The following are significant books in various areas of ecumenical theology and ministry. They have been grouped by occasional updates in order of most recent to oldest. This list includes ministerial-focused as well as academic-focused works. If you know of other books that might be added to this list, please contact us.
New books of Note in Ecumenism, June 30, 2016
Maxson, Natalie. Journey for Justice: The Story of Women in the WCC. Geneva: World Council of Churches Publications, 2016.
The first half of the book is a narrative history of the involvement of women in the World Council of Churches from 1930 to the 2000s; the second half provides compelling “biographies and testimonies from sisters and brothers in the struggle,” and concludes with an ecumenical timeline of events, leaders and publications that highlight the contributions and accomplishments of women in the ecumenical movement, from 1895-2015.
New books of Note in Ecumenism, March 30, 2016
Chapman, Mark D. & Miriam Haar. Pathways for Ecclesial Dialogue in the Twenty-First Century: Revisiting Ecumenical Method. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
“This collection is the second volume of essays that began life as short presentations at the conference of the Ecclesiological Investigations International Research Network, ‘Where We Dwell in Common,’ which took place in Assisi, Italy, from April 17 to 20, 2012, which was explicitly intended to reignite the flame of ecumenical dialogue (p.1)…The overall aim of the gathering at Assisi was to discern new ways, means, and methods for advancing the dialogical cause” (p. 5).
Kinnamon, Michael, ed. The Ecumenical Movement: An Anthology of Key Texts and Voices. 2nd edition. New York: World Council of Churches Publications, 2015.
Updated from the 1997 edition with several dozen new texts, this anthology offers nearly 140 documents: official dialogue reports, ecumenical statements, prophetic voices, and global perspectives on all four streams of the ecumenical movement: life & work, faith & order, mission & evangelism, and spiritual ecumenism.
Harmon, Steven R. Baptist Identity and the Ecumenical Future: Story, Tradition, and the Recovery of Community. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2015.
Baptist ecumenical theologian Harmon calls Baptists to a pilgrimage towards visible Christian unity, positing “an ecumenical future that would include a mutual sharing of the gifts of catholicity and Baptist-ness, facilitated by a recognition by Baptists and Catholics alike that being Baptist is a distinctive way of being Catholic, in communion with the bishop of Rome…and…the recognition by Rome… that the church that is made by and makes the Eucharist includes the churches that exercise congregational oversight as they gather in the name of Christ as well as those that are overseen by the historic episcopate” (pp. 16-17).
Sjollema, Baldwin. Never Bow to Racism: A Personal Account of the Ecumenical Struggle. Geneva: World Council of Churches Publications, 2015.
An autobiographical account of one who devoted his life to leading the churches’ efforts to dismantle apartheid, from work with Dutch refugees in the 1950s to Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in the 1990s, told in the context of the controversial anti-apartheid efforts of the World Council’s Programme to Combat Racism.
New books of Note in Ecumenism, December 11, 2015
Bosse-Huber, Petra, et al, eds. Reformation: Legacy and Future. Geneva: World Council of Churches, 2015.
Papers from 38 contributors, originating from a 2012 joint preparatory congress for the 2017 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation sponsored by the Evangelical Church in Germany and the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, address Biblical studies; the theological legacy of the Reformation; themes and impact of the Reformation in the areas of church history, social history, dogmatics, and ecumenism; the churches and the Reformation; and evaluating the Jubilee Conference. Most of the papers address the ongoing historical significance of the Reformation. Attention is also given to global Christianity (e.g. “Protestantism and Postconfessionalism in Korea, “The Reformation Jubilee and Christianity in China”), to perspectives from the free churches and churches of the radical Reformation, and to ecumenical achievements (Cardinal Koch on “Commemorating the Reformation from an Ecumenical Perspective”).
Pedlar, James E. Division, Diversity and Unity. American University Studies Series VII, Theology and Religion, vol. 351. New York: Peter Lang, 2015.
This published doctoral dissertation from the Toronto School of Theology utilizes biblical and theological understandings of charism to develop an ecumenical ecclesiology of Spirit-given diversity though specialized movements in the church, using the Salvation Army and the Paulist Order as exemplars.
Ryan, Thomas. Christian Unity: How You Can Make a Difference. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2015.
Fr. Ryan makes current ecumenical theology both accessible and relevant. Challenging each church member to be tangibly involved in the work for Christian unity, he offers specific, attainable ideas for living out Jesus’ “twin imperatives” of mission and unity. I especially commend it for parish study groups who want to develop or deepen their engagement with other parts of the Christian family.
New books of Note in Ecumenism, June 2, 2015
Aageson, Julie K., et al. One Hope: Re-Membering the Body of Christ. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress; Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2015.
Six Lutheran and Catholic authors designed this small book as an eight-session study resource for local joint Lutheran Catholic commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017. The chapters are designed around spiritual practices (praying/breathing, eating/drinking, singing/worshiping, forgiving/reconciling, serving/seeking justice, dying/grieving), and each session briefly covers why this matters, shared witness, shared practices, and shared hope. The book ends with discussion questions for each chapter.
New books of Note in Ecumenism: Year 2014
Chapman, Mark D. The Fantasy of Reunion: Anglicans, Catholics, and Ecumenism, 1833-1882. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.
The Anglican author, a Reader in Modern Theology at the University of Oxford and Vice-Principal of Ripon College, presents a “pre-history of ecumenism,” tracing “the different understandings of ‘catholicity’ that emerged in the interactions between the Church of England and other churches – particularly the Roman Catholic Church – from the early 1830s to the early 1880s” (p.1). The key ecumenical conflict, which the author identifies as still unresolved today, is the “special catholicity” of an international papacy versus the “temporal catholicity” of loosely federated national churches.
Chryssavgis, John, ed. Dialogue of Love; Breaking the Silence of Centuries. New York: Fordham University Press, 2014.
An excellent concise overview of 50 years of Roman Catholic-Orthodox dialogue through four essays: John Chryssavgis on the meeting of Athenagoras and Paul VI in Jerusalem in 1964; Brian E. Daley, S.J. on fifty years of dialogue; Georges Florovsky’s reflection on the 1964 meeting, published here in English translation for the first time; and Walter Kasper on the 2014 meeting between Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis.
Cole, Allan Hugh, ed. Theology in Service to the Church: Global and Ecumenical Perspectives. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2014.
