Original Research - Special Collection: James Alfred Loader Dedication

A Protestant perspective on Vatican II & 50 years: An engagement with dissent

Graham A. Duncan
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 69, No 1 | a1911 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1911 | © 2013 Graham A. Duncan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 December 2012 | Published: 21 May 2013

About the author(s)

Graham A. Duncan, Department of Church History and Church Polity, University of Pretoria, South Africa


The Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) is regarded by many in Protestant circles as one of the most significant processes in ecumenical church history during the 20th century. At the time hopes were high that closer cooperation was a reality to be embraced and achieved. Concurrently, a younger generation of Roman Catholic theologians began to make their mark on the ecumenical theological scene. Their work has provided a bridge between the two ecclesiastical traditions, notwithstanding the subsequent negative response of the Roman church hierarchy. Despite important advances, recent pontificates have destroyed much of the enthusiasm and commitment to unity. This article examines the disjuncture in views regarding the outcomes of the Council and points of contact with Protestant thinking.


authority; church; collegiality; Hans Kung; papacy; Protestant; Roman Catholic Vatican II


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