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Has anyone read this series?  I've heard they are pretty good, and I am interested in reading the first few volumes to understand all the history between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.  Does it do a good job of explaining all the factors that contributed to the schism and why the Catholic Church is historically accurate on them?  Does the third volume deal with the councils of Lyons and Florence at all, or is it like the typical Catholic history where you would think Eastern Christianity merely vanished from the face of the earth one day back in 1054, never to be heard from again?
I have not read all of the series but particularly found the "Cleaving of Christendom" quite good.  Dr. Carroll knows of which he speaks; he is the founder of Christendom College.  In addition to this series I also have read the history of the Spanish Civil War which is also quite good.
They are OK. They are a bit triumphalist and not-so-objective at times, but they are decent.
I am skeptical of his American history (especially modern American history). This is the guy who has repeatedly tried to make a moral justification for the H-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He is an American exceptionalist in the line of Rick Santorum.
(05-03-2012, 08:34 AM)Melkite Wrote: [ -> ]Has anyone read this series?  I've heard they are pretty good, and I am interested in reading the first few volumes to understand all the history between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.  Does it do a good job of explaining all the factors that contributed to the schism and why the Catholic Church is historically accurate on them?  Does the third volume deal with the councils of Lyons and Florence at all, or is it like the typical Catholic history where you would think Eastern Christianity merely vanished from the face of the earth one day back in 1054, never to be heard from again?

The first volume is worth it just for the chronology of Christ's life he works out.  He is an excellent writer, not too keen on topics Eastern, though.  He is a gung-ho Trans-Christian civillization sort of guy, so he is sympathetic, but his coverage is a mite triumphalist.  He wrote a paean mourning the passing of Constantine XI and the fall of the Empire in 1453, which he views as a tragedy caused by Western indifference.  The Council of Florence was a success, by his reckoning, ruined mainly by Turkish interventions in Church affairs after they conquered Constantinople.  He even argues for the canonization of Bessarion of Nicea and Isidore of Kiev.  After that point, his focus is largely on the Reformation, the Revolution and the rise of Communism.
(05-03-2012, 11:58 AM)rbjmartin Wrote: [ -> ]I am skeptical of his American history (especially modern American history). This is the guy who has repeatedly tried to make a moral justification for the H-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He is an American exceptionalist in the line of Rick Santorum.

Hahahaha, damn.
(05-03-2012, 08:34 AM)Melkite Wrote: [ -> ]Has anyone read this series?  I've heard they are pretty good, and I am interested in reading the first few volumes to understand all the history between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.  Does it do a good job of explaining all the factors that contributed to the schism and why the Catholic Church is historically accurate on them?  Does the third volume deal with the councils of Lyons and Florence at all, or is it like the typical Catholic history where you would think Eastern Christianity merely vanished from the face of the earth one day back in 1054, never to be heard from again?

They're probably the best survey of Church history available. It's the right balance between scope and depth. Keep in mind as you read, though, that he isn't a theologian and gets some of the finer points wrong on occasion. It can be triumphalist at times, but it's nothing compared to more popular works like Crocker's Triumph.
(05-03-2012, 08:34 AM)Melkite Wrote: [ -> ]or is it like the typical Eastern Orthodox history where you would think Western Christianity merely vanished from the face of the earth one day back in 1054, never to be heard from again?

See? It goes both ways.
I could offer insight, but not on the 11th century or early Church. The volumes with me now, basically medieval and early Modern post-Protestant revolt, are quite lengthy.