“The Medieval Church covers the period from the fall of Rome through to the dawn of the Reformation. The style is plodding and colourless and somewhat superficial, but as an introductory (or refresher) text it covers what one would expect, and there is judicious use of primary and secondary sources. The book confines itself purely to Europe (aside from a bit of Crusading), and Russia is mentioned only in passing, but the Byzantine Orthodox tradition is given proper due, and I see from an obituary of the author (who died a year after publication) that Volz represented the ELCA in Lutheran–Orthodox Dialogues.
Volz takes account of socio-economic trends, religious ideas and secular political ambitions, but the book could have been better-edited; the condemnation of Arnold of Brescia is mentioned as an important fact several times before it is explained to us who he was and why his condemnation was significant. Blemishes include "principle" for "principal" more than once, and the unhappy appearance (due to an over-zealous 1990s spell checker or a dense proof-reader, presumably) of "Pope Pious II" rather than "Pius". An over-fussy publisher's style presents us with the clumsy "William, 'the Conqueror'" rather than "William the Conqueror", as well as "Attila, 'the Hun'" and "Alfred, 'the Great'" etc.”