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From 1962 to 1965, in perhaps the most important religious event of the twentieth century, the Second Vatican Council met to plot a course for the future of the Roman Catholic Church. After thousands of speeches, resolutions, and votes, the Council issued sixteen official documents on topics ranging from divine revelation to relations with non-Christians. In many ways, though, the real challenges began after the council was over and Catholics began to argue over the interpretation of the documents. Many analysts perceived the Council's far-reaching changes as breaks with Church tradition, and soon this became the dominant bias in the American and other media, which lacked the theological background to approach the documents on their own terms. In Vatican II: Renewal Within Tradition, an international team of theologians offers a different reading of the documents from Vatican II. The Council was indeed putting forth a vision for the future of the Church, but that vision was grounded in two millennia of tradition. Taken together, these essays demonstrate that Vatican II's documents are a development from an established antecedent in the Roman Catholic Church. Each chapter contextualizes Vatican II teachings within that rich tradition. The resulting book is an indispensable and accessible companion to the Council's developments, one that focuses on theology and transcends the mass-media storyline of "liberal" versus "conservative."

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