Vatican II Conference image

The Legacy and Limits of Vatican II in an Age of Crisis:
Gender, Race, Abuse, and the Living Catholic Tradition

November 30 – December 2, 2023 at The Inn at Villanova


Edward Hahnenberg (John Carroll University – Cleveland)
Mary Kate Holman (Benedictine University - Chicago)
Jaisy Joseph (Villanova University - Pennsylvania)
Carlos Schickendantz (Universidad Alberto Hurtado - Santiago de Chile)


Thank you for your interest in the Vatican II Conference. We invite the public to attend a free panel discussion on Vatican II and Synodality on the afternoon of Thursday, November 30, on the main campus at Villanova University.

For those not participating in the conference, please know that the papers presented will be published in a book by Liturgical Press. Details about the public event will be provided here in the fall.

For questions, you may contact the conference secretary at or the conference co-director at

The conference is sponsored by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Office for Mission and Ministry at Villanova University.

Villanova University announces a call for papers for a conference on the Second Vatican Council (November 30 – December 2, 2023, Villanova University). In light of the serious challenges facing the Church today—many of which were not anticipated by the council—the conference will explore how the event of Vatican II, its agenda for renewal, and its reception (or lack thereof) can inform a faith-filled response to the new “signs of the times.” The legacy of the council’s teaching on topics ranging from the laity, ecclesiology, and ecumenism to the Church’s understanding of the modern state, culture, and the very nature of the human person risk becoming irrelevant if they cannot be retrieved and reimagined within the atmospheres of a polarized Church and world. This conference seeks to begin just such a conversation about Vatican II in the context of the current ecclesial crisis. 

Paper proposals, related to the theology and reception of Vatican II, are encouraged on the following topics: theology of the laity and clericalism; gender and the role of women in the Church; racism; the abuse crisis in the Church; post-colonial and de-colonial critique; the resurgence of anti-Semitism; the new “political ecumenism”; the Church and the internet/social media; evangelization and the youth; the rise of anti-Vatican II traditionalism/conservatism; the Church and the “culture wars”; Vatican II and the identity of Catholic institutions today (education, health care, charities, etc.).

The steering committee is composed of Catherine Clifford (Saint Paul University, Ottawa), Kristin Colberg (St. John’s University, Collegeville MN), Massimo Faggioli (Villanova University), and Edward Hahnenberg (John Carroll University, Cleveland).

Proposals of no more than 300 words should be submitted by April 30, 2023, to Massimo Faggioli ( and to the secretary of the steering committee, Theresa Gardner (

Liturgical Press is committed to publish an edited volume of the proceedings of the conference.

Department of Theology and Religious Studies
800 E. Lancaster Ave.
St. Augustine Center Room 203
Villanova, PA 19085


Recordings of Theology and Religious Studies sponsored lectures, making them accessible to the wider community, can be viewed on the TRS YouTube playlist.