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The Church

The Evolution of Catholicism

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Regular Price: $17.99

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Format: Paperback

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“The Church is a lucid, balanced, and readable book—a work of integration that is always reasonable, well informed, honest, and deeply hopeful.”


In The Church, renowned religious historian and Vatican expert Richard P. McBrien offers a sweeping history of the evolution of the Roman Catholic Church, its influence  and power in an ever-changing world.  From Jesus’s apostle Peter to Pope Benedict XVI, The Church is a remarkable achievement that delves deeply into the past and the future of Christianity’s largest branch—in fact, the largest religious institution in the world—exploring its politics, doctrines, and the way the Roman Catholic Church views itself.


From the struggles of the very first Christians to the challenges and scandals of today, the Catholic Church has wrestled with how to organize itself, express its beliefs, and nurture its members. The Church has grown from a handful of disciples in the first century to over one billion members in the twenty-first, resulting in profound changes that demand a theological response. In this sweeping history, renowned scholar Richard McBrien reveals the evolution of the Church's relationship to the divine, its leadership of the faithful, and its role as a global religion. The Church answers the questions raised by this extraordinary history, including:

  • Where did the idea of the pope's infallibility come from?
  • Why are priests celibate and women barred from the priesthood?
  • What inspired the Inquisition?
  • What was the position of the Catholic Church on Hitler's policies in World War II?
  • What is the Church's relationship to Islam?
  • How will the growth of the Church in South America, Africa, and Asia shape its future?

McBrien helps the reader understand the evolution of the Catholic Church's understanding of itself through the centuries, its leadership, and its relationship to national governments and world religions. From Jesus's apostle Peter to Pope Benedict XVI, The Church explains in layperson's terms the evolution of the Catholic Church, its power, its scope, its theology, and its influence.

Contributor(s) McBrien, Richard P.
About the Contributor(s) McBrien, Richard P.

Richard P. McBrien is Crowley-O'Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Educated at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, he has also served as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. A leading authority on Catholicism, he is the bestselling author of Catholicism, Lives of the Popes, and Lives of the Saints, as well as the general editor of The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism. Most recently a consultant for ABC News, McBrien offers regular commentary on all the major television networks. He is also a prizewinning syndicated columnist in the Catholic press.

UPC 099455017992
ISBN-10 0061245259
ISBN-13 9780061245251
Publish Date Nov 3, 2009
Weight (lbs) 1.2200
Height 9
Width 6
Length 528
Length Unit Pages
Publisher HarperCollins
Price $17.99
Format Paperback
Language English

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