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On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  680 ratings  ·  113 reviews
New York Times Bestseller!

From the man who became Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio shares his thoughts on religion, reason, and the challenges the world faces in the 21st century with Abraham Skorka, a rabbi and biophysicist.

For years Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Argentina, and Rabbi Abraham Skorka were tenacious promoters of inter-religious dialogues
Hardcover, 236 pages
Published April 19th 2013 by Image (first published November 17th 2010)
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Jan Rice
This is what a book club will do for you! I never ever would have read a book like this if it hadn't been for the book club.

I don't mean because of the authors but because it's a book composed of a dialogue two people had had. My assumptions were that it would be lightweight, just to have something to publish.

By the way, there are two authors, not only the (at the time) cardinal but also a rabbi friend of his in Argentina, Abraham Skorka, both celebrating the value of dialogue.

At first my
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The title should be different.

This book is a series of conversations between Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now our new Pope Francis) and Rabbi Abraham Skorka. They talk about a wide array of topics giving both Jewish and Christian answers respectively.

I really liked the style of this book. The respectful conversation between these two men really impressed me.

It offers a great insight into the mind of our new Pope. This is maybe the best look at what he thinks about issues that I have found to date.
This is a dialogue between Cardinal Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) and his friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka. Observing the nuances of the way they dialogue is almost more important than what they say, as it is intended to model healthy interreligious dialogue-- the culture of encounter that Pope Francis speaks of so frequently. He quotes a German Lutheran theologian, Oscar Cullman, re: how to bring together the Christian denominations as a foundational philosophy for cooperation: "He says we should not ...more
Nancy Bielski
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This was absolutely lovely. The Rabbi and Pope said some really thought-provoking things. Very well articulated. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in faith and religion. I think what they discuss doesn't necessarily push any specific religious doctrine, but instead discusses faith in general. It was great.
Katie Bagley
Apr 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Generally, it was a great book. The only reason it lost a gavel from a perfect score is because, since the book was in the form of a conversation, there were several topics discussed that were particular to Argentine social history that could have done with some additional explanation or background. It caused me to look up a series of events/issues online, but that’s never a bad thing.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book to really get acquainted with Pope Francis. I enjoyed the dialogue with the Rabbi and listened to the Audible version I liked how the two readers read it. I can rest assured that the Church is in good hands and the Pope Is much deeper and obviously true to the teaching of the church then the media portrays him in soundbites.
Jason Theobald
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Like many others, I am sure, I was most interested to pick up this book because it was our new Pope in his own words. When I heard that this book was out there, I was intrigued; rarely do we get an insight into a Pope's mind like this, where it is not teaching but rather simply discussion. From the outset of this book, you get a good idea of what the the book will be like: friendly, intriguing dialogue which is not about debate but rather about finding common ground and looking at life from ...more
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed seeing the conversation between Catholic and Jewish viewpoints. Pope Francis (then Msgr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio) and Rabbi Abraham Skorka do talk a lot in terms of their Argentinian lives, but their perspective is enlightening to read. It is interesting just how much both religions have in common in their perspectives. Definitely worth the read, especially if you are interested in better understanding Pope Francis.
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A written version of conversations between the Pope and a Rabbi, this book provides insight into the many similarities between religions and how we can all be better.
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
On Heaven and Earth Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century is a fascinating book, in which the man who would become Pope Francis -- Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, warmly and casually converses with Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka on a diverse range of topics. Some of these topics include: religion, prayer, euthanasia, women, homosexuality, abortion, divorce, money, poverty, politics, and power. Originally published in 2010, this book ...more
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
This very quick read is an only mildly interesting exchange between two religious leaders on topics that include past interfaith exchanges, abortion, divorce, euthanasia, fundamentalism, same-sex marriage, the holocaust, science, women – even a very brief discussion of pedophilic clergy - and others. The trend of the conversations is predictable, and the book really doesn’t offer anything new for the reader to discover. The reader expecting to get a glimpse into the minds of these two men will ...more
Sue Coleman
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing

A priest and a rabbi... (no really--that's who wrote the book).

