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Press Release: Book by DeSales University Professor Offers In-Depth Look at Pope Benedict XVI
Date: 3/28/2008


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Book by DeSales University Professor Offers In-Depth Look at Pope Benedict XVI

Dr. Brennan Pursell, associate professor of history at DeSales University, has published Benedict of Bavaria: An Intimate Portrait of the Pope and His Homeland, a comprehensive book about Pope Benedict XVI, leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Published by Circle Press and released to the general public on March 26, 2008, the book by Pursell offers an in-depth look at the life and work of Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI.

Pursell, who has conducted extensive study, research, and travel in the German state of Bavaria for over 12 years, felt there was an overwhelming need to make his favorite theologian widely known to the general public. As a result, three years later and after expansive research into the life and teachings of the Pope, Pursell has published Benedict of Bavaria.

According to Pursell, there seems to be a general lack of awareness about what kind of person Pope Benedict XVI is, about the culture from which he comes, and the shape of his career. Through his research, Pursell has found the Pope to be neither a 'mystery' nor an 'enigma', as some bloggers claim.

"In a word, the Pope is a paradox. He is bona fide genius, a world-class intellectual, who throughout his life has persistently identified himself with the culture and communities of small-town, rural Bavaria," said Pursell. "He has always considered himself a 'simple man' rather than a 'prince of the Church.'"

In pursuing his work, Pursell visited sites associated with the Pope's early life, including towns and churches where he lived, learned, and worshipped. Pursell's biographical research was based on primary, reliable sources, such as interviews, personal testimonies, articles, and books about Benedict, most of which were available only in German, and supplied by people who knew him through the years.

Pope Benedict XVI, a native of Germany and the first Bavarian pontiff in a thousand years, was inaugurated as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church on April 24, 2005. The book by Pursell, explores the personal side of the Pope growing up in his homeland and explores the prestigious accomplishments he has made in his vocation.

A native of the San Francisco Bay area, Pursell joined the DeSales University faculty in 2001. In 2003, he published his first book, The Winter King. He also has published numerous articles and book reviews in reputable scholarly journals. Recently, he completed his first historical novel, The Spanish Match, and has other projects in the works. This summer, he hopes to lead a pilgrimage to Bavaria, "In the Footsteps of Benedict XVI."

Pursell earned a bachelor's degree in history from Stanford University and a master's degree and Ph.D. in European history from Harvard University. He and his wife, Irmgard, and their two children reside in Allentown, PA. The Pursell family speaks German at home and returns to Bavaria each summer.

For more information, contact Dr. Brennan Pursell, associate professor of history at DeSales University, at 610 282 1100 ext 1226 or Brennan.Pursell@DeSales.edu.


Press Release: Book by DeSales University Professor Offers In-Depth Look at Pope Benedict XVI | Posted on: 3/28/2008

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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