Oxford Dictionary of Popes

Second Edition

J N D Kelly, Michael Walsh

Oxford Dictionary of Popes

Second Edition

J N D Kelly, Michael Walsh






21 Apr 2010


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This fascinating dictionary gives concise accounts of every officially recognized pope in history, from St Peter to Pope Benedict XVI, as well as all of their irregularly elected rivals, the so-called antipopes. Each pope and antipope's entry covers his family and social background and pre-papal career as well as his activities in office. Also, an appendix provides a detailed discussion and analysis of the tradition that there has been a female pope. This new edition reflects the very latest in papal research and contains additional information in the further reading sections of each entry, making the book an even more useful starting place for research into specific pontiffs.

The entries are arranged chronologically making this a continuous history of the papacy over almost 2,000 years. It reveals how, for much of that history, spiritual and temporal power have been inextricably mingled in the person of the pope. A fascinating read for students of theology and history, as well as the general reader with an interest in Christian history.


Note to the Reader
Alphabetical List of Popes and Antipopes
The Popes
Appendix: Pope Joan


J N D Kelly

Michael Walsh


`Review from previous edition invaluable and much needed' Guardian

`well-researched, extremely well written, and a delightful exercise in its own right...an entertaining read for those of any religion or of none' Church Times

`very much a book to read or browse in as well as one to consult' New York Times

`ought to be on the reference shelf of any civilized person of any faith or none...not merely a dictionary but an agreeable bedside read' Hampstead and Highgate Express