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A Dictionary of Popes (Oxford Paperback Reference) [Paperback]

J N D Kelly , Michael Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Price: £10.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

21 Jan 2010 Oxford Paperback Reference
This fascinating dictionary gives concise accounts of every officially recognized pope in history, from St Peter to Pope Benedict XVI, as well as all of their irregularly elected rivals, the so-called antipopes. Each pope and antipope's entry covers his family and social background and pre-papal career as well as his activities in office. Also, an appendix provides a detailed discussion and analysis of the tradition that there has been a female pope. This new edition reflects the very latest in papal research and contains additional information in the further reading sections of each entry, making the book an even more useful starting place for research into specific pontiffs.

The entries are arranged chronologically making this a continuous history of the papacy over almost 2,000 years. It reveals how, for much of that history, spiritual and temporal power have been inextricably mingled in the person of the pope. A fascinating read for students of theology and history, as well as the general reader with an interest in Christian history.

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A Dictionary of Popes (Oxford Paperback Reference) + The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, Fifth Edition Revised (Oxford Paperback Reference)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 2 edition (21 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199295816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199295814
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 254,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


invaluable and much needed (Guardian)

well-researched, extremely well written, and a delightful exercise in its own right...an entertaining read for those of any religion or of none (Church Times)

very much a book to read or browse in as well as one to consult (New York Times)

ought to be on the reference shelf of any civilized person of any faith or none...not merely a dictionary but an agreeable bedside read (Hampstead and Highgate Express)

About the Author

J. N. D. Kelly was a former principal of St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy.Michael Walsh has written extensively on the history of the Church.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Treasure trove of information 12 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this book. It gives you just enough to whet the appetite and has encouraged me to look into a whole host of 'Holinesses' a whole lot more deeply. An excellent addition to my reference section. Perhaps a larger type format would be useful as my eyes are not quite what they used to be.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift 24 April 2013
By KarCup
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my husband. He is grateful to have an up-dated version. It is more informative than the last one.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent reference that lives up to the positive blurbs on its jacket. 12 July 2013
By nomobadges - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent reference that, as stated by the New York Times on the jacket cover, is "very much a book to read or browse in as well as one to consult." This reader's 4-star rating is simply based on a preference for a larger font. But this is an excellent work that removes much of the mythical fog one can have about the Roman Catholic Church. Much, much more than a simple timetable book, the concise, sequential biographical descriptions are wonderfully comprehensive. While each biography is interesting unto itself, the sequential nature of the entries provides the solid ground from which one can begin to grasp the complex and turbulent history of an organization whose founding concept was the offering of spiritual redemption. One does not read this book for homilies; one reads this book as a start to understanding the historical and current workings of a two-thousand-year-old religious organization that still has world-wide influence today. Clearly written, the endeavors, intrigues, aspirations, successes and sins of the leaders throughout the church's history are revealed in such a manner that believers, non-believers and any who are interested in human history will enjoy and find real value in this reference. A must for any library.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reference! 22 Nov 2012
By E. Fittin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Objective historical data. A must for anyone desiring good biographical sketches of the popes! Top-notch scholarship by the best church historian.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful 25 July 2013
By Alyssa B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a theology student, you must know your popes! This little book isn't extremely detailed, but there is just enough information about each pope to jog your memory. Very handy to have at your side!
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, fascinating look at the politics behind the papacy 1 Jan 2014
By Junie Moon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you thought all popes were elected on the basis of their holiness and devotion to the Church, think again! For centuries, the papacy was all about politics and power struggles. Not only does this book offer fascinating insights into the history of the Catholic Church; it has a lot to say about the history of Europe, as well. Well worth your time and money!
4.0 out of 5 stars Who's Who in the Papacy 30 Aug 2013
By Robert V. Huber - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Whereas Oxford's compact Dictionary of Popes is small, with tiny print and little to attract the reader visually, it is seemingly complete. A sincere attempt has been made to include articles on EVERY pope who ever claimed that title (a controversial subject). Inclusiveness, however, results in the need to keep the articles short and so no one will gain great insight into any of these pontiiffs' reigns or lives. On the other hand, the volume offers at least a thumbnail idea of who each pope was and a few highlights of his accomplishments.
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