Portrait of Pope Paul IV - Book Report/Review Example

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In the following paper “Portrait of Pope Paul IV,” the author focuses on Renke’s book the History of the Papacy1, which has written quite fervently about Pope Paul IV and his inadvertent contributions towards the establishment of Protestantism…
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Harris Kamran History Critical Analysis 12 September Portrait of Pope Paul IV Renke, in his book the History of the Papacy1, has written quite fervently about Pope Paul IV and his inadvertent contributions towards the establishment of Protestantism2. He has focused on the transition of Paul IV from a warrior leader to an austere Pope3 who reformed the Church towards its basic and strict foundations in order to revive the fundamental nature of the Church which seemed to have been lost amid all the political strife and turmoil4. He writes that initially Paul IV concentrated on fighting the Romans and the Spaniards5, and neglected his duties and vows as the Pope and his expectations as a Church leader6. However, soon, due to certain events7, he underwent a radical shift in his approach towards his office, and from then onwards, expended all his efforts and all his life in establishing rules and practices that were aimed at reviving the lost spirit of the Church8. Renke cites several examples of the reforms that Paul IV introduced as part of his reforms, such as reinstituting the government officials and clergy9, and making the practices of the Church more strict and binding upon the public as well as the clergy10.
Renke writes in a very theatrical style11, and presents the history of Papacy with a lot of earnest and interest, which is evident through his writing. However, he merely presents his own opinions about the events that occurred, and his own perceptions about the actions of the Pope and other individuals whom he has mentioned in his book12, rather than citing the incidences themselves and leaving the judgment and conclusion to the readers. Therefore, his writing style is clearly biased towards a certain standpoint, and his writing cannot be claimed to be critical or analytical in nature. It is, nevertheless, quite entertaining and absorbing, and makes the reading of historical anecdotes quite interesting to the general public.
1. The Project, “Leopold von Ranke: Portrait of Pope Paul IV,” UMASS Amherst, 1 August 2004,
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid.
9. Ibid.
10. Ibid.
11. Ibid.
12. Ibid.
The Project. “Leopold von Ranke: Portrait of Pope Paul IV.” UMASS Amherst. 1
August 2004. Read More
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