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Brepols Vatican II Studies

Editors: Mathijs Lamberigts Gabriel Flynn
Publishing Manager: Chris VandenBorre
Details View online content List of Publications

ISSN 2983-9335

Method of peer review
double-blind undertaken by an external specialist (i.c. appointed by the Board)

Accepts Contributions in Open Access


60 Years after the Opening of the Council

2022 marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. In the context of the commemoration of this historic event, the Editorial Board and Brepols are launching a new series, entitled Brepols Vatican II Studies.

There is common agreement that the monumental History of Vatican II (1995-2006; 5 vols), under the direction of Giuseppe Alberigo (Istituto per le Scienze Religiose) has offered the academic community a very fine historical framework regarding the history of Vatican II. However, since the termination of that project, many conciliar inventories and diaries have been published, both in print and online. The Vatican II Papers preserved in the ‘Archivio Segreto Vaticano’, renamed ‘Archivio Apostolico Vaticano / the Vatican Apostolic Archive’, are now open to researchers, thus contributing further to a detailed reconstruction of the genesis and evolution of the conciliar texts. The ‘Archivio Apostolico Vaticano’ also offers a wealth of information about the work in preparatory and conciliar commissions, thus enabling researchers to focus in a detailed way on the activities of the members of these commissions.

Promoting New Interest in Vatican II

With this new Series, we hope to establish an enduring interest in research on Vatican II. We seek to realise this important goal in several ways. Crucial to understanding Vatican II is the provision of detailed surveys of the genesis of concrete documents. Thanks to the Vatican II documentation preserved in the ‘Archivio Apostolico Vaticano’, such surveys will now be possible and will greatly assist in the provision of accurate, source-based accounts of the history of these documents. The Series provides an opportunity for such original studies.

Biographies of Key Council Protagonists

Vatican II provided a global forum for bishops and theologians who were willing to contribute to John XXIII’s aggiornamento. Indeed, bishops from all continents served generously during the Council either in commissions or through public interventions. While some leading cardinals and bishops, including Lercaro, Tisserant and Willebrands, and acclaimed theologians including, among others, Congar and de Lubac, have been the subject of important monographs, for many bishops and theologians this indispensable work remains to be done. We are convinced that now is the opportune moment to fill this lacuna by providing high-quality, historical, academic biographies for some of the great but neglected figures of the Council era. We believe that such biographies written sine ira et studio, will make a singular contribution to an enhanced understanding of the role of the men and women who made the Council. The same may be said of the (official) periti. For most of them, Vatican II was either the crowning of their years of theological engagement in the Church or the beginning of an international theological career at and after the Council. Since the focus of the proposed biographies is on persons with an active career before, during, and after the Council, we believe that such volumes will enhance our knowledge of their theological ideas prior to the Council, the reason why they were invited to participate in the Council, but also about the reception of the Council. Indeed, how theologians and bishops perceived the Council in the post-Vatican II world, is an important indicator concerning the lenses through which they looked during the Council.

A further strand of studies in the Series will focus on the role of a person, a group, an episcopal conference or a country during the Council as such. In this regard, one also thinks of the presence of many bishops at the Council who belonged to religious orders and congregations. In this domain, much of the work remains to be done. The same may be said of the observers and lay participants.

No Ecumenical Council without Reception

While the post-Vatican II reception will receive attention in the above-mentioned biographies, we will also provide ample space for reception studies properly speaking. The Council was received in diverse ways in the different continents. A Council proves its merit precisely in its reception. This Series, having a clear historical focus, offers a forum for studies on the reception of the Council in the decades following its closure, the Synod of 1985, an evaluation of the Council, being the terminus ad quem. Finally, while much work has been done on the pre-Vatican II movements, especially in Europe, the important movements of renewal on other continents, require further in-depth study. This Series will provide an international forum for the study of the pre-conciliar movements on all continents.


A Series at the Service of Academia

The intended audience for the Series includes students and academic scholars on the one hand, and, on the other, a broad informed audience wishing to read and to learn about the Council’s history. The Series focuses on publications in English, the lingua franca of the 21st century. We aim to provide books with a maximum length of 100,000 to 120,000 words. We hope the Series will contribute to a renewed interest in the study of Vatican II and its documents, as well as in those who made the Council.


    Editorial Board
    Sandra Arenas
    Regina Heyder
    Dries Bosschaert 
    Mary K. Holman
    Francesca Cadeddu 
    Leo Kenis
    Catherine Clifford 
    Mathijs Lamberigts
    Peter De Mey
    Silvia Scatena
    Gabriel Flynn 
    Karim Schelkens


    Main Language: English

    All volumes in this series are evaluated by an Editorial Board, strictly on academic grounds, based on reports prepared by referees who have been commissioned by virtue of their specialism in the appropriate field. The Board ensures that the screening is done independently and without conflicts of interest. The definitive texts supplied by authors are also subject to review by the Board before being approved for publication.

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