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Author Topic: History of the Christian Church  (Read 2590 times) Average Rating: 0
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Byzantino
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« on: December 17, 2003, 08:29:43 AM »

History of the Christian Church
by Philip Schaff

Does anybody have this 8-volume set? Any comments about it?

Thanks!


« Last Edit: December 17, 2003, 08:32:46 AM by Byzantino » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2003, 02:17:51 PM »

They have that set on CCEL, though I must admit that I've never read much of it, but only used it for research from time to time. I don't especially like it... but then I don't especially like any particular set of history books, so I guess I don't have an alternative to suggest.
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2003, 01:04:26 PM »

Schaff was a Protestant (either Lutheran or Reformed, I can't recall which).

I have read bits and pieces of his work. He's pretty good, but one has to keep in mind his Protestant bias.

Warren Carroll, president of the Roman Catholic Christendom College, has written a well-respected Church history. I have read some of volume 1, and it was pretty good. The set is available here.
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2003, 07:47:20 PM »

Linus,

Warren Carroll used to have a spot on EWTN's history Q&A section. He certainly is well respected, but i'm well acquainted with the way he would answer his questioners on a number of topics such as the Pope Honorius debacle and the Photius schism, and it was enough to make me render him a revisionist who left many unsatisfactory answers. Check out the ewtn page and see for yourself. There are so many incredible historians that were produced by the RCC, Johannes Quasten, Karl Hefele and Johanes Ignaz von Dollinger to name a few of my favourites. They can really tell it as it is, making me trust their scholarship a great deal more than Carroll's.
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2003, 12:11:05 AM »

Linus,

Warren Carroll used to have a spot on EWTN's history Q&A section. He certainly is well respected, but i'm well acquainted with the way he would answer his questioners on a number of topics such as the Pope Honorius debacle and the Photius schism, and it was enough to make me render him a revisionist who left many unsatisfactory answers. Check out the ewtn page and see for yourself. There are so many incredible historians that were produced by the RCC, Johannes Quasten, Karl Hefele and Johanes Ignaz von Dollinger to name a few of my favourites. They can really tell it as it is, making me trust their scholarship a great deal more than Carroll's.


Well, as with Schaff, one must know and keep in mind any historian's personal biases or possible biases. That is why I mentioned Carroll's Roman Catholic affiliation.

If you're looking for someone who simply agrees with you, you'll have to shop around.

Are there any good Orthodox histories of the Church in English?
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2003, 12:04:19 AM »

I agree, it's almost impossible to find unbiased history, but we can come very close. Nonetheless we can identify the revisionism employed by some scholars when we have detailed accounts of a particular fact whose data is unquestionably genuine: eg. there's an abundance of evidence in favour of the fact of the Holocaust which no serious scholar would deny unless they were a Nazi. I think the same applies with the doctrinal decrees of Pope Honorius and the fact that an Ecumenical Council explicitly condemned him. It's undeniable, except for a RC who places unconditional fath in the dogma of papal infallibility. On that note, have you read the history of the 19th century RC scholar Karl Hefele before and after the Vatican dogma?

I don't know a single Orthodox history...well I have Jaroslav Pelikan's 5 volume masterpiece but he was still Lutheran when he wrote that, right? The majority of the sources which led me to Orthodoxy, surprisingly were Roman Catholic and Anglican - Quasten, Hefele, Von Dollinger, J.N.D. Kelly, and Philip Schaff was very important.
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2003, 12:58:54 AM »

As I understand "revisionism," it involves a departure from the informed historical consensus.

I have not read Carroll's history, so I cannot comment on whether or not he engages in revisionism.

However, merely giving the RC viewpoint on certain controversies like the Photian Affair and the letters of Pope Honorius to the Patriarch Sergius (Honorius' error involved no decrees, AFAIK) is not revisionism.

The fact that those are controversial subjects means that there is no real consensus on them; thus, no revisionism is possible. There are simply different points of view, different sides to the stories. If one reads Carroll, he simply needs to be aware that Carroll is speaking from an RC perpsective, that's all.

The reality of the Holocaust is quite another matter altogether. The incontrovertible historical consensus is that it did in fact occur. Anyone who denies it is attempting to revise history and is rightly regarded as a crackpot.
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2003, 01:26:20 AM »

Nazi sympathizers say the Holocaust didn't happen in spite of the clear evidence to the contrary, and resort to denial, re-interpretation and belittlement of that evidence.

