Many observers greeted the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) as the most important religious event in the twentieth century. Its implementation and impact are still being felt in the Catholic Church, the wider Christian world, and beyond. One sea change that Vatican II brought concerned Roman Catholic attitudes towards Judaism, Islam, and other religions.
Gerald O'Collins breaks fresh ground by examining in detail five documents from the Council which embodied a new mindset about other religious faiths and mandated changes that quickly led to international and national dialogues between the Catholic Church and the followers of non-Christian religions.
The book also includes chapters on the insights that prepared the way for the rethinking expressed by Vatican II, and on the follow-up to the Council's teaching found in the work of Pope John Paul II and Jacques Dupuis. O'Collins ably illustrates how the Council made a startling advance in official Catholic teaching about followers of other living faiths. Carefully researched, the book is written in the clear, accessible style that readers of previous works by O'Collins will recognize.
- Clarifies the full scope of Vatican II's teaching on other religions
- Provides a scholarly and accessible guide to the contribution made by five documents of the Council to interfaith thinking and relations
- Rebuts attempts to play down the momentous change in Roman Catholic teaching about those of other faiths
Born in Melbourne (Australia), Gerald O'Collins was ordained a priest in 1963, took his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 1968 and taught for 33 years at the Gregorian University (Rome), where he was also dean of theology (1985-91). Now living back in Australia, he is an adjunct professor of the Australian Catholic University. Author or co-author of 56 published books and of hundreds of articles in professional and popular journals, he is widely known for his appearances on BBC and as a lecturer in many universities and colleges around the world and has chaired conferences for the Templeton Foundation. He has received numerous honorary doctorates and other awards, including the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), the highest honour awarded through the Australian government.