Behind Locked Doors: A History of the Papal Elections

Overview

Since the early seventeenth century, whenever a pope has died, the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church have convened in Rome behind locked doors to elect a successor--and all eyes focus on The Eternal City. The Papal Conclave is an event like no other. Highly secretive and conducted behind the doors of the Sistine Chapel, it happens only a few times every century. Cardinals meet en masse in their scarlet robes. Throngs of the faithful stand watch in St. Peter’s Square. Finally, white smoke billows from the ...

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Behind Locked Doors: A History of the Papal Elections

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Overview

Since the early seventeenth century, whenever a pope has died, the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church have convened in Rome behind locked doors to elect a successor--and all eyes focus on The Eternal City. The Papal Conclave is an event like no other. Highly secretive and conducted behind the doors of the Sistine Chapel, it happens only a few times every century. Cardinals meet en masse in their scarlet robes. Throngs of the faithful stand watch in St. Peter’s Square. Finally, white smoke billows from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel signaling the election of a new pontiff. In Behind Locked Doors, Frederic J. Baumgartner evokes the high drama of this event while simultaneously providing a comprehensive and rigorous history of the papal elections. Behind Locked Doors is a fascinating look at the death of popes and the centuries-old transfer of Vatican power from one man to the next.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Frederic Baumgartner's book is well balanced, both in its wide sweep of centuries and in fairness to individuals, be they popes, cardinals or monarchs...this history will give us an understanding of the evolution of the world's oldest elected institution. It should be made required reading for the college of cardinals, and perhaps presented to a new Eminence with his red hat."--Richard Mullen, Catholic Herald
"There is something irresistibly exciting about a papal election--but reading this fascinating and scholarly account of elections over 200 years, it seems the forthcoming conclave will be one of the dullest in history...The use of white smoke, along with the strict secrecy, Baumgartner shows, is an innovation scarcely more than 100 years old. But the process is still a fascinating one, as this readable, very well researched and interesting book proves."--David McLaurin, Church Times
"It's surely no surprise that a history of papal elections is largely a history of bad behavior: self aggrandizement, corruption, bribery, nepotism, greed and cynical manipulation."--Barney Zwartz, The Age
 
Praise for Baumgartner's Longing for the End:
"...a lucid and readable survey of the many varieties and permutations of millennialism in Western thought." --Paul Boyer, author of When Time Shall Be No More

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403969620
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Frederic J. Baumgartner is Professor of History at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Preface
Glossary
Ch. I From Apostle to Pope 1
Ch. II Election by the College of Cardinals, 1059-1274 19
Ch. III The Creation of the Conclave 39
Ch. IV Conclaves during The Great Schism 59
Ch. V Conclaves in the Renaissance 77
Ch. VI Conclaves in the Reformation Era 101
Ch. VII Conclaves in the Baroque Era 127
Ch. VIII Conclaves in the Age of Absolutism 151
Ch. IX Conclaves in the Nineteenth Century 179
Ch. X Conclaves in the Twentieth Century 201
Ch. XI And On to the Twenty-first Century 229
App Sfumata! 241
Notes 247
Bibliography 257
Index 263
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