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Monday, August 23, 2021

Invitation to an Online Book Review

 Beginning September 7th, we will be offering a book review by Zoom on Jesuit Fr. John O’Malley’s book, “What Happened at Vatican II.” We meet by Zoom every Tuesday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. E.D.T. 


Fr. John O’Malley, S.J. as he writes about the events at Vatican II. There is an introduction and a conclusion with seven main chapters, so we could take this over a nine week period. I remember how good the book was when I read it a decade ago. Here is the Amazon description of the book. 


What Happened at Vatican II 


John W. O’Malley is University Professor in the Department of Theology at Georgetown University and the author of many books, including Four Cultures of the WestTrentVatican IWhat Happened at Vatican II, and The First Jesuits (all from Harvard); The First Jesuits has been translated into twelve languages. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the American Philosophical Society, and a recipient of the Harvard Centennial Medal as well as Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Society for Italian Historical Studies, the Renaissance Society of America, and the American Catholic Historical Association. O’Malley is a member of the Society of Jesus and a Roman Catholic priest.

Pages: 400       Paperback: 21.94


During four years in session, Vatican Council II held television audiences rapt with its elegant, magnificently choreographed public ceremonies, while its debates generated front-page news on a near-weekly basis. By virtually any assessment, it was the most important religious event of the twentieth century, with repercussions that reached far beyond the Catholic church. Remarkably enough, this is the first book, solidly based on official documentation, to give a brief, readable account of the council from the moment Pope John XXIII announced it on January 25, 1959, until its conclusion on December 8, 1965; and to locate the issues that emerge in this narrative in their contexts, large and small, historical and theological, thereby providing keys for grasping what the council hoped to accomplish.

What Happened at Vatican II captures the drama of the council, depicting the colorful characters involved and their clashes with one another. The book also offers a new set of interpretive categories for understanding the council’s dynamics―categories that move beyond the tired “progressive” and “conservative” labels. As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of the calling of the council, this work reveals in a new way the spirit of Vatican II. A reliable, even-handed introduction to the council, the book is a critical resource for understanding the Catholic church today, including the pontificate of Benedict XVI.



Here is the link for the meeting, which will be the same link for the semester:


Invite a friend, or send this link to someone you know who may be interested in it. The class meets every Tuesday from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. – E.D.T. If a person cannot make every meeting, that’s okay. We know schedules are variable and we do our best to adapt.


The zoom link is below.


Join Zoom Meeting



Meeting ID: 811 6822 4605

Passcode: 866898

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