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The Spirit of Vatican II: A History of Catholic Reform in Americaby Colleen Mcdannell
Synopses & Reviews
In 1962 a group of Catholic leaders traveled to Rome, charged by Pope John XXIII with the task of making the gospel of Christ relevant in a modern world. The Second Vatican Council transformed the lives of Catholics through sweeping reforms--yet its effect on the daily lives of practicing Catholics has never been fully understood.
In this illuminating study, religious historian Colleen McDannell presents new insight into Vatican II by shifting the framework of its analysis: from men to women, from urban to suburban, from theory to practice. Using the story of her Catholic mother's life as a narrative thread, McDannell presents in The Spirit of Vatican II a refreshingly positive portrayal of the state of modern Catholicism--and a testament to the lasting effects of its liberalization.
Book News Annotation:
The author's mother, Margaret, was a 34-year-old mother of two young children in 1962, when the Second Vatican Council began a round of broad reforms which transformed the daily lives of practicing American Catholics. For Catholics of Margaret's generation, who lived through the Great Depression and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Vatican II was a watershed event. Writing in an accessible style, McDannell (history, religious studies, University of Utah-Salt Lake City) uses the story of her mother's life as a unifying narrative thread to demonstrate the lasting legacies of Vatican II, showing how the reforms brought Margaret, and millions of other ordinary women like her, into more intimate contact with the ritual and theological life of the church. The author's popular writings on religion have appeared in the New York Times Magazine and BookForum. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Nearly a half century after the Second Vatican Council, a leading religious historian examines the transformed lives of American Catholics--and shows that reform has made their church stronger than ever.
About the Author
Colleen McDannell is a Professor of History and Sterling M. McMurring Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Utah. Her books include Heaven: A History and Picturing Faith: Photography and the Great Depression. She lives in Salt Lake City.
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