Battle for Christendom

Overview

"At the dawn of the fifteenth century, Islam invaded Europe from the East and it seemed that Christendom itself was under threat. In an attempt to save Christian world the Emperor Sigismund called the many nations of Europe together for a conference at Constance, beside the Rhine. The Conference attracted the greatest minds in the western world, as well as innumerable princes, lawyers and prostitutes. And amid the confusion hoped to put Europe's house in order." "In The Battle for Christendom, brilliant historian Frank Welsh delves into this
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Overview

"At the dawn of the fifteenth century, Islam invaded Europe from the East and it seemed that Christendom itself was under threat. In an attempt to save Christian world the Emperor Sigismund called the many nations of Europe together for a conference at Constance, beside the Rhine. The Conference attracted the greatest minds in the western world, as well as innumerable princes, lawyers and prostitutes. And amid the confusion hoped to put Europe's house in order." "In The Battle for Christendom, brilliant historian Frank Welsh delves into this important moment in history and shows that it is in fact one of the most central moments in European history. Schism had ravaged the Catholic Church and three Popes claimed the seat of St Peters - which, in Holmesian fashion, Welsh cals a "Three-Pope Problem". There were also dangerous stirrings of reform. Over the next months, debate raged while Sigismund attempted to find a solution. The event would be one of the major turning points in European history - the last event of the medieval world, heralding the dawn of the renaissance and the rise of humanism. Yet it would also hold a darker truth and with the burning of the Czech divine, Jan Hus, saw first moments of the Reformation. The story rises to a conclusion on the battlements of Constantinople in 1453 where, despite all of Sigismund's attempts to repel the Ottomans, the East rose up once more." The Council of Constance was a high point for the movement that promoted the authority of councils over the authority of the pope, and with good reason - it was a moment in which a group of well-meaning people reshaped the future of their continent. In Welsh's lively retelling, The Battle forChristendom is an exciting and readable story that holds lessons for our own times of international turmoil.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The Council of Constance (1414-18) was called chiefly to resolve the so-called papal schism during which three rival popes reigned. Its outcomes, reinforcing papal supremacy and traditional conceptions of the Church, in fact laid the groundwork for the Reformation and subsequent Counter-Reformation. Although the topic is absorbing, this particular treatment is very disappointing. Welsh has written previously on Australian and British history (e.g., The Four Nations: A History of the United Nations); however, his style in this volume is choppy. The book begins with numerous names, dates, and places, with little connecting tissue to hold the reader's interest. Various prurient anecdotes detract from the story, and the volume contains a scant 70 pages concerning the council itself. The remainder of the book surveys the surrounding history in an anecdotal fashion. The strongest section is the description of the Hussite rebellion following the council, but this warrants its own deeper treatment. The notes for each of the chapters are sketchy and simply list books the author utilized in a topical fashion. Not recommended.
—Ray Arnett

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590201237
  • Publisher: Overlook
  • Publication date: 9/4/2008
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Table of Contents

The Battle For ChristendomForeword
Acknowledgements

Introduction
Chapter I. The French Popes
Chapter II. The Return to Rome
Chapter III. The Church Indivisible Divided
Chapter IV. Seeking Solutions
Chapter V. Emperor and Pope
Chapter VI. A Three-Pope Problem
Chapter VII. A Fresh Start
Chapter VIII. A Great Mistake
Chapter IX. The Last Act
Epilogue

Notes
Bibliography
Index
Maps

Europe in the 15th century
Constance at the time of the council, 1415
Hussite Prague
Bohemia and Surrounding States

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