The Catholic Church: A History : The Great Courses: Christianity

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor William R. Cook
  • Series: The Great Courses: Christianity
  • 19 hrs and 12 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

How did the Catholic Church become one of the most influential institutions in the world - a force capable of moving armies, inspiring saints, and shaping the lives of a billion members?
Explore these and other questions as you follow the development of this important institution in 36 informative, fascinating lectures. With Professor Cook by your side, you'll step into the world of the early church, witness the spread of Christendom, and learn about the origins of fundamental church institutions.
Your journey begins in the early years of the church, when Jesus's disciples developed the first communities of faith. You'll get a chance to delve into crucial ancient church documents and gain an intriguing glimpse into the lives of these early believers. From there, you'll trace the development and spread of this nascent religion throughout the world, covering crucial developments including the conversion of the Roman Empire to Catholicism, the schism between the Roman faith and the Greek Orthodox Church, and the Reformation.
As you delve into this fascinating saga, you'll quickly see that the Catholic Church actually takes many forms. You'll trace the many variations of worship and belief that evolved as Christianity spread all over the Mediterranean, and you'll witness how Catholic practice and faith have been transformed by the cultures and peoples it has touched. Professor Cook brings an unparalleled intellectual rigor to his presentation, balanced by a deep appreciation of the church's legacy and impact. Join him on this epic journey through Catholic history, and experience how this small gathering of faithful became one of the most powerful forces on the world stage - the "one holy catholic and apostolic Church."
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Comprehensive and informative

I really enjoyed this product but professor cook's insistence on saying that Saint John paul ii apologised for the crusades in the last few lectures bugged me a little, he apologised to God on the 2000 year of the church for anything members of the church might have done wrong in her history he didn't specifically mention any event person or crime in particular, at least that was my understanding of it. Having said that I recommend this lecture course it covers everything but I'd read some other stuff on the crusades
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- Joe

Very good book

If you could sum up The Catholic Church: A History in three words, what would they be?

Although it says history, it is not presented in the traditional chronological way. Many times the author chose a topic and returned in time to give meaning to the history of that topic.


What other book might you compare The Catholic Church: A History to, and why?

If I compare this book to the book: Beginnings of Judaism, both take the same way of narrating and analyzing history, but I liked the Catholic Church History book more.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The chapters on the early martyrs and saints, and on the various orders that supported the church in the 16th/17th century were excellent and moving.


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- Ibrahim955

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses