The Theology of Vatican II

REL607
Fall 2017
T 1:30-3:20pm
Area: 
Area II
Professor: 
Permission Not Required
Limited Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course will focus on the key texts of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the theological vision they contain, especially with regard to the nature of the church, the liturgy, the Scriptures, the role of the church in the world, and religious pluralism.  The Second Vatican Council constituted the most important moment in the life of the Roman Catholic Church in the twentieth century.  We will study the key texts of the Council within theological developments that preceded them and made the texts possible, and – for certain conciliar documents – also look at their reception history in the 50 years since the Council ended.  The course will thus not only be an inquiry into historical theology but an engagement with the Catholic tradition in the twenty-first century.

Background Expected: 

This course will focus on the key texts of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the theological vision they contain, especially with regard to the nature of the church, the liturgy, the Scriptures, the role of the church in the world, and religious pluralism.  The Second Vatican Council constituted the most important moment in the life of the Roman Catholic Church in the twentieth century.  We will study the key texts of the Council within theological developments that preceded them and made the texts possible, and – for certain conciliar documents – also look at their reception history in the 50 years since the Council ended.  The course will thus not only be an inquiry into historical theology but an engagement with the Catholic tradition in the twenty-first century.

Course Requirements: 
  • Attendance and participation in class discussions, on the basis of the assigned readings, to be completed in full by class time.
  • A class presentation, by each student, on the assigned reading/s for the week.  As part of this class presentation, a student will submit a written review and critique of the reading/s, together with 2-5 questions for class discussion.  The paper (2-3 pages, double-spaced) will be the basis for the student’s presentation and is due at class time.
  • A final reflection paper (15pp., double-spaced), on a subject-matter of your choice related to the seminar’s focus on Vatican II.  
Basis of Evaluation: 

Grades for the course will be determined according to the following formula: class participation: 30%; class presentation, with written reflection paper: 30%; final paper: 40%.