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Vatican II


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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures xi Acknowledgments xiii Introduction 1 What Does Not Explain the Council 4 Part I: Explaining the Council 5 Part II: The Case Studies 8 The Data 9 Part I: Explaining the Council 11 Chapter One: Collective Effervescence and the Holy Spirit: The Eventful First Session 13 Eventful Sociology and Vatican II 14 Trying to Ensure a Rubber-Stamp Council: The Curia on the Eve of Vatican II 16 The Chain of Occurrences 17 The Effects: Collective Effervescence and the Holy Spirit 22 Conservatives: Waiting for the Holy Spirit 26 Conclusion: The Transformation of Structures 27 Chapter Two: Who Wanted What and Why at the Second Vatican Council? Toward a Theory of Religious Change 29 Measuring Organizational Strategies 30 The Four Groups of Bishops and Their Votes 32 Theories of Religious Competition 42 Theories of Institutional Legitimacy and Organizational Change 45 Combining Theories 47 The Ecumenical Movement 51 Conclusion: Competition from the Perspective of the Competitors 55 Chapter Three: How Culture Mattered at Vatican II: Collegiality Trumps Authority in the Council's "Social Movement Organizations" 57 Organizational Effectiveness and Culture at Vatican II 58 Competing Views of Authority in the Roman Catholic Church 59 The DM's Belief in Collegiality 61 The CIP's Suspicions about Collegiality 62 The Domus Mariae 63 The Coetus Internationalis Patrum 68 Tactics in Common: Petitions, Votes, and the Modi 74 Conclusion: Institutional Rules, Models of Authority, Semi-Marginality, and Organizational Effectiveness 77 Part II: The Case Studies 83 Chapter Four: The Declaration on Religious Freedom: Ceding Power, Gaining Legitimacy 85 Critiques of Hypocrisy: Illegitimacy before the Council 86 Roman Catholic Reactions 88 The Story of Reform 91 Conclusion: The Power of Legitimacy 100 Chapter Five: The Blessed Virgin Mary: The Toughest Fight of the Council 102 Catholic and Protestant Views of Mary 103 The First Session 104 The Second Session: The Closest Vote of the Council 105 The Third Session and More Controversy 110 Conclusion: Mary's Deaccentuation 114 Chapter Six: The Council's Failure to Liberalize Birth Control: Lackluster Progressive Effort Meets a Hesitant Pope 116 Christianity's Varied Stances on Birth Control 117 Pressure to Change 119 Deliberations on Birth Control during the Council 121 Conclusion: The Cost to Religious Authority 124 Rethinking the Council 126 Appendix A: Abbreviations of Primary Sources 129 Appendix B: Methodological Information 131 Votes from the Second Vatican Council 131 Caporale's Sample 132 Members of the Domus Mariae 133 The Dutch Documentation Center (DOC) 136 Analysis of the Ecumenical Review 137 Communism and the Council 137 Appendix C: Timeline of the Second Vatican Council 140 Notes 143 References 175 Index 191

About the Author

Melissa J. Wilde is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.


Honorable Mention for the 2009 Distinguished Book Award, Sociology of Religion Section of the American Sociological Association Winner of the 2008 Distinguished Book Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion "Wilde's innovative methodology has thrown up some extremely interesting ideas. You may not like how she reached her conclusions, but the conclusions themselves are often and fascinating and, for the most part, entirely credible...Wilde offers similar analyses of different sectors of the episcopate--southern European, Latin America, Asian and African--and they add up to an impressive account of the council's convoluted proceedings and machinations. It's often said that Vatican II never pleased anyone completely, but this book makes it abundantly clear that it was energized by what Emile Durkheim, quoted by Wilde, termed a 'collective effervescence'."--Jonathan Wright, Catholic Herald "Vatican II is a historical treasure trove. It breaks new ground in dealing with theories of religious change in institutions, and it answers some key questions about the dynamics of the council... Very few sociological studies rival Wilde's big picture analysis of huge institutional religious change. Though Vatican II is theory-laden, Wilde writes in an accessible and jargon-free fashion to help us see what was at stake and how good organization makes a difference."--John A. Coleman, America "Melissa Wilde provides a useful narrative of events, stressing how early victories by the progressives created a snowball of anticipation and confidence...She also provides interesting detail...[T]his book is an impressive first essay by a young and innovative scholar."--David Martin, The Tablet "This is an insightful review of the human and spiritual dynamics surrounding the great modern council within Catholicism...Wilde brilliantly examines the possible reasons Vatican II became the most radical ecclesial and cultural phenomenon of the 20th century. Drawing on interviews, secret documents and diaries, and contemporary sociological scholarship, she clearly articulates the dynamic tension between progressives and conservatives and the resulting documents with their profound impact on modern society. This analysis grants the reader a privileged glimpse into the personalities and perspectives of ordinary bishops engaged in extraordinary work."--John-Leonard Berg, Library Journal "Vatican II is destined to be widely read and frequently cited in both church and academic circles."--James D. Davidson, American Catholic Studies "Wilde's work constitutes a great contribution not only to the sociology of religion, but to our understanding of how religious structures in general are not explainable by arbitrary command, but vibrant, social movement."--Myles Werntz, Religious Studies Review "This book is the result of meticulous research on hitherto inaccessible sources. It demonstrates how legitimacy concerns are central to most organizational processes in religious institutions... Princeton University Press is to be congratulated for promoting significant new research in contemporary ecclesiastical issues."--Graham Duncan, Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae "Melissa Wilde's Vatican II: A Sociological Analysis of Religious Change, which offers a clear and compelling account of why the world's largest religious tradition, Roman Catholicism, changed course on some key political and liturgical matters in the 1960s, represents one important effort to critique the new paradigm."--W. Bradford Wilcox, American Journal of Sociology "I find Vatican II to be a path-breaking work, one that will influence the field of the sociology of religion for many years to come. Historians, too, will appreciate the chance to get inside the workings of a usually opaque process, whose controversies reverberate to the present day. I urge scholars from both disciplines--and interested Church officials and laity as well--to avail themselves of the opportunity."--Patricia Wittberg, Church History "This study is a valuable addition to any student's understanding of the Council, and should be in every college, university, and seminary library with holdings in the study of the Council. It would also be a good addition to larger parish collections, especially in those with a lively interest in the Council. It is easy to downplay the importance of the Council, or to ascribe simplistic reasoning to the profound results of the Council. But Dr. Wilde has shown the complexity of how those results came about in her areas of study, and what could have been a dry, academic study has been brought to life."--Cecil R. White, Catholic Library World "Wilde has accomplished a monumental task by taking on theoretical insufficiencies of supply-side and organizational field hypotheses, by mining thoughtfully and carefully an enormous volume of qualitative data, and by bringing cultural arguments to the fore in explaining change in organizations through analysis of the Catholic Church."--Katherine Meyer, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion "Wilde's account will fascinate not only those interested in Vatican II but anyone who wants to understand the social underpinnings of religious change."--World Book Industry

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