This abundantly illustrated book encompasses the extraordinary history of the papacy, from its beginnings nearly two thousand years ago to the reign of Pope John Paul II."Duffy offers a comprehensive overview of the 2,000-year history of the papacy. . . . This digestible survey provides a compelling introduction to one of the most durable and significant institutions to influence the course of Western civilization."-Booklist"As [Duffy] works his way through the papal roll of honour and dishonour, he is always careful to re-create the political, social and economic background to different reigns. He eschews opaque ecclesiastical jargon and, where a theological or doctrinal dispute has to be explained, he does so in a way that even those unversed in biblical concepts or Christian history will immediately grasp. . . . [An] outstanding work of popular scholarship."-Peter Stanford,The Daily Telegraph
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