"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Vatican II and the Christian East

The indefatigable Matthew Levering, a good friend, prolific author, and great editor, e-mails all contributors last night to remind us that, the Kindle version of The Reception of Vatican II having been published in mid-February, this week marks the release of the paperback and hardback versions of that book, to which I contributed a chapter.

Edited by Levering and Matthew Lamb, and published by Oxford University Press, this wide-ranging collection treats each of the documents of the Second Vatican Council to scholarly scrutiny in light of the last half-century's developments within and without the Catholic Church. My own contribution comes in the chapter devoted to the decree on the Catholic Eastern Churches.

About this not-to-be-missed collection, the publisher tells us:
From 1962 to 1965, in perhaps the most important religious event of the twentieth century, the Second Vatican Council met to plot a course for the future of the Roman Catholic Church. After thousands of speeches, resolutions, and votes, the Council issued sixteen official documents on topics ranging from divine revelation to relations with non-Christians. But the meaning of the Second Vatican Council has been fiercely contested since before it was even over, and the years since its completion have seen a battle for the soul of the Church waged through the interpretation of Council documents. The Reception of Vatican II looks at the sixteen conciliar documents through the lens of those battles. Paying close attention to reforms and new developments, the essays in this volume show how the Council has been received and interpreted over the course of the more than fifty years since it concluded.
The contributors to this volume represent various schools of thought but are united by a commitment to restoring the view that Vatican II should be interpreted and implemented in line with Church Tradition. The central problem facing Catholic theology today, these essays argue, is a misreading of the Council that posits a sharp break with previous Church teaching. In order to combat this reductive way of interpreting the Council, these essays provide a thorough, instructive overview of the debates it inspired.

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