The history of the Roman Catholic Church is the gateway to understanding two thousand years of Western and world civilization. Edward Norman’s incisive account begins with how Roman Catholics understand the Faith, before telling the story of the many ways in which their Church has shaped the lives and beliefs of Christians and non-Christians alike.
Here you will find a trenchant view of the Crusades, undistorted by today’s agendas, and a bold view of the Counter Reformation as the fruit of the venerable Catholic reforming tradition; and then the beginning of a new 500-year history, in which missionaries took their message to Latin America and the East.
Today, the Catholic Church, once the defining institution in Europe, reflects the vision of the Second Vatican Council in 1962 and embodies Christ’s own injunction to ‘Teach all Nations’.
This uplifting account, beautifully illustrated throughout, closes with an insistent reminder that the apparent triumph of humanist materialism may not, after all, lead to its predicted conclusions.
'The most intellectually bracing short history of the Roman Catholic Church to have appeared for decades'
'Concise, scholarly and sympathetic … a formidable achievement … the scholarship displayed is meticulous, the prose carefully modulated'
'A magnificent production, immensely detailed yet also readable …'
'Intelligent and provocative'