Catholicism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Gerald O'Collins

By Gerald O'Collins

Regardless of a protracted heritage of exterior threats and inner strife, the Roman Catholic Church and the wider phenomenon of Catholicism stay an unlimited and important presence into the 3rd millennium of global background. What are the origins of the Catholic Church? How has Catholicism replaced and tailored to such titanic and various cultural impacts over the centuries? What nice demanding situations does the Catholic Church now face within the twenty-first century, either inside of its personal existence and in its relation to others world wide? during this Very brief advent, Gerald O'Collins attracts at the top present scholarship to be had to reply to those questions and to offer, in transparent and obtainable language, a clean advent to the most important and oldest establishment on the planet. O'Collins explains essentially and concisely the place the Catholic Church comes from, what it believes and practices, the sacraments and the Church's ethical educating, and the place it truly is heading. The booklet additionally encompasses a timeline of occasions within the historical past of Catholicism and precious feedback for additional reading.

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"The e-book has a lot to commend it ... a concise and balanced background of a few of the executive figures in christology, from patristic, via medieval to trendy times."

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Around 330), began building the central shrine of Christendom, the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. He had already started building St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, sited on the place of the apostle’s martyrdom and burial, and completed in 328. Visitors to St Peter’s (reconstructed in the 16th and 17th centuries according to plans drawn up by Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, and other artistic geniuses) can stop in the portico to gaze at the statues of two emperors, each astride a horse: Constantine and Charlemagne (who was crowned in St Peter’s on Christmas Day 800 as the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire).

Bernard sent a group of monks to found the Abbey of Rievaulx in Yorkshire. By the time of St Aelred (abbot 1147–67, and called the ‘Bernard of the North’), this community numbered around 600 monks. Like Rievaulx, Cistercian houses were normally erected in remote areas. They followed strict rules on silence, diet, and manual labour, fostered plain architecture, and practised efficient and enterprising farming methods. St Dominic (d. 1221), the founder of the Order of Preachers (commonly called the Dominicans), worked untiringly to spread true Christian doctrine.

A courageous and efficient leader, he parted ways with the careerism of many upwardly mobile priests by three times refusing to accept nomination as a bishop. Dominican preachers popularized the practice of the rosary, still a very common devotion among Catholics and some other Christians. It commemorates events involving Christ or his mother Mary and requires a string of beads to count the particular prayers it involves. The five ‘joyful mysteries’ centre on Christ’s birth and childhood. The (recently added) five ‘mysteries of light’ begin with Christ’s baptism and end with his institution of the Eucharist.

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