Item description for A Concise History of the Catholic Church (Revised Edition) by Thomas Bokenkotter...
Overview A best-selling resource, updated for the new millennium, examines five areas corresponding to the major historical and epochal developments in Catholicism, in a volume complemented by informative new illustrations. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.
Publishers Description Expanded and updated for the new millennium. Covering the life of Christ, the election of Pope Benedict XVI, and everything in between, "A Concise History of the Catholic Church" has been one of the bestselling religious histories of the past two decades and a mainstay for scholars, students, and others looking for a definitive, accessible history of Catholicism. With a clarity that will appeal to any reader, Thomas Bokenkotter divides his study into five parts that correspond to the major historical and epochal developments in Catholicism. His authoritative, thorough approach takes readers from the Church's triumph over paganism, through "the sound and fury of renewal," to a new section devoted to such topics as dissent and current developments in the ecumenical movement. Informative illustrations throughout the book, new to this edition, enrich the reader's experience, and the addition of a wide-ranging bibliography increases its value as a sourcebook.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.4" Width: 5.44" Height: 1.62" Weight: 1.2 lbs.
Release Date Aug 16, 2005
ISBN 0385516134 ISBN13 9780385516136
Availability 0 units.
More About Thomas Bokenkotter
THOMAS BOKENKOTTER, the author of the bestselling Church and Revolution, teaches at Xavier University. He is also the pastor of Assumption Church and is active in the social ministry, running a soup kitchen that he founded twenty years ago and a transitional living facility for homeless women and children. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Reviews - What do customers think about A Concise History of the Catholic Church?
Should be titled: history of liberalism in the Catholic Church Jun 12, 2008
As other reviewers said, the first three parts of the book are all right and maybe even worth reading. Unfortunately, the coverage of the 19th, and especially 20th century is very biased and one-sided. Last two parts of the book should be subtitled "history of leftist and liberal trends in the church and why you should agree with them". The position of "progressive" bishops and theologians is always described in great detail, their arguments explained and elaborated. Views of "traditionalists", on the other hand, are only briefly mentioned, and their arguments ignored. The story of Archbishop Lefebvre and Society of St. Piux X is presented in particularly biased and unfair fashion.
Some omissions are so glaring that I found them hard to believe. For example, the name of Dietrich von Hildebrand, considered by many "20-th century doctor of the church" is not even mentioned!
Another example: the role of latin language and consequences of its disappearance from the post-councillar liturgy are not even touched. I would think that such topics would be impossible to omit in a book of this scope - well, I was wrong...
To summarize: if you are looking for a balanced, objective treatment of Church history, look elsewhere.
Poisonous for those seeking the real Catholic Church Feb 14, 2008
This book is, in many ways, very good and an incredible feat of historical scholarship within the Church, today.
However, the sections surrounding the Second Vatican Council and Pope John Paul II are poisoned with a heterodox agenda that is certainly causing a great deal of scandal to the faithful today. Especially distressing are his calls to "reform" the priesthood and the teachings on sexual morality.
Gratefully, his opinions are falling more and more into the minority of Catholics today. Regardless, TRUTH IS NEVER DETERMINED BY A MAJORITY VOTE. Truth is what it is. What I consider to be his major issue undermining a great deal of his disagreement is the structure of the teaching authority of the Church. We believe, as Catholics, that the Holy Spirit (GOD HIMSELF) continues to teach us through the college of bishops, the true successors of the first apostles chosen by Jesus Christ. Our Lord Himself promised us this in the Gospels. Since Bokenkotter seems to have lost his faith in this, it can be of no surprise to read these sections of his book.
I cannot, in good (and true) conscience, recommend this book due to the fact that it leads the faithful away from our Lord's Church as it really is.
May Jesus Christ be praised, now and forever! Amen.
An open, non-defensive account Feb 9, 2008
Bokenkotter reviews the issues and decisions of Catholic church history in a fair, non-defensive way. He gives balanced time to the losers in contests over orthodoxy, and doesn't assume the temporary victors are always right. In explaining the choice to ban families for priests in 1074, he honestly shows the arguments in play. The difficulties of controlling priest's wives showed no sign of going away, and the hierarchy's patience ran out. The great Gregorian reform for priestly chastity gathered force because the mainly monastic higher leadership realized how greatly marriage assimilated its clerics to Western women's values. (p. 141) The other defining moments in church history, from the codifying of orthodoxy under Constantine, the turn to holy war and persecution against infidels, the great "counter-reformation" revival of service vocations, or the conflicts over modernity, all receive an honest, open treatment.
Great until you get the liberal overtones Jan 15, 2008
I thought this book was very well written and easy to understand. I had been looking for a short history of the Catholic Church for quite a long time. The book takes you from chapter to chapter into the history of the church chronicling it's many triumphs and disappointments. I found it very sobering at times being a devout Roman Catholic but also very enlightening. I appreciated learning about the Protestant Reformation and its roots as well as it's major leaders.
Yet the final chapters of the book seemed to me to be more of a liberal objection of the church rather than sticking to the historical standpoint. I actually came away at times quite disgusted at how the author continued to pound at the conservative view of Catholocism and wondered when he would stop putting his own views on the church's history. It became quite evident during these final chapters that the author was very liberal in his views on the church's papal and magesterial authority. The author's downright liberalism would lead me to believe that there might be other book's out there more in line with what the church truely is. For me it was a good starter's book but I'd like to find something even better. A book and author that stays more faithful in the belief in the role of the papacy is what I'll be looking for next.
A fine introduction to the long, rich history of the Catholic Church Dec 8, 2007
As a Protestant who has long been perplexed by Catholicism, I finally picked up this history, and am giving it a read. This excellent book has clarified so many areas where I was confused about the origin of a tradition or doctrine in the Church. Particularly helpful is the way Bokenkotter traces the threads of the development of Catholic dogma. While it is extremely brief (2000+ years of history...430 pages), and undoubtedly omits or skims many important issues, it is a fine introduction. Bokenkotter does not espouse to be complete or lengthy in his history, and provides many references for further reading, should the reader desire a deeper understanding of an event or time period. I appreciate Bokenkotter's respectful treatment of Protestantism, and his recognition of both beautiful and inglorious moments in the Catholic Church's history (for surely no church is perfect!). This history has brought me to greater respect of and appreciation for the Catholic Church, and I highly recommend it.