Tracing the story of the Catholic Church's 21 general councils is one of the best ways to learn about the 2,000-year course of Christianity, affirms church historian Christopher Bellitto. In this book, sister volume to his acclaimed Renewing Christianity, he offers readers a succinct history of the 21 general councils, beginning with the First Council of Nicaea in the year 325 and ending with the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. Bellitto organizes the councils into four parts: the councils of the early church, of the Middle Ages, of the Reformation and of modern times (Vatican I and II). And he introduces readers to the historical contexts, major tasks, achievements and failures of the councils and their impact on their times. Timely and informational, The General Councils is ideal for undergraduates and general readers.