Christendom College professor and historian Steve Weidenkopf dispels common misconceptions about the Middle Ages in a new work: The Church and the Middle Ages: Cathedrals, Crusaders, and the Papacy in Exile. The book, now available for preorder, presents the era in the engaging, easy-to-understand style that Weidenkopf is known for, resulting in a vibrant retelling of one of the most important periods in Church history.
Weidenkopf, who teaches Church history at Christendom’s Graduate School of Theology, has previously focused on this period in his acclaimed book The Glory of the Crusaders, but The Church and the Middle Ages takes an even broader and more ambitious look at the Middle Ages as a whole. Focusing on the years 1000-1378, Weidenkopf provides a clear picture of an era critics often use to undermine the Catholic Church.
In Weidenkopf’s account, the Middle Ages are presented as an exciting period of enduring faith, reform, and cultural achievement, as well as defeat and division, with the great saints of the era — Francis, Dominic, Anselm, Aquinas, and Catherine of Siena — all making appearances. Weidenkopf also strives to disprove nine commonly accepted misconceptions over the course of his work, including that most Crusaders were not motivated by greed and that serfs were never kept as slaves.
The Church in the Middle Ages comes on the heels of Weidenkopf’s widely acclaimed Timeless: A History of the Catholic Church, which was just released this past January. Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell called that book a “rare gem….to be read and treasured by the faithful and all who seek the deeper meaning of Western Christian civilization.”
Weidenkopf previously wrote The Real Story of Catholic History: Answering Twenty Centuries of Anti-Catholic Myths, and is also the creator, co-author and presenter of the adult faith formation program Epic: A Journey through Church History.