Lumen Gentium, Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, changed how the church thinks about the laity, holiness, baptism, and even the nature and purpose of the church itself. In A Council That Will Never End, the highly regarded ecclesiologist Paul Lakeland marks the fiftieth anniversary of this document's promulgation by taking up three major themes of the constitution, analyzing the text, and identifying some of the questions with which it leaves us. These themes are
Lakeland is convinced that Lumen Gentium leaves much unfinished business (as any historical document must), that attending to it will take us beyond much of the now sterile ecclesial divisions, and that the ecclesiology of humility it implies marks the way that theology must guide the church in the years ahead.
Paul Lakeland is the Aloysius P. Kelley, SJ, Professor of Catholic Studies and director of the Center for Catholic Studies at Fairfield University. He is active in the American Academy of Religion, the Catholic Theological Society of America, and the Workgroup for Constructive Theology. He is the author of Church: Living Communion (Liturgical Press); The Liberation of the Laity: In Search of an Accountable Church; and Catholicism at the Crossroads: How the Laity Can Save the Church.