Group Dynamics

Vatican II
A Sociological Analysis of Religious Change
Melissa J. Wilde
Princeton University Press, $35, 224 pp.

Shortly after announcing Vatican II, John XXIII sent a letter to all the bishops soliciting suggestions for the council’s agenda. He told them to submit their ideas “with complete freedom and honesty...on anything Your Excellency thinks should be treated in the council.” Responses poured in, but for the most part they called for little more than a tightening of the status quo. How did it happen that prelates like these came to repudiate what they had earlier proposed?...

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About the Author

John W. O’Malley, SJ, is University Professor at Georgetown University.