A History of the Popes: From Peter to the Presentby John W. O'Malley, SJ
A History of the Popes tells the story of the oldest living institution in the Western worldthe papacy. From its origins in Saint Peter, Jesus' chief disciple, through Pope Benedict XVI today, the popes have been key players in virtually all of the great dramas of the western world in the last two thousand years. Acclaimed church historian John W. O'Malley's engaging narrative examines the 265 individuals who have claimed to be Peter's successors. Rather than describe each pope one by one, the book focuses on the popes that shaped pivotal moments in both church and world history. The author does not shy away from controversies in the church, and includes legends like Pope Joan and a comprehensive list of popes and antipopes to help readers get a full picture of the papacy.
This simultaneously reverent yet critical book will appeal to readers interested in both religion and history as it chronicles the saints and sinners who have led the Roman Catholic Church over the past 2000 years. The author draws from his popular audio CD lecture series on the topic, 2,000 Years of Papal History, available through Now You Know Media (www.nowyouknowmedia.com).
This volume is a gem that will inform, entertain, amuse, and inspire countless readers from widely differing backgrounds.
O’M has deliberately written this book for a wider audience, and its prose, as ever, is wonderfully lucid and stylish, peppered with fascinating anecdotes and lesser-known aspects of history that grip the reader’s attention throughout
O’M is not afraid to get embroiled in the most contentious historical questions alone the way, including some of the most significant of all in this field of study
His observations on some of the most critical questions pertaining to the papacy and the church in general are consistently thoughtful and measured
Throughout, with characteristic succinctness, wit, and historiographical elegance, O’M. explores the personal and social origins and backgrounds of his subjects and tries to discern their personalities throughout.
This book will make a wonderful textbook at various levels, as well as a discussion text for parish groups and perhaps especially for ecumenical discussion groups. It will also be a cherished companion for readers seeking a less dense but nonetheless stimulating immersion into nearly 2000 years of history, regardless of their level of theological and historical training. Above all else, time and again O’M stirs the reader to think about individual popes, historical periods, and ecclesiological questions in a different wayno mean feat, given the multitude of similar textbooks that have passed under the bridge
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
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- 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Meet the Author
John W. O'Malley, S.J., is a Roman Catholic priest and professor of religion at Georgetown University. He lives in Washington, D.C., and is the author of numerous books, including What Happened at Vatican II and Four Cultures of the West.
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