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The Papal Encyclicals, 1740-1981
edited by Claudia Carlen, IHM
"This edition will remain for decades to
a standard reference that has put all students of the papacy
in the editor's debt."
-- John Tracy Ellis, Catholic Historical Review
This five-volume set includes 280 encyclicals, beginning with
Benedict XIV (1740-1758), up to and including Laborem
Exercens, which was released by Pope John Paul II on September
- One hundred and ten encyclicals, containing 275,000 words, were
translated into English especially for this edition.
- The encyclicals are arranged in chronological order.
- A full bibliography of commentaries follows each encyclical.
- A brief introduction to each pontiff highlights the significant
accomplishments and important historical details of his papacy.
- An extensive index to more than 2,500 subjects allows the
reader to draw specific details of Church teachings from the
What Are Papal Encyclicals?
Litterae encyclicae (encyclical letters) are letters that
the pope, by his ordinary teaching authority, directs to the entire
Christian world for the guidance of spiritual life. An encyclical
was originally a circular letter passed on from one to another of
the group addressed. Today, the term refers almost exclusively to
certain papal documents that differ in form from bulls or briefs
and treat matters affecting the Church at large. When papal letters
are exhortations on particular needs or are addressed to the
archbishops and bishops of particular countries or to designated
groups of the hierarchy, they are called epistulae
encyclicae (encyclical epistles). The pope normally does not
exercise his infallible teaching office through an encyclical, but
Catholics are expected to accept its doctrinal content as an
expression of the pope's ordinary teaching authority.
About the Editor
Sister Claudia Carlen is the preeminent authority on papal
documents. She edited The Papal Pronouncements, a Guide:
1740-1978 and has authored/edited numerous other works on papal
pronouncements including the Guide to the Documents of Pius
XII. In recent years, she has received four honorary doctorates
that specifically recognize her work in this area.
"One of the most prodigious ventures in
and surely one of the most historically important.
It would be difficult to imagine that any Catholic library
at educational institutions, chanceries, or parishes
could be without it."
-- The Catholic Standard
"Catholics and non-Catholics alike will
be grateful ...
for ... the entire corpus of ... encyclicals ...
even professional scholars will find this monumental collection
of papal documents absolutely indispensable...."
-- Msgr. George G. Higgins, National Catholic News Service
- The Papal Encyclicals, 1740-1981
- 5-volume set, printed on acid-free, long-life paper with
corresponding quality cloth bindings
- ISBN 0-87650-259-1 (set)
- 8 1/2 x 11, $495.00
- Postage and handling: $10.00 domestic; foreign is extra, and
based on mode of transport.