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General Councils, The: A History of the Twenty-One Church Councils from Nicaea to Vatican II Paperback – 1 Nov 2002
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About the Author
Christopher M. Bellitto is a church historian who has been profiled in the New York Times and has appeared on CNN to comment on Church matters. He holds a Ph.D. in medieval history from Fordham University and is the author of several books.
Top customer reviews
An excellent little book on how Christian Doctrine was shaped through successive meeting by Bishops and early scholars.
A must for today's scholars who study early Christianity and how it was shaped by the Roman Catholic Church down the years.
An essential book for the scholar's library.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
From this book one learns that general councils are called irregularly to address pressing doctrinal controversies and disciplinary problems, that the authority of the Pope in relation to the councils has long been an issue, and that, perhaps most interestingly, conciliar decrees often have a prophetic function. Time and again, sometimes after a series of only partial successes, the councils have prepared the Church to survive and even thrive in a new historical epoch.
Readers wanting more detailed discussions of the personalities, politics, and theological infighting of the councils will need to pursue further study. Nevertheless, as an introduction to this very public part of the Church's history, and as a preamble to understanding contemporary ecclesiastical developments, The General Councils is a good place to start.
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