January 2012

Vatican II Studies PDF-NOTE: Internet Explorer Users, right click the PDF Icon and choose [save target as] if you are experiencing problems with clicking. Print

Call for Proposals

This Group welcomes proposals on the following topics related to "how (not) to organize an Ecumenical Council — the learning process of year one":

  • The huge debates related to the hermeneutics of the Council (the Bologna school versus more conservative forces in Rome)
  • The state of Catholic theology at the start of the Council
  • The influence of renewal movements on conciliar theology
  • Fresh looks at the aggiornamento program of Pope John XXIII with special attention to his Council speeches
  • The rejection of the draft documents
  • The courage of the bishops to take the floor
  • “Councils are medicine, not nourishment” (J. Ratzinger) — ecumenical councils as a medication for the church then and now
  • The ecumenical relevancy of Vatican II

For a second cosponsored session with the Ecclesiological Investigations Group, we seek papers on the "history, hermeneutics, and legacy of the Second Vatican Council." Papers should focus on the debates related to the hermeneutics of the Council, on the ecclesiological paradigm shift of Vatican II and its ecumenical implications, and on the growing amount of conciliar diaries and how they can contribute to our understanding and appreciation of the Council’s teaching.


From 2012 to 2016, this Group will pay scholarly attention to the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) — one of the most significant events in the history of the Catholic Church, an event that had wide-ranging implications for other faiths, other Christian churches, and for the wider world alike. This Group has a double focus. On one hand, we focus on deepening the understanding of the history of Vatican II, its link with movements of renewal in Catholic theology, and in the Church in the decades prior to Vatican II, the history of the reception of the Council, and the redaction history of the different documents of the Council. On the other hand, we have a strong theological focus and will pay attention both to hermeneutical issues connected to methods of interpreting conciliar teaching and to the interpretation of the most important documents of Vatican II in the year of their anniversary — starting with the liturgical constitution (1963–2013). In looking more closely at the past, our Group hopes to promote conciliarity and synodality in the Christian churches in the present.

Anonymity of Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs and steering committee members at all times.


Peter De Mey
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
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Massimo Faggioli
University of Saint Thomas
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Method of Submission


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