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The Roman Catholic Church

An Illustrated History

Edward Norman

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An accessible and beautifully illustrated history of the Roman Catholic Church


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.

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'The most intellectually bracing short history of the Roman Catholic Church to have appeared for decades'
Sunday Telegraph

'Concise, scholarly and sympathetic … a formidable achievement … the scholarship displayed is meticulous, the prose carefully modulated'
Catholic Herald

'A magnificent production, immensely detailed yet also readable …'
The Tablet

'Intelligent and provocative'
Sunday Times

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 25.5 x 19.9 cm

Extent: 192 pp

Illustrations: 152

Publication date: 11 January 2010

ISBN: 9780500287095

Contents List

Introduction • 1. Catholic Origins • 2. The Separation of East and West 3. Medieval Panorama • 4. Reformation • 5. Teach All Nations • 6. The Church and the Modern State • 7. Uncertain Frontiers

About the Author

Edward Norman lectured in history at the University of Cambridge and is an Emeritus Fellow of Peterhouse. A former Reith Lecturer for the BBC, Dr Norman has written widely on the history of Christianity and his most recent books include The Victorian Christian Socialists, Secularization and The House of God: Church Architecture, Style and History, reissued in paperback byThames & Hudson in 2005.

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