Academic journal article Theological Studies

The Church in Council: Conciliar Movements, Religious Practice, and the Papacy from Nicaea to Vatican II

Academic journal article Theological Studies

The Church in Council: Conciliar Movements, Religious Practice, and the Papacy from Nicaea to Vatican II

Article excerpt

THE CHURCH IN COUNCIL: CONCILIAR MOVEMENTS, RELIGIOUS PRACTICE, AND THE PAPACY FROM NICAEA TO VATICAN II. By Norman Tanner. International Library of Historical Studies, vol. 72. New York: I. B. Tauris, 2011. Pp. xi + 249. $92.

A collection of Tanner's previously published articles, essays, and other shorter works on the history of church councils, the volume offers a concise and accessible overview of conciliar practices and accomplishments. T. divides 21 councils into eight of the "Early Church" (Nicaea to Constantinople IV); ten in the "Middle Ages" (Lateran I to Lateran V); and three for the "Modern Era" (Trent to Vatican II). He stresses that the first group of councils were called by emperors or empresses, did their work in Greek, dealt mainly with doctrinal questions, and were primarily Eastern, or even Asian: the medieval councils were Western and Latin, dealt principally with discipline, and most were called by popes: the three "modem" councils were all called by popes, though the degree of papal direction of them varied, as did their doctrinal and/or disciplinary purposes. At Vatican II, while Western European bishops still dominated the council, the rest of the world was growing in representation. …

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