Papers presented at the 2012 Williamson Distinguished Scholars Conference at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary on the title topic, grouped in categories of Historical, Doctrinal and Philosophical Theology; Constructive and Public Theology; and Pastoral Theology. The authors include Marcus Plested on the church fathers for today; George Hunsinger on justification; Paul Lakeland on the ecclesial role of the theologian; Amy Plantinga Pauw on denominationalism; David Jensen on Rahner’s ecumenism; David Tombs on sexual ethics; Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger on building a restorative church; Hetty Zock on a theology of compassion; and Allan Hugh Cole, Jr. on what Protestants might learn from Orthodox and Roman Catholics.
Dahle, Margunn, Lars Dahle and Knud Jørgensen, eds. The Lausanne Movement: A Range of Perspectives. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series. Oxford: Regnum Books, 2014.
A 500-page in-depth look at the Lausanne Movement: introducing the history and theology of the movement (section 1); the key theological themes addressed in Lausanne’s various consultations (section 2); a review of the 2010 Cape Town conference (section 3); and critical reflections and responses (section 4). The conclusion looks beyond the 2014 40th anniversary of the movement to its global consultations and strategic initiatives for the future.
De Margerie, Bernard. In God’s Reconciling Grace: Prayer and Reflection Texts for Christian Reconciliation and Unity. Saskatoon: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, 2014. Available from the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, 600 45th Street West, Saskatoon, SK S7L5W9 Canada
This rich resource of spiritual ecumenism offers original prayers and joint prayer resources for Christian unity, compiled by a Roman Catholic priest with a contributions from the ecumenical community in Saskatoon. Part 1 contains themes and prayer forms for Christian unity, each including a Scripture passage, reflection, question for meditation, and collect; Part 2 offers prayers for ecumenical occasions; Part 3 compiles prayers from various denominational traditions; Part 4 provides excerpts from key ecumenical texts to provide basis for reflection; and Part 5 contains 9 ecumenical prayer services for reconciliation and Christian unity, plus ecumenical forms for morning and evening prayer.
The Ecumenical Study Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologians in Germany. Binding Testimony: Holy Scripture and Tradition. Schneider, Theodor and Wolfhart Pannenbert, eds.; translated by Martha M. Matesich. New York: Peter Lang, 2014.
An English-language abridgement of a German Protestant-Catholic three-volume published dialogue, the result of twelve years of work (1986-1998), entitled Verbindliches Zeugnis. Included here are the joint statement, “Canon – Holy Scripture – Tradition,” and the concluding report, “The Understanding and Use of Scripture.”
Gibaut, John and Knud Joergensen, eds. Called to Unity For the Sake of Mission. Oxford: Regnum Books, 2014.
A collection from twenty contributors, drawing upon the theme “Unity in Mission” from the Centenary Conference commemorating the Edinburgh 1910 World Missionary Conference. The essays in section 1 present theological and historical foundations and section 2 “deals with ways of doing mission in unity in different contexts,” including an article by Thomas F. Best on “United and Uniting Churches as Models of Mission and Unity”, pp. 141-153.
Group of Farfa Sabina. Communion of Churches and Petrine Ministry: Lutheran-Catholic Convergences. Translated by Paul Misner. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014.
Report from an unofficial five-year ecumenical initiative, the Permanent Working Group on the Petrine Ministry, which consisted of seven European Catholic and seven Lutheran theologians. Re-examination of key texts of the two Vatican Councils and recent theology “has opened up new avenues for a differentiated understanding and reassessment of papal primacy. This in turn allowed for a fresh view of infallibility and universal jurisdiction, which could serve as the theological basis for a possible rapprochement between the two churches and a future Lutheran recognition of the Petrine function as a ministry of unity in the service of the communio ecclesiarum” (p. 8).
Habets, Myk, ed. Ecumenical Perspectives on the Filioque for the 21st Century. London; New York: Bloomsbury, 2014.
Fourteen essays addressing historical perspectives on the Filioque (“and the son”) phrase of the Nicene Creed, theological analysis of the issues around it, and new perspectives that seek to enrich or reappraise the tradition, authored by ecumenists representing Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Evangelical Free, Baptist, Anglican, Lutheran, and Pentecostal traditions.
Kalaitzidis, Pantelis, et al., eds. Orthodox Handbook on Ecumenism: Resources for Theological Education. Regnum Studies in Global Christianity Series. Oxford: Regnum Books International, 2014.
At 962 pages, with 114 listed contributors – including a Foreword from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew – this is an enormous accomplishment, documenting the Orthodox tradition’s contributions to the ecumenical movement and reflecting on its commitments to the movement. Contents in sections: 1) Orthodox Churches in the Ecumenical Movement – An Introduction; 2) Orthodoxy and Ecumenism – Foundations; 3) Representative Orthodox Theologians Reflecting on Ecumenism; 4) Ecumenical Dialogues in Various Orthodox Churches and Settings; 5) Bilateral Dialogues Between Eastern Orthodox Churches and Other Churches and Christian Traditions; 6) Ecumenical Perspectives of Oriental Orthodox Churches; 7) Particular Themes and Issues for Orthodox Involvement in Ecumenism; 8) Ecumenical Formation in Orthodox Theological Education; and Appendix: Bibliographical Survey of Key Texts of Ecumenism.
Kinnamon, Michael. Can a Renewal Movement Be Renewed?: Questions for the Future of Ecumenism. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2014.
The preeminent ecumenist responds to fifteen current challenges for the ecumenical movement, starting with “Does ecumenism have a future?” and moving to key ecumenical questions around peace, ecclesiology, the environment, tensions between unity and justice, the politicization of the movement, Catholic-Protestant relations, Orthodoxy, interfaith relations, Jewish-Christian relations, councils of churches, the formation of ecumenical leaders, revitalization of the movement, and ending with “why care?” Mostly revisions of speeches that Kinnamon gave while serving as General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, the chapters retain a crisp oral tone and a practical focus on concrete steps for living ecumenically, locally as well as globally.
Lorke, Mélisande, and Dietrich Werner, eds. Ecumenical Visions for the 21st Century: A Reader for Theological Education. Geneva: World Council of Churches, 2013.
