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book reviews725 of this sort advance the argument or even the narration the author is attempting to develop. They appear merely gossipy and mean-spirited. For the professional historian, however,what will perhaps be most unsettling about Man ofthe Century.The Life and Times ofPopeJohn Paul II, is the manner in which the various materials are organized. The author leaps from subject to subject, leaving the readers on their own to piece things together as best they can. And some of the leaps border on the comical. For example, Section 1 1 of Chapter One opens with an anguished account of Stalin's massacre of Polish military officers in the Katyn Forest. The narrative concludes, a flourish is printed in the center of the page, and out of nowhere emerges a depiction of the future Pope as a young man emoting over a new play he had just read. One senses that we may be simply moving from one computer item to another. Sometime years from now an authoritative history of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II wifl undoubtedly appear without a thesis to refute or defend and with events in the life ofthe Pontiffdrawn together with precision,balance, and clear connections. The author or authors will do well to have read Man of the Century: The Life and Times of Pope John Paul II. For Jonathan Kwitny, because of his evident esteem for his subject and because of the abundance of facts he has amassed about that subject's friends and associates particularly in Poland, does indeed "humanize the past and enrich personal experience of the present" quite effectively; and as Professor Nevins observed, this can constitute an important contribution to the writing of serious history. Most Reverend Edward M. Egan Bishop ofBridgeport Ancient Encyclopedia of Early Christianity. Second edition. Edited by Everett Ferguson. 2 vols. (NewYork: Garland Publishing, Inc. 1997. Pp. xxvi, 657; 659-1213. $150.00.) This is a thoroughly revised edition of the work first published in 1990 as a single volume. Now, divided into two handsome volumes, the whole format is a great improvement over its predecessor from the standpoint of looks and fabric . Bibliographies naturally have been updated, and cross references have been improved by repositioning and with respect to content. More than two hundred new articles have been added, among them: family, historiography, inspiration , justice, sculpture, Roman law, and sociological interpretation. A number of articles have been partially or totally rewritten or revised. Basilius Celix, for one, has been dropped. The Syriac-speaking area is much better represented this time around due largely to the efforts of David Bundy. Egypt is still somewhat less adequately covered. There are no articles on Hieracas, Nepos, the Alexandrian popes, Damián and Theodosius, or for the historians Eutychius (Sa'id ibn 726book reviews Batriq) and John of Nikiou. A key figure in the Monophysite controversy, Pope Timothy II Aelurus, receives rather perfunctory treatment. Other omissions include Emperor Anastasius and Barsauma the monk, an important figure at the "Robber Synod" of Ephesus. Bar Hebraeus is there, but not Michael the Syrian. The article on the Secret Gospel ofMark, already outdated, is a mere historical curiosity in view of recent research. But these few negative remarks pale in light of the overall achievement of this comprehensive source. It is a testimony to the vitality and breadth of early Christian studies in North America. It is also testimony to the perceptive editing and revising skills of Everett Ferguson and his associate editors, Michael McHugh and Frederick Norris. David Johnson, SJ. The Catholic University ofAmerica The World ofthe Early Christians. ByJoseph F. Kelly. [Message ofthe Fathers of the Church, Volume 1.] (Collegeville, Minnesota: A Michael Glazier Book, The Liturgical Press. 1997. Pp, xviii, 23 1 . $22.95 paperback.) The World of the Early Christians is an attempt to provide an introductory text to the student of historical theology. The bulk of this treatment deals basically with the cultural life ofthe Christian within the early Church. The last section includes a tightly written history of major writers and events in the East and West for the first six centuries. The author delves into such issues as the view of the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 725-726
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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