The Compact History of the Catholic Church is a lively readable guide to the life of the church through the ages. Designed as an introduction to the history of Catholicism, Dr Alan Schreck covers not only the topics and issues of each period but also skilfully guides us through the maze of politics, scandals and heresies which have challenged the church both from within and without. Most importantly, he brings to life the people of God in each century who have faithfully loved and served the church, often at the cost of great personal sacrifice and persecution. From God’s purposes for a covenant people in the Old Testament, through Christ’s establishment of a new covenant people, to the Holy Spirit’s powerful work revitalizing the Catholic Church in the twentieth century – this convenient guide will inspire, instruct and enlighten the general reader. In addition, it can be used as a resource for history and religion courses. Particularly helpful is the interpretation of the signiﬁcance of the Second Vatican Council to the history of the church.