Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 May 2020
The council recovered a more eschatological understanding of the church as a pilgrim people. This emphasis on the “pilgrim” character of the church would prove among the major factors in bringing about the transformation of the self-understanding of the church, thereby providing a theological opening for the council’s program of aggiornamento. Combined with the emergence of an equally dynamic and open-ended pneumatological emphasis in conciliar ecclesiological thinking, this “eschatological turn” helped create conditions for the possibility of major ecclesial renewal and reform. This chapter will consider the emergence and development of such ecclesiological elements in the council’s vision, considering the key particular texts that specifically gave expression to this open-ended sense of the church’s life, mission, and relationship to the wider world.