The Church of the Revolutionary Age: Facing New Destinies, Volume 2


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By Henri Daniel-Rops

The Church of the Revolutionary Age: Facing New Destinies is the eighth installment in Henri Daniel-Rops’ History of the Church of Christ. This volume focuses on major events in personality, intellectual history, and evangelization: (1) The great ponti­ficate of Pius IX, contrasting total temporal defeat (loss of the Papal States) with spiritual triumph—the rebuke of modern errors, the dogma of the Immaculate Con­ception, and the convocation of the First Vatican Council. (2) The rise of irreligion in the form of scientific rationalism, its assaults on the Church’s basic teachings about the human person and release of new “gospels” like evolutionism and socialism. (3) The fruitful renewal of missionary efforts in North America, Asia, and Africa. (4) The “world that Christ makes visible”—the Church as the instrument of sanctification for history, and saints such as the Curé d’Ars, Newman, and John Bosco as assurances (among others) of that fact.

There is a widespread belief that the nineteenth century was the age of God’s agony. If it be true that Christianity then was subjected to one of the fiercest assaults in her long history, it is also true that she enjoyed a period of exceptional vitality and fulfilment. (Henri Daniel-Rops)

The epoch of 1789 to 1870, which had opened with the fratricidal fanfare of revolution, saw the Church face a seemingly endless succession of perils. Presented in arresting detail and with dramatic flair by Daniel-Rops, the evidence of The Church of the Revolutionary Age: Facing New Destinies proves that those dangerous afflictions were “as pruning is to a tree.” And thus pruned, “the Church in an age of revolution became a Church of sanctity.”

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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Paperback: 324pp.

ISBN: 978-1685953003