This anthology was designed as a textbook for the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute (GETI), held before and during the World Council of Churches’ 10th Assembly in Busan, and also as a resource for seminaries and divinity school courses in ecumenism. It includes 65 key ecumenical texts, accomplishments of the past twenty years of dialogues, with a special focus on recent WCC accords and documentation of the ecumenical movement in Asia. Areas covered include the World Council of Churches, the Korean context and Asian Christianity, church and unity, mission and evangelism, justice and peace, theology of life and climate justice, Bible and hermeneutics, migration and inclusive communities, HIV/AIDS, health and healing, interreligious dialogue, common prayer and worship, ecumenical formation and theological education, youth, women and men in the community of the church, and diakonia. Additional texts are included on the accompanying CD and website (http://www.globethics.net/geti).
O’Gara, Margaret, and Michael Vertin. No Turning Back: The Future of Ecumenism. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2014.
This posthumous collection includes 17 of the veteran Roman Catholic theologian and ecumenist Margaret O’Gara’s writings 1996-2012, and a complete bibliography of her publications, compiled and edited by her husband and academic colleague at St. Michael’s College, Toronto. Her 2012 lecture for the Ecumenism Award from the Washington Theological Consortium, “Ecumenical Dialogue as a Process of Spiritual Transformation” appears here in print for the first time. Her final essay, on “The Study of Theology,” written just before her death for receiving an honorary degree, is especially poignant and inspiring as she reflects upon theology as the calling of a lifetime and worth a life given to it.
Wainwright, Geoffrey. Faith, Hope, and Love: The Ecumenical Trio of Virtues. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2014.
In this published version of the Baylor Leo and Gloriana Parchman Endowed Lectures for 2012, the veteran British Methodist ecumenist “examines those three gifts of the Spirit as they are received and exercised in three focal acts of Christian worship” (p. 5), exploring faith through baptism, hope through the Lord’s Prayer, and love through the Lord’s Supper and connecting them to the ecumenical insights of the 1982 World Council of Churches’ convergence document Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry.
Watkins, Keith. The American Church that Might Have Been: A History of the Consultation on Church Union. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2014.
The author served on the Consultation on Church Union (COCU) Commission on Worship 1968-1988 and attended nine COCU plenary assemblies. From that vantage point, he provides a detailed history of the attempt to establish a united Protestant church in the U.S., moving from vision to plan (1960-1970), negotiating the terms of agreement (1971-1988), and reshaping the ecumenical vision (1989-2002). In the latter section, he ends the history with COCU’s morph into Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC), draws lessons from the 40-year experiment of COCU, and traces the continuing inheritance of COCU for an ecumenical future.
Watkins, Sharon. Whole: A Call to Unity in Our Fragmented World. St. Louis, Missouri: Chalice Press, 2014.
A memoir and stories of personal witness to a life spent working for unity and justice, by the head of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Wilkey, Glaucia Vasconcelos, ed. Worship and Culture: Foreign Country or Homeland? Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2014.
This collection of essays arising from Societas Liturgica and the Lutheran World Federation on liturgy and culture argues “that the ecumenical liturgical renewal movement has within itself, if we pay attention, the seeds of a lively and helpful, biblically rooted balance between being at home in every culture and being a stranger” (Gordon Lathrop, p. 15). The book includes a number of ecumenical articles, notably two articles by Thomas F. Best, “Christian Unity and Christian Diversity, Lessons from Liturgical Renewal: The Case of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ),” pp. 214-238; and “A Faith and Order Saga: Towards One Baptism: Towards Mutual Recognition,” pp. 302-319; an article by Margaret Mary Kelleher on “Vatican II and the LWF Project: Points of Convergence”; and a concluding section on the Roman Catholic-Reformed Church Dialogue.
New Books of Note on Ecumenism: Year 2013
Antone, Hope, et al, eds. Asian Handbook for Theological Education and Ecumenism. Regnum Studies in Global Christianity. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2013.
Developed as a resource for the 10th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches (Busan, Korea, October 30 – November 9, 2013), this 675-page tome provides comprehensive documentation of Christian missions, ecumenism, evangelicalism, interfaith dialogue, and lay and ministerial formation in Asia. Eighty-three contributors offer essays in six major sections: historical and contextual perspectives on Asian ecumenism; biblical and theological perspectives; life, justice and peace; women and marginal communities; twenty-five nation-specific essays; and ecumenical formation in Asian theological education.
Backman, John. Why Can’t We Talk? Christian Wisdom on Dialogue as a Habit of the Heart. Woodstock, Vermont: Skylight Paths, 2013.
This is an accessible and practical book on dialogue with people with whom we disagree as a spiritual discipline, not a book specifically on ecumenical dialogue. However, the thoughtful discussion in this book would have rich application for ecumenical reception and for effective dialogue about the divisive issues between Christians and churches (see Root entry, below).
Clements, Keith. Ecumenical Dynamic: Living in More than One Place at Once. Geneva: World Council of Churches Publications, 2013.
The former General Secretary of the Conference of European Churches surveys the current ecumenical situation, examines five select episodes from twentieth-century European ecumenical history, and proposes three areas of current challenge: community/koinonia ecclesiology; faith and public policy; and denominational identity and the ecumenical quest. He challenges the churches to move beyond dialogue to establish an “‘order’ of persons” who would dwell in other communities in lived koinonia.
Cleveland, Christena. Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2013.
A social psychologist offers personal stories and psychological insights on Right Christian/Wrong Christian thinking, categorizing, self-esteem theory, identity wars, culture idolatry, mattering/marginality, and identity in Christ to counter divisive tendencies and to call Christians to cross boundaries, seek a deeper unity and live a clearer witness to Christ.
De Mey, Peter, Pieter De Witte, Gerard Mannion, eds. Believing in Community: Ecumenical Reflections on the Church. Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium. Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters, 2013.
This 600 page tome offers over 40 papers on ecclesiology by international theologians and ecumenists from the 6th Leuven Encounters in Systematic Theology conference. The papers are collected into four categories: 1) Community, Individualization, Belonging; 2) Strengthening Roman Catholic Ecclesiology; 3) Protestant and Orthodox Contribution to a Reflection on the Nature of the Church; and 4) Reflections on the Future of the Ecumenical Dialogue. Contributors include ecumenists Paul D. Murray, André Birmelé, Lorelei F. Fuchs, Susan K. Wood, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, Michael A. Fahey, B.J. Lawrence Cross, Jos E. Vercruysse, and many others.