Dr. Carroll says Pope Honorius wasn't condemned as a heretic in spite of the clear evidence to the contrary and resorts to denial, re-interpretation and belittlement of that evidence.

I don't see the difference between the two.

It's also very telling to see exactly how RC scholars viewed this incident and for that matter papal authority prior to the definition of the Vatican dogma (when papal infallibility was still a theological opinion) compared to afterwards, particularly Cardinal Newman, Bishops Hefele and Strossmeyer.
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2003, 02:29:56 AM »

Quote
Byzantino:
Nazi sympathizers say the Holocaust didn't happen in spite of the clear evidence to the contrary, and resort to denial, re-interpretation and belittlement of that evidence.

Okay. They're crackpots.

Quote
Byzantino: Dr. Carroll says Pope Honorius wasn't condemned as a heretic in spite of the clear evidence to the contrary and resorts to denial, re-interpretation and belittlement of that evidence.

I don't see the difference between the two.

Well, I haven't read what Carroll has to say on the matter, and you have not produced a quote from him in context, so I will have to suspend judgment.

If he does deny that Honorius was condemned, then he is wrong, and that might qualify as some form of revisionism. But I can't see how any historian could read the Seventh Ecumenical Council and not see that Honorius was condemned.

I would be really surprised if Carroll actually denies that Honorius was condemned as a heretic.

Have you a quote from him to that effect?

Quote
Byzantino: It's also very telling to see exactly how RC scholars viewed this incident and for that matter papal authority prior to the definition of the Vatican dogma (when papal infallibility was still a theological opinion) compared to afterwards, particularly Cardinal Newman, Bishops Hefele and Strossmeyer.


No need to marshal an attack on Honorius for my benefit. I wasn't defending him or papal infallibility.

I merely said that expressing the RC viewpoint on controversies like the Photian Affair and Honorius' two letters to Sergius is not revisionism.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2003, 02:31:08 AM by Linus7 » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2003, 03:23:24 AM »

I'm not sure if i'm breaking any forum rules or not, so I've decided not to include the names of the questioners and instead just quote the answers given by Dr. Carroll. They can be found in their entirety if you do a search on EWTN's Q&A page.

Are these Historical?
Question from...on 05-15-2002

Answer by Dr. William Carroll on 05-19-2002:


Pope Honorius was condemned not as a heretic but for being insufficiently vigilant against heresy.
 


Pope Honorius
Question from...on 10-22-2001:


Answer by Dr. William Carroll on 10-23-2001:


Pope Honorius never actually taught heresy at all. It was all a misunderstanding, which is explained in full detail, fully documented, in the second volume of my history of ChristendomGǪ


Pope Honorius I
Question from...on 06-01-2002:


Answer by Dr. William Carroll on 06-06-2002:


The Pope at the time, St. Leo II, clearly stated that Honorius was condemned not for supporting heresy (which he never did) but for failing to teach the truth more clearly in the face of heresy.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2003, 03:35:45 AM by Byzantino » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2003, 03:35:45 AM »

Interesting.

I'm not sure that is revisionism so much as it is wishful thinking.

I think it is pretty clear the Fathers at the Seventh Ecumenical Council felt that Honorius was a monothelite.

"We affirm that in Christ there be two wills and two operations according to the reality of each nature, as also the Sixth Synod, held at Constantinople, taught, casting out Sergius, Honorius, Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Macarius, and those who agree with them, and all those who are unwilling to be reverent."

It was the Sixth Ecumenical Council that actually declared Honorius a heretic, but I don't have that one on my CD-ROM, unfortunately, so I can't supply any quotes from it.

Anyway, I would like to read what Carroll says in his book about Honorius.
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2003, 03:39:04 AM »

You can find the documents of the 6th Ecumenical council on-line at http://www.ccel.org/      

Also check out one of the threads, I think the "You are Peter" one where i quoted the Councils of Constantinople (6th Ecumenical) Trullo and  II Nicea (7th Ecumenical) to demonstrate that he was condemned as a heretic.
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2003, 08:13:10 AM »

A good history of Orthodoxy in English would require of the author a real degree of self-criticism and reflection. Fr John Romanides and Father V.C. Samuel of blessed memory and of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox respectively seem to have had that confidence to reflect critically on the history of their own communions, not to be revisionist or to damage the Church but to allow the Church to realise something of the provisionality of history, rather than constantly live with rose-tinted spectacles on.

When I write stuff I try to have that same balance, otherwise we are always just preaching to the choir.

PT
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