- Series: Oxford Quick Reference
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (December 14, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0192820850
- ISBN-13: 978-0192820853
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.8 x 5.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,922,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Oxford Dictionary of Popes (Oxford Quick Reference) Paperback – December 14, 1989
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From Library Journal
Kelly is an Anglican scholar-priest, author of the highly regarded Early Christian Creeds (Longman, 1972. 3rd ed.) and Early Christian Doc trines (Harper, 1978. rev. ed.). The Dictionary is a chronological listing of popes from Peter (d. c.64) to John Paul II. Entries contain concise yet interesting biographies, followed by brief bibliographies of selected pri mary and secondary sources. Anti popes, men who claimed to be pope but, "rightly or wrongly," were not officially recognized, are included, as is an appendix on Pope Joan, a leg endary female pope. The result is the ideal reference book: Well written and thoroughly indexed, it also ex hibits fine scholarship. Highly rec ommended both for public and theo logical libraries.Myriel Crowley Eykamp, formerly with MIT Libs.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Fills a big gap among existing reference books....Kelly is not only a distinguished church historian but also an elegant stylist, and the dictionary is very much a book to read or to browse in as well as one to consult."--The New York Times
"A scholarly and useful who's who of popes....Much...can be gleaned from Kelly's fascinating book."--Times Literary Supplement (London)
"A miracle of compression and balance."--The Economist
"A rich mine of arcane nuggets."--Time
"Extremely well-written....An entertaining read for those of any religion or of none; for the Christian community it is of great significance in these days of ecumenical overtures; for the scholar it is invaluable."--Church Times
"The ideal reference book: Well-written and thoroughly indexed, it also exhibits fine scholarship. Highly recommended."--Library Journal
"A fascinating volume...handy, readable, illuminating....Each entry is a little masterpiece."--Daily Telegraph
"Kelly's portrayals are judicious and succinct....The arrangement makes for ease of reference and invites one to trawl happily for pieces of curious or idle information."--Country Life
"In this book, Kelly fills a real need for a papal who's who. Essential for anyone wishing to mug up a pope, it's chronological arrangement and lively narrative make it readable as history in itself."--Today
"A book for Catholics, a book for Christians, a book for historians, and just about anyone interested in that oldest of all continuous Western institutions, the papacy."--The Santa Cruz Sentinel
Top customer reviews
Although this book should not be used as an only reference it has great value as part of a general study of church leadership from Peter to the mid part of John Paul II's reign. There were many scalliwags as Popes but most worked hard to bring spiritual and social justice concerns to the world within which they lived.
The collection of papal mini-biographies here is the most complete I know of, including even the various anti-popes and the historically questionable Pope Joan. Where the available information is incomplete or contradictory, author, editor and researcher J.N.D. Kelly usually points that out. Other books give more information about specific aspects of the papacy, but none offers such a wide range of information between two compact covers.
My one complaint is a minor one: Mr. Kelly's judgments about what did and did not happen and who should and should not have been pope (regarding everything from Pope Joan and the anti-popes to conspiracy theories surrounding the unexpected death of Pope John Paul I in 1978) tend toward the official Vatican view more often than I'd like. But a book has to take some point of view, and if Mr. Kelly had done the opposite I'd probably be complaining now that he was a bit too antagonistic for my taste.
All in all, this is an irreplaceable resource for any theologian, religious scholar, or intellectually curious reader.
The "Dictionary" summarizes the life, important acts and writings, and controversies surrounding the Successors to St. Peter, and the various pretenders to that throne. He doesn't pull any punches -- several of the medieval and Renassiance era popes get the short shrift that they so desperately deserve! But these brief biographies are written without rancor, without agenda, and with good bibliographic references so the reader can identify the primary source material. Furthermore, Kelly seperates fact from fiction, debunking David Yallop's "In God's Name: An Investigation into the Murder of Pope John Paul I" and the various legends surrounding the ficticious "Pope Joan".
All in all, a valuable reference text that belongs on the shelf of every historian, clergyman and theological scholar.