The Second Vatican Council Resource Guide
Nostra Aetate, Forty Years and into the Future : 1965-2005

A lecture exploring central issues in Jewish and Christian relations in our time and flowing from the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate:Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 4:00 - 5:30 pm. Seattle University Student Center @ LeRoux Conference Room Rm 160. Keynote Speaker: Dr. Eugene Fisher

In honor of this lecture, sponsored by the School of Theology and Ministry, the Lemieux Library offers a webresource guide to serve as a starting point for learning and research. Books and selected web links provide supplemental reading on the Second Vatican Council and its legacy.

The documents related toVatican II Nostra Aetate are listed immediately below followed by the complete resource guide to Vatican II.

Content Contributor: Mary Linden Sepulveda; A.A. Lemieux Library- Liaison Librarian for Theology and Religious Studies
(September 2005)

Nostra Aetate

Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christians
[full text document]

Other Websites:

Nostra Aetate
Website of the Jewish Virtual Library provides guidelines for reading the text Nostra Aetate.

Nostra Aetate
Encyclopedia article provides an overview of the document Nostra Aetate.

"Guidelines and Suggestions for Implementing the Conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate" from the Ecumenical Institute for Jewish-Christian Studies (January 1975)

"Forty Years After Nostra Aetate" by Karen L. Howard Ph.D (Boston College) [an opinion essay]

“Interreligious Dialogue Since Vatican II.” Spirituality Today:[ Summer 1991] by Wayne S. Teasdale

Nostra Aetate Today: Reflections 40 Years After Its Call for a New Era of Interreligious Relationships @ Pontifical Gregorian University. September 25-28 2005 Rome, Italy.

Books at the Lemieux Library:

Bristow, Edward W.
No Religion is an Island: The Nostra Aetate dialogues
New York: Fordham University Press, 1998.
BM535 .N59 1998 (In Lemieux Library)

Kelley, Arleon.
A Tapestry of justice, service and unity: Local ecumenism in the U.S. 1950-2000.
Tacoma, Washington Assn. of Ecumenical and Interreligious Staff Press, 2004
BX6.5.T3 2004 (In Lemieux Library)

Kinnamon, Michael
The vision of the ecumenical movement and how it has been empoverished by its friends.

St. Louis, Chalice Press, 2003.
BX6.5.K56 2003 (In Lemieux Library)

Pratt, Douglas.
The challenge of Islam: encounters in interfaith dialogue. .
Burlington,VT: Ashgate; c2005
BP171.P74 2005 (In Lemieux Library)

Thering, Rose
Jews, Judaism, and Catholic Education: Documentary survey report of Catholic institutions' implementation of 1965 Conciliar statement on the Jews, 1974 Roman Catholic guidelines/suggestions, 1975 U.S. bishops' statement on the Jews: prepared for the twentieth anniversary of the 1965 promulgation of Vatican II document Nostra Aetate.
New York: Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, c1986.
BM75 .T48 1986 (In Lemieux Library)

Two faiths; one covenant? Jewish and Christian identity in the presence of the other/ edited by Eugene B. Korn
Lanham, Md. Rowman and Littlefield, c2005.
BM535.T95 2005 (In Lemieux Library)

Yoder, John Howard.
The Jewish Christian schism revisited.
New York: Eerdmans, 2003.
BM535.Y63 2003 (In Lemieux Library)

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The Second Vatican Council


"I want to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in." Pope John XXIII




>Pope John XXIII

Pope Paul VI

>The Documents of Vatican II

>The Encyclicals of Pope John XXIII

Forty Years after Vatican II: Post-conciliar Catholicism







The Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, was an ecclesial, theological, and ecumenical congress convened in the autumns of the four years from 1962 through 1965. Pope John XXIII convoked the Council on October 11, 1962, and with bishops from all over the world, sought to define the nature, scope, and mission of the Church. Of the 2,908 clergy entitled to attend the Council, 2,450 did so. The Council closed December 8, 1965.


The Council produced 16 documents some of which are described as the greatest expressions of Catholic social teaching in church history.