I am neither Catholic nor Jewish, but I absolutely loved reading this book. It is a journal of dialog between two prominent leaders in their respective religious communities (one of them now the current Pope). An excellent example to us all in breaking down our walls of religiosity and overcoming predjudice. I found a great deal of insight, wisdom, comfort, and satisfaction in reading the interviews that took place
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
The cover describes it as 'las opiniones del papa Francisco I sobre la familia, la fe, y el papel de la Iglesia en el siglo XXI' but the conversations themselves offer much more -- Rabbi Skorka's insights on all these things, the role of religion in Argentine history, a Latin American perspective on world events, and a model of genuinely civil dialog on genuinely divisive topics. While the conversations have been carefully edited, there are spontaneous moments:
B."¿le conté la anécdota del
Bobby Morales
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book has given me a better understanding on how the church should face current issues, as well as the crucial importance of interrelations dialogue for the good of all people. Peaceful and thought-provoking ideas are all throughout the book that will help Christians better understand the world around them. It's a short-simple to read book of edifying dialogue between Pope Francis and an Argentinian Rabbi. Thanks be to God for these men and their literary contribution! I highly recommend ...more
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great dialogue between Pope Francis and Rabbi Skorka. It had enough depth to encourage thought, but generally just gave a brief overview of each topic. Not deep enough to truly give a full understanding of the teachings of the Catholic Church or of the Jewish faith, but gave a fair introduction to the shared values as well as the differences between the two. The mutual respect and openness to dialogue are a great example of what true ecumenism should be. Well worth reading.
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-list
I read this as spiritual reading for the last month or so, and I can't emphasize enough how wonderful a read it is. The book is a conversation between Pope Francis (back when he was Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio) and Rabbi Abraham Skorka. They cover all sorts of topics, some of which I had no interest in until I read what they had to say. I found myself highlight as much of Skorka's thought as I did Bergoglio's. Overall, highly recommended.
Casey Taylor
Apr 29, 2015 rated it liked it
An interesting way to be introduced to (the now) Pope Francis as he dialogues with a rabbi friend about a range of topics, including national issues (Argentina), sexuality, politics and the future of religion.

The text is interesting mostly because it sheds light onto Francis, but it's not the most exciting read. Premised on interfaith dialogue between friends, It's mostly agreements: "Oh, I like that! Yes, I agree."
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. It's an honest dialogue between a Christian and a Jewish person about "life." It's great how principles and morals are the same and it illustrates how all religions can coexist. I've always believed there is one God but believers just choose different paths to get there!
Teresa Weaver
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed hearing the views of Pope Francis and Abraham Skorka. The book focused on similarities between the Catholic and Jewish religon.
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I actually found that the rabbi's voice resonated more for me. An excellent example of what constructive, open-minded dialogue is.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Great dialogue between two men of great faith.

Ernesto Sabato - One and the Universe “One sets off for distant lands, or seeks the knowledge of man, or investigates nature, or searches for G-d; only afterwards does he realize that the phantom he was chasing was Himself.”

Dialogue requires that each participant become acquainted with the other person.
“G-d’s candle is man’s soul which reveals the innermost parts of his being.” Prov 20:27
In its most profound sense, to have a conversation is to bring
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is very much, in spite of the name, a duet from the Pope and an influential rabbi (Judaism doesn't have the hierarchy that Catholicism does). People that understand religion won't be that surprised to find that the two agree on almost everything (as probably will people with highly evolved moralities independent of religion, for that matter). Some of the arguments made feel bizarre and kinda weak - like Pope Francis on feminism - but overall this was one of the better books I've read about ...more
James Millikan
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jesuit-novitiate
Un libro excelente por un hombre muy inspirador. Recomiendo este libro a todos que quieren entender la fe y perspectiva de Papa Francisco durante su tiempo como arzobispo en Buenos Aires. Una contribución buenísima al diálogo interreligioso.

An excellent book from a very inspiring man. I recommend this took to everyone who wishes to understand the faith and perspective of Pope Francis during his time as archbishop in Buenos Aires. A very good contribution to interreligious dialog.
Maria Carmo
This is a dialogue between Pope Francis and the Rabi Abraham Skorka. An interesting and even moving text, allowing us to get a glimpse of true brotherhood between incredible men pf different religions. A lovely text that incites us to go deeper into Human condition and to meditate about the brotherhood of all man, which is possible if we respect and study each other with genuin openness.

maria Carmo,

Lisbon, 17 May 2017.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wonder read with excellent views on keeping faith dialog open.
Kaya Doyle
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not what I expected, but good insights into spiritual diversity and cohesion
Sister M.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
very good!
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting to hear two sides to each modern conversation. A look inside where Pope Francis came from. This is a great read to learn more about Catholicism from a non-fundamentalist point of view. Many distinctions are made between what it means to have beliefs in a religion vs. pushing beliefs onto others; both leaders guide readers towards what their religions value and warns against those that claim to "know it all" or "have the answer." Refreshing.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful and easy read to start your Lenten journey. Pope Francis ( when he was still an Archbishop in Argentina) and an Argentinian rabbi had a very special friendship and conversed on a variety of topics. The result is a series of warm and thoughtful essays on many aspects of our modern life lived in faith.
May 11, 2013 rated it liked it
On Heaven and Earth is a book of interfaith dialogue between Catholic Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) and Conservative Jewish Rabbi Abraham Skorka. It is important to bear in mind that there are two authors; it's not just a book by the Pope.

There are one or two gems in the book, particularly the forewords by both men, which shed light on the importance of friendship and knowing the other person first before being able to enter into a genuinely loving and respectful
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Pope Francis (Latin: Franciscus; Italian: Francesco; Spanish: Francisco; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, and Sovereign of the Vatican City. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the ...more
“...I think that we succumb to attitudes that do not permit us to dialogue: domination, not knowing how to listen, annoyance in our speech, preconceived judgments and so many others.” 13 likes
“God makes Himself felt in the heart of each person. He also respects the culture of all people...God is open to all people. He calls everyone. He moves everyone to seek Him and to discover Him through creation.” 2 likes
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