The sensational story of the last two centuries of the papacy, its most influential pontiffs, troubling doctrines, and rise in global authority In 1799, the papacy was at rock bottom: The Papal States had been swept...
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The sensational story of the last two centuries of the papacy, its most influential pontiffs, troubling doctrines, and rise in global authority
In 1799, the papacy was at rock bottom: The Papal States had been swept away and Rome seized by the revolutionary French armies. With cardinals scattered across Europe and the next papal election uncertain, even if Catholicism survived, it seemed the papacy was finished.
In this gripping narrative of religious and political history, Paul Collins tells the improbable success story of the last 220 years of the papacy, from the unexalted death of Pope Pius VI in 1799 to the celebrity of Pope Francis today. In a strange contradiction, as the papacy has lost its physical power--its armies and states--and remained stubbornly opposed to the currents of social and scientific consensus, it has only increased its influence and political authority in the world.
Paul Collins is a writer specializing in history, memoir, and unusual antiquarian literature. His nine books have been translated into eleven languages, and include Not Even Wrong: A Father's Journey Into the Lost History of Autism (2004), and The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars (2011). He is a 2009 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction. In 2014, his non-fiction work (Duel with the Devil: The True Story of How Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Teamed Up to Take on America's First Sensational Murder Mystery) was listed on the New York Times bestseller list. Collins also teaches creative nonfiction as an associate professor in the MFA program at Portland State University.