[Hardcover] John Chapman, fourth abbot of Downside, takes up the question of the papacy in the first centuries of Christianity. Eschewing selective apologetics, he favors a reasoned study of the textual evidence of historical events. By these, he illustrates the early authoritative role expected of or taken by Rome’s bishop at pivotal moments in early Church history. This volume offers much substance to those interested in the question of papal prerogatives. Chapman argues in favor of Catholic claims, but does so with such care as a historian that his work has received high approval even from such an eminence as the famed Anglican historian Henry Chadwick who, in his own book on the history of the early Church, saw fit to recommend Chapman’s work to readers interested in the question. There have been many successors to Chapman but few, if any, have engaged with precisely the matters that he discusses in such detail. His book remains an important voice in the modern... More > conversation.< Less
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