Trent and its Impact


With the conference “Trent and its Impact” on November 7th & 8th, 2013, Georgetown University celebrated the 450th anniversary of the closing of the Council of Trent on December 4, 1563. The council was both an answer to the Reformation and an attempt to reform the Catholic Church. It had an extraordinarily troubled history that extended over eighteen years and that involved emperors, kings and queens, and five popes. Directly and indirectly, the council had an immense impact not only on Catholics and other Christians but on almost every aspect of western culture. Its successful conclusion marked the beginning, therefore, of what is often referred to as the Tridentine Era in Catholicism—an era that lasted until the mid-twentieth century with the Vatican Council II.

The Georgetown conference brought together a group of distinguished scholars to examine the council from the perspectives of their respective disciplines. It opened with brief introductions to the council and a performance of Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli (Pope Marcellus Mass), which has long been described as having saved the council from prohibiting polyphony.

Background reading on the Council of Trent:

The Conference

November 7, 2013 | VIDEO

President John J. DeGioia, Georgetown University

Introduction to the Conference
John W. O’Malley, S.J., Georgetown University

Introduction to the Music
Anthony DelDonna, Georgetown University

Missa Papae Marcelli (Pope Marcellus Mass) by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina 
Conducted by Frederick Binkholder, Georgetown University 
Performed by the Georgetown University Chamber Singers

Further Reflections and Question & Answer Session
Anthony DelDonna and John O’Malley

Friday, November 8, 2013

“What Happened at Trent” | VIDEO
John W. O’Malley, S.J., Georgetown University
Amy E. Leonard, Georgetown University, Moderator

Before and After Trent | VIDEO
“Theological and Reform Prelude: The Councils before Trent” 
Nelson H. Minnich, The Catholic University of America

“What Happened and Did Not Happen After Trent” 
Simon Ditchfield, University of York, United Kingdom

David J. Collins, S.J., Georgetown University, Moderator

Trent and Culture | VIDEO
“The Sensual and the Sensuous in the Art of the Tridentine Period”
Marcia Hall, Temple University 
Tracy Cooper, Temple University

“Reckoning with Trent: Poetry and Faith in Torquato Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered”
Laura Benedetti, Georgetown University

Alfred Acres, Georgetown University, Moderator

Protestant and Catholic Perspectives on Trent and Afterwards | VIDEO
“Early Lutheran Perspectives on Trent”
Kenneth Appold, Princeton Theological Seminary

“From Trent’s reform decrees to Vatican II as a pastoral council of aggiornamento, via Carlo Borromeo and Angelo Roncalli”
Jared Wicks, S.J., emeritus, Pontifical Gregorian University; Scholar in Residence, Pontifical College Josephinum

Michael Root, The Catholic University of America, Moderator

Trent: So What? | VIDEO
Further discussion and questions

John Borelli, Georgetown University, Moderator