Professor Joseph Lynch and I seek to explain the history of the Church as an institution, and to explore its all-pervasive role in medieval life. In the course of the thousand years covered in this book, we see the members and leaders of the Western Church struggle with questions that are still relevant today: What is the nature of God? How does a church keep beliefs from becoming diluted in a diverse society? What role should the state play in religion?
"The book is readable, wise in its judgments and broader statements, written with an eye on students who know little of the topic and not much more about the Middle Ages in general ... Pithy statements, often with a touch of humor and irony, enhance its readability. Lynch's first edition (of 1992) was very good and this new version more than matches the original standard."
— Joel T. Rosenthal, emeritus, Stony Brook University, The Medieval Review