Historical Dictionary of Catholicism

Overview

With about one billion members, the Catholic Church is one of the world’s largest religious bodies, and its history is crucially linked to global events. In the Historical Dictionary of Catholicism, author William J. Collinge provides the reader with a comprehensive introduction to the theology, doctrines, and worship of the religion. He covers the entire Catholic tradition from the time of Jesus to the present, including the periods before the present division of Christianity into Roman Catholic, Eastern ...
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Historical Dictionary of Catholicism

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Overview

With about one billion members, the Catholic Church is one of the world’s largest religious bodies, and its history is crucially linked to global events. In the Historical Dictionary of Catholicism, author William J. Collinge provides the reader with a comprehensive introduction to the theology, doctrines, and worship of the religion. He covers the entire Catholic tradition from the time of Jesus to the present, including the periods before the present division of Christianity into Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant. Collinge has also included entries on heretical, schismatic, and dissident movements within Catholicism, and he covers the relation of Catholicism to other Christian traditions, to the major non-Christian religions, and to Western cultural and philosophical traditions.

The second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Catholicism has been updated to reflect recent developments in the Catholic Church, most notably the death of Pope John Paul II and his succession by Pope Benedict XVI. An updated introduction precedes the main body of the dictionary, which contains more than 500 alphabetical, cross-referenced entries covering persons, organizations, places, events, titles, and concepts. The entries are followed by several appendixes on popes, ecumenical councils, the documents of Vatican Council II, major papal encyclicals, and Catholic prayers, and a comprehensive bibliography provides the researcher with further readings. The second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Catholicism is an ideal access point for students, researchers, or anyone interested in the history of the Catholic Church.

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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
The Catholic Church is the only 'the Church'"--so said comedian Lenny Bruce. The joke, of course, was a reference to the power and influence of Catholicism in the US and around the world. Although the second edition of this dictionary (1st ed., CH, Jul'97, 34-6012) does not include any jokes, interested researchers will find over 500 useful entries on a wide range of topics. Collinge (Mount Saint Mary's Univ.) includes new and revised entries on people, places, concepts, and changes in the church, but some earlier entries were cut from the new edition. The volume continues to include more than 100 pages of appendixes that provide easy access to information on the popes, the ecumenical councils, the documents of the Second Vatican Council, and selected papal encyclicals. Of particular value is an 80-page bibliography that provides an excellent overview of recent research on the major themes covered in the entries. Unquestionably, this volume succeeds all previous historical dictionaries on this topic. Summing Up: Highly recommended.
American Reference Books Annual
This work is a revision of the 1st edition published in 1997 (see ARBA 98, entry 1384). The preface specifies that this volume is not a dictionary of Catholic history but covers the practical, experiential, narrative, doctrinal, ethical, social, and material dimensions of Catholicism. The preface is followed by lists of acronyms and abbreviations, and a chronology of Catholicism beginning with the life of Jesus. The introduction presents a historical overview of Catholicism as it became known today as Roman Catholicism. The main part of the volume is the more than 500 entries arranged alphabetically. At the end, appendixes are found with lists of all popes, ecumenical councils, documents of the Second Vatican Council and papal encyclicals with synopses, and common prayers. The volume is completed with an extensive bibliography and index.
Choice
The Catholic Church is the only 'the Church'—so said comedian Lenny Bruce. The joke, of course, was a reference to the power and influence of Catholicism in the US and around the world. Although the second edition of this dictionary (1st ed., CH, Jul'97, 34-6012) does not include any jokes, interested researchers will find over 500 useful entries on a wide range of topics. Collinge (Mount Saint Mary's Univ.) includes new and revised entries on people, places, concepts, and changes in the church, but some earlier entries were cut from the new edition. The volume continues to include more than 100 pages of appendixes that provide easy access to information on the popes, the ecumenical councils, the documents of the Second Vatican Council, and selected papal encyclicals. Of particular value is an 80-page bibliography that provides an excellent overview of recent research on the major themes covered in the entries. Unquestionably, this volume succeeds all previous historical dictionaries on this topic. Summing Up: Highly recommended.
American Reference Books Annual (ARBA)
This work is a revision of the 1st edition published in 1997 (see ARBA 98, entry 1384). The preface specifies that this volume is not a dictionary of Catholic history but covers the practical, experiential, narrative, doctrinal, ethical, social, and material dimensions of Catholicism. The preface is followed by lists of acronyms and abbreviations, and a chronology of Catholicism beginning with the life of Jesus. The introduction presents a historical overview of Catholicism as it became known today as Roman Catholicism. The main part of the volume is the more than 500 entries arranged alphabetically. At the end, appendixes are found with lists of all popes, ecumenical councils, documents of the Second Vatican Council and papal encyclicals with synopses, and common prayers. The volume is completed with an extensive bibliography and index.
Theological Librarianship
Given the scope of the material and the many controversial topics included, the author has done a fine job of showing the development of doctrine, devotions, and attitudes within the church.

