The papacy, next to Christianity, is the great fact of the modern world. Of the two, the former, unhappily, has proved, in some respects, to be the more powerful spring in human affairs and has acted the more public part on the stage of the world. To fully trace the rise and development of this stupendous system is to write a history of Western Europe: the decay of empires; the extinction of religious systems; the dissolution and renewal of society; the rise of new states; the change of manners, customs, and laws; the policy of courts; the wars of kings; and the decay and revival of letters, of philosophy, and of arts.
These all connect themselves with the history of the papacy, to whose growth they ministered and whose destiny they helped to unfold. On so wide a field of investigation, neither our time nor our limits permit us to enter. Let it suffice that we indicate, in general terms, the main causes that contributed to the rise of this tremendous power and the successive stages that marked the course of its portentous development.
Table of contents:
Book one: History of the Papacy
Chapter I: Origin of the Papacy
Chapter II: Rise and Progress of Ecclesiastical Supremacy
Chapter III: Rise and Progress of the Temporal Sovereignty
Chapter IV: Rise and Progress of the Temporal Supremacy
Chapter V: Foundation and Extent of the Supremacy, the Cardinal's Oath
Chapter VI: The Canon Law
Chapter VII: That the Church of Rome Neither Has Nor Can Change Her Principles on the Head of the Supremacy
Book two: Dogmas of the Papacy
Chapter I: The Popish Theology
Chapter II: Scripture and Tradition. Dogmas of the Papacy
Chapter III: Of Reading the Scriptures
Chapter IV: Unity of the Church of Rome
Chapter V: Catholicity of the Church of Rome
Chapter VI: Apostolicity, or Peter's Primacy
Chapter VII: Infallibility
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I have been studying medieval history, in particular, Church history for 28 years now and I find this book to be one of the best books on the subject. The author is obviously very knowledgeable on the papacy. He is extremely accurate on the subject. This book is not a quick read; on the contrary it is very in-depth on the subject. Wylie gives many references for his sources which lend to the accuracy of the writing; in addition, it is also very useful if you want to study the topic further. If I were to recommend one book on the subject of the papacy this would be it. I know that many people will not like this book because of some of the harsh things that are presented in regards to the catholic church, but, in fact, it is not this type of book that they are at odds with, but instead with the Catholic churches' history. At times, it has been less than nice and as historians, we cannot slant the truth of history because we don't care for what it looks like.
It was very scholarly.
- Amazon Customer
This is really great! The history is true!
- Lauren H.