Vatican II and its Reception

This postgraduate unit  surveys and examines the preparation, course, issues and documents of The Second Vatican Council, as well as its reception by Catholics in the following decades. It examines the Catholic Church in the time of Pius XII, John XXIII and the continuing significance of the Council to the present.

Study Level



Humanities in the Christian Tradition

Sub Discipline

Church History

Credit Points



18 credit points from any sub-discipline, including 9 credit points in History.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to

  1. demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the main stages of the preparation and course of the Council
  2. display a perceptive understanding of the main issues addressed by the Council and of the stance taken by the Council toward those issues
  3. critically review the influences upon the Council Fathers in their efforts to reach agreement
  4. assess the final Council documents in the light of the preceding Council debates
  5. display a critical appreciation of the process of reception of the Council by the Church in following decades.
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