The Catholic Church

A Brief Popular History

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“Dr. Stewart presents a history of the Catholic Church in a very engaging and reader friendly manner. She prompts students to think of where we are now and how we have gotten here. I believe Cynthia Stewart has succeeded in presenting a ‘popular history.'”

Mary Filice
Instructor
Ohio Dominican University

“This is a fine text: very thorough and readable. The author has a wonderful grasp of history, and conveys it with ease to students.”

Brennan Hill, PhD
Professor Emeritus
Xavier University, Ohio

About This Book

Overview

Designed for College Students Taking Their First Course in Church History

The Catholic Church: A Brief Popular History is an engaging and informative survey of the major people, periods, and events in Church history. Designed with the introductory student in mind, the text is both accessible and thorough.

An engaging vignette opens each chapter, drawing the reader in by encouraging a personal connection to the people of the time. A chapter overview then signals the material to follow. Throughout the text, sidebars highlight key persons and events, excerpts from primary sources enrich the reading, connections with the Church today add relevance, and end-of-chapter questions prompt reflection and review. Altogether, The Catholic Church: A Brief Popular History provides a solid foundation in major theological themes and prepares students for further study.

Details

Weight 1.25 lbs
Dimensions 7.25 x 1.5 x 9.125 in
Format

Softcover

ISBN

978-0-88489-967-9

Pages

338

Item # 7004

Customer Reviews

“Dr. Stewart presents a history of the Catholic Church in a very engaging and reader friendly manner. She prompts students to think of where we are now and how we have gotten here. I believe Cynthia Stewart has succeeded in presenting a ‘popular history.'”

Mary Filice
Instructor
Ohio Dominican University

“This is a fine text: very thorough and readable. The author has a wonderful grasp of history, and conveys it with ease to students.”

Brennan Hill, PhD
Professor Emeritus
Xavier University, Ohio

About the Author

CynthiaStewart

Cynthia Stewart

Cynthia Stewart has taught at Martin Methodist College, Belmont University School of Religion, Rhodes College Department of Religious Studies, and Vanderbilt Department of Religious Studies. An author, reviewer, and presenter at professional and public presentations, Dr. Stewart is the recipient of a number of honors and rewards. She received her PhD in history of Christian thought from Vanderbilt and is currently an independent scholar residing in Nashville, TN.

Table of Contents

1. History and the Church

Chapter Overview
History: The Art of Remembering Who We Are
Unraveling the Mystery of History

2. Laying the Foundation: Jesus and His First Followers

Chapter Overview
Deborah: Who Is This Man, Yeshua?
Inside the Empire
Public Religion and Private Faith
Getting the Word Out: Jesus and Co.
Getting the Church Going
Fishing for Converts

3. Under Attack: Persecution in the Early Church

Chapter Overview
Origen: When Belief Is More Important than Life
Rome on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Run-Ins with the Law
Making Peace and Making Enemies
Wisdom and Knowledge: Christianity, Philosophy, and Gnostic Thought
Facing the Test
The Church Then and Now

4. New Understandings: Constantine, Councils, and Creeds

Chapter Overview
Sabina: What Are These Christians Fighting About?
Figuring Out Authority in the Empire and the Church
Constantine and a Change in Direction
A Family Fight: Figuring Out the Father and Son
The Father and the Son: Thinking Through What It All Means
Moving Forward: Constantinople and Chalcedon
Church + State = Problems
The Church Then and Now

5. The Life and Times of a Seeker: Augustine of Hippo

Chapter Overview
Augustine: Looking for the Truth
Rome Takes a Nosedive
“I Rise by Stages towards the God Who Made Me”: Augustine’s Life
Right Love, Right Will: The Writings of Augustine
Putting Down Heresies: Donatism and Pelagianism
The Church Then and Now

6. Missionaries, Artists,and Servants of God: Monks and Nuns in the Early Middle Ages

Chapter Overview
Brendan: A Living Offering
Changing of the Guard: Germanic Tribes Take Control
Seeking Perfection: The Growth of Monasticism
Christianity in Celtic Lands
The Church Then and Now

7. Across a Great Divide: The Eastern Church

Chapter Overview
Zoe: Going to the Great Church
Continuing the (Not So) Roman Empire in the East
Justinian and Theodora
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: The Church Splits
The Church Then and Now

8. Shaking Things Up: The Church Reforms Inside and Out

Chapter Overview
William: Living Up to the Call
Fighting and Feuding in a Feudal World
Fighting for Control: Problems between Church and State
Cleaning House: Reform in the Church
The Church Then and Now

9. New Ideas, New Problems: The Middle of the Middle Ages

Chapter Overview
Arnulf: Far from Home
All about Power: Who Gets It, Who Keeps It
Challenging the Church
The Man with the Plan: Innocent III
Belief and Violence: The Crusades
The Holiest of Christians: Medieval Thinking about Mary and the Saints
The Church Then and Now

10. Bringing It All Together: Thomas Aquinas and New Ways of Thinking

Chapter Overview
Alina: A Boy’s Dreams in a Girl’s Life
Falling States and Rising Cathedrals
Signs of Contradiction: Bernard of Clairvaux and Hildegard of Bingen
New Thoughts from New Thinkers: Anselm and Abelard
Angel and Ox: Thomas Aquinas
Making the Grade: Medieval Universities
The Church Then and Now

11. Changing the Rules: Re-Forming Christianity

Chapter Overview
Michael: Being Catholic in a Protestant Land
Plagues, Problems, and a Rebirth
Papal Brawls: The Babylonian Captivity, the Great Schism, and Beyond
Introducing the Protestants
Responding to the Call: The Catholic Reformation
The Church Then and Now

12. Discoveries Near and Far: New Lands, New Science, and New Ways of Serving

Chapter Overview
Leilani: Living the Mission Life
Destruction and Discovery
Fighting the Good Fight: The Jesuits
Bringing Faith and Science Together
The Church Then and Now

13. New Challenges to Ancient Traditions: Vatican I and the Modern Era

Chapter Overview
Sean: Finding Prejudice in the Promised Land
Bringing the World Closer to Home
Revolution and Religion
Thinking about Humanity: The Enlightenment
Going High-Tech, Nineteenth-Century Style: The Industrial Revolution
Working for the Workers
Carrying the Faith to a New Land
The Church Then and Now

14. The Ancient Faith Gets a Modern Makeover: Vatican II

Chapter Overview
Amelia: Face to Face with History
Mapping the Twentieth Century
The Church in the Public Eye
The Church Then and Now

15. The Road That Lies Ahead: The Church in the Third Millennium

Chapter Overview
The Life and Times of . . . You
The Pope That Stole the Show: John Paul II
The Reformed Reformer: Benedict XVI
Who Does What: The Changing Roles of Bishops, Priests, and Laity
Looking Inward, Looking Outward: The Church at Home and Abroad
The Church Then and Now

Index

 

Professional Reviews

“As the title might suggest, this book would make an excellent text for an introductory undergraduate course in church history, an upper-level high school course, or an adult education course. It covers the entire gamut of the history of the Church from Jesus through Vatican II. This work is high recommended for all parish libraries, high school libraries, and those academic libraries serving undergraduate populations.”

Catholic Library World
September 2010

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