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As anyone who has studied this subject knows, it is difficult to find a raw history of the papacy without the anti-catholic or pro-catholic polemic infused throughout. Dr. Noble, despite teaching at a "Catholic" university, has done just that, given us a history without polemic. Dr. Noble reports just the facts, warts and all. He does not sugar coat or attempt to defend doctrines such as infallibility but simply places them in their historical context letting the student come to their own conclusions. After all, history is, to a great extent, at the mercy of presuppositions and it is not always easy to recognize those presuppositions in ourselves. Dr. Noble does not attempt to wrest any presuppositions and instill in us his own, he simply provides the history and the controversial backdrop that interprets that history in a delicate balance. Very well done and exactly what any history enthusiast is seeking.
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