Heller, Dagmar. Baptized into Christ: A Guide to the Ecumenical Discussion of Baptism. Geneva: WCC Publications, 2013.
This book “is meant to provide an overview of the confessional traditions as they understand baptism, of the history which led to the ecumenical situation as it is today in regard to baptism, and of solutions proposed and agreements made” (Preface, viii).
Jonas, Johnson. Wounded Visions: Unity, Justice and Peace in the World Church after 1968. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013.
An insider’s perspective on the past fifty-year history of the international ecumenical movement from the 1968 World Council of Churches Assembly in Uppsula to the 2006 WCC Assembly in Porto Alegre, written by a Church of Sweden mission scholar. Truly global in scope, the book includes treatment of the ecumenical movement in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as Europe and the United States, and addresses alternate perspectives (Pentecostalism, evangelicalism) and critiques of ecumenism.
Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity. From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2013. Also available full-text at: http://www.lutheranworld.org/sites/default/files/From%20Conflict%20to%20Communion.pdf.
This international joint Vatican-Lutheran World Federation statement on the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation addresses two challenges: “the purification and healing of memories, and the restoration of Christian unity in accordance with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Foreword). The 93-page document describes the ecumenical and global context for commemorating the Reformation, offers new perspectives on Luther and the Reformation, provides an historical sketch of the Reformation and Catholic response, traces basic themes of Luther’s theology (justification, Eucharist, ministry, Scripture and tradition) in light of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogues, proposes baptism as “the basis for unity and common commemoration” (p. 80), offers respectively Catholic and Lutheran “confession of sins against unity,” and concludes with five ecumenical imperatives: 1) unity as starting point, not division; 2) allowing transformation by the encounter; 3) re-commitment to the goal of visible unity; 4) rediscovery of the power of the gospel; and 5) joint witness to the mercy of God in proclamation and service to the world.
Rusch, William G., ed. The Witness of Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2013.
A collection of essays on the ecumenical work of the [Orthodox] Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Particularly noteworthy are Günther Gassmann’s essay the Patriarch’s involvements with the World Council of Churches, Ronald Roberson’s essay on Orthodox-Roman Catholic dialogue, Joseph Small’s essay on Orthodox-Reformed dialogue, and Mary Tanner’s summative essay on the Patriarch as ecumenist.
Slipper, Callan. 5 Steps to Living Christian Unity: Insights and Examples. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2013.
This small (57- page) practical guide is authored by a Focolare member and Anglican priest who serves as Ecumenical Facilitator of Churches Together in England. The five steps to Christian unity are 1) see the need: why bother; 2) find the way: who should rebuild; 3) construct the building blocks; 4) listen to the silent third: our traveling companion; and 5) overcome all obstacles: the strength of weakness. Examples are drawn from Chiara Lubich, Cardinal Walter Kasper, Flora Winfield, the Amish Community, and Rowan Williams.
Smit, Peter-Ben. Tradition in Dialogue: The Understanding of Tradition in the International Bilateral Dialogues of the Anglican Communion. Amsterdam Studies in Theology and Religion, vol. 3. Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2012.
This published doctoral thesis from General Theological Seminary, New York, written by an Old Catholic priest and professor at Utrecht University, “describes and analyzes from an historical perspective the way in which h the notion of tradition has been discussed in bilateral ecumenical dialogues between commissions instituted by the Anglican Communion (acting through its representative bodies) and other churches and/or Christian World Communions as they took place from the establishment of the Lambeth Conference until the turn of the twentieth century” (p. 1).
Books of Note on Ecumenism: Year 2012
Barrett, Clive, ed. Unity in Process: Reflections on Ecumenism. London: Darton, Longman, Todd, 2012.
The County Ecumenical Development Officer for West Yorkshire, England compiled this compilation of twenty-one essays describing local ecumenism in action, in the categories of the context of unity, unity and the churches, unity and mission, the challenges of unity, and the prayer of unity. Highlights include Paul D. Murray and Andrea L. Murray on “The Roots, Range and Reach of Receptive Ecumenism” and a rousing ecumenical sermon by Dame Mary Tanner entitled “For God’s Sake – Get on with it.”
The Biblical Foundations of the Doctrine of Justification: An Ecumenical Follow-Up to the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. New York: Paulist Press, 2012.
A study for the church from an international task force comprised of ten biblical scholars and two systematic theologians from the Lutheran World Federation, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, and the World Methodist Council convened to deepen understandings of justification through a joint reading of the biblical texts.
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Ecumenical, Academic, and Pastoral Work: 1931-1932. Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, volume 11. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012.
This latest volume in the definitive edition of Bonhoeffer’s works in English translation is a compilation of his writings at 25 years old, just after his year of study at Union Seminary, New York, in his roles as lecturer at the University of Berlin, student chaplain at the Technical College in Charlottenburg, and participant in the European ecumenical movement.
Brigham, Erin M. Sustaining the Hope for Unity: Ecumenical Dialogue in a Postmodern World. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2012.
The author utilizes Habermas’ critical theory to provide a framework for understanding ecumenism in a context of globalization and diversity, characterized by “the recognition of ecclesiological pluralism, uncertainty about the nature of the goal of the ecumenical movement, and a lack of ecumenical commitment and/or optimism from many Christians” (p. 9), with applications drawn from debates and statements of the World Council of Churches.
Cameron, Julia E.M., ed. Christ our Reconciler: Gospel, Church, World: The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2012.
The major presentations of the third Lausanne Congress, held in Cape Town, South Africa in 2010: six papers on the truth of Christ in a pluralistic world; four on reconciliation, including papers addressing Palestinian-Jewish and ethnicity; five papers on bearing witness to people of other faiths; four on priorities, including evangelization and ethics; five papers on integrity, including prosperity gospel and human sexuality, the text of the Cape Town Commitment statement; six papers on partnership toward a new global equilibrium; the closing address, and an appendix: The Lausanne Global Conversation.
Denaux, Adelbert and Peter De Mey, eds. The Ecumenical Legacy of Johannes Cardinal Willebrands (1909-2006). Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium. Leuven: Peeters, 2012.
