By J. N. D. Kelly
Considering international warfare II and particularly because the election of Pope John XXIII in 1958, the papacy--the oldest of all Western institutions--has attracted gradually growing to be curiosity from non-Christians in addition to Christians.
Written for individuals of each non secular allegiance and none, J.N.D. Kelly's biographical dictionary provides a wealth of knowledge concerning the papacy and the surprising succession of churchmen who've loomed huge at the global scene for nearly thousand years. It includes concise debts not just of the entire formally famous popes from St. Peter to John Paul II, but in addition of all their irregularly elected competitors, the so-called antipopes. it is usually an appendix which documents the as soon as quite often approved, yet lengthy for the reason that discarded, legend that at a few date within the 9th, 10th, or 11th century a feminine pope referred to as Joan existed.
The Dictionary offers an access for every pope and antipope which covers--except the place (as within the early centuries) details is unavailable--his family members and social historical past and pre-papal profession, in addition to his actions in place of work. every one access has a separate decide upon bibliography, often together with references to the first resource for the pope's lifestyles and his authentic acts. prepared chronologically, the amount locations each one pope within the right ancient context and gives, in impression, a continuing historical past of the papacy.
in response to cautious examine, yet eminently readable, this reference paintings finds an awfully various crew of fellows who've exact themselves as St. Peter's successors, and documents their various involvement in nice strength politics, own or kin aggrandizement, patronage of the humanities, theological controversy, or religious management. It provides a photograph and relocating photograph of the fluctuating fortunes of the Christian Church established in Rome, occasionally submerged by way of secular forces, yet at different instances, staging a astonishing revival and confronting the area (as at the present time) with a frightening problem.
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