Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes, Third Edition
by Eamon Duffy
Annotation: This abundantly illustrated book encompasses the extraordinary history of the papacy, from its beginnings nearly 2,000 years ago to the reign of Pope John Paul II. 208 illustrations, 162 in color.
Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes, by Eamon Duffy, is a wonder of comprehensive compression--a sumptuously illustrated, one-volume history of one of the most influential human institutions in world history. Duffy's lively portraits of the 261 scholars, scoundrels, and spiritual guides who have led the Roman Catholic Church are embedded in six historical essays that proceed chronologically from St. Peter to John Paul II. Duffy, a reader in church history and fellow at Cambridge, writes in the mannered yet affable tone of an avuncular English don. His narrative and arguments convey his own Catholic conviction that "the story of the popes is a crucial dimension of the providential care of God for humankind throughout history." Yet he also offers candid assessments of papal moral failings, including spectacular failures such as the orchestration of the Spanish Inquisition and the willed ignorance of Germany's Third Reich. Duffy's glossary of theological terms ensures that no secular reader will be lost in Christian arcana, and his excellent bibliographical essay will help motivated students zero in on the best resources for learning more about any period of Catholic history. For readers primarily concerned with current events, his analysis of John Paul II's papacy is extraordinarily useful and refreshingly free of cant. "To many people Pope John Paul seems a backward-looking figure, a man attempting to force a champagne cork back into the bottle," Duffy writes. "To others, he points the way towards a recovery of balance, a restoration of order and true faith in the flux of time. Only time, and the next conclave, will reveal which of these directions in their long walk through history the heirs of St. Peter will take." --Michael Joseph Gross
From Library Journal
With characteristic flair, the sour Latinist Tertullian called Rome "the happy church on which the Apostles poured forth all their teaching together with their blood." Such emotional extremes, axiomatic of Tertullian, apply equally to papal histories, often given to the heights and depths of spiritual excitement. Duffy (Magdalene Coll., Cambridge) offers this abundantly illustrated, amiably presented history to accompany a multinational television series for Britain, France, and Ireland. Such a pedigree often provokes disdain among bookish sorts, but Duffy's scholarship and enthusiasm overcome the book's populist roots. While not necessarily uncovering anything strikingly new and more akin to a handbook than a treatise, this work merits applause for providing a people's papal retrospective. Those wishing for heavier intellectual discourse should seek out Owen Chadwick's The Popes and European Revolution (1981) or practically anything by Peter Hebblethwaite.Sandra Collins, Northern Tier Lib., Pittsburgh
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes, Third Edition by Eamon Duffy
- Brands Sony
- Product Code: 9780300115970
- Availability: In Stock