The Church of the Revolutionary Age: Facing New Destinies, Volume 1


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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 the momentous political events of the age: (1) The French Revolution and its effects on the Church and influence across Europe in developing radical ideals and parties. (2) The bitter struggle for sovereignty between “sword and spirit” in the Napoleonic era, culminating in the kidnapping of Pope Pius VII. (3) The perilous effort to rebuild and restore society amid the ruinous aftermath of that conflict—a drama of concordats and counter-revolution; of restoration of religion and regimes of uneasy alliance between Throne and Altar; of emancipation and rebellion; with the voices of geniuses like de Maistre and Lamennais, Chateaubriand and Consalvi, Pope Gregory XVI and O’Connell, dictating and defying, in turn, the flow of the revolutionary currents. 

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: 322pp.

ISBN: 978-1685952990