Great Grace Conference - Receiving Vatican II Today

Last edited 12th June 2013

Great Grace Conference - Receiving Vatican II Today

Workshop - In the Beginning... The Biblical Imperative of Vatican II - Dr Robert Hugh Tilley

When we think of the Second Vatican Council and the Bible it is easy to think only of Dei Verbum, and although this is where we would start, nevertheless unless we see something of how this Document relates to the overall Council, we will miss its full significance. This is because informing the Council was a biblical logic that can be characterised as gracefulness, the major characteristic of which is the principle of expansive inclusiveness. It is in the Church that the meaning of the Bible grows; that is, grows as a seed grows into a tree, a tree tall and majestic, and, to borrow from the words of Jesus, one that becomes the home of all the birds of the world (Mark 4:31-32).

The goal of this workshop is to show how the graceful dynamic of expansive inclusiveness is present in the Council and in the Scriptures. We will see how this dynamic serves both to frame the Bible and to elucidate the meaning of its contents. That is, to show how this dynamic is present in the opening chapters of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, and how it is brought to completion in the closing chapters of the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible.

The question we want to take away from this workshop is this: in light of Dei Verbum how are we to serve the Church and, thereby, serve the world, which is to say to help in some small measure the bringing about of the New Jerusalem?

- Dr Robert Hugh Tilley, Lecturer in Biblical Studies, The Catholic Institute of Sydney