The Catholic Church
A Short History
By Hans Kung
(Modern Library, Paperback, 9780812967623, 272pp.)
Publication Date: January 7, 2003
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In this extraordinary book, the controversial and profoundly influential Hans Küng chronicles the Roman Catholic Church’s role as a world power throughout history. Along the way, he examines the great schisms—between East and West, and Catholic and Protestant—as well as the evolving role of the papacy, the stories of the great reforming popes, and the expansion of a global church infrastructure. The book concludes with a searching assessment of how the Catholic faith will confront the immense challenges posed in the new millennium by those seeking reform of traditional strictures.
Hans Küng obtained a doctorate in theology from the Sorbonne in 1957. In 1962 he was named a theological consultant for the Second Vatican Council by Pope John XXIII, and he played a major role in the writing of the documents of Vatican II, which radically modernized key areas of Catholic teaching. The author of many books, he lives and teaches in Tübingen, Germany.
“This much-needed book tells the truth about the Catholic past for the sake of the church’s future.” —James Carroll
“Hans Küng has done more to shape contemporary Catholic hope than anyone else, and with The Catholic Church he does it again.” —James Carroll, author of Constantine’s Sword
“One of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Hans Küng . . . is one of the world’s great mavericks. . . . Indeed, he was once called ‘the greatest threat to the Catholic Church since Martin Luther.’” —The Independent (London)
“A well-told, sweeping, and often incisive portrait.” —Kirkus Reviews