A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH by Thomas Bokenkotter

A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Pope Leo Wins a Great Victory for Papal Primacy at Chalcedon,"" ""Luther Splits Christendom"" are chapter titles typical of others in this book that, it's intended, will appeal to history buffs, etc., although geared for use in schools. The author cites non-Catholic authorities half the time-Flusser, Bultmann, Pelikan--and the book is sufficiently well-written and organized to cover the enormous territory effectively. But it sticks close to its narrow ledge; in the midst of a several-page sequence on the period when there were three popes simultaneously, Jan Hus appears only to be burned before the end of the sentence. Methodism gets one sentence--""In England the Methodists did yeoman service in driving the lower classes away from revolutionary ideas."" The book has a certain ""on the one hand, on the other hand"" brand of judiciousness: the ghastly record of intrigue and cruelty that permeates all church histories is given, but scandal is sometimes not only explained but justified. The concluding section leading up to Vatican H is open, ironic, and enthusiastic and the reader senses that the author enjoys playing his part in the work of renewal.

Pub Date: Oct. 7th, 1977
ISBN: 0385516134
Publisher: Doubleday