Ryan N.S. Topping
St. Benedict Press/TAN Books, 260 pages
Martyrs, monks, scholars, crusaders, sinners, reformers, popes. These and other chapter headings in this work describe some of the individuals who shaped our Church and influenced the course of Western civilization. Ryan N.S. Topping here provides an overview of two millennia of Christian history by examining its heroes and villains and how, through them, the Church has bestowed its gifts on the larger world. It’s “Volume I” because Topping has a second volume in the works that will examine how the Church has transformed music, art, architecture, Western literature, films, and even our domestic life — and that’s something to look forward to in the new year.