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Vatican II: Did Anything Happen? Paperback – November 15, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0826428905 ISBN-10: 0826428908 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (November 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826428908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826428905
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #641,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

America magazine review/analysis

(David Shultenover)

"After the Second Vatican Council, Yves Congar was concerned that we might become complacent in our theological endeavors, thinking that texts of council would be viewed as fixing once and for all the aims of the aggiornamento called for by Pope John XXIII. In this regard, Congar would have welcomed the four essays contained in this book...In the encyclical Tertìo Mìllennìo Advenìente, Pope John Paul II held that the central task of the church in the new millennium would be to work toward an authentic assimilation to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council. What we have in this brilliant and much-needed book are four superb thinkers who are doing just that." —Maureen Sullivan, America The National Catholic Weekly, March 3, 2008
(Maureen Sullivan)

"The essays in Vatican II by John W. O'Malley, Stephen Schloesser, Joseph A. Komonchak, and Neil J. Ormerod provide vigorous challenges to the so-called amnesiac approach of the restorationists." —Terrence W. Tilley, Commonweal, April 11, 2008
(Terrence W. Tilley)

"...With its rich reflections on developments in Catholic religion, world politics, and culture, this is a valuable contribution. Summing Up: Highly Recommended. Upper-level graduates through faculty/research." — H. J. John, CHOICE, June 2008, Vol. 45 No. 10 (H. J. John)

"This collection of essays deserves the serious attention of all intelligent Catholics who are probably troubled and perplexed by the diverse interpretations that are currently being given to the Second Vatican Council." —Worship (R. Kevin Seasoltz)

"These thoughtful essays, marshaling arguments from the ecclesiologically progressive perspective, seek to stay the ascendant conservative voices that have risen in response to many clear signs that Vatican II's results have led not to a New Pentecost but to bare ruined choirs, and that efforts to make the Church relevant have instead been disasters. The essays ask important questions and make sophisticated arguments that merit serious attention, and the book should be in all academic libraries." - Daniel Boice, Catholic Library World, September 2008 (Daniel Boice Catholic Library World)

"...The title of the book, from Father John O'Malley's article, indicates this preference for "experience" over content. He labours the obvious point that the language of Vatican ll indicates a new openness towards the non-Catholic and secular worlds Stephen Schlosser...accounts for the change by placing it in the context of the 1960s when the threat of a nuclear disaster had produced world-wide feeling of angst...Yes, of course, but we hardly need a book to inform us of notions that over years have become threadbare with use. Everyone knows that the sixties were tumultuous, that the last forty years have been difficult...What we look for in these intelligent and learned Catholics is beyond linguistics and sociology; we want theology...The tepid conclusion of the book—"the Church is now faced with the need to bring about change in itself...while seeking to put the breaks [sic] on the pace of change in the world" (p.176)—should worry these learned gentlemen, given what the Lord said to the lukewarm Christians in Laodicea (Rev 3:16)." —Father Daniel Callam, C.S.B., Catholic Insight Magazine, January 2009 (Negative)

"Overall, this book is a useful teaching tool for examining the historical and theological questions raised by the changes that resulted from the Second Vatican Council. For undergraduate students or even for younger theologians, it offers a fascinating look at a tumultuous time in the history of the Church and the world that they did not experience first hand." —Jason Paul Bourgeois, Horizons, Fall 2008

"Did anything happen at Vatican II? The question is beguilingly simple, but inordinately complex—and yet after reading this work, one cannot help but assert an answer in the affirmative." — Patrick J. Hayes, Catholic Books Review, 2009

"It will remain useful for understanding the interpretation of Vatican II to have such a valuable collection readily available on library and personal shelves." —Michael Attridge, Theological Studies, March 2009

(reviewed with What Happened at Vatican II by John O'Malley. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008.)
"In the end both these books encourage us not to oversimplify, but at the same time have enough historical sensitivity to see that the claim we often hear that Vatican II was about continuity rather than reform in bunkum. O'Malley makes this clearest, when time and time again without passing judgment he gives chapter and verse for the machinations of the "minority group" (dominated by Curial cardinals) and provides a depressing record of the disproportionate influence they exercised on the council's time and energy, only to be pretty well wiped out in the the overwhelmingly one-sided vote tallies that eventually concluded the debate. The essay collection offers the reader four creative and intelligent reappraisals that cut through the hackneyed terms of debates over Vatican II...The Holy Spirit, evidently, is in the details, as these two fine books make abundantly clear."—Paul Lakeland, American Catholic Studies, Winter 2009
(Paul Lakeland)

