This volume is a concise, up-to-date history of the Catholic Church, from its origins in Judaism to the pontificate of John Paul II. The present edition offers a fresh view of the Second Vatican Council and the renewal that followed. It brings the reader to the dawn of the new millennium, with all its problems and challenges. In its methodology this book is careful to distinguish between particular events in the life of the church and the religious faith it professes. The book is thereby able to maintain a critical stance toward people andtheir actions. While not a revisionist history that deliberately seeks to topple old convictions, it does deal honestly with church leaders, even in the recent past, believing, says the author "that this will lead not to contempt for the church, but to a deeper (because more realistic) love."
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