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Picking Popes: Conclaves

  • Associate Professor of History, Kean University
3 Lectures (1 DVDs or 2 CDs) Including Electronic Study Guide

Video DVD Set:

List: $69.95

Sale: $27.95

Audio CD Set:

List: $45.95

Sale: $17.95

Audio MP3:

List: $45.95

Sale: $17.95

Price From:

List: $45.95

Sale: $17.95

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The election of a pope doesn’t happen often, but when it does, the whole world—believers and non-believers, media commentators and Vatican watchers alike—stops to watch. The first question is: what happens now? The answer is surprisingly straightforward: there is a system in place that is followed step by step.

But then the questions tumble one after the other: Why do the cardinals have the exclusive right to pick the popes? How did the “bad” Renaissance Medicis get chosen? What were the longest and shortest conclaves? If everything is supposed to be so secretive, how do we know so much about past conclaves—or is this just rumor and gossip, propaganda and punditry? Can a pope be deposed? Have any resigned or been assassinated? What if a pope becomes incapacitated—who’s in charge then?

This concise, three-segment series by award-winning Catholic historian Christopher Bellitto is designed to thoughtfully answer your questions.

Here, in Picking Popes, Dr. Bellitto reviews the colorful history of picking popes, conclaves, and cardinals. You’ll find plenty of anecdotes and analyses from a history professor who works with the media during papal transitions. Find answers to both common and troubling questions. These answers will help reveal one of the most intriguing tasks of the world’s oldest and longest-surviving monarchy—the papacy—which, surprisingly, is led by a man who is voted into power by his peers.

We recommend the video version of this series, given its rich imagining and Professor Bellitto’s dynamic teaching style.

Learn about downloadable programs.

Your Free Electronic Study Guide! When you order this course, we will send you a free electronic study guide that you can access in 3 convenient ways:

1) You can check your order confirmation email. It will include a link that enables you to download your guide.
2) The back of your program package also contains a copy of this link. You can access your guide by simply entering this URL into your browser.
3) Your case of CDs or DVDs will contain a copy of your electronic guide on CD. Simply insert this disc into your computer's CD/DVD drive to access your guide.

About Your Presenter

Dr. Christopher M. Bellitto is an award-winning historian, Associate Professor of History at Kean University, and Academic Editor at Paulist Press. He received a Ph.D. in History from Fordham University. He is the author of nine books and the co-editor of five others, and his writing has been honored by the American Catholic Historical Association and the Catholic Press Association. His books include 101 Questions and Answers on Popes and the Papacy (Paulist Press, 2008), Church History 101 (Liguori Publications, 2008), Ten Ways the Church Has Changed (Pauline Books and Media, 2006), The General Councils: A History of the 21 Church Councils from Nicaea to Vatican II (Paulist Press, 2002) and Renewing Christianity: A History of Church Reform from Day One to Vatican II (Paulist Press 2001). His articles have appeared in Church History, America, Commonweal, U.S. Catholic, and many other journals. A frequent public speaker and media commentator on Church history and contemporary Catholicism, he has appeared on The History Channel, NPR, CNN, and other radio and television stations.

Praise for Christopher Bellitto

“Christopher Bellitto is one of the most compelling and accessible Church historians working today. He brings together the skills of a journalist with scholar’s expertise.”
— Dr. C. Colt Anderson, Dean, Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, Fordham University 

“One discovers in Professor Bellitto that all too rare combination of scholarly expertise and exquisite communicator. His lectures weave humor with erudition, prophetic challenge with passion for the people of God, and historical objectivity with deep care for the Church.”
— Dr. Elena Procario-Foley, Chair, Religious Studies Department, Iona College

Topic Titles

  • What Happens When a Pope Dies?
  • Conclaves and Cardinals: A History
  • Difficult Questions

Bundle Options

Buy this product as a bundle and save!

  1. conclaves-popes Bundle: Picking Popes: Conclaves + Benedict XVI: Theologian and Preacher - 7 CDs Total $59.95
  2. conclaves-popes Bundle: 2,000 Years of Papal History + Picking Popes: Conclaves - 15 CDs Total $259.95
  3. conclaves-popes Video Bundle: The History of the Catholic Church: Tradition and Innovation + Picking Popes: Conclaves - 9 DVDs Total $84.95

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Customer Reviews

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Well worth viewing Review by Deacon Pat
I really enjoyed these three lectures. Professor Bellitto presents the material in an engaging manner. I expected a dull pedantic presentation. I was delighted by his engaging style. A few charts, maps & photos would have added somewhat to the presentation. I intend to use it for a three week adult Ed program at my parish this fall.
(Posted on 6/2/2012)

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