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SD - Dictionary of Popes & the Papacy

Author(s): Parker Steimer

ISBN13: 9780824519186

ISBN10: 0824519183


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  • The best one-volume reference work on the popes and the papacy in the English language.

    This first installment of a new multi-volume library of theological dictionaries makes available for the first time in English the wealth of information from the internationally acclaimed Lexikon fór Theologie und Kirche. Edited by Karl Rahner in its second edition and by Walter Kasper in the completely reworked, revised, and updated third edition, the Lexikon fór Theologie und Kirche is the most authoritative starting point for information on a wide variety of theological topics. Used around the world by scholars and students of theology, church history, art history, history, sociology, and other areas of interest, these accessible articles offer comprehensive information as well as maps, drawings, and a wealth of bibliographic data, completely updated and adapted for English language publications.

    The Dictionary is two dictionaries in one. Part One includes concise biographical entries on the pontificates of all popes and antipopes of historical record; Part Two contains entries on the institutional, canonical, and theological aspects of the papacy. Articles of contemporary interest such as the Holy (Jubilee) Year are also included.

  • Parker Steimer

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    Lexikon fur Theologie und Kirche (LTK) (Herder and Herder, 1993-1999) has long been recognized as a standard academic reference tool for Christian theology and church history, with emphasis on Roman Catholicism. The Dictionary of Popes and the Papacy is the first in a series of thematic dictionaries containing translated articles from LTK as well as supplemental information "that give[s] greater attention to the Anglo-American historical and theological context."

    The volume is divided into two sections. The first provides biographies on the popes and antipopes. The second part addresses the "institutional, canonical, and theological aspects of the papacy." All articles are alphabetically arranged within their respective sections, signed, and conclude with supplemental bibliographies. Although the dictionary aims to make information about popes and the papacy available to an English-language public, the citations in the supplemental bibliographies are to very scholarly sources, the overwhelming majority in languages other than English. A subject index concludes the work.

    The biographical entries are straightforward. The entries on the papacy itself range from details about the ring and tiara worn by the pope to longer articles on topics such as infallibility, how popes are elected, and the process of canonization. Historical entries include treatment of the Roman Curia, ecumenical councils, and the Vatican itself. The only attention to the Anglo-American context appears to be an entry for Vatican-U.S. relations.

    There isnt much here that cant be found in the New Catholic Encyclopedia (McGraw-Hill, 1967) and its supplements. A more recent title, Encyclopedia of the Vatican and Papacy (Greenwood, 1999), extends beyond the religious and theological, addressing the political, diplomatic, social, and cultural roles of the papacy as well. Biographical information can also be found in the Oxford Dictionary of Popes (Oxford, 1988). Besides providing non-German readers with access to part of LTK, the Dictionary of Popes and the Papacy charts little new ground. Academic and large public libraries lacking other resources on the topic, or those in need of comprehensive coverage of the papacy, should consider purchasing this work.

    - Booklist


SD - Dictionary of Popes & the Papacy

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