Jon's Books Ordered chronologically

The Saint vs. the Scholar: The Fight between Faith and Reason

by Jon M. Sweeney

The year is 1140. Inside an imposing cathedral in France’s Champagne region, two of the most recognized men in the world are about to face each other in a contest of wills and a test of faith. On one side is Bernard of Clairvaux, a counselor and selector of popes who will be called “Saint” even before his death. The other is Peter Abelard...

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Inventing Hell: Dante, the Bible and Eternal Torment

by Jon Sweeney

Hell: The word means terror, darkness, and eternal separation from God. Some people think the Bible is clear about hell, but what if they're mistaken? With gripping narrative and solid scholarship, Sweeney charts hell's "evolution" from the Old Testament underworld Sheol, through history and literature, to the greatest influencer of all: Dante's Inferno...

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The Age of the Spirit: How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy Is Shaping the Church

by Phyllis Tickle, Jon Sweeney

A thousand years ago, the church experienced a time of tremendous upheaval called the Great Schism. The one faith became two churches, East and West, and the course of world history was forever changed. And it all swirled around one Latin word in the Nicene Creed, filioque, that indicated the Holy Spirit...

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Ireland’s Saint: The Essential Biography of St. Patrick

by J.B. Bury, edited with introduction and annotations by Jon M. Sweeney

Explore Patrick’s place in history, the spread of Christianity beyond the Roman Empire, how Patrick first came to Ireland, the influence of the earlier Palladius on Patrick’s work, political and social conditions at that time, and the spiritual battles with the Druids. This 21st century edition includes notes from other notable biographers...

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The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation

by Jon M. Sweeney

The riveting story of Pope St. Celestine V, the pope who retired from the papacy. At the close of the tumultuous Middle Ages, there lived a man who seemed destined from birth to save the world. His name was Peter Morrone, a hermit, a founder of a religious order, and, depending on whom you talk to, a reformer, an instigator, a prophet, a coward, a saint, and possibly the victim of murder. A stroke of fate would...

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Verily, Verily: The KJV - 400 Years of Influence and Beauty

by Jon M. Sweeney

As historian Tony Lane once noted, without the King James Version of the Bible, it can be speculated that, there would be no Paradise Lost … no Pilgrim’s Progress … no Negro spirituals … no Gettysburg Address. And even though today there are more accurate and contemporary translations of the Bible, the KJV reigns supreme in...

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Beauty Awakening Belief: How the Medieval Worldview Inspires Faith Today

by Jon M. Sweeney

In the spring of 2008, Jon Sweeney set out to discover firsthand two of the finest examples of medieval faith, the Abbey of Mont St. Michel, on the Normandy coast, and the soaring Chartres Cathedral, in the fields of the Loire Valley one hour south of Paris. Stepping beyond the purely intellectual, armchair journey, he uncovers...

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Strange Heaven: The Virgin Mary as Woman, Mother, Disciple, and Advocate

by Jon M. Sweeney

Offering a glimpse into how the Incarnation placed Mary at the center of salvation history, an investigation into the mystery surrounding the Virgin Mary explores the many meanings of her life and legacy for all people.

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The Lure of Saints: A Protestant Experience of Catholic Tradition

by Jon M. Sweeney

Jon M. Sweeney explores how these exemplary men and women have impacted both the Church and the world. This guide includes profiles of ancient, medieval, and modern figures, Eastern and Western, the sublime and the unusual. Also included are the personal reflections of other religious teachers and writers on how they relate to one or more of the saints in everyday life.

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