Vatican II marked a fundamental shift towards the modern Church. The decisions of the Council, especially those regarding the liturgy, affected the lives of Catholics around the world. After Vatican II the use of the vernacular language was permitted in the celebration of the Mass and in 1970 the new Sacramentary and Novus Ordo (New Order of Mass) were established. Increased participation by the laity distinguishes Catholic life after the Second Vatican Council. Bible study groups, Marriage Encounter, social action organizations, and the charismatic renewal movement are all fruits of the Council. Vatican II made possible the many post-conciliar official Church documents on Catholic social teaching.


While the basic doctrines of the Church did not change with the Council, its influence and documents created more profound changes for the Catholic Church than occurred in the previous five hundred years. Since Pope John XXIII spoke of opening the windows of the Church great and gradual changes have occurred.


Selected Books and Videos on the Second Vatican Council

Available at Seattle University, Lemieux Library


Alberigo, Giuseppe, (editor).

The History of Vatican II. Volume I - III.

Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1995

BX830 1962 .H55 1995 (In Lemieux Library)

Dwyer, Judith A. (editor).

The new dictionary of Catholic social thought.

Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1994.

REF BX1753 .N497 1994 (In Lemieux Library)


Dynamic voice of Vatican II: a paraphrase of the 16 documents of Vatican II.

Boston: Daughters of St. Paul, c1977

BV830.1962.D9 (In Lemieux Library)


Henn, William
The honor of my brothers: a short history of the relation between the Pope and the bishops.

New York: Crossroads, 2000.

See the chapter Vatican II: Communion, collegiality, and primacy.

BX1805 .H43 2000 (In Lemieux Library)


The Faithful Revolution [videorecording]: Vatican II

Lyrick Studios, 1997 [5 videocassettes]

BX830 1962.F34 1997 (In Lemieux Library)


Flannery, Austin (editor).

Vatican Council II: The basic sixteen documents: constitutions, decrees, declarations: a completely revised translation in inclusive language.
Northport, NY: Costello Publishing, 1996.

BX830 1962 .F6 1996 (In Lemieux Library)


Tanner, Norman P.

The Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils.
London: Sheed & Ward; Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1990.

REF BX825 .A1990 (In Lemieux Library)


Vatican Council (2nd: 1962-1965)
Vatican Council II: The conciliar and post conciliar documents.
New revised edition

Collegeville, IN: Liturgical Press, 1992.

BX830 1962.A3 F55 1992 (In Lemieux Library)

Vorgrimler, Herbert

Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II.

New York: Herder and Herder, 1967

BX830 1962.Z913 (In Lemieux Library)







Pope John XXIII


"The feelings of my smallness and my nothingness always kept me good company."


Angelo Roncalli was elected Pope (John XXIII) on October 28, 1958. No one expected more than a transitional papacy from the 76- year- old pontiff. On January 25, 1959, just a few months into his office, on the occasion Questa Festiva he announced plans for an Ecumenical Council. He opened the Council but saw it through only the first session. As much as the Second Vatican Council is identified with this pope, John XXIII died June 3, 1963, before half of the Council was over and any of the documents had been promulgated. John XXIII, one of the most beloved popes in history, was beatified September 3, 2000.


Web sites

Opening Speech of the Second Vatican Council

Gaudet mater ecclesia: The Papal Library


Pope John XXIII: Theology Library


Vatican Web pages for John XXIII


Related readings


Feldman, Christian

Pope John XXIII: A spiritual biography

New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2000.
BX1378.2 .F37 2000 (In Lemieux Library)


Cahill, Thomas

Pope John XXIII

New York: Viking, 2002

BX1378.2 .C24 2002 (In Lemieux Library)






Pope Paul VI


I met a hundred men going to Delhi, and every one is my brother.


Giovanni Montini was elected Pope (Paul VI) June 21, 1963, the month of the death of John XXIII. His predecessor had already enlisted Paul VI during the initial preparations for Vatican II. The first years of this popes papacy were spent guiding the Council to its final three sessions and bringing Vatican II to a successful close. Paul VI promulgated the documents of the Council, chief among them Dignitatis Humanae and Gaudium et Spes.


