A History of the Church, Volume III
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By Philip Hughes
To survey the history of the Catholic Church is, in the words of Eamon Duffy, to be left with “a sense of the intractable complexity of the historical reality of the Church and its institutions.” To do justice to this complexity, Philip Hughes wrote an ambitious, three-volume survey of Church history—comprehensive in scope yet introductory and accessible in detail. Volume III: The Revolt Against the Church covers the critical period of 1270 to 1517 and the key figures and events which preceded the Protestant Reformation. In five meticulously detailed chapters, Hughes explores the political and theological crises at the end of the thirteenth century; the scandal of the Avignon Captivity and the relief of return to Rome; the Schism of the West; the terminus of the medieval and the genesis of the Renaissance; and, last, the Luther-led advent of reformation and revolt.
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16)
Over the course of history, the Catholic Church has been an “all-present, unceasingly active institution.” As such, its history demands to be known. A History of the Church, Volume III, is the third and final part of a magisterial response to that demand.
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Philip Hughes (1895–1967) was a Roman Catholic priest, ecclesiastical historian, and prolific author. After holding a professorship in history at St. Thomas College, he served as pastor at various English parishes, as archivist for the Archdiocese of Westminster, and as professor of history at the University of Notre Dame, where he concluded his career. In addition to the outstanding three-volume A History of the Church, his works include The Church in Crisis and A Popular History of the Reformation.