Pope Benedict XVI has proposed continuity and discontinuity as a way of interpreting the reform brought by Vatican II. But how much continuity? And how much discontinuity? Fr Gerald O'Collins SJ, the renowned Jesuit theologian and author, will reflect on this theme with a lecture at Heythrop College in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. He will also launch his new book A Midlife Journey at the event at 6.30pm on Thursday 18 October 2012.
Fr O'Collins SJ is one of the best-known theologians and spiritual writers in the English-speaking world. He has written or co-authored some 60 books, has lectured and taught in England, Ireland, the United States and his native Australia, as well as for many years at the Gregorian University in Rome.
His latest book provides a fascinating insight into one of the most momentous decades of the Church's history. It is set against the background of the events that swept the world, from the death of President Kennedy to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and of the spiritual revolution caused by the Second Vatican Council. Writing on the book, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton says: 'With remarkable honesty and lucidity, Gerald describes the impact of the Council on his generation of young priests. He pulls no punches as he narrates the challenge to his thinking and calling to celibacy. The story could easily have been sanitized.
Thankfully he has not given into that temptation. He has presented a fascinating and detailed autobiography of a fruitful and fulfilled life.'
A Midlife Journey presents a personal counterpoint to turbulent times inside and outside the Catholic Church. The period it covers coincided with all the dramatic events of post-war European reconstruction, the demise of the British Empire, May 1968 in France, the Beatles generation and the revolution in world Christianity that was Vatican II.
Admission to Fr O'Collins' lecture at Heythrop College on 18 October is free - but booking is essential: contact Annabel Clarkson, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Midlife Journey by Gerald O'Collins SJ is published by Gracewing at £15.99; ISBN 978-0-85244-803-8