These twenty essays from two international conferences on Willebrands, held at Utrecht and at the Pontifical Gregorian University, address Cardinal Willebrands’ formation and early commitment to ecumenism, his role in the Second Vatican Council, his contributions to ecumenism and Judaism, and his legacy for the future.
De Witte, Pieter. Doctrine, Dynamic and Difference: To the Heart of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Differentiated Consensus on Justification. Ecclesiological Investigations vol. 15. London: T & T Clark, 2012.
A Roman Catholic theologian analyses the concepts of “fundamental difference” and “differentiated consensus” in theJoint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, explores the theology of justification in Roman Catholic theologian Otto Hermann Pesch and the Lutheran Finnish school of interpretation, along with the German and American national dialogues on justification, assesses criticisms and objections to the JDDJ, and explores future directions for dialogue on Lutheran and Roman Catholic ecclesiology and soteriology.
Kireopoulos, Antonios, ed. Ecumenical Directions in the United States Today: Churches on a Theological Journey. Faith & Order Commission Theological Series. New York: Paulist Press, 2012.
The collected papers and proceedings from the 2007 conference “On Being Christian Together: The Faith and Order Experience in the United States.” Section I commemorates the legacy of the Oberlin 1957 conference that launched the U.S. Faith and Order movement with papers by Barbara Brown Zikmund, Donald W. Dayton, Jeffrey Gros, FSC, Cecil M. Robeck Jr., Joseph A. Loya, OSA, and Diane C. Kessler. Section II assesses the challenges of the present ecumenical climate with papers by Aristotle Papanikolaou, Jione Havea, Michael Root, Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, Sarah Heaner Lancaster, and R.M. Keelan Downton. Section III addresses the future of ecumenism and interreligious relations with papers by John A. Radano, Kevin W. Mannoia, David D. Daniels III, C. Christopher Epting, John Borelli, Lewis S. Mudge, Amos Yong, John T. Ford, CSC, and Juliana M. Mecera.
Radano, John A., ed. Celebrating a Century of Ecumenism: Exploring the Achievements of International Dialogue In Commemoration of the Centenary of the 1910 Edinburgh World Missionary Conference. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2012.
Part I analyzes the 20th century achievements of the international multilateral dialogues: S. Wesley Ariarajah and Peter C. Bouteneff on the World Council of Churches and Mary Tanner and William Henn on Faith and Order. Part II assesses the achievements of the Roman Catholic Church’s various international bilateral dialogues since Vatican II: Geoffrey Wainwright and Lorelei F. Fuchs on Methodist-RC, Donna Geernaert on Anglican-RC, John A. Radano on Reformed-RC, Cecil M. Robeck Jr and Ralph Del Colle on Pentecostal-RC, Jeffrey Gros on Evangelical-RC, Margaret O’Gara on Disciples of Christ-RC, Ronald G. Roberson on Eastern Orthodox-RC and Oriental Orthodox-RC, Susan K. Wood on Baptist-RC, and Helmut Harder on Mennonite-RC. An excellent companion piece to Walter Kasper’s Harvesting the Fruits (Continuum, 2009), see 2010 bibliography.
Radner, Ephraim. A Brutal Unity: The Spiritual Politics of the Christian Church. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2012.
The University of Toronto Professor of Historical Theology seeks to present a “realistic understanding of the Church’s unity,” one that is “true to the experienced facts of ecclesial division and existence in all their challenge” (p. 457). He makes two claims: “First, the structures, decision making, and choices that touch upon Christian unity are central to the gospel and to human flourishing…Failure to confront Christian division is…an immoral act in and of itself, engaging, magnifying, and furthering a range of immoral acts. And second, such engagement is not without relatively clear parameters of action…These practices are moral acts themselves …involving a range of very concrete political self-orderings – to be enjoyed, supported, or encouraged and built up within one’s own ecclesial life, with others, and within the context of the Church’s civil existence.” (p. 462).
Root, Michael and James J. Buckley, eds. The Morally Divided Body: Ethical Disagreement and the Disunity of the Church. The Pro Ecclesia Series. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2012.
A rich array of papers on ethics and ecumenism from the 2010 Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology conference, authored by Robert W. Jenson, Beth Barton Shweiger, Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt, Joseph D. Small, Susan K. Wood, David Yeago, James J. Buckley, and Michael Root.
Tavast, Timo. Unity in the Triune God: Trinitarian Theology in the Full-Communion Agreements of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2012.
Written by a Finnish Lutheran postdoctoral scholar while serving as a visiting scholar at the Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg, the book analyzes the use of the “trinitarian paradigm” in the full communion agreements between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Reformed Churches, the Episcopal Church, the Moravian Church in America, and the United Methodist Church and then seeks to synthesize the findings into a proposal for the application of Trinitarian theology in U.S. ecumenical conversations.
Valliere, Paul. Conciliarism: A History of Decision-Making in the Church. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Commissioned by the Christian Legal Studies Project of Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion, this book focuses on the history of ecclesial decision-making by representative councils (“the conciliar testament, tradition, and theory”) in various branches of Christendom and in the ecumenical movement itself, then analyzes the Anglican Communion as a contemporary case study.
Books of Note on Ecumenism: Year 2011
Au, Connie Ho Yan. Grassroots Unity in the Charismatic Renewal. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2011.
In this published doctoral dissertation, the Director of the Pentecostal Research Center of the Synergy Institute of Leadership in Hong Kong traces the history of the charismatic movement in Britain 1964-1980, particularly the five international conferences of the Fountain Trust, and makes a constructive theological proposal regarding the role of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts in ecumenical theology, with particular focus on contributions from Roman Catholic theology and applications to local church worship experiences.
Beilby, James K. and Paul Rhodes Eddy, eds. Justification: Five Views. Spectrum Multiview Books. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2011.
This work of comparative systematic theology on the doctrine of justification presents five perspectives: Michael S. Horton on the traditional Reformed view, Michael F. Bird on the progressive Reformed view, James D.G. Dunn on the “new perspective” view, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen on the deification view, and Gerald O’Collins, S.J. and Oliver P. Rafferty, S.J. on the Roman Catholic view. The work becomes a written theological dialogue and debate as responses from each of the other authors are presented for every view. These authors are mostly engaged in the justification debate arising out of contemporary biblical scholarship and refer to the ecumenical literature on justification only occasionally. The “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,” for example, is lauded as a “remarkable achievement” (p. 287), but is addressed in only a few pages. The lack of inclusion of a Lutheran view is noted by the editors, who claim that Horton’s traditional Reformed view is “functionally identical” (p. 10) to a traditional Lutheran view and that Kärkkäinen’s deification view is a less traditional Lutheran view.
