A History of the Popes: From Peter to the Present by John W. O'Malley

By John W. O'Malley

A heritage of the Popes tells the tale of the oldest dwelling establishment within the Western world—the papacy. From its origins in Saint Peter, Jesus' leader disciple, via Pope Benedict XVI at the present time, the popes were key avid gamers in nearly all the nice dramas of the western global within the final thousand years. Acclaimed church historian John W. O'Malley's attractive narrative examines the 265 people who have claimed to be Peter's successors. instead of describe every one pope one after the other, the e-book specializes in the popes that formed pivotal moments in either church and international background. the writer doesn't draw back from controversies within the church, and contains legends like Pope Joan and a finished record of popes and antipopes to aid readers get an entire photograph of the papacy.

This concurrently reverent but severe e-book will entice readers drawn to either faith and historical past because it chronicles the saints and sinners who've led the Roman Catholic Church over the last 2000 years. the writer attracts from his well known audio CD lecture sequence at the subject, 2,000 Years of Papal heritage, on hand via Now you recognize Media (www.nowyouknowmedia.com).

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Indeed, the sayings of Jesus in the gospels are already and at the same time sayings about Jesus (Schottroff and Stegemann 1986:2, cf 4). Precisely from this perspective the “historical Jesus” has again become crucial as we begin to rediscover him, and the context in which he lived and labored, through the eyes of faith of the four evangelists. Today scholars show a greater confidence in the earthly Jesus than was customary some decades ago (Burchard 1980:13; Hengel 1983a:29). Consequently, the “practice of Jesus” (Echegaray 1984) has become the focus of much contemporary theologizing.

I shall return to the reasons for the differences between New Testament authors in respect of their understanding of mission. For the moment, however, let me briefly turn to the Old Testament. MISSION IN THE OLD TESTAMENT It might be asked whether one should not begin with the Old Testament in the search for an understanding of mission. This is a legitimate question. There is, for the Christian church and Christian theology, no New Testament divorced from the Old. However, on the issue of mission we run into difficulties here, particularly if we adhere to the traditional understanding of mission as the sending of preachers to distant places (a definition which, in the course of this study, will be challenged in several ways).

At another stage it was thought that God would reconcile and rule the world from the temple through the priesthood (cf Ezek 40-43). Both these expectations came to nothing (Bright 1953:24-70). So the conviction grew, particularly during periods of foreign domination, that God's kingdom was an entirely future entity and would manifest itself in a complete turning of the tables, with Israel at the top and the oppressors becoming the oppressed (cf Bright 1953:156-186; Boff 1983:56f). It was this last view that was dominant during Jesus’ earthly ministry.

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