Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Trent and All That: Renaming Catholicism in the Early Modern Era

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Trent and All That: Renaming Catholicism in the Early Modern Era

Article excerpt

Trent and All That: Renaming Catholicism in the Early Modern Era. By John W. O'Malley. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 2000. Pp. x, 219. $24.95 clothbound; $19.95 paperback.)

Despite its slightly flippant main title, Father O'Malley has produced a serious survey of the historiography of the period designated in the subtitle. He does not study primarily the Council of Trent, although he acknowledges its centrality, but rather investigates the significance and implications of the various names used by historians for the whole era and reviews the history of the naming process from the late seventeenth century to the present. In all he discusses sixty historians-German, French, English, and Italian-in the body of the book and cites even more in the endnotes; all are conveniently listed in the twenty-eight-page bibliography. What he gives us, however, is not a dull catalogue of names of authors, titles of their books, and sketches of their contributions to the subject; instead it is a lively account of their relationships and interactions. He devotes one entire chapter out of the four to the work of Hubert Jedin, who advocated the double term "Catholic Reformation (or Reform) and Counter-Reformation" to encompass the full reality of the historic changes in Christianity. …

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