highly regarded historian and professor presents a sustained
reflection on the meaning of the Church's life in time. Divided into
five parts, each section takes up a period of Church history and
considers how the developments in church history relate to the Church
today. From doctrines to customs, Olsen examines both the theological
and historical impact of each new development.
with ancient Christianity, the author illustrates how both
secularization and sacralization take place in history and how it
corresponds to our own age. Taking the reader from late ancient and
early medieval Christianity, to the full bloom of medieval
scholasticism and scholarship, to the dawn of the Renaissance and the
aggressively anti-religious time of the "Enlightenment",
Olsen considers all aspects of every age. The final section is a
discussion of the Church in our own time, confronting such problems
as modernization and the relation of the Church to culture.
Appendices expand on The Catechism of the Catholic Church's teaching
on the relation between prayer and history.