With about one billion members, the Catholic Church is one of the world's largest religious bodies, and its history is crucially linked to global events. In the Historical Dictionary of Catholicism, author William J. Collinge provides the reader with a comprehensive introduction to the theology, doctrines, and worship of the religion. He covers the entire Catholic tradition from the time of Jesus to the present, including the periods before the present division of Christianity into Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant. Collinge has also included entries on heretical, schismatic, and dissident movements within Catholicism, and he covers the relation of Catholicism to other Christian traditions, to the major non-Christian religions, and to Western cultural and philosophical traditions. The second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Catholicism has been updated to reflect recent developments in the Catholic Church, most notably the death of Pope John Paul II and his succession by Pope Benedict XVI. An updated introduction precedes the main body of the dictionary, which contains more than 500 alphabetical, cross-referenced entries covering persons, organizations, places, events, titles, and concepts. The entries are followed by several appendixes on popes, ecumenical councils, the documents of Vatican Council II, major papal encyclicals, and Catholic prayers, and a comprehensive bibliography provides the researcher with further readings. The second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Catholicism is an ideal access point for students, researchers, or anyone interested in the history of the Catholic Church.