Gordon in the News: last updated 11/28/2012

Vatican II: Catholicism Then and Now

November 27, 2012

Cyndi McMahon

WENHAM, MA—The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) is
considered by some historians to be “the most important religious event of the 20th-century”—a Council affecting all of the estimated one billion Catholics in the world. But what exactly was the Second Vatican Council? How has it reshaped Catholicism? How has it impacted Catholics’ relations to Protestants, Jews, Muslims, and others?

On Thursday, November 29, Massimo Faggioli, Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, will address the audience on this topic at 4:30 p.m. (4:00 p.m. reception) in the Ken Olsen Science Center, MacDonald Auditorium.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

“Vatican II has been an epochal event in the Catholic Church. Sadly, many Protestants and other onlookers do not know that much about it. Faggioli’s talk will give the Gordon community an opportunity to hear about Vatican II from one of the sharpest, up-and-coming historians of modern Catholicism,” said Professor Tal Howard, Stephens Phillips Chair of history and director of the Center for Faith and Inquiry at Gordon College.

Dr. Faggioli received his Ph.D. in Religious History from the University of Turin in 2002. He has carried out scholarly research at the prestigious "Foundation for Religious Sciences Giovanni XXIII" of Bologna from 1996 to 2008 and arrived at St. Thomas in September 2009. He is the author of Vatican II: The Battle for Meaning (Paulist Press, 2012). “The current Pope, Benedict XVI, was a theological expert at Vatican II; the Council in fact was one of the defining experiences of his life. Learning about Vatican II will help us understand not only the past, but also the present of the Catholic church,” says Howard.

These talks are part of the “Faith Seeking Understanding Lecture Series” at Gordon College and sponsored by the Center for Faith and Inquiry. This ongoing lecture series brings first-rate guest speakers to Gordon College to address various topics related to Christian thought and practice, the theology of vocation, intellectual commitment, ethics, and more.

For information please visit the Center for Faith and Inquiry or contact: Debbie Drost, program director, at cfi@gordon.edu.


Gordon College is one of the nation's premier Christian colleges and located just north of Boston. Gordon offers students extraordinary access to leading-edge opportunities for intellectual, professional, and leadership development to address the increasingly complex challenges of a global society, and stands apart from other outstanding institutions in New England by combining an exceptional education with an informed Christian faith.