Pope Paul VI characterized the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom — Dignitatis Humanae — as one of the greatest documents of Vatican II. It is also perhaps the most intensely debated document of the Council; both the drafting of the Declaration of Religious Freedom and its reception have been marked by deep disagreements about what this teaching means for the Church.
In this book David Schindler and Nicholas Healy promote a deeper understanding of this important document. In addition to presenting a new translation of the approved text of the Declaration, Freedom, Truth, and Human Dignity makes available for the first time in English the five drafts of the document that were presented to the Council bishops leading up to the final version. The book also includes an original interpretive essay on Dignitatis Humanae by Schindler and an essay on the genesis and redaction history of the text by Healy.
Dignitatis Humanae is one of the most theologically complex documents of the Second Vatican Council. Schindler and Healy place its teaching on religious freedom within the context of the rich theological anthropology to be found in the magisterial documents of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI. . . . This work will be of immense value to theologians and lawyers and all concerned about religious freedom.
—Tracey Rowland, John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, Melbourne, Australia
In addition to a superb new annotated translation, the commentaries on Dignitatis Humanae by Schindler and Healy will allow many of its readers for the first time to understand the fullest intention of the Church's modern teaching on religious liberty.
—Patrick J. Deneen, University of Notre Dame
Why does Western liberal culture invariably weaken religious attitudes and so easily turn to anti-Christian secularism? Schindler and Healy raise the discussion on this urgent question to a totally new level in this book. They masterfully point out that only by linking freedom with truth can the Church provide an authentic Christian answer to the modern and postmodern disease of relativism.
—Jaroslaw Kupczak OP, The Pontifical University of John Paul II, Kraków, Poland
David L. Schindler is Edouard Cardinal Gagnon Professor of Fundamental Theology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America, Washington DC.
Nicholas J. Healy Jr. is assistant professor of philosophy at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America.