Carroll's The Founding of Christendom
#1
I'm thinking of getting this book and the subsequent volumes. But I just watched this:



Here he says "John Paul the Great." This makes me very suspicious. Should I yet get these books?

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#2
I wouldn't.  That's enough for me to not waste the money or the time.  That is a name used affectionately by people who view JP2 as being, well, a great pope. 

Now, I don't know what the books about so I don't know if it will come up, but if it's about the history of Christendom What happens when we get to Luther, or the modernists?  Abbe Loisy the magnificent?  Luther the victim?  I'm sure it won't be that obvious, but I wouldn't want to involve myself in it.
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Go thy ways, old Jack;
die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be
not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a
shotten herring. There live not three good men
unhanged in England; and one of them is fat and
grows old: God help the while! a bad world, I say.
I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any
thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.
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#3
On the other hand, it was DK (who usually employs the term "john paul the small") who recommended Carroll's lecture series on iTunes U.  Sure, the odd "John Paul the Great" was nauseating, but it's hard to deny the overall quality of his seminars.
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#4
Mith,

I would not criticize the books if you haven't read them.

I am in the process of reading them and they are absolutely astounding!

They are history - beginning with the earliest known history.  The fist volume deals with the beginning of history thru the Edict of Milan.  The 2nd volume goes thru the "dark ages" up to about 1100 and the 1st crusade whereby we regain Jerusalem.

I am currently on the 3rd volume which is "The Glory of Christendom".

No history is perfect but these have filled in enormous gaps in my education on the history of the Church.   At the end of chapters, he puts extensive footnotes and explains why he takes a particular date or view of an event that is controversial so that you can compare ideas yourself.

He paints the Crusades in a positive light (The 1st 2 anyhow) and shows how and why they were necessary and explains to the modern reader the thought process and reasons for them.

The one point he made in Volume 3  that I can't quite quit thinking about concerns the Spanish Inquisition.  After giving you a historical context for what happened, he points out that Queen Isabella of Spain understood the dangers of heresy and anti-Catholic thought better than we do.  He points out how anti-Catholic & openly hostile to the Church both Hitler and Stalin were and that the medieval mind would have dealt with them in the Inquisition and probably saved millions of lives.

Gave me something to think about for sure.

The first volume I did find somewhat tedious and tiring.  It moves slowly and methodically pieces things out.  But, if you are patient with it, he will show you why the timing was perfect for the Incarnation and how so many things fit together.

He may really like JPII, but from what I can see, he is a superb historian and I would not hesitate to recommend his books to someone looking for a better understanding of history.  :)

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#5
Pleased to hear it, ML. 
More Catholic Discussion: http://thetradforum.com/

Go thy ways, old Jack;
die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be
not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a
shotten herring. There live not three good men
unhanged in England; and one of them is fat and
grows old: God help the while! a bad world, I say.
I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any
thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.
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#6
(01-06-2012, 03:08 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: What happens when we get to Luther, or the modernists?

He has three bugaboos: Communism, the French Revolution and Protestantism.  He views these as related.  He paints John Calvin as somewhat similar to Osama bin Laden, and Luther as insidiously evil, going out of his way to disprove that he was acting in good will.  He really only finished the first four books, going through the 17th century, the fifth book on the Revolutions being finished and published in really an incomplete state.  No Modernist, Carroll.

The first book is worth it just for the chronology of Christ's life.
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#7
(01-06-2012, 03:38 PM)Parmandur Wrote:
(01-06-2012, 03:08 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: What happens when we get to Luther, or the modernists?

He has three bugaboos: Communism, the French Revolution and Protestantism.  He views these as related.  He paints John Calvin as somewhat similar to Osama bin Laden, and Luther as insidiously evil, going out of his way to disprove that he was acting in good will.  He really only finished the first four books, going through the 17th century, the fifth book on the Revolutions being finished and published in really an incomplete state.  No Modernist, Carroll.

The first book is worth it just for the chronology of Christ's life.

I'm glad to hear it.  LIke I said in my op, I don't know anything about the books.
More Catholic Discussion: http://thetradforum.com/

Go thy ways, old Jack;
die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be
not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a
shotten herring. There live not three good men
unhanged in England; and one of them is fat and
grows old: God help the while! a bad world, I say.
I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any
thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.
Reply
#8
(01-06-2012, 03:30 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: Pleased to hear it, ML. 

Brother Diamond disagrees with her!



(Perhaps Diamond's condemnation of Carroll and Carroll's praise of John Paul II balance each other out?)
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#9
I read Anne Carrol's (his wife) book for a high school history class.  Doubltess her work mirrors his, and her book is excellent, good Catholic material.  I have paged through the first two volumes (just got them for Christmas) and they seem excellent.
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#10
There is no better series for Church history. He gets some theological points wrong, but I give him a pass since he isn't a theologian. I would recommend the Christendom series (and any of Carroll's other works) to every Catholic, Protestant, or anyone else.
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