Conciliar Octet: A Concise Commentary on the Eight Key Texts of the Second Vatican Council

Conciliar Octet: A Concise Commentary on the Eight Key Texts of the Second Vatican Council

By Aidan Nichols
Product Code: 9781621642862

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Product Description

Release Date: October 1, 2019

A lively debate continues in the Roman Catholic Church
about the character of the teaching provided by the Second
Vatican Council (1962-1965). Did it represent a decisive rupture
with previous doctrine, or the continuation of its earlier
message under new conditions? Much depends on whether
the Council texts are read in the light of subsequent events,
which shook and sometimes smashed the life, worship and
devotion of traditional Catholicism – rather than considered
for themselves, in their own right as documents with a prehistory
that historians can know.
In this work Dominican scholar and writer Aidan Nichols
maintains that the Council texts must be interpreted in
the light of their genesis, not their aftermath. They must
be seen in the light of the public debates in the Council
chamber, not the hopes (or fears) of individuals behind the
scenes. On this basis, he provides a concise commentary
on the eight most significant documents produced by the
Council, documents which cover pretty comprehensively all
the major aspects of the Church’s life.
Nichols describes the Council as a gathering where the
Conciliar minority – guarded, prudent, and concerned for
explicit continuity at all points with the preceding tradition
– played a beneficial role in steadying the Conciliar majority,
enthused as the latter was by the movements of biblical,
patristic and liturgical ‘return to the sources’ and a desire to
reach out to the world of the (then) present-day in generosity
of heart. The texts that emerged from this often impassioned
debate remain susceptible to a reading of a classically
Christian kind. That is precisely what Nichols offers in this 

• Written for people from all walks of life who
want a sober and balanced view of the Second
Vatican Council
• Written by a highly regarded Dominican theologian,
professor and prolific author
• Nichols commentary establishes the fundamentally
traditional nature of the Council’s

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