Is church history a totally and exclusively historical discipline or is it a theological one as well? This book contends that it is both, that the viewpoints of history and theology are not contradictory but are at once distinct and conjoined: distinct as to approach and method but conjoined in comprehension. In line with the general approach of the AMATECA Handbooks of Catholic Theology, this book offers an overview of the history of the church from a theological perspective.The first and last chapters present a theological view of church history drawn from the work of such thinkers as Jean Danielou, Gaston Fessard, Charles Journet, and Hans Urs von Balthasar. The second chapter is epistemological and methodological. Chapters 3 to 13 lucidly present the unfolding history of the church as a series of challenges--of the Barbarians, of Feudalism, of Lay Thought, of Ideologies and Cultures. Chapters 14 and 15, in a different key, sketch the variety of Eastern Churches and the forms of Protestantism.
"This will be a history of the high points. These events, from challenge to challenge, from shocks and tremors to recovery, through conversion and successive integration, give a kind of rhythm to this tale where the believer will always be able to distinguish between the wheat and the chaff and so discover the finger of God writing on the sands of time."--Guy Bedouelle