Chapman - Studies on the Early Papacy
John Chapman, fourth abbot of Downside Abbey, was a renowned scholar of early Christianity. On the question of the papacy in the early Church, he eschews selective apologetics in favor of a reasoned study of textual sources in the context of historical events. At these pivotal moments, he argues, the bishop of Rome both took and was expected to take a prominent and indeed authoritative role. This volume offers much substance to those who wish to take up the question of papal prerogatives. Chapman argues in favor of the Catholic claims, but does so with such care as a historian that his work has received high approval even from such an eminence as the famed Anglican historian Henry Chadwick who, in his own book on the history of the early Church, saw fit to recommend Chapman’s work to readers interested in the question. There have been many successors to Chapman but few, if any, have engaged precisely with the matters that he discusses with such detail and clarity. His book, therefore, remains an important voice in the modern conversation.