Leading Events in the History of the Church

Author: Sisters of Notre Dame
Publisher: Burns Oates, and Washbourne Ltd.
Dates: 1907

St. Andrew
This five book series, written for secondary schools, tells the story of the Catholic Church from its founding by the Apostles to the opening years of the 20th century. It provides a fascinating insight into the institutional church and provides a Catholic perspective on many historical incidents that are typically presented to school children from a Protestant perspective.

The books assumes a pre-existing knowledge of the major events of European history, and focuses mainly on issues specifically related to the church, and the lives of the great saints and martyrs. Important topics discussed in detail are the founding of the church and the early church fathers, persecutions under the Roman Empire, the spread of Christianity throughout Europe, early heresies, the rise of monasticism, the ongoing conflict between the papacy and the empire, the Crusades, military and religious orders, the Renaissance and the Western Schism, the Reformation and the counter-Reformation, the Moslem threat, the rise of foreign missions, the Jesuits, later heresies, and the Church during the revolutionary period.

The five volumes are divided as follows:
I. Christian Antiquity (to 500 A.D.; Christianity under the Roman Empire),
II. Early Middle Ages (500 to 1000; Spread of Christianity through Western Europe),
III. Later Middle Ages (1000 to 1500; High Middle AGes),
IV. Early Modern Times (1500 to 1750; Reformation and Counter-Reformation),
V. Later Modern Times (1750 to 1900; Revolution and Modernism)

It is especially interesting to see the Catholic perspective on such controversial topics as the suppression of heresies, the inquisition, indulgences, the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, the Renaissance Popes, the Netherlands Revolt, the unification of Italy, and Papal infallability, since these topics are often presented from an entirely Protestant perspective in juvenile history books.

History of the Church: Christian Antiquity   by Notre Dame
First of a five volume history of the Church, this book covers the period from the founding of the Church at Pentecost to the fall of the Roman Empire. During that time the church underwent horrific persecutions, but nevertheless spread over the whole Roman Empire and produced thousands of worthy saints. The account of the earliest years of the church, including the lives of the church fathers, early heresies, and early martyrs is truly fascinating. 47 credits

History of the Church: Early Middle Ages   by Notre Dame
Second of a five volume history of the Church, this book covers the events following the collapse of the Roman Empire. Topics include the foundation of the monasteries, the reign of Gregory the Great, the rise of Mohammedism, Charlemagne, the Conversion of the Barbarians, the Order of Cluny, and the East-West Schism.51 credits

History of the Church: Later Middle Ages   by Notre Dame
Third of a five volume history of the Church, this book covers the late middle ages, including the Crusades, the mendicant orders, heresies of the Middle Ages, the rise of the Turks, the schism of the West, the fall of Constantinople, and the discovery of America.76 credits

History of the Church: Early Modern Times   by Notre Dame
Fourth of a five volume history of the Church, this book covers the events leading up to the religious revolt of the 16th century. The reformation played itself out differently in Germany, France, England, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia and all of the major developments are covered. At the same time the Church was undergoing great internal reforms and opposing the spread of Protestantism, it undertook missions throughout the World and fought off the Turkish threat in the Mediterranean.96 credits

History of the Church: Later Modern Times   by Notre Dame
This fifth book of a five volume Church History covers the 18th and 19th centuries, and deals with the trials of the church in the modern age. The rise of statist governments, who sought control of church property and influence while claiming to support Christianity, was the challenge of the post-enlightenment age. These centuries saw both triumph and disaster for the universal church, and the rise of a number of notable popes. 62 credits