By John W. O'Malley
A background of the Popes tells the tale of the oldest residing establishment within the Western world—the papacy. From its origins in Saint Peter, Jesus' leader disciple, via Pope Benedict XVI this day, the popes were key avid gamers in nearly all the nice dramas of the western international within the final thousand years. Acclaimed church historian John W. O'Malley's attractive narrative examines the 265 people who have claimed to be Peter's successors. instead of describe each one pope one after the other, the booklet specializes in the popes that formed pivotal moments in either church and global historical past. the writer doesn't shrink back from controversies within the church, and comprises legends like Pope Joan and a finished checklist of popes and antipopes to assist readers get an entire photograph of the papacy.
This concurrently reverent but severe e-book will attract readers attracted to either faith and historical past because it chronicles the saints and sinners who've led the Roman Catholic Church during the last 2000 years. the writer attracts from his renowned audio CD lecture sequence at the subject, 2,000 Years of Papal background, on hand via Now you recognize Media (www.nowyouknowmedia.com).
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Additional info for A History of the Popes: From Peter to the Present
In his Ethics, he contended that there was no supernatural, spiritual realm but only matter, and that everything happened by necessity. For Spinoza, the religions of men were their own inventions, rooted in their superstitious nature. Catholics felt compelled to respond to such an attack on the foundations of the faith. They did so by producing philosophical arguments for the existence of mind and matter, historical arguments for the reliability of Scripture, and myriad other writings arguing for the intelligibility of their faith.
2 This was, in a nutshell, the belief of most of the key figures in the Enlightenment, according to historian Peter Gay’s 1968 assessment. Almost fifty years later, there has been a dramatic change in perspective. Today, historians recognize that only a small fraction of Enlighteners was anti-religious; the overwhelming majority was interested in finding a balanced relationship between reason and faith. Such religious Enlighteners (Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Orthodox) were not necessarily obedient churchgoers; in fact, some were radical critics of the hierarchy and inclined toward belief in an impersonal god—a position that is usually called deism.
Only the anti-clerical and anti-Christian attacks of Enlighteners—and especially the terror of the French Revolution—put a stop to this conversation. Devotion and Reason One of the most common arguments against Catholicism, employed by Enlighteners but also by Protestants, was that it was a superstitious religion that grossly overemphasized the supernatural. Miracles could easily be explained by natural causes, they said, and thus prove Catholicism false. It was argued that devotional practices—such as reciting the rosary, practicing Eucharistic adoration, or offering prayers for the souls in purgatory—were irrational.