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Church History (Patristic Era, Ecumenical Councils, the Papacy, and Saints): Reference Books

The historical development of the Church...Within 400 years after Jesus' passion, Christianity developed from an illegal, persecuted, and underground religion into the sole, official, dominant faith of the Roman Empire.

Dictionaries

These Dictionaries and Encyclopedias can be quite useful for beginning research about Church History or Catholicism, or for clarifying terms and gaining background knowledge.  Many entries include bibliographies.

Quick Ready Reference

Encyclopedias