Web sites


Closing Speech of the Second Vatican Council


Pope Paul VI Theology Library

Vatican Web pages for Pope Paul VI


Related Readings


Hebblethwaite, Peter

Paul VI: The first modern Pope.
New York: Paulist Press, 1993

BX1378.3.H433 1993 (In Lemieux Library)









The Documents of Vatican II


Sixteen documents were published under the Second Vatican Council: four Constitutions, three Declarations and nine Decrees.

The documents, with balloting results, are presented below in chronological order as promulgated by the council.

Click on the document name for a full text link. Additional web links and suggested readings also appear.


Sacrosanctum Concilium

Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy

December 4, 1963

Passed: 2147 to 4


Related reading:

Collins, Mary

Contemplative Participation: Sacrosanctum Concilium, twenty-five years later.
Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1990

BX1970. C656 1990 (In Lemieux Library)


Inter Mirifica

Decree on Means of Social Communication

December 4, 1963

Passed: 1960 to 164


Lumen Gentium

Dogmatic Constitution of the Church

November 21, 1964

Passed: 2151 to 5


Related reading:

Michalski, Melvin

The Relationship between the Universal Priesthood of the Baptized and the Ministerial Priesthood of the Ordained in Vatican II and in Subsequent Theology:

Understanding "essentia et non gradu tantum," Lumen gentium no. 10
Lewiston, NY: Mellen University Press, 1996.

BX1912 .M53 1996 (In Lemieux Library)

Orientalium Ecclesiarum

Decree On the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite

November 21, 1964

Passed: 2110 to 39


Unitatis Redintegratio

Decree on Ecumenism

November 21, 1964

Passed: 2137 to 11


Christus Dominus

Decree Concerning the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church

October 28,1965

Passed: 2319 to 2


Perfectae Caritatis

Decree on Renewal of Religious Life

October 28,1965

Passed: 2321 to 4


Optatam Totius

Decree on Priestly Training

October 28,1965

Passed: 2318 to 3


Gravissimum Educationis

Declaration on Christian Education

October 28,1965

Passed: 2290 to 35

Nostra Aetate

Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christians

October 28,1965

Passed: 2221 to 88

Related readings:

Bristow, Edward W.

No Religion is an Island: The Nostra Aetate dialogues
New York: Fordham University Press, 1998.

BM535 .N59 1998 (In Lemieux Library)


Teasdale, Wayne S.

Interreligious Dialogue Since Vatican II.

Spirituality Today: Summer 1991 (In Lemieux Library)


Thering, Rose
Jews, Judaism, and Catholic Education: Documentary survey report of Catholic institutions' implementation of 1965 Conciliar statement on the Jews, 1974 Roman Catholic guidelines/suggestions, 1975 U.S. bishops' statement on the Jews: prepared for the twentieth anniversary of the 1965 promulgation of Vatican II document Nostra Aetate.
New York: Anti-Defamation League of Bnai Brith, c1986.

BM75 .T48 1986 (In Lemieux Library)

Dei Verbum

Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation

November 18,1965

Passed: 2344 to 6

Apostolicam Actuositatem

Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity

November 18, 1965

Passed: 2340 to 2


Dignitatis Humanae

Declaration on Religious Freedom

December 7, 1965

Passed: 2308 to 70


Published in the final, active session of Vatican II with Gaudium et Spes, Dignitatis Humanae is considered the document most representative of the tradition of Catholic social teaching.


Related web site:

Vatican II and Religious Liberty: Contradiction or continuity?

Brian W. Harrison, O.S.


Ad Gentes

Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church

December 7,1965

Passed: 2394 to 5


Presbyterorum Ordinis

Decree On the Ministry and Life of Priests

December 7,1965

Passed: 2390 to 4


Gaudium et Spes

The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World

December 7,1965

Passed: 2307 to 75


Gaudium et Spes is widely viewed as the Councils most influential document. It was the first such document to acknowledge an awareness of the Churchs relation to the secular world and modern culture. Pope Paul VI, with a vision beyond a Western understanding of church social teachings, drove the creation of the document when he opened the second session.


Related web site:

Gaudium et Spes / A Bibliography: The Theology Library


Related reading:

Coleman, John Aloysius

One hundred years of Catholic social thought: celebration and challenge.
Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1991.

BX1753 .O64 1991 (In Lemieux Libarary)


Latourelle, Ren, ed.

