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Keepers of the Keys of Heaven: A History of the Papacy

Roger Collins, Roger Collins

2 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, History

A complete history of the Papacy - one of the most enduring and influential of all human institutions.

Few human institutions have survived so long and played a continuously important role in world history and affairs than the Papacy. From the time of St Peter to the present day, this establishment has sought to make sense of contemporary issues. Its story is a long and complicated one, full of incident, ideas and the interplay of personalities.

In this masterful single volume, eminent scholar Roger Collins offers an account of the entire arc of papal history, describing how its authority was acquired and exercised, and in turn, challenged and threatened; how it faced and overcame crises - both from within and without; its relationship with Rome; the tradition of artistic patronage; and the character and policies of individual popes.

KEEPERS OF THE KEYS OF HEAVEN is a vivid and revealing portrait of an enduring body, chronicling two thousand years of ambition, scandal, persecution, faith and glory.

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Praise for Keepers of the Keys of Heaven: A History of the Papacy

  • Few historians write as engagingly and wittily as Roger Collins. This is a wonderful, magnificent account of an institution that has touched the lives of millions and still does. - Alexander McCall Smith.

  • Always accessible...impeccably fair and even detached when it comes to analysing controversial actions...[A] vast and admirable tome. - Sunday Times.

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Roger Collins

Roger Collins was born in London and educated at Oxford. A distinguished religious scholar who has published widely on medieval Europe, he is an Honorary Fellow at Edinburgh University and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He lives in Edinburgh.

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