Designed for classroom use, Catholicism in Social and Historical Contexts is replete with details and revelatory stories that trace the evolution of Catholicism from a tiny Jewish sect to the dominant religion in the West. In evoking this rich history, Curt Cadorette shows how the challenges Catholicism faces today present a dynamic similar to that of the first century. How does one learn from Jesus and the early Jesus movement and put its ideals into practice? How does the essential message of the gospel interact with the cultural horizons and the social challenges of the present?
In eight incisive chapters, Cadorette shows how these themes have played out in different historical contexts. Major figures in Catholic history such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and successive popes appear, as does Martin Luther and others. For students and historians alike this book offers a concise and compelling reading of the evolution of Catholicism from a Western religion into a world church in an enormously varied world.
Curt Cadorette, a Maryknoll priest, is the John Henry Newman Associate Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Rochester, New York.