The Spirit of Vatican II

A History of Catholic Reform in America


By Colleen McDannell

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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.
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On Sale
Mar 1, 2011
Page Count
304 pages
Basic Books

Colleen McDannell

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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