I am reading How the Catholic Church saved Weastern Civilization and I was wondering if there was any really comprehenive (series of) book(s) that talk about the Churchs history (both good and bad) or is it all scatter shot? Thanks and God Bless.
There are a number of good books on Church History. Some of them are:
*]Triumph : The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church
by H. W. Crocker III
*]Church History: A Complete History of the Catholic Church to the Present Day for High School, College and Adult Reading
by John Joseph Laux
*]The “History of Christendom” series by Warren H. Carroll
The Christain History Project also has a comprehensive project. So far they are up to 1100. Great pictures and lots of good sources.
[quote=Montie Claunch]I am reading How the Catholic Church saved Weastern Civilization and I was wondering if there was any really comprehenive (series of) book(s) that talk about the Churchs history (both good and bad) or is it all scatter shot? Thanks and God Bless.
Look out for translations of Henri Daniel-Rops, History of the Church of Christ. The whole thing comes to ten or twelve volumes in English: long, and worth it. He is a bit inclined sometimes to look at the subject through rose-tinted spectacles, but overall he is very fair-minded; the two books on the Reformation, which cover 1350 to 1622 between them, would probably be too unflattering to the Church for some people’s liking, and too complimentary to the Counter-Reformation Church for the liking of some Protestants. He also has the excellent habit of providing bibliographies; one which cannot be sufficiently encouraged. The history of the CC is taken up to the 1930s; the last volume is a potted, and sympathetic, look at many of the features of Protestantism not already covered, set in the context of the search for Christian Unity.
Some people might not approve of his failure to damn everything that is not Catholic; he doesn’t demonise the Reformers, for example - but that is to expect a work of history to be a work of propaganda in the bad sense. One criticism that can be made is that there is perhaps a bit of a tendency to over-emphasise the role of France in the moden period (i.e., since 1622); on the other hand, it’s a very venial fault in an author who is French - everyone does it.
The whole thing is about five thousand pages long - the title quoted above is that of the series: the divisions of the books in English do not correspond to those in French, BTW.
I particularly like his attention to things other than “obvious” Church history: he doesn’t confine himself to to kings and Popes & Councils & heresies - he has something to say about tendencies in sculpture, painting, music, & architecture, as well as about which Saint was influenced by what ideas. He has a novelist’s gift for drawing pen-portraits - there are many of these.
Inevitably, a lot is omitted - it would have been very interesting to hear more about the Eastern Catholic Churches, for example. But one cannot cover everything.
The best one-volume history I have come across was by someone called McSorley - it was particularly well arranged. I think the author was from the US. It’s old - it was published in 1939, IIRC - but had something on most things. Again, it was history, not propaganda. ##