Religion Booknotes

Living Vatican II: The 21st Council for the 21st Century Gerald O’Collins, SJ Paulist, $19.95, 243 pp. Practices of Dialogue in the Roman Catholic Church Bradford Hinze Continuum, $39.95, 326 pp. The Shadow of God: A Journey through Memory, Art, and Faith Charles Scribner III Doubleday, $24.95, 291 pp. The Jesuits and the Arts: 1540–1773 Edited by John O’Malley, SJ, and Gauvin Alexander Bailey Saint Joseph’s University Press, $50, 477 pp.

Living Vatican II

The 21st Council for the 21st Century

Gerald O’Collins, SJ

Paulist, $19.95, 243 pp.
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Gerald O’Collins is the beau ideal of the contemporary Catholic theologian: extremely well educated, possessed of a keen analytical mind, a clear writer and thinker, and, above all, a faithful servant dedicated to the good of the church (which does not mean that he simply parrots magisterial statements).

An Australian by birth, O’Collins recently retired after three decades of teaching fundamental theology at Rome’s Gregorian University. When I once tried to lure him away from Rome to the more austere joys of teaching in northern Indiana, he told me that his place was in Rome where he could mold the education of students who came from all over the world, especially the newly freed countries of Eastern Europe and the burgeoning churches in the Southern Hemisphere. O’Collins understands the meaning of the term catholic church and he has shaped his professional life accordingly.

Living Vatican II is part autobiography, part theological reflection. O’Collins examines the documents of Vatican II with two questions in...

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About the Author

Lawrence Cunningham is John O'Brien professor of Theology (Emeritus) at the University of Notre Dame.