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The Chair of Saint Peter: A History of the Papacy Paperback – 31 Aug 2000

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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Thorough, but biased. 10 Jan. 2000
By - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The author is to be admired for scope of the undertaking, but must be faulted for a tendency -- unmistakeable and all permeating -- to judge papal history against his own eclectic understanding of Vatican II. As a result, the work seemed more of an argument for a decentralized Church than it did a historical review of the Papacy. I would not recommend this book to those looking for a dispassionate history of the Papacy or of the Church. It is too political to be considered good history.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Good overview of the history of the Papacy 11 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
William La Due's history of the papacy is an enlightening read. Because it deals honestly with both the good and the bad in that history it will not appeal to those who have a particular axe to grind. It will not appeal to fundamentalist Protestants who want to demonize the Pope, nor will it appeal to modern obscurantist Roman Catholics who tend to gloss over significant historical details in their ongoing historical revisionism. La Due has done the Roman Catholic Church a favor by being honest with the historical evidence.
In an irenic and scholarly manner, La Due examines the development of the papacy from the first century up to today. He places the Popes in their historical context and reveals how quite often the development of the papacy was more the result of political and economic factors than any theological or ecclesiastical concerns.
An excellent piece of historical research.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Solid, Readable, Sweeping History of the Papacy 4 Aug. 2000
By Kiva Z. Offenholley - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Tons o' fun for church history fans. Lots of stuff which was new to me, esp. regarding the period 400-800 , where Constantinople gradually gives up on the West and the Pope gives up on the East and makes his own Roman Emperor, and very solid on canon law (author is a Doctor Canonis Juris) in the middle ages, growth of Lateran/Vatican bureaucracy etc. I'm still reading this book and thoroughly enjoying it. As far as the author's politics, he clearly favors the conciliarists in the 1400s, so you can guess where he'll come down on the next 600 years. Unless you're a great fan of popes like Boniface VIII, you should find this book interesting, i think.
8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Papal follies 1 Oct. 2000
By Ed Browne - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a caricature of papal history, clearly tilted to fit the author's stange view that Vatican II overturned the traditional Catholic view of papal authority. It's breezy enough, but the ideological distortion is so grave and so tiresome that many of the popes are simply not recognizable.
For an excellent study of the papacy, read Patrick Madrid's wonderful new book on the subject.
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