"The initiative to publish these interrelated studies under one cover is to be lauded. This small book should be used as a serious introduction to the study of Vatican II, not that it has become a historical event." —Leo Laberge, OMI, Theoforum Vol. 39 No. 3, 2008 (Leo Laberge, OMI)

America magazine review/analysis

(Sanford Lakoff)

"After the Second Vatican Council, Yves Congar was concerned that we might become complacent in our theological endeavors, thinking that texts of council would be viewed as fixing once and for all the aims of the aggiornamento called for by Pope John XXIII. In this regard, Congar would have welcomed the four essays contained in this book…In the encyclical Tertìo Mìllennìo Advenìente, Pope John Paul II held that the central task of the church in the new millennium would be to work toward an authentic assimilation to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council. What we have in this brilliant and much-needed book are four superb thinkers who are doing just that." —Maureen Sullivan, America The National Catholic Weekly, March 3, 2008
(Sanford Lakoff)

"The essays in Vatican II by John W. O'Malley, Stephen Schloesser, Joseph A. Komonchak, and Neil J. Ormerod provide vigorous challenges to the so-called amnesiac approach of the restorationists." —Terrence W. Tilley, Commonweal, April 11, 2008
(Sanford Lakoff)

“…With its rich reflections on developments in Catholic religion, world politics, and culture, this is a valuable contribution. Summing Up: Highly Recommended. Upper-level graduates through faculty/research.” — H. J. John, CHOICE, June 2008, Vol. 45 No. 10 (Sanford Lakoff)

“This collection of essays deserves the serious attention of all intelligent Catholics who are probably troubled and perplexed by the diverse interpretations that are currently being given to the Second Vatican Council.” –Worship (Sanford Lakoff)

“These thoughtful essays, marshaling arguments from the ecclesiologically progressive perspective, seek to stay the ascendant conservative voices that have risen in response to many clear signs that Vatican II’s results have led not to a New Pentecost but to bare ruined choirs, and that efforts to make the Church relevant have instead been disasters. The essays ask important questions and make sophisticated arguments that merit serious attention, and the book should be in all academic libraries.” - Daniel Boice, Catholic Library World, September 2008 (Sanford Lakoff Catholic Library World)

“…The title of the book, from Father John O’Malley’s article, indicates this preference for “experience” over content. He labours the obvious point that the language of Vatican ll indicates a new openness towards the non-Catholic and secular worlds Stephen Schlosser…accounts for the change by placing it in the context of the 1960s when the threat of a nuclear disaster had produced world-wide feeling of angst…Yes, of course, but we hardly need a book to inform us of notions that over years have become threadbare with use. Everyone knows that the sixties were tumultuous, that the last forty years have been difficult…What we look for in these intelligent and learned Catholics is beyond linguistics and sociology; we want theology…The tepid conclusion of the book—“the Church is now faced with the need to bring about change in itself…while seeking to put the breaks [sic] on the pace of change in the world” (p.176)—should worry these learned gentlemen, given what the Lord said to the lukewarm Christians in Laodicea (Rev 3:16).” –Father Daniel Callam, C.S.B., Catholic Insight Magazine, January 2009 (Sanford Lakoff)

“Overall, this book is a useful teaching tool for examining the historical and theological questions raised by the changes that resulted from the Second Vatican Council. For undergraduate students or even for younger theologians, it offers a fascinating look at a tumultuous time in the history of the Church and the world that they did not experience first hand.“ –Jason Paul Bourgeois, Horizons, Fall 2008

“Did anything happen at Vatican II? The question is beguilingly simple, but inordinately complex—and yet after reading this work, one cannot help but assert an answer in the affirmative.” – Patrick J. Hayes, Catholic Books Review, 2009

"It will remain useful for understanding the interpretation of Vatican II to have such a valuable collection readily available on library and personal shelves.” –Michael Attridge, Theological Studies, March 2009