Collins, Paul M. and Barry Ensign-George, eds. Denomination: Assessing an Ecclesiological Category. London: T & T Clark, 2011.
A lively debate on the concept of denomination (and how it relates to the ecumenical task), in response to a paper presented by Barry Ensign-George at the Ecclesiological Investigations group of the American Academy of Religion. Ensign-George’s paper describing “denomination” as contingent, intermediary, interdependent, partial and permeable leads the collection, followed by various denominational responses: Anglican (Paul Avis), Baptist (Steven R. Harmon), Lutheran (Gesa Elsbeth Thiessen), United Methodist (Russell E. Richey), Orthodox (Elena Vishnevskaya), Pentecostal (Wolfgang Vondey), Society of Friends (Ann Riggs), Presbyterian (Amy Plantinga Paul), Roman Catholic (Peter De Mey), and a global perspective (Kirsteen Kim).
DeVille, Adam A.J. Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint and the Prospects of East-West Unity. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2011.
An historical review of Catholic and Orthodox perspectives of ten Orthodox patriarchates and a bold proposal for the creation of “a permanent ecumenical synod” consisting of six continental patriarchates within the Latin church under papal presidency, for “a reunited Church where East and West are again in full communion” (p. 8).
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Speaking the Truth in Love: Theological and Spiritual Exhortations of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. New York: Fordham University Press, 2011.
This, the second volume of the collected works of the current Patriarch of Constantinople, anthologizes his encyclicals, exhortations, ecumenical presentations and addresses, academic lectures, and joint ecumenical declarations with other church leaders, revealing the deep theological foundations and steadfast ecumenical commitments of the leader who isprimus inter pares among the patriarchs of worldwide Orthodoxy.
Flanagan, Brian P. Communion, Diversity, and Salvation: The Contribution of Jean-Marie Tillard to Systematic Ecclesiology. Ecclesiological Investigations. Vol. 12. London; New York: T & T Clark, 2011.
This revised Boston College dissertation summarizes Roman Catholic approaches to ecclesiology, analyzes and critiques communion/koinonia as an ecclesiological concept, particularly Roman Catholic ecumenist Jean-Marie Tillard’s use of it, and seeks to bring Tillard’s thought into conversation with social science for contemporary application, with particular concern for the local church.
García, Alberto L. and Susan K. Wood, eds. Critical Issues in Ecclesiology: Essays in Honor of Carl E. Braaten. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2011.
In this festschrift for Lutheran theologian Carl Braaten, eleven authors address the ecumenical renewal of the church: Robert Jenson on the church as bride of Christ; Gabriel Fackre on atonement; Frank Senn on schism and reunion; Timothy George on an evangelical perspective of ecumenism; Joseph Mangina on koinonia ecclesiology; Michael Root on authority and the laity; Susan Wood on Eucharist; Alberto Garc í a on local church and catholicity; Cheryl Peterson on Lutheran ecclesiological principles; James Childs on the imperative for unity; Leopoldo Sanchez M. on pneumatological Christology.
Gill, Jill K. Embattled Ecumenism: The National Council of Churches, The Vietnam War, and the Trials of the Protestant Left. DeKalb, IL: NIU Press, 2011.
This 550-page tome addresses “the ecumenical vision, anti-Vietnam War efforts, and consequent legacy of the NCCC, serving as a window into mainline Protestants’ manner of engaging political issues at a unique time of national crisis and religious transformation” (p. 3): 1964-1973.
Granberg-Michaelson, Wesley. Unexpected Destinations: An Evangelical Pilgrimage to World Christianity. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2011.
The personal, spiritual and theological memoir of the recently retired general secretary of the Reformed Church in America, who also served on the World Council of Churches staff and helped to establish Christian Churches Together and the Christian Forum.
Kim, Kirsteen and Andrew Anderson. Edinburgh 2010: Mission Today and Tomorrow. Regnum Edinburgh 2010 Series. Oxford: Regnum, 2011.
This is the published official record of the proceedings of the Edinburgh 2010 conference, the centenary observance of the World Missionary Conference of 1910, held in Scotland, June 2-6, 2010.
Kosmidis, Nikos, ed. Echos of Peace: Young Christian Voices from around the World. Geneva: World Council of Churches Publications, 2011.
Eight essay-winners on the theme “Glory to God and Peace on Earth” provide perspectives on young people’s global commitments to overcome violence and seek peace and justice. This work sponsored by the Commission on Youth in the Ecumenical Movement is preparatory material for the 2013 World Council of Churches’ Tenth Assembly.
Leahy, Brendan. Ecclesial Movements and Communities: Origins, Significance, and Issues. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2011.
“This is by far the strongest introductory book I have found describing the lay ecclesial movements at work in the international Roman Catholic Church today (2011)” – Gerald Stover.
Long, Michael G., ed. Christian Peace and Nonviolence: A Documentary History. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2011.
An ecumenical anthology of writings on pacificism, justice, peace, nonviolence, and reconciliation, with 116 entries arranged chronologically from Scripture to twenty-first century. Two-thirds of the entries are from the North American context and more than half of the writings date from 1900 or afterward. Contextual comments and source citations are provided for every entry. Stanley Hauerwas contributed the book’s forward.
Manion, Gerard and Ed A. J. G. van der Borght, eds. John Calvin’s Ecclesiology: Ecumenical Perspectives. London; New York: T & T Clark, 2011.
This collection of twelve scholarly essays representing a variety of denominational perspectives, geographies, and schools of thought celebrates the legacy of John Calvin to the church catholic by way of “an especially ecumenical type of comparative ecclesiology” (p. 17).
Masters, Thomas and Amy Uelmen. Focolare: Living a Spirituality of Unity in the United States. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2011.
Two long-term members of the Focolare movement introduce its history and practice in the North America context and explore through personal stories how the movement’s spirituality engages American values: the pursuit of happiness, the quest for freedom, the search for community, the commitment to the common good.
Norgren, William A. Faith and Order in the U.S.A.: A Brief History of Studies and Relationships. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2011.
