School of Theology and Seminary Faculty Publications

The Omnipresence of Grace: Revisiting the Relationship between Ad Gentes and Nostra Aetate 50 Years Later

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Arts and Humanities | Catholic Studies | Religion


This article considers the relationship between Vatican II’s Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity (Ad Gentes) and its Declaration on Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate) as a way of better understanding both documents and examining the theology of Vatican II. Following the council’s conclusion there was a sense among many that these texts were fundamentally incompatible. However, examining the perceived tension between them illumines the reality that their teachings are not competitive, but are rooted in the same dynamic notion of God’s grace. As the 50th anniversary of the council nears it is important to reexamine the relationship between these documents as a way of advancing critical questions about the council’s interpretation and the nature of the church’s missionary call.


DOI: 10.1177/0091829613507020