Books on Papal history?
October 6, 2010 11:09 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to find the definitive warts-and-all book on Papal history. Any suggestions please?
posted by kenchie to Religion & Philosophy (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I think Chamberlin's "The Bad Popes" is pretty much the go-to for this one.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 11:30 AM on October 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

I always found great value from Eerdman's Handbook to the History of Christianity, even though it's more broad than just papal history it describes very matter-of-factly all the schisms and stuff.
posted by Melismata at 11:42 AM on October 6, 2010

For a readable, scholarly, all-in-one-volume history of the papacy you really can't do better than Eamon Duffy's Saints and Sinners. Duffy is a Roman Catholic but has plenty to say about the sinners as well as the saints.
posted by verstegan at 12:44 PM on October 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'm a big fan of the Idiots Guide series. There is Idiots Guide to the Popes and Papacy. Its about 350 pages long and is a good place to start. It will also direct you to more respectable/definitive sources.
posted by MXJ1983 at 1:57 PM on October 6, 2010

Theologians tend to use JND Kelly's The Oxford Guide to the Popes. The Idiot's guide doesn't do a great job with the details of theological controversies (important when handling anti-popes), and the Bad Popes is scandal more than context. amazon link here
posted by PinkMoose at 2:11 PM on October 6, 2010

How serious are you in this? Ludwig von Pastor did the heavy lifting and it's still good. But heavy lifting.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:30 PM on October 6, 2010

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