AAR Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
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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.
The Contributions of John O’Malley, SJ, to the Critical Study of Vatican II
For the 2017 annual convention, the Vatican II and Contemporary Christianity Unit seeks to promotes critical studies of the Second Vatican Council, its reception, and continuing influence on contemporary Christianity. The works of John W. O’Malley, Jesuit historian of Georgetown University, have greatly contributed, thanks also but not only to his internationally acclaimed book What Happened at Vatican II (2008) to the critical understanding of conciliar events. His recent book on Trent (2013) and his book on Vatican II represent a major shift in the understanding of the modern conciliar tradition. His forthcoming book on Vatican I promises to give us a new view of the conciliar tradition between Trent and Vatican II.
Contributions are invited on these and other aspects of O’Malley’s contributions:
• The Second Vatican Council in the light of the history of early modern Catholicism and the relationship with the council of Trent.
• The significance of O’Malley’s insight into the rhetorical turn of Vatican II and the style of the Church for the interpretation of the documents of Vatican II.
• Reading the various historical sources to arrive at a fuller understanding of the conciliar event (Acta, diaries of the council fathers, journalistic accounts, etc.).
• The teaching of conciliar history to new generations of students of Christian history and theology.
• The continuing significance of the council’s rhetorical turn for the proclamation of the Christian message in contemporary culture.
• O’Malley and the tradition of conciliar studies in North America.
• O’Malley’s influence on rethinking the “periodization” of conciliar history.