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Benedict's recent announcement of the establishment of a Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation once more raises the question of what is 'new' in 'new evangelisation'. This can be answered by analysing how Pope John Paul II used the term. The author argues that although in Redemptoris Missio John Paul II used the term to refer to the reevangelisation of formerly Christian nations in the developed world, his initial use of the term was in the context of the developing world, extending to the whole of the Church's mission, including ad Gentes. Benedict XVI's understanding of 'new evangelisation' is essentially the same. The author concludes by giving a synoptic account of John Paul II's understanding of new evangelisation as the Holy Spirit bringing about a new world more open to the Gospel, and who through a new Pentecost, is giving birth to a new Church better prepared to proclaim the Gospel.


School of Theology

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access