(reviewed with What Happened at Vatican II by John O'Malley. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008.)
"In the end both these books encourage us not to oversimplify, but at the same time have enough historical sensitivity to see that the claim we often hear that Vatican II was about continuity rather than reform in bunkum. O'Malley makes this clearest, when time and time again without passing judgment he gives chapter and verse for the machinations of the "minority group" (dominated by Curial cardinals) and provides a depressing record of the disproportionate influence they exercised on the council's time and energy, only to be pretty well wiped out in the the overwhelmingly one-sided vote tallies that eventually concluded the debate. The essay collection offers the reader four creative and intelligent reappraisals that cut through the hackneyed terms of debates over Vatican II...The Holy Spirit, evidently, is in the details, as these two fine books make abundantly clear."—Paul Lakeland, American Catholic Studies, Winter 2009
(Sanford Lakoff)

"The initiative to publish these interrelated studies under one cover is to be lauded. This small book should be used as a serious introduction to the study of Vatican II, not that it has become a historical event." —Leo Laberge, OMI, Theoforum Vol. 39 No. 3, 2008 (Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

John W. O'Malley, SJ, is one of the most highlyrespected and widely read Roman Catholic historians in the United States. He isthe author of Four Cultures of the West (Harvard University Press) and TheFirst Jesuits (Harvard University Press), among others. Joseph A. Komonchak holds the John and Gertrude Hubbard Chair in Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America. Neil J. Ormerod is professor of theology at Australian Catholic University, Strathfield, N.S.W. Stephen Schloesser, S.J., is associate professor of history at Boston College.David G. Schultenover, S.J., is professor of theology at Marquette University and editor-in-chief of Theological Studies.

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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Burns VINE VOICE on April 24, 2009
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This work is a collection of essays first appearing in "Theological Studies," the erudite Catholic Jesuit journal, in 2007. The impetus for this work appears to be the Vatican's calculated promotion of Agnosto Marchetto's interpretative work on the Council. The fanfare surrounding the introduction of Marchetto's book on June 17, 2005, seemed unusual to veteran Vatican observers like John W. O'Malley, for its political heft [Cardinal Ruini served as Master of Ceremonies], setting [Capitoline Museums], press coverage, and of greatest interest to O'Malley, its attacks on other scholars. [53]

Those "other scholars" included Giuseppe Alberigo, whom Ruini referred to by name as the "capo of the Bologna school," and the target of Vatican ire for what it viewed as the promotion of an overly progressive and anticlerical interpretation of the Council. O'Malley and his colleagues thus collaborated on this work at hand to serve up a counterpoint, partly to defend Alberigo's professional integrity but probably more to head off any attempts to domesticate the event Vatican II.

Komonchak immediately addresses the key question: if Vatican II is a pivotal event in the life of the Church, how does one define the term "event?" He borrows Paul Veyne's pithy observation that "an event is difference....An event is anything that does not go without saying." [28] With the tools of historical sociology Komonchak argues that events are ruptures, discontinuities which provoke hope and fear. Such was indeed the reaction to the calling of the Council. Komonchak, it seems, beheld two events: the Council proper and the post-Conciliar reactions.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Carlos Ramos Mattei on April 14, 2008
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Having lived through the 1960s I find it incredible that anyone could say that "nothing happened" at Vatican II. That probably stems from the desire to, precisely, turn back the clock to a preconciliar time when curia officials maintained the idea that the Catholic Church was the custodian of some eternal verities. With Vatican II we realized that many of those verities actually came up accidentally through very historical circumstances. As a fact most of those "verities" were actually a few hundred years old, which compared to the millennial history of Christianity, was yesterday. John O'Malley describes and documents clearly how the Church aligned itself with the European aristocracy so that it assumed the same fortress mentality of a dissappearing breed, until it was plainly evident that change was necessary. In a very sensible way he describes and explains how Vatican II represented a renovation of attitude or of "spirit" which in itself is the equivalent of a profound change for Catholic Christianity. For that reason Vatican II is still a project in the making. John O'Malley's book is a remarkable contribution to this end.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful By James Brandon on November 2, 2008
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Vatican II was and is too much to comprehend at once, and its effects are still unfolding. This small set of essays provides some heuristic perspectives for someone looking for a place to begin.
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