For someone new or unfamiliar with Catholicism, the entries give enough information to find one’s way.

It is easy to find subjects and entries, and there is enough information to give a sample of what the discussion about that topic is.

Library Journal
Any attempt to edit a one-volume reference source on Catholicism is an enormous assignment, and Collinge (theology & philosophy, St. Mary's Coll.) has succeeded admirably. More than 500 entries cover a broad range of topics: historical (councils, schism, the Renaissance); doctrinal (incarnation, resurrection, trinity); liturgical (lectionary, transubstantiation, the Eucharist); institutional (curia, Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith); and spiritual (religious orders, St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila). Ample attention is given to specific figures including God, Juliana of Norwich, G.K. Chesterton, Flannery O'Connor, and Karl Rahner. Concise, well-written entries, averaging a page or more, provide even treatments. Collinge's range of reference begins from the time of Jesus and extends through the various councils, schisms, reformation, and Vatican II before ending with modern-day concerns of the church (the sexual abuse crisis, women's ordination, etc.). Entries offer in-text cross-references. Adding to the overall appeal is an extensive bibliography organized by topic referencing many of the seminal works in a given subject; a chronology; and five appendixes providing lists of popes, ecumenical councils, summaries of documents from Vatican II, and prayers. This second edition contains an updated and informative introduction reflecting upon the election of Pope Benedict XVI. VERDICT Given the length and breadth of Roman Catholic tradition, Collinge has curated and edited a text that will be informative, accessible, and readable for researchers. Highly recommended for academic, large public, seminary, and parish libraries.—Jacquline Parascandola, Columbia Univ. Libs., New York
Choice
...a valuable reference work on a vast topic. It is difficult to imagine that the history of Catholocism could be addressed in only 551 pages, but Collinge has risen to the task...will please pastors and parishioners seeking quick answers to questions about Catholic history, theology, or doctrine. All the entries are well written and concise....
Catholic Historical Review
...an extremely ambitious undertaking, but one I believe he has accomplished in a brilliant way...a fine summary of the beliefs, rites, events, movements, memorable popes, saints, and other key persons in Catholic history. The summary of church history he provides in the introduction is a model of compression and delineates well the main lines of development...a lively, well written work...a very full bibliography...for anyone interested in the history of the Catholic Church, this is a most useful and up-to-date reference work..
Booknews
An overview focusing on the early period leading to the development of the present Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox divisions. Among the entries are people, events, doctrines, movement, concepts, holidays, offices, and groups both within and outside the body of Roman Catholicism. The lack of entry- specific bibliographic references makes it more useful as a quick reference than an initial research tool. Well cross-referenced. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Catholic Historical Review
...an extremely ambitious undertaking, but one I believe he has accomplished in a brilliant way...a fine summary of the beliefs, rites, events, movements, memorable popes, saints, and other key persons in Catholic history. The summary of church history he provides in the introduction is a model of compression and delineates well the main lines of development...a lively, well written work...a very full bibliography...for anyone interested in the history of the Catholic Church, this is a most useful and up-to-date reference work.
The Living Light
...the entries are generous in the historical information provided...[and] cover a broad range of doctrinal, theological, liturgical, spiritual, ethical, historical, and institutional topics. The entires are uniformly well-written, informative, and refreshingly readable. The descriptions are impressive in their accuracy and fairness. The book includes several useful features in addition to the entries themselves.
Rettig On Reference
Collinge has dealt quite effectively with the initial problem this book posed; from among the many topics a tradition that stretches back two millennia offers, he has selected the most significant for exposition...clear prose...welcome...
Church History
This book, an excellent source of information for American Catholics, makes a significant contribution to the promotion of historical and theological scholarship.
Ecumenical Review
William Collinge has produced a very helpful source of reference and information for a wider readership...one is tempted not only to read the entry one is looking for, but to continue to read and read and read.
The Catholic Historical Review
...an extremely ambitious undertaking, but one I believe he has accomplished in a brilliant way...a fine summary of the beliefs, rites, events, movements, memorable popes, saints, and other key persons in Catholic history. The summary of church history he provides in the introduction is a model of compression and delineates well the main lines of development...a lively, well written work...a very full bibliography...for anyone interested in the history of the Catholic Church, this is a most useful and up-to-date reference work.
Times
...while its approach is scholarly and historical, it is written in a lively tone from a modern perspective.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

William J. Collinge is professor of theology and philosophy at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where he holds the Knott Professorship in Theology. He co-authored Augustine: Four Anti-Pelagian Writings and is the director of publications of the College Theology Society and editor of its 2007 annual volume, Faith in Public Life. He was the author of the first edition of this Historical Dictionary of Catholicism and have substantially updated and expanded the second edition.
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Table of Contents

Editor’s Foreword (Jon Woronoff)
Preface
Reader’s Note
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Chronology
Introduction
The Dictionary
Appendixes
I. Popes
II: Ecumenical Councils
III: The Documents of Vatican Council II
IV: Papal Encyclicals
V: Prayers
Bibliography
Index
About the Author
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