The first director of Faith and Order for the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA summarizes its highlights from 1957 to 1999 in 85 pages, with the emphasis on his years of tenure, 1957-1971.
Stone, Bryan P. ed. A Reader in Ecclesiology. Ashgate Contemporary Ecclesiology Series. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2011.
“This reader presents a diverse and ecumenical cross-section of ecclesiological statements from across the twenty centuries of the church’s existence. It builds on the foundations of early Christian writings, illustrates significant medieval, reformation, and modern developments, and provides a representative look at the robust attention to ecclesiology that characterizes the contemporary period” (Preface).
World Council of Churches. One Baptism: Toward Mutual Recognition of Baptism: A Study Text. Faith and Order Paper #210. Geneva: World Council of Churches Publications, 2011.
This new WCC text is not a convergence document (as Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry was), but rather it is a study text intended as a resource to further the churches’ dialogues on this issue. The text “is offered in the hope that fresh perspectives will help the churches (a) to clarify the meaning of the mutual recognition of baptism, (b) to put the consequences of mutual recognition fully into practice, and (c) to clarify issues which still prevent such recognition.” ( ¶1).
Books of Note on Ecumenism: Year 2010
Balia, Daryl M. and Kirsteen Kim. Edinburgh 2010: Witnessing to Christ Today. Regnum Edinburgh 2010 Series. Vol. 2. Eugene, Or.: Wipf & Stock, 2010.
This is the published collection of the nine pre-conference theme papers prepared as background papers for the Edinburgh 2010 conference held in Scotland in June 2010: 1) Foundations for Mission, 2) Christian Mission among other Faiths, 3) Mission and Postmodernities, 4) Mission and Power, 5) Forms of Missionary Engagement, 6) Theological Education and Formation, 7) Christian Communities in Contemporary Contexts, 8) Mission and Unity – Ecclesiology and Mission, and 9) Mission Spirituality and Authentic Discipleship, plus shorter papers on Women and Mission and Bible and Mission.
Borght, Eduardus Van der. The Unity of the Church: A Theological State of the Art and Beyond. Studies in Reformed Theology. Leiden: Brill, 2010.
This volume collects twenty-four papers from the Seventh Biannual Conference of the International Reformed Theological Institute (2007) exploring various aspects of a theological basis for ecumenism in the Reformed tradition. Contributors include the General Secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, Setri Nyomi, prominent Reformed ecumenists such as Alan P.F. Sell and Lukas Vischer (to whose memory the volume is dedicated), and Brother Jeffrey Gros providing the perspective of a Roman Catholic who teaches at a Cumberland Presbyterian seminary.
Clifford, Catherine E., ed. For the Communion of the Churches: The Contribution of the Groupe des Dombes. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2010.
An anthology of the six documents of the Groupe des Dombes, 1971-1991, in English translation: on eucharist (1971), on reconciliation of ministries (1972), on episcope (1976), on sacraments (1979), on papal primacy (1985), and on dialogue and reception (1991).
Congar, Yves. Essential Writings. Selected by Paul Lakeland. Modern Spiritual Masters Series. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2010.
A Congar anthology of excerpts from his essays and theological writings, organized into five categories: Congar the Ecumenist, Congar the Ecclesiologist, Congar and the Laity, Congar and the Spiritual Life, and Congar and the Holy Spirit.
Echeverria, Eduardo J. Dialogue of Love: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic Ecumenist. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2010.
The author’s faith journey through neo-Calvinism and Roman Catholicism informed his commitment to ecumenism, reflected in this ecumenical gift exchange on truth, anthropology and ecclesiology, drawing upon the theologies of Catholic Romano Guardini and Calvinist Herman Dooyeweerd.
Ellis, Ian M. A Century of Mission and Unity: A Centenary Perspective on the 1910 Edinburgh World Missionary Conference. Dublin: The Columba Press, 2010.
An accessible summary of the Edinburgh 1910 conference, its purposes and accomplishments, and its reverberations in ecumenism through the ensuing century, written by the editor of The Church of Ireland Gazette.
Geffert, Bryn. Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans: Diplomacy, Theology, and the Politics of Interwar Ecumenism. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2010.
An in-depth look at the nineteenth-century precursors and the beginnings of twentieth-century ecumenical relations between Orthodoxy and Anglicanism, focusing on 1920-1950.
Gooren, Henri. Religious Conversion and Disaffiliation: Tracing Patterns of Change in Faith Practices. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
An anthropology professor proposes that religious conversion is not a static one-time event in a person’s life but rather a dynamic process that he characterizes as a person’s “conversion career” through analysis of individuals’ engagement with religious organizations and social contexts, as described in oral histories and life stories, on a scale of “preaffiliation, affiliation, conversion, confession, and disaffiliation.”
Groeschel, Benedict. I Am with You Always: A Study of the History and Meaning of Personal Devotion to Jesus Christ for Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010.
In this 600-page history of ecumenical spirituality, a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal describes and demonstrates how Christians from various traditions have expressed devotion to Jesus through the history of the Church.
Hietamäki, Minna. Agreeable Agreement: An Examination of the Quest for Consensus in Ecumenical Dialogue. Ecclesiological Investigations Series. London: T & T Clark, 2010.
This dissertation from the University of Helsinki analyses “the methodological or fundamental questions of theology and …the forms, methods and goals of ecumenical dialogue” in agreements from selected international, European and U.S. bilateral dialogues: Lutheran-Roman Catholic, Anglican-Roman Catholic, Anglican-Lutheran. Drawing upon George Lindbeck’s insights into the cultural-linguistic aspects of doctrine, the author proposes that effective ecumenical consensus should combine “both cognitive-intellectual and socio-communal aspects.”
Johnson, Maxwell E. ed. Issues in Eucharistic Praying in East and West: Essays in Liturgical and Theological Analysis. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2010.
A collection of fourteen essays on a variety of liturgical and theological questions around Eucharistic prayers, from the question of whether Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper, to various anaphoras (Addai and Mari, St. Athanasius, Basilian Anaphoras), to connections with martyrdom and Mariology.
Laudate Omnes Gentes: Was Uns Eint: Gemeinsam Beten und Singen in der Ökumene=Praying Together: Resources and Songs for Ecumenical Celebrations. Kösel: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2010.
