Investigating Vatican II is a collection of Fr. Jared Wicks’ recent articles on Vatican II, and presents the Second Vatican Council as an event to which theologians contributed in major ways and from which Catholic theology can gain enormous insights. Taken as a whole, the articles take the reader into the theological dynamics of Vatican II at key moments in the Council’s historical unfolding. Wicks promotes a contemporary re-reception of Vatican II’s theologically profound documents, especially as they featured God’s incarnate and saving Word, laid down principles of Catholic ecumenical engagement, and articulated the church’s turn to the modern world with a new "face" of respect and dedication to service. From the original motivations of Pope John XXIII in convoking the Council, Investigating Vatican II goes on to highlight the profound insights offered by theologians who served behind the scenes as Council experts. In its chapters, the book moves through the Council’s working periods, drawing on the published and non-published records, with attention to the Council’s dramas, crises, and breakthroughs. It brings to light the bases of Pope Francis’s call for synodality in a listening church, while highlighting Vatican II’s mandate to all of prayerful biblical reading, for fostering a vibrant "joy in the Gospel."
"The key word here is Pope St. John XXIII’s 'rejuvenation.' Jared Wicks, a scholar’s scholar and a man of the Church, brings forth from Vatican II treasures old and new... Father Wicks's book will be indispensable to scholars and students alike who wish to know more about the theological and spiritual riches--and ongoing relevance--of Vatican II as a Christ-centered event."~Christopher J. Ruddy, The Catholic University of America
"Here is a little jewel arriving from across the Atlantic and at risk of being lost in the forest of good books already written about the Second Vatican Council; that would be a pity. Jared Wicks, erudite Jesuit and dogmatician, portrays the council as an occasion where theologians played a major role, and from which Catholic theology today could still benefit greatly."~Nouvelle Revue Theologique
"The essays in this volume make a significant contribution to a balanced, mature understanding of the achievements of the Second Vatican Council. Jared Wicks, SJ, has taken into account important new materials in several languages, published and unpublished, to illuminate the process by which the conciliar documents were edited and approved... Furthermore, this volume takes account of the reception of important teachings of Vatican II in post-conciliar magisterial documents, including the work of Pope Francis, whose papacy marks a new moment for the re-reception of the conciliar teachings. Every serious student and scholar of Vatican II will benefit by reading this volume."~Peter Bernardi, SJ, Loyola University Chicago
"There is no better theological guide to ‘investigating Vatican II’ than Jared Wicks. This set of essays draws together multiple kinds of primary sources... to give fine-grained detail to what are still too often tiresome generalizations about the workings of Vatican II... Wicks’s book, written especially for students of theology and their teachers, is in the vanguard of those seeking to re-receive the Council’s Christological center in a scholarly as well as pastorally vibrant and rejuvenating way."~James Bucklet, Loyola University Maryland
" Investigating Vatican II draws together a lifetime of research to demonstrate that the council was not merely a moment in history, but a theological event with profound implications for the life of the church today. With a seemingly inexhaustible knowledge of primary sources—archived reports, unpublished diaries, letters and essays in several languages—Jared Wicks takes his readers behind the scenes at Vatican II. He offers a compelling narrative of how church leaders open to reform came together with theologians steeped in the tradition in order to renew the face of the church, showing to the world, in the words of John XXIII, the ‘perennial youthfulness’ of the Body of Christ."~Edward P. Hahnenberg, author of A Concise Guide to the Documents of Vatican II
"Among the hundreds of theologians and other scholars who in the past fifty years have written on Vatican II, Jared Wicks is outstanding. His writings on the council will be read and quoted long after most of the others are forgotten. Everything Jared Wicks writes is invariably based on solid textural evidence that has been carefully weighed and evaluated. This collection of his articles on the council is no exception. We are all in debt to the the Catholic University of American Press for publishing it."~John O'Malley, University Professor, Georgetown University
"Wicks’s take on Vatican II is historically very sound and clear... there is a sense of urgency in rediscovering the history and theology of Vatican II in a way that opens a process of re-reception of Vatican II."~Theologische Revue