Vatican II is subject of annual Cole lectures at Vanderbilt

The Rev. John O’Malley, University Professor at Georgetown University, will speak about Vatican II

The Rev. John W. O’Malley speaks Oct. 21-22

The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, or Vatican II, put the condition and future of the Catholic faith on the table for discussion.

Nearly 45 years after the three-year council ended, the effects of Vatican II are still being felt, from the role of laity to the language used in services.

For the annual Cole Lectures at Vanderbilt University, the Rev. John W. O’Malley will deliver two talks about “What Happened at Vatican II.”

The lectures, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, and 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 22, will be held in Benton Chapel on the Vanderbilt campus. Both are free and open to the public.

The lectures will be videotaped and posted as podcasts on the Vanderbilt News Service site,

O’Malley, University Professor at Georgetown University, is an historian and author of many books on the history of the Catholic Church, including A History of the Popes: From Paul to Present and What Happened at Vatican II.

Philanthropist Edmund W. Cole, president of Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad and treasurer of the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust, endowed the annual Cole Lecture Series in 1892 “for the defense and advocacy of the Christian religion.” Cole’s gift provided for the first sustained lectureship in the history of Vanderbilt University.

The lectures have been delivered by such distinguished scholars as Harry Emerson Fosdick, George Buttrick, Paul Tillich, Don Beisswenger, David Buttrick, Jim Wallis and James Lawson.

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