Synopses & Reviews
This book encompasses the extraordinary history of the Papacy, from its beginnings nearly two thousand years ago to the reign of Pope John Paul II. It is an abundantly illustrated book that will fascinate anyone wishing to understand the history of the Catholic church, as well as anyone with an interest in the ideological, political, and cultural forces that have shaped the modern world. Eamon Duffy traces the remarkable process by which Peter, the humble fisherman of Galilee, became the figurehead and basis for an institution that outlived not only the Roman and Byzantine empires but also those of Carolingian Gaul, medieval Germany, Spain, Britain, the Third Reich of Hitler, and most recently the Soviet Union. Today, seven hundred million people look to the Pope for spiritual leadership, and the Papacy has become the oldest and perhaps most influencial of all human institutions.
Duffy begins by exploring the origins of the Papacy and development of papal authority in the centuries after Roman Emperor Nero's execution of the Apostle Peter. He describes the role of the Papacy in political as well as religious spheres after the collapse of the Roman Empire; the contradictory period of the Middle Ages, when popes launched the Crusades and established the Inquisition even as they adopted exalted spiritual reforms; and the notorious popes of Renaissance Rome whose support of Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo yielded supreme religious masterpieces, but whose worldly habits helped bring about the Reformation and the split of Western Christendom. The author shows how popes have faced the multiple challenges of the modern world since the French Revolution and how they continue to influencesuch urgent and profound contemporary issues as the morality of the death penalty, of abortion, of capitalism, and of nuclear war.
This book is the official publication for the multi-national TV series being created by Channel 4 in Britain, TV Cinque in France, and RTE in Ireland and scheduled for worldwide release late in 1997.
Encompassing the history of the Papacy, from its beginning to the reign of Pope John Paul II, this text considers: papal authority after the execution of Peter the Apostle; the Crusades; and the Inquisition. It discusses the current concerns of the Papacy - war, abortion and the death penalty.