One of the most important documents to emanate from Vatican II was the ""Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World""--and its importance, as some irreverent wag has observed, lies not so much in anything it has to say as in the fact that it constitutes a de facto recognition by the Church, for the first time in four centuries, that such a thing as ""the modern world"" does indeed exist. Such a carefully worded document, and one so intent on hedging all its bets, requires unending explanation and interpretation and speculation, and the purpose of this book (and of a dozen others) is to provide some of those explanations. The eleven chapters of the book--contributed by such prestigious names as Bishop John Wright, Msgr. George Higgins, John Courtney Murray, Francis X. Murphy (who is perhaps the pseudonymous Xavier Rynne), George N. Schuster and William V. O'Brien-were all first submitted as papers at Georgetown's Colloquium on the Church in the Modern World (July, 1966). As may be expected of the contributors and of the Colloquium, they are almost uniformly hard-hitting, trenchant commentaries on such diverse aspects of modern life as spirituality and politics, education and economic life, nuclear deference and family life. Unavoidably, there is a good deal of repetition from one paper to the next, but on the whole this is not only an unusually well organized and unified collection but also the most pertinent of all the commentaries on the ""Constitution"" in question. This will be a worthwhile addition to all Catholic libraries of any size.