Cover: Vatican I: The Council and the Making of the Ultramontane Church, from Harvard University PressCover: Vatican I in HARDCOVER

Vatican I

The Council and the Making of the Ultramontane Church

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$24.95 • £21.95 • €22.95

ISBN 9780674979987

Publication Date: 05/07/2018


320 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

9 photos

Belknap Press


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Jacket: Vatican I

PAPERBACK | $20.00

ISBN 9780674241404


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An eminent scholar of modern Catholicism…O’Malley…invit[es] us to see Catholicism’s recent history as profoundly shaped by and against the imposing legacy of Pius IX.The Wall Street Journal

[O’Malley’s] oeuvre now forms a satisfyingly coherent whole… As authoritative as it is accessible.—Stella Fletcher, The Times Literary Supplement

With Vatican I: The Council and the Making of the Ultramontane Church, John O’Malley, S.J, the worldwide dean of church historians, has completed his trinity of works on church councils [having previously written on the Council of Trent and Vatican II]… O’Malley completes his masterclass in church history and ecclesiology of the last 500 years, telling us as much about the church now as then.—Christopher Bellitto, America

The best available [work] in English on Vatican I… O’Malley’s account of the debate over infallibility is masterful… The descriptions of the council’s setting and procedure convey a feel for what the bishops experienced there.—William L. Portier, Commonweal

O’Malley is not new to writing re-assessments of pivotal events of modern Roman Catholic history. One can think of his important volumes on What Happened at Vatican II and Trent: What Happened at the Council, which have proven to be trend-setting in their interpretation of present-day Roman Catholicism. In this new book on Vatican I it is as if he has completed the trilogy on the three modern councils… O’Malley’s strength lies in the comprehensiveness of his historical reconstruction.—Leonardo De Chirico, Evangelical Focus

Much needed and very informative… O’Malley’s book shows the many ways in which the church we know is still very much shaped by the First…Vatican Council. Put differently, the modern church is still, in certain ways, the work of reactionaries.National Catholic Reporter

[A] judicious work of scholarship, carefully researched and elegantly narrated.—Thomas Albert Howard, Patheos

O’Malley offers a comprehensive and gripping narrative of Vatican I… In his eminently accessible volume, O’Malley repeats the success of his earlier histories of Vatican II and Trent… [He] weaves together the doctrinal issues with the personalities of the principal historical characters in the drama of controversy and conflict… [This] belongs to a long and productive career of exposing a wide readership to the fascinatingly complex history of the Church.—Hilmar M. Pabel, The Tablet

O’Malley gives an accessible, even-handed overview of the council with a minimum of interpretive gloss. He excels in describing the ways in which the council initiated deep changes that still affect the everyday lives of Catholics.—Russell Hittinger, First Things

Provides an elegant historical narrative.—John Cornwell, Times Higher Education

A concise and accessible overview of the Council and the history that led to it… O’Malley does an excellent job of narrating the dynamics at play as the Church picked up the pieces from the devastation of the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars.—Jared Staudt, Denver Catholic

A gripping good read… With characteristic economy and clarity, O’Malley tells the story of Vatican I and the making of the ultramontane church—and, most importantly, why it matters.—Mary Dunn, Harvard Theological Review

A fascinating and dispassionate glimpse into a pivotal and dramatic period of Catholic Church history.—James Wetherbee, Library Journal

To be the premier historian of the modern ecumenical councils would seem an odd bit of praise, but John O’Malley, S.J., is exactly that and with characteristic grace. His history of Vatican I is a marvelous bookend to his field-shaping history of Vatican II and possesses the lucidity, insight, and erudition we associate with one of the world’s leading historians of Catholicism. It immediately becomes the standard history.—John McGreevy, University of Notre Dame

This excellent book fills a critical need for an up-to-date and comprehensive account of the events, the personalities, and the elaboration of the doctrine at the First Vatican Council. O’Malley draws from the best and most recent historical sources published in multiple languages to weave together masterfully the complex convergence of social, political, intellectual, and ecclesial movements that contribute to a culture of ultramontanism, the horizon against which one must understand both the event of the council and its teaching.—Catherine Clifford, Saint Paul University

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