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A Concise Guide to the Documents of Vatican II Paperback – 1 Jan 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Servant Books (1 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0867165529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0867165524
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 210,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Leigh on 5 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This books covers all the most important documents of Vatican II in a clear, succinct and readable style. The author gives background to the texts, a helpful breakdown of each which aids reading and cross-referencing, and comments on their relevance today. I would recommend it not only to undergraduates and college students, but also to parishes and RCIA co-ordinators.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pete on 4 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has to be read alongside the original documents, and explains the background and thinking behind the documents - including, sometimes, the results and cosequences.

It is clear and, as its name suggests, concise. It does not offer opinions or subjective comments. A very good companion to reading the documents of Vatican II.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 34 reviews
94 of 98 people found the following review helpful
The "Missing Manual" for Vatican II 8 May 2007
By Carol Blank - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In his opening paragraph, the author states that the documents of Vatican II "shape virtually every aspect of church life today," yet hardly anyone ever reads them, probably because they lack "a proper introduction." His Concise Guide is that introduction, designed to be used with the documents and offering for each a brief history, section-by-section reading guide, summary of the document's place in today's church, and questions for reflection. There are also instructions for obtaining the documents; guidelines for reading them and for using the Concise Guide individually or with groups; sidebars within the chapters; a glossary; suggestions for further readings; and an index.

An example from the chapter on the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) conveys the flavor of Hahnenberg's work. The introduction explains the overall plan for the council: two categories, the church's inner life and her relationship with the outside world. The document for this second category, for which there was no model, involved dozens of drafts and consultations throughout Europe over a period of three years. We learn that deep disagreements arose over emphasis on the church's dialoguing with the world vs. proclaiming Christ to it as well as ways in which reform and renewal might be accomplished. These differences, explains Hahnenberg, "would have a profound impact on the way in which GS would be interpreted in the years after the Council."

Mirroring the major points in Gaudium et Spes, the "document today" section and reflection questions address dialogue/proclamation; signs of the times; marriage and society; church and state; and globalization. One sidebar in the chapter notes that GS was the only council text composed entirely in a modern language, French.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A Concise Look at all the Documents of Vatican II 8 Aug. 2012
By Dennis J. Koupal Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"A Concise Guide to the Documents of Vatican II" well accomplishes what its title describes. As one of the few attempts to tackle the daunting task of summarizing all 16 documents of the Council in a meaningful way, Mr. Hahnenberg delivers informative information on each of the documents with engaging precision and informed explanations. Each chapter corresponding to each the Documents begins with a summary of historical events prompting the inclusion of the issue into the Council. A "reading guide" then outlines the topics debated, with specific references from the Document highlighted for clarity. Each chapter closes with contemporary "questions for reflection."
Mr. Hahnenberg carefully takes no sides when dealing with sensitive theological issues raised by the Council, still unresolved today. He capably presents the "strength of the argument" of each side emphasizing the careful "balance in position" espoused in the Documents of the Council.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Everything you want to know about the documents of Vatican II 27 Jan. 2012
By John the Revelator - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wish I knew about this book before I purchased the books for a college class I took. Between this and the documents that I found on the Vatican's website, it helped make sense of all the complicated workings of Vatican II.
73 of 104 people found the following review helpful
The hermeneutic of rupture 13 Jun. 2011
By Rich Leonardi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hahnenberg is a member of the notorious theology department at Cincinnati's Xavier University. He along with several other faculty members signed a letter of "lamentation" over the censure by Archbishop Pilarczyk of Louise Akers for her strident support of women's ordination. Likewise Hahnenberg protested House speaker John Boehner's 2011 address at Catholic University of America for his supposed failure to support the Church's pro-life teachings -- this despite Boehner's sterling legislative record in defense of the unborn. In other words, Hahnenberg comes from the partisan far-left extreme of the Church, and it shows in his guide to Vatican II. While his descriptions of the documents themselves are fairly straightforward, albeit dry, his authorial asides and commentary are straight out of left field, reflecting the hermeneutic of rupture that has dominated Catholic academia for the past forty years. The thrust of this hermeneutic, or way of interpreting data, is that the council was a revolutionary departure from what went before it. By contrast, Pope Benedict has urged Catholics to embrace a "hermeneutic of continuity," whereby the documents of Vatican II and the council itself are viewed as a chapter in the Church's ongoing two-thousand-year history. For a faithful, "continuous" overview of the documents of Vatican II, read Alan Schreck's Vatican II: The Crisis and the Promise. Avoid Hahnenberg's concise, flawed guide.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Progressive Spin 15 April 2013
By St. Corbinians's Bear - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If the author makes an effort not to let his bias drive the project, I am willing to learn. This is simply a shameless liberal spin on the documents, however, at times going way beyond the texts. Unless you are just looking for hermeneutic of rupture talking points, this book is worse than useless. My copy wound up in the garbage half way through.
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