An Age of Renewal: The Catholic Reformation, Volume 1
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By Henri Daniel-Rops
An Age of Renewal: The Catholic Reformation is the fifth installment in Henri Daniel-Rops’ magnificent History of the Church of Christ. This volume surveys the re-awakening of the Catholic soul which began even before the advent of Luther’s revolution and which culminated in the tireless devotion of St. Ignatius of Loyola and his founding of the Society of Jesus; provides a superbly detailed summary of the Council of Trent and a fascinating analysis of the decrees and canons and various methods of their applications, the outstanding individuals responsible for the reforms—including Pope St. Pius V, St. Charles Borremeo, and St. Philip Neri—and the diffuse effects of those reforms in art and culture; and, lastly, makes an opening foray into that “age of fanaticism,” in which Christian unity was rent apart by wars and persecutions waged by both Protestants and Catholics.
A brilliantly adroit account of the years 1500–1602, An Age of Renewal: The Catholic Reformation illuminates that period in which the Church—in the same heroic spirit of the Gregorian, Cluniac, or mendicant reforms—enacted “the rediscovery of living Tradition,” an endeavor “undertaken for God, for Jesus Christ, as a protestation of unwavering loyalty.”
The whole difference between Catholic reform and Protestant “reformation” is summed up in these words uttered by a monk of shining faith, Giles of Viterbo: “Men must be changed by religion, not religion by men.” (Henri Daniel-Rops)
Henri Daniel-Rops (1901–1965), the nom de plume of Henri Petiot, was a French Catholic historian. His bibliography comprises seventy books—written over a span of just thirty years—and includes Sacred History, Jesus and His Times, and the monumental, ten-volume History of the Church of Christ. He also served as editor for the Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism, which consisted of one hundred and fifty volumes. Phenomenally successful in his own time, Daniel-Rops made religious history accessible and popular; in 1955, he was elected to the Académie française and in 1956 he received the Order of St. Gregory from Pope Pius XII.
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