To read the history of the Church

To read the history of the Church

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Here is a journey through twenty centuries of Church history. What are the main features of his historical approach and his method?

  • First, do not separate the history of the Church from the general history of humanity. Christians live in the world and many political, social and economic events have determined the life of the Church.

  • Then, use all traces of the past: buildings, works of art, archaeological excavations.

  • - Finally, present written sources directly to readers. This volume gives as important a place to texts from the past as to the presentation of events. And it offers keys to situating the texts, understanding them, appreciating them.

Jean Comby, professor at the Catholic faculties of Lyon, asks the question: “What does being a Christian consist of? » And he brilliantly shows that studying the condition of the Christian of the first centuries or the Middle Ages can provide a partial but crucial answer to the most modern questions.


  • The birth of the Church
  • Christians in a world that does not understand them (1st-3rd century)
  • Being a Christian in the first centuries (1st-3rd century)
  • The Church in the Christian Empire (4th-5th century)
  • The formation of the creed (4th-5th century)
  • The Fathers of the Church
  • The high middle ages
  • Christianity: the foundations of a society (end of the 11th-13th century)
  • Expansion, contestation and defense of Christianity (late 11th-13th century)
  • The autumn of Christianity (14th and 15th centuries)
  • Renaissance and reform (late 15th-16th century)
  • The Catholic revival (16th-17th century)
  • The evangelization of the world (15th-18th centuries)
  • The Church in the time of enlightenment and revolution (18th century)
  • Restoration and liberalism (1815-1870)
  • Secularization, religious defense, pluralism: the churches in political society from 1870 to 1939
  • A Christianity on global dimensions (1800-1940)
  • The weight of modernity
  • From the Second World War to the Council (1939-1958)
  • The Church of Vatican II (1958-2000)

ISBN: 9782204069984