Recorded January and February, 2009 ~
Audio CD #1 & #2 ~ 1914-1939 ~ "Benedict XV and Pius XI" ~ Benedict XV (1914-1922) spent his pontificate dealing with what he regarded as an unjust war followed by an unjust peace. Pius XI (1922-1938) saw the rise to power of Mussolini, Stalin and Hitler, along with the Great Depression and the diplomatic and military maneuvering that paved the way for World War II. This lecture discusses how these two popes dealt with a Europe rife with monumental moral and political choices.
Audio CD #3 & #4 ~ 1939-1958 ~ "Pius XII" ~ Pius XII (1939-1958) was pope during the Second World War, the Holocaust and the early stages of the Cold War. He is considered the most controversial pope of the century, and this lecture probes Pius? notorious policy of "silence" in the face of 20th century Europe?s worst crimes, as well as explores his diplomacy during the period when the Western democracies contended first with Hitler and later the Soviet Union.
Audio CD #5 & #6 ~ 1958-1978 ~ "John XXIII and Paul V" ~ John XXIII (1958-1963) was perhaps the most beloved person of his time, launching the Second Vatican Council in an attempt to bring the Catholic Church into closer dialogue with the modern world and some of Catholicism?s traditional enemies. Paul VI (1963-1978) finished the work of the Council and dealt with its turbulent aftermath, most notably as the Church responded to his controversial teachings on contraception. This lecture focuses on the two popes who helped bring about the most dramatic changes in the history of the Catholic Church.
Audio CD #7 & #8 ~ 1978-2005 ~ "John Paul II" ~ John Paul II (1978-2005) helped bring down communism and was the most profound teacher of any modern pontiff. This lecture examines his role in the collapse of communism, his most significant teaching documents, his attitude towards nationalism, and his path-breaking and problematic relations with non-Christian religions.
Audio CD #9 & #10 ~ 2005 to the Present ~ "Benedict XVI" ~ Benedict XVI (2005 to the present) inherited a Catholic Church in a time when Christianity in Europe is in marked decline and in a world where religious faith and religious tensions are on the upswing. This lecture focuses on Benedict?s responses to secularization, Islam and the "war on terror." It includes commentary on his 2008 visit to the United States and concludes by summarizing the major points from the 2009 History Lecture Series.