PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Vatican II Studies Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

From 2012 to 2016, this Unit will pay scholarly attention to the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), one of the most significant events in the history of the Catholic Church — an event that had wide-ranging implications for other faiths, other Christian churches, and for the wider world alike. This Unit has a double focus. On one hand, we focus on deepening the understanding of the history of Vatican II, its link with movements of renewal in Catholic theology and in the Church in the decades prior to Vatican II, the history of the reception of the Council, and the redaction history of the different documents of the Council. On the other hand, we have a strong theological focus and will pay attention both to hermeneutical issues connected to methods of interpreting conciliar teaching and to the interpretation of the most important documents of Vatican II in the year of their anniversary, starting with the liturgical constitution (1963–2013). By looking more closely at the past, our Unit hopes to promote conciliarity and synodality in the Christian churches in the present.

Call for Papers: 

We invite papers on the following topics:

• The Reception of the Second Vatican Council in the Americas
The Vatican II Studies Group invites contributions which explore the unique ways that the orientations of the council’s teachings were received into theology and practice, and took flesh in post-Vatican II Catholicism in the lives of the peoples and in the contribution of thinkers and leaders (theologians and not only) located in North, South, Central Americas. This includes the migration of European theologies into the social and political contexts of the Americas; the reception of particular council documents or themes; the intersection between theological reception and social-political expectations of the early post-Vatican II period in the Americas.

• Fifty Years On: The Revolution of 1968 and the Interpretation of Vatican II
The Vatican II Studies Group invites contributions which explore the relationship between Vatican II and the Catholic contribution to the “Sixties” culminating with 1968. The interpretation and reception of the council took place in an era of rapid social upheaval and change. To what extent did the social revolution of 1968 lead to interpretations of Vatican II, as symbolized in the meeting of CELAM at Medellin, the reception of Humanae Vitae, reflections on the war in Vietnam, the Cold War, and in resistance to the nuclear arms race? How were such interpretations reconciled with the teaching of the council, concluded just three years earlier? How did Vatican II help influence "revolutionary" thinking in many places and contexts? How did 1968 influence the interpretation of Vatican II in different contexts? What did the events of 1968 mean for some protagonists of Vatican II (for example, Joseph Ratzinger and Hans Kueng) and their interpretations of the council? What was the role of 1968 in the formation of ecclesial divisions within post-Vatican II Catholicism?

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