A Brief History of Vatican II
By: Giuseppe Alberigo
The Second Vatican Council, summoned by Pope John XXIII on Christmas day 1961, began in October 1962. Meeting in four autumn sessions from 1962 to 1965, Pope Johns Council was a watershed in both world Christian and world religious history.
With brevity and insight Giuseppe Alberigo tells the story of Vatican II Council for a generation that has come of age since its close. He shows us a Council that Pope John called to renew not just the church but Christianity as a whole. He shows that that vision was realized in ways far beyond its participants ability to understand.
The drama of the Council comes alive, as the assembled bishops and their advisers work on themes that transformed the global landscape of religion, bringing Catholicism into dialogue with other religious traditions and establishing a whole new spirit of intra-Christian dialogue. Alberigo also suggests ways in which the spirit of the Council has not been implemented.
Giuseppe Alberigo (1926-2007) taught church history and served as director of the Institute for Religious Studies in Bologna, Italy, and was the guiding figure behind the world acclaimed, five-volume History of Vatican II (Orbis Books, 1995 - 2005).