Cover image for The modern papacy since 1789
The modern papacy since 1789
Coppa, Frank J.
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Publication Information:
London ; New York : Longman, [1998]

Physical Description:
viii, 296 pages ; 24 cm.

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BX1386 .C58 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This ambitious survey launches a major new five-volume series. It explores the response of the papacy, one of the world's longest-enduring institutions, to the multiplying challenges of the modern age. It runs from the French Revolution to the fall of the Soviet Union, ending with the pontificate of John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope since 1522. Frank Coppa examines the impact of major events like the Napoleonic conquests, Italian unification, two World Wars and the Cold War; he explores the attitudes of the papacy to such issues as liberalism, nationalism, fascism, communism and the modern, secular age; he examines the growing concern of the popes for the Catholic world beyond its traditional European home; and he tackles, objectively and judiciously, contentious topics like the "silence" of Pius XII. Engrossingly readable, the book offers a fresh and invigorating perspective on international relations across the past two centuries, and on the political and ideological emergence of the modern world, as well as its specifically papal concerns.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

From the French Revolution and Pius VI to the fall of the Soviet Union and John Paul II, this volume launches a projected five-part series spanning the entire history of the papacy. Coppa (history, St. John's Univ.) covers the papacy's role in external as well internal affairs. He examines the popes' attitudes toward shifting ideologies underlying world events--liberalism, imperialism, nationalism, and communism--and deals judiciously with such contentious issues as the Vatican's relations with fascist powers, the "silence" of Pius XII before the Holocaust, and the reforms of Vatican II. Early chapters focus too much on French Catholicism at the expense of Catholicism elsewhere. The treatment of modernism is not reliable: not a single authoritative work on modernism is cited, the interpretation of Tyrrell is tendentious, von H"ugel was never excommunicated, and the treatment of Jesuits seems less than objective. The text suffers the pitfalls of surveys: many terms are undefined, many discussions are cut off, many assertions are undocumented or inadequately documented. It also suffers from too many typos and lapses in syntax and spelling. Still, as survey it is generally competent and makes a very valuable contribution. It should find a place in every serious library. Undergraduates through faculty; general readers and practitioners. D. G. Schultenover; Creighton University

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: The Papacy in an Age of Ideologies
2 The Chair of Peter Confronts the French Revolution, 1789-1799: A Turbulent Decade
3 The Papacy and Napoleonic France: From Compromise to Confrontation, 1800-1814
4 Rome: From Restoration to Revolution, 1815-1831
5 The Holy See and the First Crisis of Modernization, 1831-1846
6 The Holy See in a Turbulent Decade, 1846-1856
7 Papal Intransigence and Infallibility in an Age of Liberalism and Nationalism
8 Rome's Attempt at Accommodation with the Modern World, 1878-1903
9 The Vatican's Condemnation of Americanism and Modernism
10 Papal Diplomacy and the Quest for Peace During and after World War One
11 The Vatican Between the Democracies and the Dictatorships in the Interwar Period
12 The Diplomacy and `Silence' of Pope Pius XII During World War Two
13 The Holy See and Cold War in Transition
14 Aggiornamento and the Opening of Vatican II: Reconciliation of the Papacy with the Modern World
15 The Papacy in the Age of Transition: The Pontificate of Paul VI
16 The Year of Three Popes and Beyond: The Contemporary Papacy
17 Conclusion: Past, Present and Future Prospects for the Papacy