Few people realise that Karl Barth, the twentieth century's greatest Protestant theologian, was among a select group of non-Catholic observers who were invited to the Second Vatican Council to assist in the reform and renewal of the Roman Catholic Church. In Reforming Rome Donald Norwood offers the first book-length study of Barth's involvement with Vatican II and his impact on the reform of Rome. Norwood examines Barth's critical engagement with the Roman Catholic Church from his time at the (Catholic) University of Munster to his connection with Vatican II, his conversations with Pope Paul VI, and seminars and interviews he gave about the Council afterward.
Though Barth himself wrote a brief account of what happened at Vatican II, he only reports his questions, not the answers given to him by the Pope and other Catholic theologians.
Norwood amplifies this account based on a careful study of Council documents and debates, Catholic theologians' criticisms of Barth, and the whole range of Barth's numerous theological writings.