Cover image for The general councils : a history of the twenty-one church councils from Nicaea to Vatican II
The general councils : a history of the twenty-one church councils from Nicaea to Vatican II
Bellitto, Christopher M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Paulist Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xi, 156 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Developing doctrine : Nicaea I (325) to Constantinople III (680-681) -- Prayer and politics : Nicaea II (787) and Constantinople IV (869-870) -- Supervising the early church : disciplinary canons -- Four Lateran councils : 1123-1215 -- Power struggles : Lyons I (1245) to Vienne (1311-1312) -- Supervising the medieval church : disciplinary canons -- Councils vs. popes : Constance (1414-1418) and Basel-Ferrara-Florence-Rome (1431-1445) -- Reform lost and regained : Lateran V (1512-1517) and Trent (1545-1563) -- Papal infallibility : Vatican I (1869-1870) -- Brave new world, brave new council : Vatican II (1962-1965).
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Material Type
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Item Holds
BX825 .B45 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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A succinct, up to date and chronological history of the 21 general councils, along with their major tasks, achievements and failures and their impact on their times.

Author Notes

Christopher M. Bellitto is a church historian. He holds a Ph.D. in medieval history from Fordham University and is the author of several books.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Bellitto (an independent scholar) has written a very useful compendium of the 21 church councils. Beginning with Nicea (325 CE) and finishing with Vatican II (1962-5), he describes the historical context for each council. He clearly delineates conciliar decisions and identifies major issues, which range from establishing orthodoxy in the early councils to adjusting and defending new developments (like papal infallibility). The councils also dealt with issues such as reform and liturgy. Bellitto does not avoid conciliar tensions or problems. Although he is obviously a Roman Catholic writing on Catholic councils, he brings a Vatican II irenic spirit to the church in the modern world, concluding that the contemporary Catholic Church is "right where she belongs: working to put the most recent general council into practice." Well organized and clearly written, this book will serve many people as a reference source for specific councils. The general reader will find it informative but not overwhelming. Most chapters have a small bibliography, and there is a useful index. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; undergraduates; professionals/practitioners. A. L. Kolp Baldwin-Wallace College