Academic journal article Theological Studies

A Council That Will Never End: Lumen Gentium and the Church Today

Academic journal article Theological Studies

A Council That Will Never End: Lumen Gentium and the Church Today

Article excerpt

A Council That Will Never End: Lumen Gentium and the Church Today. By Paul Lakeland. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 2013. Pp. xxxiii + 158. $19.95.

In this little masterpiece, Lakeland imaginatively reveals the depth of Lumen gentium, critiques the narcissism and intransigent clericalism that prevents the fulfillment of Vatican II, and builds a case for a theology of humility for the Catholic Church.

Exploring the "unfinished business" of Lumen gentium, L. deftly sidesteps the long-running standoff between those who argue for a hermeneutic of continuity for the council and those who urge a hermeneutic of reform (xv). The council, L. explains, was embracive rather than exclusionary. It welcomed dialogue and learning from all peoples of faith: all are broken and vulnerable, all are on this journey together to heal the world and realize the kingdom of God.

L.'s acute insights draw on sources that range from the short story "Revelation" by Flannery O'Connor to the profound commentary on Lumen gentium by Karl Rahner and Yves Congar. Unfolding the dimensions of the parable of the Good Samaritan, L. says that the Church has too often been self-centered, replete with clericalism, and preoccupied with its own virtue. The point of the parable is not about dismantling righteousness as such; rather it expands our very notion of neighbor. …

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