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Vatican II: A Sociological Analysis of Religious Change (No. 2) [Hardcover]

By Melissa J. Wilde (Author)
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Item description for Vatican II: A Sociological Analysis of Religious Change (No. 2) by Melissa J. Wilde...

On an otherwise ordinary Sunday morning in 1964, millions of Roman Catholics around the world experienced history. For the first time in centuries, they attended masses that were conducted mostly in their native tongues. This occasion marked only the first of many profound changes to emanate from the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Known popularly as Vatican II, it would soon give rise to the most far-reaching religious transformation since the Reformation.

In this groundbreaking work of cultural and historical sociology, Melissa Wilde offers a new explanation for this revolutionary transformation of the Church. Drawing on newly available sources--including a collection of interviews with the Council's key bishops and cardinals, and primary documents from the Vatican Secret Archive that have never before been seen by researchers--Wilde demonstrates that the pronouncements of the Council were not merely reflections of papal will, but the product of a dramatic confrontation between progressives and conservatives that began during the first days of the Council. The outcome of this confrontation was determined by a number of factors: the Church's decline in Latin America; its competition and dialogue with other faiths, particularly Protestantism, in northern Europe and North America; and progressive clerics' deep belief in the holiness of compromise and their penchant for consensus building.

Wilde's account will fascinate not only those interested in Vatican II but anyone who wants to understand the social underpinnings of religious change.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Vatican II: A Sociological Analysis of Religious Change (No. 2) by Melissa J. Wilde has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Commonweal - 02/29/2008 page 26
  • Library Journal - 10/01/2007 page 78

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Princeton University Press
Pages   196
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.42" Width: 6.42" Height: 0.77"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 19, 2007
Publisher   Princeton University Press
ISBN  0691118299  
ISBN13  9780691118291  

Availability  0 units.

More About Melissa J. Wilde

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Melissa J. Wilde is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Melissa J. Wilde was born in 1974.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catholic
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Ecclesiology

Reviews - What do customers think about Vatican II: A Sociological Analysis of Religious Change (No. 2)?

Enlightening but technical  Sep 23, 2007
I purchased this book hoping to read a new analysis of Vatican II; my hope was modestly realized.
The book describes an interesting alliance of four groups of theologically and geographically diverse bishops on three issues which came before the Council along with a rather technical sociological analysis of the bishops' voting patterns. The author's thesis posits why "liberal" bishops triumphed in many matters over the "conservative" bishops.
The book did not help me get to know the personalities of the influential bishops at the Council or much of the backroom politics - though in fairness, the title doesn't promise it will.
There were occasional subtle inaccuracies of "church facts" e.g. calling St. Peter's Basilica "St. Peter's Cathedral," and the author's unqualified assertion that Vatican II elminated the Latin/Tridentine mass (interesting in light of Benedict XVI's recent motu proprio).
Overall an enlightening, but rather technical read.

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