John W. O'Malley S.J.
Histories of theology move seamlessly from late-medieval Scholasticism to the Reformation and bypass the important theological contribution of Renaissance humanists such as Lorenzo Valla and Erasmus. The article will explain the reasons for this oblivion, provide a sketch of the theological achievements of the humanists, and, most important, show how strikingly that achievement anticipated Vatican II.
Few ideas have impacted the church more than reform, but in recent centuries it virtually disappeared from theological discourse. That changed on December 22, 2005, when Pope Benedict XVI, in his address to the Roman Curia, introduced “hermeneutic of reform” as the proper category for interpreting Vatican II. John O’Malley here traces the history of