No other institution, except possibly the papacy, has more greatly influenced the Church and the larger history of the Western World than the ecumenical
council. Most of us, however, know little about it.
This course is designed to take you through the fascinating history of the ecumenical (Church-wide) council, from its first appearance in Nicaea (325) through Vatican Council II (1962-1965). Most Christians are familiar with the most recent council, Vatican II, but only in name. Now you can go far beyond
what you know about councils by experiencing the full story.
Imagine taking a class on some of the Church's most important historical and theological events while driving, exercising, or relaxing at home. Now you can. This 12-part audio series, created and delivered by one of North America's most distinguished Church historians, explores the deep issues of faith and the sometimes curious issues of clerical behavior with which the councils dealt. Councils, which were principally (but not exclusively) assemblies of bishops,
gathered in the name of Christ or the Trinity, who made decisions binding on the whole Church. Those decisions were about either doctrine (what Christians
believe) or about "discipline" (public behavior, especially of bishops and priests).
You'll explore how councils gave us the creeds, shaped our understanding and practice of the sacraments, and settled major controversies. Although there have been few ecumenical councils in Church history, each council stands as a powerful milestone for Church development and a platform for change. To explore the councils is to explore the developments of theology and history that have given us the Church as we know it today. With this course, you will understand why the ecumenical council remains one of the most important institutions in Western Civilization.
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
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
- Councils: What, Why, and So What?
- Emperors, Bishops, and Basic Beliefs
- Turmoil and Tidying Up
- The Councils Move West
- Settling the Great Schism: The Council of Constance
- Popes and Councils in Conflict, From Basel to Lateran V
- The Council of Trent: Toil and Trouble
- Trent: Good or Bad?
- A Papal Triumph
- Pope John's Council
- Conflicts and Crises at Vatican II
- What Happened at Vatican II