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The second Vatican Council, which concluded in December 1965, inaugurated a reformation process in the Catholic Church that continues to this day. Grounding his discussion in the documents that came out of Vatican II, Robert Burns addresses four critical questions that face the Church largely as an outcome of this first truly global Church council. First, Burns presents an overview of the evolving Roman Catholic understanding of Jesus Christ. He follows with an analysis of authority within the Church, a matter of some contention in today's democratic societies, and a discussion of Catholicism as a global church incorporating people and practices from many cultures. Finally, Burns examines the validity of other religions in relation to the Christian claim that salvation through Jesus is unique and final. A readable introduction for all Catholics interested in learning more about their church, the book includes features such as chapter summaries and study questions that also make it an ideal textbook for undergraduates or parish study.
Robert A. Burns, OP, chair of the Religious Studies Program at the University of Arizona, is author of Roman Catholicism: Yesterday and Today.