Constantine's Sword by James Carroll
The Church and the Jews: A History

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Synopsis

In this “rare book that combines searing passion . . . with a subject that has affected all of our lives” (Chicago Tribune), the novelist and cultural critic James Carroll maps the two-thousand-year course of the Church’s battle against Judaism and faces the crisis of faith it has sparked in his own life as a Catholic. “Fascinating, brave and sometimes infuriating” (Time), this dark history is more than a chronicle of religion. It is the central tragedy of Western civilization, its fault lines reaching deep into our culture.
Drawing on his well-known talents as a storyteller and memoirist, Carroll has created “a deeply felt work, a book that measures the ‘sweep of history’ against [his] experience as a man of the church” (San Francisco Chronicle). A courageous and affecting reckoning with difficult truths that will touch every reader, “CONSTANTINE'S SWORD is a history written to change the way people live” (Talk).
 

About James Carroll

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James Carroll was raised in Washington, D.C., and ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1969. He served as a chaplain at Boston University from 1969 to 1974, then left the priesthood to become a writer. A distinguished scholar- in-residence at Suffolk University, he is a columnist for the Boston Globe and a regular contributor to the Daily Beast. His critically admired books include Practicing Catholic, the National Book Award-winning An American Requiem, House of War, which won the first PEN/Galbraith Award, and the New York Times bestseller Constantine's Sword, now an acclaimed documentary.
 
Published April 1, 2002 by Mariner Books. 780 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Constantine's Sword

Kirkus Reviews

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A highly personalized history of the first 2,000 years of Catholic-Jewish relations retold as a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end—at Auschwitz.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Constantine's Sword: The Chur...

Publishers Weekly

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Part history, part memoir, this hefty tome by novelist Carroll (Mortal Friends, etc.) traces the record of anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism in the Catholic Church, suggesting that centuries of animus culminated in the Holocaust.

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BC Books

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Continued on the next page Page 1 — Page 2 — Page 3

Oct 10 2008 | Read Full Review of Constantine's Sword: The Chur...

Entertainment Weekly

Carroll, the film's roving interviewer, leaps back to the days of Constantine, who first converted a sword into the symbol of the cross, and he traces the thorny evolution of the papacy on the issue of Jewish culpability in Jesus' death.

May 23 2008 | Read Full Review of Constantine's Sword: The Chur...

Daily Kos

third - some of the fiercest battles in education have been over the definition of standards in social studies: history to be sure, as Gary Nash and company found out courtesy of Lynn Cheney, but also in economics - some states require that students be instructed in the superiority of free marke...

Jul 30 2007 | Read Full Review of Constantine's Sword: The Chur...

Monsters and Critics

This film consists mostly of a story by James Carroll, a national Book Award winner and columnist for the Boston Globe.

Apr 18 2008 | Read Full Review of Constantine's Sword: The Chur...

Spirituality & Practice

Here is a perfect pairing of a committed and serious filmmaker, Oren Jacoby, and a National Book Award winner and practicing Catholic, James Carroll, whose 1991 book forms of the basis of this poignant and passionately presented depiction of church-sanctioned violence against Jews.

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Spirituality & Practice

In the closing pages of this monumental work, the author tries his own hand at suggesting reform with calls to excise anti-Jewish language from the New Testament, repentance by Catholics for crimes against the Jews, a restructuring of the church hierarchy, and a repeal of the doctrine of papal in...

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Time Out New York

James Carroll is a former Catholic priest whose faith was rocked by Christianity’s militancy and anti-Semitism.

Apr 18 2008 | Read Full Review of Constantine's Sword: The Chur...

Project MUSE

Unlike pedantic church historians who write without creativity, novelist and essayist James Carroll writes imaginatively of two thousand years' dealings of the Roman Catholic Church and the Jews.

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News Review.

Based on James Carroll’s National Book Award-winning Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews—A History, Oren Jacoby’s film studies anti-Semitism through the lens of the evangelical “infiltration” of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Sep 25 2008 | Read Full Review of Constantine's Sword: The Chur...

The Trades

The late General Joseph Carroll was a Special Agent in the FBI who eventually became a major player in the United States Air Force.

Sep 24 2008 | Read Full Review of Constantine's Sword: The Chur...

Ken Greenleaf

Scarier than Jesus Camp (and infinitely smarter), Oren Jacoby’s documentary film of Boston Globe columnist James Carroll’s 2001 book Constantine’s Sword casts Christianity as a lost ark raided by the worst bullies of history — from the title Roman emperor to both Bush presidents.

May 28 2008 | Read Full Review of Constantine's Sword: The Chur...

Interfaith Family

His premise is that the history of the Catholic Church is founded on its contemptuous definition of the Jews as the "negative other," and that the crucifix planted on the ashen soil of that quintessential death camp represents not only a Christianizing of the Shoah--the Holocaust--but a blindness...

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https://www.commonwealmagazine.org

Hence we cannot lay responsibility for the trial on the Jews in Jerusalem as a whole, despite the outcry of a manipulated crowd and the global reproaches contained in the apostles’ calls to conversion after Pentecost.385 Jesus himself, in forgiving them on the cross, and Peter in following suit, ...

Aug 09 2014 | Read Full Review of Constantine's Sword: The Chur...

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