Vatican II: assessment and perspectives: twenty-five years after (1962-1987)
New York: Paulist Press, 1988-

BX830 1962.V322 1988 (In Lemieux Library)

MacNeil, James L.
A Study of Gaudium et Spes 19-22, the Second Vatican Council response to contemporary atheism.

Lewiston, NY: E. Mellen Press, 1997.

BX830 1962 C9798 1997< (In Lemieux Library)


Moser, Antnio
Moral theology: dead ends and alternatives.

Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1990.

BJ1249 .M713 1990 (In Lemieux Library)


O'Connell, Timothy E

Vatican II and its documents: an American reappraisal.
Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, 1986.

BX1751.2 .V35 1986 (In Lemieux Library)



General web sites


The Vatican Archives: Documents of the Second Vatican Council


 II Vatican Council full text search engine , St. Joseph, Austria







The Encyclicals of Pope John XXIII


During his papacy, Pope John XXIII wrote eight encyclicals, two of which are associated with Vatican II: 1) Mater et Magistra, promulgated May 16, 1961, and 2) Pacem In Terris, promulgated April 11, 1963, shortly before his death.

Web sites


Mater et Magistra

Mother and Teacher, On Christianity and Social Progress, 1961


Catholic Social Teaching Documents, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Mater et Magistra Bibliography, The Theology Library

Related readings


Calvez, Jean-Yves

The social thought of John XXIII: Mater et magistra.

Chicago, H. Regnery Company, 1965.

HN37 .C3 A3 1965 (In Lemieux Library)


Dorr, Donal

Option for the poor: A hundred years of Vatican social teaching.

Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1983.

Pages 87-116.

HN37 .C3 D67 1983 (In Lemieux Library)


Gremillion, Joseph

The Gospel of peace and justice: Catholic social teaching since Pope John.
Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1976.

HN37 .C3 G66 1976 (In Lemieux Library)


Web sites

Pacem In Terris

Peace on Earth, On Establishing Universal Peace in Truth, Justice, Charity, and Liberty, 1963

Related readings


Curran, Charles E.

Directions in Catholic Social Ethics.
Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1985.

BJ1249.C816 1985 (In Lemieux Library)


Musto, Ronald G.

Catholic Peacemakers: A documentary history.
New York: Garland, 1993-1996.

BX1795 .P43 M88 1993 V.1 (In Lemieux Library)


Musto, Ronald G.
The Catholic Peace Tradition.
Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1986.

BX1795 .P43 M87 1986 (In Lemieux Library)


O'Brien, David J.
Catholic Social Thought: The documentary heritage.
Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1992.

BX1753 .C39 1992 (In Lemieux Library)






Forty years after the Second Vatican Council:

Post-conciliar Catholicism



Selected Readings Available at Seattle University, Lemieux Library


Burns, Robert A.
Roman Catholicism after Vatican II.

Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2001.
BX945.2 .B87 2001 (In Lemieux Library)

Cahill, Lisa Sowle, ed.

The Family.

London: SCM Press; Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, c1995.

BS680 .F3 F35 1995 (In Lemieux Library)

The Church in the nineties: its legacy, its future.

Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1993.

BX830 1962.I44 1993 (In Lemieux Library)

Curran, Charles E., ed.
Feminist Ethics and the Catholic Moral Tradition.

New York: Paulist Press, 1996.
BJ1395. F448 1996 (In Lemieux Library)

Cozzens, Donald

Faith That Dares to Speak

Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2004

BX1803.C69 2004 (In Lemieux Library)

Douglass, R. Bruce.
Catholicism and Liberalism: Contributions to American public philosophy.

Cambridge [England]; New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

BX1396.2 .C38 1994 (In Lemieux Library)

Doyle, Dennis M.
The Church Emerging from Vatican II: A popular approach to contemporary Catholicism.

Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications, 1992.

BX1390 .D69 1992 (In Lemieux Library)

Dulles, Avery Robert

The Reshaping of Catholicism: Current challenges in the theology of Church.
San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988.

BX1755 .D85 1988 (In Lemieux Library)

Dulles, Avery Robert

The Resilient Church: The necessity and limits of adaptation.

