Your audiobook is waiting…

The Irony of Modern Catholic History

How the Church Rediscovered Itself and Challenged the Modern World to Reform
Narrated by: Rick Adamson
Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
Categories: History, World
5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

A powerful new interpretation of Catholicism's dramatic encounter with modernity, by one of America's leading intellectuals

Throughout much of the 19th century, both secular and Catholic leaders assumed that the Church and the modern world were locked in a battle to the death. The triumph of modernity would not only finish the Church as a consequential player in world history; it would also lead to the death of religious conviction. But today, the Catholic Church is far more vital and consequential than it was 150 years ago. Ironically, in confronting modernity, the Catholic Church rediscovered its evangelical essence. In the process, Catholicism developed intellectual tools capable of rescuing the imperiled modern project. 

A richly rendered, deeply learned, and powerfully argued account of two centuries of profound change in the church and the world, The Irony of Modern Catholic History reveals how Catholicism offers 21st century essential truths for our survival and flourishing.

©2019 George Weigel (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Weigel has an eye for a good story. Whether discussing the affairs of popes and princes, of conclaves and concordats, he seems always to come up with a telling anecdote or witty utterance to brighten the historical account. For a lively and informative overview from the 18th century to the present, The Irony of Modern Catholic History is the book to read." (Robert Louis Wilken, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia)

"George Weigel's sweeping account of 150 years of Catholic history challenges the long-held assumption made by traditionalists, progressives, many historians, and mainstream media that secular modernity has always been the prime mover, forcing the Church to either resist or accommodate it. In reframing the narrative with the church as the creative protagonist in this drama, Weigel describes how the encounter with modernity led to the renewal of the church's gospel-centered mission in its third millennium, and suggests that the church might redirect - indeed, redeem - the modern project itself." (Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, University of Notre Dame)

"The Irony of Modern Catholic History advances a bold new interpretation of the Church and modernity with characteristic authority, deep erudition, and literary panache. It is the latest reminder among many that George Weigel is unrivaled not only as a Catholic intellectual, but as an intellectual, period." (Mary Eberstadt, senior research fellow, Faith and Reason Institute, and author of Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    17
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Intellectually Compelling!

Excellent review and analysis of modern Church history. Encouraged me to read the seminal documents of the Church.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Intelligent review of recent church history

I am familiar with George Weigel's writing from his excellent biography of St. JPII and articles from First Things. He does not disappoint in this book. In the 20th century, communism and fascism (real fascism) were best fought and defeated by liberal democratic regimes, but we are witnessing now the excesses of radical individualism, worship of the autonomous will, materialist atheism and fear of Truth. The antidote is, of course, the teachings of our Catholic faith. But how do we share it? We Catholics tend not to be very good evangelists- but we are getting better. Weigel writes in great detail how Vatican II was all about meeting the challenges presented by theology, politics, and increasingly present communication media that had to be addressed. Even if you disagree with Weigel's narrative or analysis, (and there's an excellent critical review of the book by Andrew Willard Jones in the November 2019 issue of First Things), this book is very well worth a careful listen. The narration is pleasant, and the writing, as one would expect, clear, even, smart, and thoroughly fascinating.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great review of the past 300 years of Catholicism

Well researched and well synthesized, George Weigel offers great insights into the past present and future of the Church in the modern world.

The one thing I’ve noticed with all the audible recordings I’ve listened to is that on any speed greater than 1.0, it tends to cut off beginning syllables of sentences or breaks in speech. This one is no exception. For example, the word may be written “Catholicism” and you only hear “licism”. Sometimes whole words are cut off altogether if they’re short enough.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very helpful in understanding Church History

I totally trust Mr Weigel in his thorough examination of Church history. I will need to listen more than once. Very informative on Church direction and gives reference re:documents. Most importantly as the mystical body of Christ we Must live our lives in Christ and we have alot to propose to this culture and our young people!! Thank you God for Mr Weigel!!