Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

A New Short History of the Catholic Church

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

A New Short History of the Catholic Church

Article excerpt

General and Miscellaneous

A New Short History of the Catholic Church. By Norman Tanner. (New York: Burns and Oates. 201 1. Pp. xvi, 260. $22.95. ISBN 978-0-860-12455-9.)

This is a useful book of reference by the master of the history of the councils of the Church. It treats its subject in a straightforward chronological manner, dividing the narrative into five chapters, taking the Church from Pentecost to the fourth century; through the early Middle Ages, 400-1054; the central and late Middle Ages; early-modern Catholicism, 1500-1800; and the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This brings sharply into prominence the fact that, as Tanner points out, the Middle Ages span half the period of the Church's existence.

This account allows the characters to spin the plot, although it would be instructive to hear more from them in their own words; some close-ups of the honest wrestling with question and challenge down the centuries would add vividness. The main omission is a substantial discussion of "Church" and "Catholic Church." The key passages of arms, outlined one by one; Cyprian and the rigorists; the Donatisi challenge in St. Augustine's North Africa; the discomfort as Eastern and western Christendom drew apart and the schism of 1054; the implications of the ecclesiological challenges of the Reformation and after; and modern ecumenism all threw up in different ways the questions "What is the Church?" and "What does it mean to call it Catholic '? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.