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The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400-1580

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  • The papacy is a big subject, and Eamon Duffy’s new book (based on a series of radio programs delivered on the BBC) does a good job of distilling two millennia of history into a short and manageable span. Duffy is a distinguished historian who is professor of the history of Christianity at Cambridge University. For those who are wondering, the ten popes selected are St. Peter, Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, Gregory VII, Innocent III, Paul III, Pio Nono (Pius IX), Pius XII, John XXIII, and John Paul II. The list is intended to be illustrative, not exhaustive, and Duffy concedes that out of the more than 260 popes a list of a different ten just as important as these could be assembled with little difficulty.

    From a talk “THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE EVE OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM” by Dr. Eamon Duffy on October 27th 1999 at Worth Abbey to the International Conference on Benedictine Education. This excerpt recently appeared in Commonweal magazine.
    Dr Eamon Duffy is an historian at Magdalene College, Cambridge.

  • From a talk “THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE EVE OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM” by Dr. Eamon Duffy on October 27th 1999 at Worth Abbey to the International Conference on Benedictine Education. This excerpt recently appeared in Commonweal magazine.
    Dr Eamon Duffy is an historian at Magdalene College, Cambridge.

    Eamon Duffy's immediate neighbors in , are 684369 individuals in 406343 households.

    Eamon Duffy is professor of the History of Christianity at Cambridge


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    Marriage is above everything else a social institution, and if the church is not to decline into being a sect for the saintly, ordinary Catholic couples cannot realistically be expected to live lives untouched by the social and sexual expectations and mores of the culture as a whole. The tragically large and growing number of Catholics in irregular unions is both an indicator of the way in which the values of society shape the lives and perceptions of Christians and also, in pastoral terms, a ticking time bomb, which by one means or another is going to have to be defused if it is not to decimate the Catholic community and, more importantly, deprive thousands of people of the sacramental support and light they need.”
    Eamon Duffy

Professor Eamon Duffy, FBA — Faculty of Divinity

Eamon Duffy is professor of the history of Christianity at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of many prize-winning books, including The Stripping of the Altars, Saints and Sinners, The Voices of Morebath, and Marking the Hours, all published by Yale University Press.