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Keys to the Council: Unlocking the Teaching of Vatican II Paperback – February 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814633684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814633687
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Keys to the Council is the best book reviewed here. If you have time only to read one book, I highly recommend this one.
The Tablet


What makes this book so valuable is that it truly does what it sets out to do, namely, to unlock the teaching of Vatican II for any interested reader with 20 key conciliar passages each clothed in a brief, fact-filled, historically accurate, and theologically sound chapter.
Theological Studies


The significance of the council to the reader’s life today, and how it might be best applied in his or her encounter with the world, is an important part of the book and provides an opportunity for reflection for the thoughtful reader.
Catholic Studies


This very readable and important book offers the data as well as a history of interpretation and reception that can re-enliven the hope of those who lived at the time of this graced event. But perhaps even more importantly, it can inspire a new generation of Catholics to embrace the Council’s vision and appreciate the gift that it continues to be for the Church of the twenty-first century.
Pastoral Liturgy


Richard Gaillardetz and Catherine Clifford are both recognized practicing theologians. They have written a very useful book which might well be used as a text for undergraduate theology courses or for adult education or discussion groups composed of men and women who are eager to acquire a balanced understanding of the Second Vatican Council because they have heard that it was one of the major events in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Worship


Keys to the Council provides a cogent, constructive, and insightful overview of the themes of Vatican II that continue to shape the church fifty years after the council. Richard Gaillardetz and Catherine Clifford have crafted a text that promotes a renewed engagement with the council’s documents, particularly those teachings that highlight the mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit within the church and its activity in the world. Well-grounded in Scripture and history, nuanced in its claims, and hope-filled, this book is both a faithful echo of Vatican II and a significant contribution to the ongoing reception of the council.
Richard Lennan, Boston College – School of Theology and Ministry


I recommend Keys to the Council to anyone interested in Vatican II and its impact on the Catholic Church today, fifty years after the opening of the council. This brilliant introduction to the key documents of the council is absolutely indispensable to understanding which of these keys of Vatican II have been received into the life and culture of Catholicism. Clifford and Gaillardetz have produced a masterful synthesis on Vatican II, the most important event in the history of Catholic theology in the last 500 years.
Massimo Faggioli, assistant professor at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, author of Vatican II: The Battle for Meaning (Paulist, 2012).


Keys to the Council opens up not only the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, but also its place within the last century of theological renewal. Through crisp and insightful commentary, the authors offer an inspiring reminder of all that the council achieved.
Edward P. Hahnenberg, author of A Concise Guide to the Documents of Vatican II and Awakening Vocation: A Theology of Christian Call

About the Author

Richard R. Gaillardetz is the Joseph McCarthy Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College. He holds a PhD in systematic theology from the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of seven previous books, including By What Authority? A Primer on Scripture, the Magisterium, and the Sense of the Faithful (2003) and (with Catherine E. Clifford) Keys to the Council: Unlocking the Teaching of Vatican II (2012), both from Liturgical Press. He is presently the vice-president of the Catholic Theological Society of America.


Catherine E. Clifford is associate professor of theology at St. Paul University in Ontario. She received an STL from the Universit' de Fribourg and a PhD in theology from the University of St. Michael's College, Toronto. She is coeditor of Vatican II: Canadian Experiences (University of Ottawa Press, 2011).

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Customer Reviews

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This is an excellent collaborative work.
Elochukwu Uzukwu
This is one of the best summaries and explanations of the documents of Vatican II that has ever been printed.
R. Vosburg
The book is well written and interesting.
P. Pigors

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dennis J. Koupal Jr. on July 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Keys to the Council" is an excellent work that expands and develops twenty of the key issues taught in seven of the fifteen documents and 12,000+ lines of text produced by the Council. In addition to providing insightful historical points of reference on the critical points of teaching issued by the Council, the authors provide eloquent narrative on the meaning of the twenty topics included in this work. Their well researched observations on "the keys" are explained in meaningful ways that draw the reader to appreciate how Christ, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit is carefully leading His pilgrim Church to a closer expression of His loving purpose for mankind... both personally and communally.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Elochukwu Uzukwu on August 13, 2012
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This is an excellent collaborative work. The introductory chapter is very good. The layout is user friendly, especially for beginners in the theology of the church. Very powerful insights
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bill whelan on January 11, 2013
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Gailardetz highlights the key issues debated and decided upon during the Vatican Council deliberations. his analysis is integral and authentic.
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34 of 46 people found the following review helpful By R. Vosburg on May 2, 2012
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This is one of the best summaries and explanations of the documents of Vatican II that has ever been printed. The authors do a superb job of explaining the history and background of each article and excerpting a quote from the appropriate document voted on by the Council Fathers. One does not need to be a theologian to understand what was voted upon and what effect the article has on the People of God. I recommend this highly for anyone interested in learning more about what occurred at Vatican II and why. There is an attempt to reform the Reform; but the Council Fathers did a great job nearly 50 years ago. We would all do well to leave it alone and allow the Holy Spirit to work without help from every reactionary from Rome to Lincole,NE.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Pigors on December 24, 2012
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The book is well written and interesting. I was a young adult during the council so this book is very interesting for me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Reyes on September 16, 2013
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The authors of the book have put together a great text that is easy to read and understand, even by the average lay person in the Church. It has given me a greater appreciation of what went on during the Council, and a better understanding of the documents. I am currently using this as a course book in a college program. I ordered book from Amazon and it arrived sooner that I expected.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sprocket on May 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having experienced the council as a youth and remaining active in the church this book gave me new insights into the way in which the church evolved in the post councilor years.
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19 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Rich Leonardi on January 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
That Gaillardetz feels compelled to cite the discredited liberal theologian Karl Rahner, whom he describes as "eminent," ten times in this short guide to Vatican II tells you something of the agenda at work here. Gaillardetz fills this book with his subjective interpretations of conciliar documents, generally presenting them as dramatic departures from previous Church teaching. By contrast, Pope Benedict has urged Catholics to embrace a "hermeneutic of continuity" by which we read the documents of Vatican II in concert with 2,000 years of Church tradition. (Interestingly enough, Pope Benedict, who has written and spoken extensively about Vatican II, e.g., his address to the Roman Curia on 22 December 2005, is mentioned only twice and both times in passing.) In other words, we should stress consistency and cohesion, rather than rupture and "revolution." For that, readers will need to look elsewhere, e.g., Alan Schreck's Vatican II: The Crisis and the Promise. What's more, in other works Gaillardetz has expressed views on topics like papal infallibility, the all-male priesthood, and contraception that are at odds with official Church teaching; he is an author Catholics would be wise to avoid.
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