- Gerald O’Collins
‘From Pentecost to Christopher Columbus’ traces the origins and early development of the Catholic Church. Early Christianity was characterized by missionary outreach, ordained bishops, the sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist, and, until the conversion of Constantine, by severe persecution. Major heresies arose and were refuted by councils of the Church. A split with Orthodox Christianity in 1054 led to a Western, over-centralized system focused on the pope. While the theologians Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas, the monastic movement, and, indeed, the Crusades, all proved influential, the expeditions of Columbus and the Protestant Reformation changed forever the direction of Catholic history.