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The Cleaving of Christendom, 1517-1661: A History of Christendom (vol. 4) Paperback – November 1, 2004

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The Cleaving of Christendom, 1517-1661: A History of Christendom (vol. 4) + The Glory of Christendom, 1100-1517: A History of Christendom (vol. 3) (History of Christendom Series ; Vol. III) + The Revolution Against Christendom: A History of Christendom, Vol. 5
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About the Author

Warren Carroll (1932–2011) was founder of Christendom College, serving as president from 1977–85, and as chairman of the Department of History from 1985–2002. Carroll earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Columbia Uni­versity. The author of numerous books, he has won a well-deserved reputation as one of the foremost Catholic historians of our time.

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Product Details

  • Series: History of Christendom (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 807 pages
  • Publisher: Christendom Press; 1 edition (November 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0931888751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0931888755
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Fritz on February 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
Warren Carroll presents the "Cleaving of Christendom" in the 16th and 17th centuries from an ardently Catholic position. He makes this quite clear in the introduction and in his style of writing. It is refreshing because, even with ten years of Catholic schooling, I suspect that over the years I have absorbed a highly Protestant view of this period. Now I am reading both Protestant and Catholic histories to help get some balance. For those who want a smaller dose of a Catholic history of the period, Hilaire Belloc's "How the Reformation Happened" or his "The Great Heresies" are excellent. On the Protestant side, I am starting with Alistar McGrath's "Reformation Thought." ---- With sadness, I had to downsize Dr. Carroll's book to four stars because of the poor proofreading. Maybe I shouldn't because he became seriously ill just as he finished this volume and we are blessed to have the volume at all! (PS-- as this is written, he is healing well and is back to teaching and writing.)
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By john on April 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the fourth volume of his "History of Christendom" series, "The Cleaving of Christendom", Warren H. Carroll displays again his mastery of the subject matter and his considerable story-telling skills. From Luther's nailing of the 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Palace Church in 1517 to the restoration of the English monarchy with the crowning of Charles II in 1661, this history keeps a furious pace recounting the tumultuous changes of this period.

Perhaps Carroll's greatest gift as a writer is his ability to weave multiple threads into an intricate narrative, allowing the reader to comprehend the complexity of history that has dependencies on multiple previous events. The way Carroll is able to follow the separate story-lines to convergence, and then depart down a single thread to develop another series of events is astonishingly effective and makes for a lively, entertaining, and informative presentation.

Given the subject matter, this was the most difficult volume for a Catholic to read: it's the breaking up a family; a slow-motion replay of the shattering of unity and the splintering of the Faith. There seems to have been so many opportunities on both sides to avert this disaster, but it is clear from the words and actions of Martin Luther and John Calvin that they were bent on the destruction of the Roman Church. Figures like Charles V, Philip II, and Mary Queen of Scots are finally given fair historical treatment; their dedication to Christ and the church He established despite the intrigues of the likes of Cromwell, Cecil, and Richelieu - no less than the Popes of this era - is an inspiration for Catholics today.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Walter G. Gozar on January 17, 2012
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This is the best in Warren Carroll's History of Christendom series. It answers many questions a Catholic may be searching for in other history books that tend to have too short a treatise on the subject of the Protestant Revolution and Catholic Reformation. Carroll, a protestant who had converted to Catholicism, anticipates many questions and answers them clearly. He provides very insightful analyses and explanations. A Catholic may always wonder why so many protestant sects are vehemently anti-Catholic. The answers are revealed in Martin Luther's letters. However, it would be extremely helpful for a reader to have read all the books in the series (I'm almost done with the 5th and so far the last volume in the series) as many doctrinal issues are tackled in the earlier volumes.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By T. Skiba on June 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
Once you start reading this history you won't be able to put it down. Finally, a scholarly work on the 1500's and 1600's from a Catholic perspective that is readable, understandable and informative. I can't wait to read the rest of Carroll's books!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on June 27, 2012
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Warren H. Carroll (1932-2011) was a leading conservative Catholic historian and author, and the founder of Christendom College; he was a convert to Catholicism in 1968. Previously, he had also served as an analyst in the CIA's anti-communism division, and he also served on the staff of Congressman John G. Schmitz. This third volume was first published in 1993. The next volume in this series is The Revolution Against Christendom: A History of Christendom, Vol. 5.

Of Pope Leo X, Carroll wrote, "Even the most loyal Catholics did not think of Leo X as a spiritual man. It has always been Church teaching that the authority of any ecclesiastical office is not affected by the personal shortcomings of the man who holds it, but this is not a doctrine easy for men to accept fully, especially in the face of a propagandist of the shattering power of Martin Luther." (Pg. 9) But even in the time of John Calvin, "enough of Europe still remained Catholic so that, if the Council (of Trent) listened to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, much of Christendom could still be saved." (Pg. 284)

He points out that "the total number of persons executed as heretics during Queen Mary's reign does not compare with those executed as loyal Catholics during ... the 45-year reign of (Queen) Elizabeth, despite the fact that Protestant historians have dubbed her 'Good Queen Bess' in contrast to 'Bloody Mary.'" (Pg. 251) He asserts, "The Inquisition and the Crusades ... were far better and far more defensible than their popular image today suggests. The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre is not in that category." (Pg.
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