- ISBN 9780500287095
- 25.50 x 19.90 cm
- 152 Illustrations, 58 in colour
- First published 2010
‘The most intellectually bracing short history of the Roman Catholic Church to have appeared for decades’ – The Sunday Telegraph
‘A magnificent production, immensely detailed yet also readable …’– The Tablet
‘Intelligent and provocative’– The Sunday Times
‘Concise, scholarly and sympathetic … a formidable achievement … the scholarship displayed is meticulous, the prose carefully modulated’ – The Catholic Herald
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.
Edward Norman lectured in history at the University of Cambridge and is an Emeritus Fellow of Peterhouse. A former Reith Lecturer, Dr Norman has written widely on the history of Christianity and his most recent books include The Victorian Christian Socialists, Secularisation and The House of God: Church Architecture, Style and History, reissued by Thames & Hudson in 2005.