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Vatican II: The Essential Texts Paperback – September 4, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Image (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307952800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307952806
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

JAMES CARROLL is the National Book Award-winning author of Practicing Catholic and An American Requiem. He writes widely on Catholic issues and is passionate about the legacy of Vatican II.

EDWARD HAHNENBERG is professor of theology at Xavier University and the author of A Concise Guide to the Documents of Vatican II.

NORMAN TANNER, SJ, is professor of church history at the Gregorian University in Rome.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Shaw on June 29, 2014
Format: Paperback
Too often we get our information about people and groups through the grapevine. We hear from someone’s cousin, twice removed. We never go to the source for the information we want. That is why when I study different people, groups, faiths, etc. that I read writing’s from those involved in them.

That is what is so important about the book Vatican II - The Essential Text. Vatican II is an important Catholic Church council that shaped much of what the church is about today. It includes most of the documents that were finalized in Vatican II. From the current liturgy, to the churches view of what constitutes God’s Word, onto how the church is to relate to the world and other faiths.
What is even of more help is the introductions to each section made by Edward P. Hahnenberg. He gives us background on the reason the topic was up for consideration, the process it took to have it finalized, and he even includes those in the church who disagreed with it.

This is a book that I will use often in my studies. It is well written, easy to understand, and important to our understanding of the Roman Catholic Church as it is today.

Disclaimer- I received this book for free from Christian Focus through CrossFocused Reviews for this review. All that was required of me is that I review it, positively or negatively, on my site.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fay on July 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since getting a copy of Vatican II texts involves looking backwards, my desired outcome might be a little different than for a current book. The immediate impact for me was that this source has both an inviting colored cover, but also large print copy Placement of the documents material is spread out on the page so that the reader doesn't need to read into the binding to glimpse essentials. The two drawbacks for me were absence of an index and separation of subsections with bold subheading. On the plus side, the notes in the back were unexpected . I recommend this as a second resource for the sake of comparison.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TRH on June 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The texts of Vatican II reflect Catholic theology at it's highest stage in development. These texts contain many years of reflected wisdom applied to the problems of the world today, while at the same time further reflecting on the faith once and for all delivered to the saints. Vatican II is not a liberal abnormality of previous Catholic teaching, but is rather the next logical step of development. It did not change or contradict the doctrines of the faith, rather it further illuminated them. If you want to learn about what Vatican II taught, there can be nothing better than reading the texts themselves. In them, you find the wisdom and truth that makes the Catholic Church so great.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul on October 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just started to read this book. I must admit that it is a bit of a heavy read, but I expected as much. It's interesting how much Church history is intertwined with World history. I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to persue an in depth study of the Second Vatican Councill
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very hard read. But if you can work you way through the over verbalized paragraphs it provides a clearer insight into what was happening in the Catholic Church of the 40-70s in some cases it easy very easy to see how far local churches moved in liturgical worship and the increase mandate for the laity to take a more active role in how they practice their faith and more importantly the role of evangelization.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mike on June 16, 2014
Format: Paperback
I am somewhat embarassed to admit thathaving been a Catholic my entire life and having taught Catholicism for two years, having read numerous books on theology and biblical studies in that time, that I had neglected certainly the most important writings in Catholicism in the century and possibly in the last 500 years. I am always apprehensive in approaching Church documents, whether they be encyclicals, exhortations and the like, because of the assumed dry nature and techinical language I expect them to have. Fortunately, most of the time I am dead wrong, especially with the last few the Church has been graced with (especially Francis, B16, and St. JP2, but I could go all the way back to Paul 6 really).

The documents of Vatican II "follow" (from my perspective, though they actually precede) in that same spirit. In them I find a Church that is not floundering but alive and active and, like the Sacraments it bestows, also gives life to the reader who finds them with a clear, engaged and open mind to God's guidance.

This compilation does narrow the scope somewhat, but I think it is because the average lay reader has no need to read some of the more obscure documents that don't apply, but is more concerned with those that apply to everyone, especially Lumen Gentium (Light of the Nations) and Dei Verbum (Word of God) as the first deals with the life of the Church, Her "body," the people, and the second with God's written Word, the Bible.

As I mentioned before, my initial worry was that I would be put to sleep in reading these and only Bishops, who in my mind have to read them, are the only ones who had the mental capacity, theological vocabulary, and moral duty to trudge through them.
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