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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.
Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism is the first and most in-depth study of the most important teaching document from Pope Francis to date: Evangelii Gaudium. It explores the key components of his vision and agenda for the church - ecclesiological, social and dialogical - drawing together a range of globally and disciplinary diverse voices from leading experts in the field. Contributions explore Francis' distinctive style of papacy as well as the substance of his ecclesial revolution and reforms. Chapters engage with the most pressing challenges for the church in today's world and Francis' debt to key influences from John XXIII and Vatican II to Liberation Theology. The global context and contributions to the dialogue of this papacy are assessed and discussed in-depth. The scope of the book will appeal to those interested in the Catholic Church in both contemporary and historical contexts and to those seeking to understand where the church is going today.