Garden City, NY, 1977.

BX1746 .D82 1977 (In Lemieux Library)

Eagen, Joseph F.

Restoration and renewal: the Church in the third millennium.

Kansas City: Sheed and Ward, 1995.

BX 1746. E14 1995

Farmer, William Reuben

Peter and Paul in the Church of Rome: The ecumenical potential of a forgotten perspective.

New York: Paulist Press, 1990.

BX9.5.P29 F37 1990 (In Lemieux Library)

Flannery, Austin

Vatican Council II: More postconciliar documents.
Northport, NY: Costello Publishing, 1998.

BX830 1962 .A45 C62 1998 (In Lemieux Library)

Fogarty, Gerald P.

American Catholic Biblical Scholarship: A history from the early republic to Vatican II.
San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989.

BS500 .F64 1989 (In Lemieux Library)

Gibson, David

The coming Catholic Church: How the faithful are shaping a new American Catholicism.

San Francisco: Harper, 2003

BX1406.3 .G53 2003 (In Lemieux Library)


Greeley, Andrew

The Catholic revolution: New wine, old wineskins and the Second Vatican Council.

Berekely, University of California Press, 2004

BX830 1962 .G64 2004 (In Lemieux Library)

Hastings, Adrian

Modern Catholicism: Vatican II and after.

London: SPCK; New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

BX1390 .M63 1990 (In Lemieux Library)

Hobgood, Mary E.

Catholic social teaching and economic theory: paradigms in conflict.
Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991.

BX1753.H575 1991 (In Lemieux Library)


Hoover, Brett C. (Reverend Brett C. Hoover, CSP)

Losing your religion, finding your faith: Spirituality for young adults.

New York: Paulist Press, 2003

(ON ORDER @ Lemieux Library)

Jones, Cheslyn

The study of liturgy.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.

BV176 .S76 1978 (In Lemieux Library)


Lakeland, Paul

The liberation of the laity: In search of an accountable Church.

New York: Continuum, 2003)

BX1920.L37 2003 (In Lemieux Library)

McBrien, Richard P.

Report on the Church: Catholicism after Vatican II.
San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1992.

BX1390 .M48 1992 (In Lemieux Library)


McCarthy, Timothy

The Catholic tradition: before and after Vatican II, 1878-1993.

Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1994.

BX1389.M38 1994 (In Lemieux Library)

McCormick, Richard A.

Moral theology: challenges for the future: essays in honor of Richard A. McCormick.

New York: Paulist Press, 1990.

BJ1249 .M666 1990 (In Lemieux Library)

Nilson, Jon
Nothing beyond the necessary: Roman Catholicism and the ecumenical future.
New York: Paulist Press, 1995.

BX1784 .N55 1995 (In Lemieux Library)

Quinn, John R.

The reform of the Papacy: The costly call to Christian unity

New York : Crossroad, 1999.

BX1805.Q56 1999 (In Lemieux Library)


Oakley, Francis (editor)

Governance, accountability and the future of the Catholic Church.

New York : Continuum, 2004.

BX1803.G68 2004 (In Lemieux Library)


Pottmeyer, Hermann Josef

Towards a papacy in communion: perspectives from Vatican Councils I and II.

New York : Crossroad, 1998.

BX1805.P67 1998 (In Lemieux Library)


Richard, Lucien

Vatican II, the unfinished agenda: a look to the future.
New York: Paulist Press, 1987.

BX1755.V247 1987 (In Lemieux Library)

Schssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth (editor).

The Non-ordination of women and the politics of power.
London: SCM Press; Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1999.

BX1912.2 .N66 1999 (In Lemieux Library)

Smith, David Lorne

A handbook of contemporary theology: tracing trends and discerning directions in today's theological landscape.

Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998, c1992.

See the chapter Post-Vatican II Catholicism.

BT28.S55 1998 (In Lemieux Library)

Stourton, Edward.
Absolute truth: the struggle for meaning in today's Catholic Church.
New York: TV Books, 2000.

BX1390 .S86 2000 (In Lemieux Library)

Theobald, Christoph

Unanswered questions.

London: SCM Press; Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1999.

BX830 1962 .U53 1999 (In Lemieux Library)


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