!!!!!