Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Ten Popes Who Shook the World

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Ten Popes Who Shook the World

Article excerpt

Duffy, Eamon. Ten Popes Who Shook the World. (New Haven: Yale University Press. 2011. Pp. 151. $25.00. ISBN 978-0-300-17688-9)

This short, illustrated volume of captivating essays began as a series of BBC radio programs in 2007. Eamon Duffy starts by declaring, "The papacy is an institution that matters, whether or not one is a religious believer" (p. 9), and moves easily from Walter Ullmann's determinism- even as Duffy tells a more decentralized, messy tale- to Thomas Hobbes's dismissal of the papacy as "not other than the ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned on the grave thereof" (p. 17). There follows quite a pleasant read with all sorts of jewels- very few church historians could get away with calling Roman polytheism's acceptance of other faiths "a sort of symbolic scalpcollecting" (p. 35) or the Holy Roman Emperor "God's policeman" (p. 62) without losing perspective and gravitas. Why these ten and not others? Duffy states that he did not try to choose the "ten 'best' nor even the ten most influential. …

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.