After 40 Years

Paper $20
330 pages, 5½" x 8½", notes, illustrated

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After 40 Years

Vatican Council II's Diverse Legacy

Whitehead, Kenneth D., editor

After Forty Years: Vatican Council II’s Diverse Legacy, as the title indicates, commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council of 1962–1965. However, the book makes no attempt to deal with the legacy of Vatican II as a whole, that is, with the Council’s complete legacy, but only with some important parts of it. The Council as a whole represents a topic too vast to be covered within the confines of a single volume, as it was too vast to be covered within the confines of a single Fellowship of Catholic Scholars convention. This book covers those aspects of the Council that were of special interest to some of the leading scholars and academics active in the Fellowship. These favored topics were covered by means of the scholarly papers prepared especially for the Fellowship’s annual convention held in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September 2005. This book deals with the two great Constitutions on the Church (Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes); its epochal Constitution on Divine Revelation, and hence also on Scripture (Dei Verbum); its Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignitatis Humanae); and its Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio). Because of the special interest of a number of the contributors, there is a heavy emphasis on the meaning and significance of the “anthropology” of Gaudium et Spes (the favorite Vatican II document of Pope John Paul II, by the way, who was one of the architects of this document at the Council). This book, however, is no superficial survey of the general ideas and thrust of the Second Vatican Council, as so many books on the subject turn out to be; but it is rather an in-depth look at the meaning an import of several of the Council’s most important themes and decisions. As is usual with the books based on Fellowship conventions, the volume contains a number of outstanding contributors, including Jesuit Father William S. Kurz of Marquette, Sister Mary Timothy Prokes, f.s.e., of the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College, and New York University’s Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Dr. Paul Vitz, now teaching at the new Institute for Psychological Sciences (IPS) in Northern Virginia.