Vatican II@50 is a series of programs recognizing the worldwide impact of the Second Vatican Council, convened 50 years ago in 1962 by the enormously influential Pope John XXIII. Among the great legacies of Vatican II are increased tolerance of other religious traditions, a celebration of people’s growing awareness of human dignity, and a renewed perspective on sacred music and art. The Rothko Chapel, John and Dominique de Menil’s gift to Houston, now recognized as an international spiritual landmark, would not exist without the achievement of Vatican II. Vatican II@50 will address these and other important questions with lectures, concerts and conversations that focus on the common vision of Vatican II, the de Menils, and the Rothko Chapel.

Alberto Melloni is a church historian known especially for his work on the Second Vatican Council. He has taught at the University of Bologna, Rome and is now Professor of History of Christianity at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, holder of the UNESCO Chair for Religious Pluralism and Peace, and Director of the Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII for Religious Studies in Bologna. Founded in 1953, the Foundation is one of the most important centers of historical research in Europe.

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