How a Church Opened Its Doors
The Ecclesiological Investigations International Research Network organized a major international conference at Georgetown University, Washington National Cathedral and Marymount University, in 2015, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. The council, one of the most important events in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, initiated a process of renewal, transition and openness that affected not only Catholics, but all Christians, adherents of other religions, and the secular world. The Washington conference received worldwide media attention, with highlights including keynote addresses by several cardinals, archbishops, and bishops as well as eminent scholars from a wide and diverse range of backgrounds in terms of geography and expertise alike. The first of three volumes emerging from this event explores the twentieth century context preceding the council, the legacy of Vatican II in relation to issues such as ethics, social justice, church-world dynamics and economic activity, and offers a series of explorations of women and the church in the context of the council. It also discusses the important topic of inculturation and engages a range of ecumenical readings of Vatican II as well as exploring the future of ecumenical engagement in light of Vatican II. The volume draws to a close with the groundbreaking address on the future of ecumenical dialogue and of unity among churches and the human family in wider terms, by Cardinal Walter Kasper.