Join celebrated Church historian John O'Malley in exploring the biggest meeting in the history of the world.
The Second Vatican Council concluded fifty years ago, but it is a livelier topic today than it has been for decades. Basic questions are being asked. What did the council do? Was it properly implemented? Are its decisions being systematically “rolled back”?
Good questions, but to answer them good information is needed. Such information is precisely what these twelve insightful lectures provide. You will discover the story of the council from its convocation by Pope John XXIII in 1959 to its conclusion in 1965. They reveal a dramatic clash between a large majority (85% to 90%) and a small but determined minority. Why did these two groups take their positions so passionately, who were their protagonists, and how did Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI respond?
Explore the issues that rocked the council. How should the Church deal with non-Christian religions, such as Islam? What is the true nature of the liturgy? How is the Church to deal with the “new churches” emerging in Africa and Asia? Is freedom to choose one's religion compatible with Catholicism? Is there any limit to the authority of the Roman Curia? Why did Pope Paul VI remove certain topics from the agenda?
These lectures will give you the orientation you need to understand one of the most important events of the 20th century, to appreciate the problems it faced, and to grapple with the questions being asked about it (and the Catholic Church) today.
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About Your Presenter
John W. O’Malley, a Roman Catholic priest and member of the Society of Jesus, is currently University Professor in the Theology Department of Georgetown University, Washington, DC. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. His specialty is the religious culture of early modern Europe. Father O’Malley has written and edited a number of books, several of which have won best-book awards. For instance, The First Jesuits, perhaps his best known work, received both the Jacques Barzun Prize for Cultural History from the American Philosophical Society and the Philip Schaff Prize from the American Society for Church History. It has been translated into ten languages. In 2008, he published with Harvard University Press What Happened at Vatican II, which is a companion to his book from the same press, Trent: What Happened at the Council (2012).
Father O’Malley has lectured widely in Europe and North America to both professional and general audiences. He is past-president of the Renaissance Society of America and the American Catholic Historical Association. He holds the Johannes Quasten Medal from The Catholic University of America for distinguished service in religious studies. In 1995 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 1997 to the American Philosophical Society, and in 2001 to the Accademia di san Carlo, Ambrosian Library, Milan. He holds lifetime achievement awards from the Society for Italian Historical Studies, the Renaissance Society of America, and the American Catholic Historical Association.
“John W. O'Malley, S.J., is not only the dean of American Catholic historians, he is also one of the church's greatest and most accomplished teachers.”
– James Martin S.J., author of My Life with the Saints
- The Documents and the Issues
- The Long Nineteenth Century
- The Council Opens
- The First Period, 1962
- The Second Period (and a New Pope), 1963: Part I
- The Second Period: Part II
- The Third Period, 1964: Part I
- The Third Period: Part II
- The Third Period: Part III
- The Fourth Period (1965)