I love church history. The study of the church and its history, especially the church fathers, is one huge reason why I am Catholic today. Over the course of this year Ave Maria Press has released a church history series. The series is called Reclaiming Catholic History. This particular book is the third of four in the series.
The Church And The Modern Era
This book covers the period of 1846-2005. The author, David Wagner, does a superb job in laying out the events of the world and how the church reacted to them.
This period of time covers many significant events in the history of the church. This book covers the loss of the papal states, the promulgation of the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Vatican I and papal infallibility, the two words wars, and Vatican II. There is much more in between all these events.
Anti-Catholic Myths Dealt With
There are many other events that the book covers, but the detailed history in the book is a big help. By looking at the series properly many anti-Catholic myths about the church’s history are aptly dealt with.
For instance a couple things that are dealt with is the assumption by some that the church is anti-science. The myth that papal infallibility was a “power grab”, and the dismantling of the “Hitler’s Pope” myth in regard to Pius XII.
A Must Read
The book is filled with great information. It is also written in a way that is easily understood. In other words it isn’t something that is written with a church historian in mind, but the average person in the pew.
Each chapter has a profile of a saint in the era being discussed. There is also a “you be the judge” segment that delves deeper into a specific controversy. It is a book I highly recommend.
About The Author
David M. Wagner is a lawyer and journalist who also works as a research fellow at the National Legal Foundation. He previously served as a law professor at Regent University, a speechwriter for the US Department of Justice, and as deputy counsel for the House Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights.
Wagner earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University, where he specialized in theological and institutional Church history. He earned his law degree from George Mason University in 1992 and received American Jurisprudence awards in 1989 and 1991.
His work has appeared in many publications, including First Things, National Catholic Register, Crisis, National Review, The Weekly Standard, and& City Journal. Wagner covered the 1985 Extraordinary Synod on Vatican II for The Washington Times. He also contributed to the book Liberalism at the Crossroads.
[Note: This Book Was Provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.]