An ecumenical prayerbook and hymnbook from the Third European Ecumenical Assembly that provides key texts of Christian unity from across the ages in order to facilitate prayer for Christian unity. Each text is given in German, English, French, Spanish, and Italian, in parallel columns. An accompanying CD provides translations of selected texts into twenty additional languages.
Nichols, Bridget, ed. The Collect in the Churches of the Reformation. SCM Studies in Worship and Liturgy. London: SCM Press, 2010.
This collection of essays by noted international liturgical scholars provides a comparative ecumenical view of how the historic prayer form, the collect, has evolved and adapted to contemporary liturgical usage in various Protestant traditions and in Roman Catholicism. A helpful contribution to the study of ecumenical convergence in the liturgical renewal movement.
Nugent, John C., ed. Radical Ecumenicity: Pursuing Unity and Continuity after John Howard Yoder. Abilene, TX: Abilene Christian University Press, 2010.
Two essays by John Howard Yoder and eight other scholarly essays present and assess the Mennonite theologian’s ecumenical contributions, mostly from the Stone-Campbell tradition’s perspective.
Puglisi, James F., ed. How Can the Petrine Ministry Be a Service to the Unity of the Universal Church?Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2010.
Twenty theological papers contributed by international ecumenical scholars from various faith traditions for Farfa Centre conferences in 2003 and 2004 as background papers for the ongoing ecumenical dialogue on the papal office invited by Pope John Paul II in Ut Unum Sint.
Putnam, Robert D. and David E. Campbell. American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010.
A massive (673 page) sociological analysis of religious change, polarization, and fluidity in American society since the 1960s, based on extensive “Faith Matters” surveys of the state of contemporary religion in America. Professors Putnam (Harvard) and Campbell (Univ. of Notre Dame) argue that even as American society has become more religiously diverse and religious institutions more polarized, individuals have become more tolerant of that diversity and fluid in their personal religious identities. That toleration is what the authors term “American grace.”
Schreiner, Peter, Esther Banev, Simon Oxley, eds. Holistic Education Resource Book: Learning and Teaching in an Ecumenical Context. New York: Waxmann Munster, 2010.
This book, a product of the Holistic Education Study Process of the World Council of Churches, combines theology, educational theory, and case studies from around the world to elucidate the study group’s eight principles of holistic education (HE). “1) Holistic education in an ecumenical perspective is centred in the belief that it is God who is the creator and sustainer of life. Therefore holistic education contributes to the ongoing search for the restoration of the given unity of creation; 2) HE is education for transformation; 3) HE deals with the development of the whole person in community; 4) HE honours the uniqueness and creativity of persons and communities based on their interconnectedness; 5) HE enables active participation in a world community; 6) HE affirms spirituality as being the core of life and hence central to education; 7) HE promotes a new praxis (reflection and action) of knowing, of teaching, and of learning; 8) HE relates to and interacts with differing perspectives and approaches” (20-22).
Siecienski, A. Edward. The Filioque: History of a Doctrinal Controversy. Oxford Studies in Historical Theology Series. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
This work of historical theology traces the filioque concept chronologically from the New Testament to the twenty-first century, with a focus on examining the theology underlying various theological works on the doctrine, as well as the political, cultural and ecumenical aspects of the controversy.
Smolarski, Dennis C. Eucharist and American Culture: Liturgy, Unity, and Individualism. New York: Paulist Press, 2010.
A Jesuit priest on the faculty of Santa Clara University utilizes recent scholarly sociological studies of American individualism to encourage the church to develop effective means for fostering unity in liturgical celebrations, particularly the Eucharist, both within Catholicism and through ecumenical engagement with Orthodoxy and social outreach.
Thomas, Norman E. Missions and Unity: Lessons from History 1792-2010. American Society of Missiology. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2010.
“This study is an interpretive essay on the contribution of the missionary movement to understandings of Christian unity and work for common Christian witness” (p. xxiii), authored by Professor Emeritus of World Christianity, United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH. After reviewing the history since 1800 (part I), the author assesses ten models of unity (part II) and how ecumenism and Christian mission relate to the secular world and interreligious dialogue (part III).
Vischer, Lukas, Ulrich Luz, and Christian Link. Unity of the Church in the New Testament and Today. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2010.
“Looking first at the various conflicts that hinder unity, the book offers a Bible-centered discussion on various ‘flash points of unity’ – the authority of Scripture, the various church confessions, the Lord’s Supper and the ministerial office – reflecting on early Christian struggles for unity and drawing biblical conclusions for the life of the church today ” (cover). Translated from German, the study comes out of a Protestant-Old Catholic-Roman Catholic dialogue from the theological faculties of the University of Berne and Fribourg.
Vondey, Wolfgang, ed. Pentecostalism and Christian Unity: Ecumenical Documents and Critical Assessments. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2010.
This collection includes six authors’ perspectives on the ecumenical heritage of Pentecostalism (Douglas Jacobsen, Harold D. Hunter, Carmelo E. Álvarez, Paul van der Laan, Raymond R. Flister, Cecil M. Robeck Jr.), four international ecumenical reports reflecting Pentecostal involvement, and three Pentecostal views on the WCC document The Nature and Mission of the Church (Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, Frank D. Macchia, Wolfgang Vondey).
Books of Note on Ecumenism: Year 2009
Benedict XVI. Credo for Today: What Christians Believe. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2009.
The pope draws upon the commonalities of Christian faith in explicating how Christians live in faith, hope and love through the doctrines articulated in the classic creeds, interpreted for today.
Catholic Church. Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission. You are Witnesses of these Things (Lk 24: 48): Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and Throughout the Year. Vatican City: Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Geneva: Faith and Order, World Council of Churches, 2009.
Colon-Emeric, Edgardo A. Wesley, Aquinas and Christian Perfection: An Ecumenical Dialogue. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2009.
A theologian from Duke Divinity School provides an in-depth analysis of Roman Catholic and Methodist theologies of the doctrine of holiness by presenting an analysis of the similarities, differences and convergences in John Wesley and Thomas Aquinas. He asserts that these two theologians offer the church catholic “the affirmation of the ecumenical and ecclesial significance of sanctity,” and, using the image of a “kneeling ecumenism,” suggests that “the ecumenical movement might be well served in complementing joint declarations with joint hagiographies” (p. 9).
Grosshans, Hans-Peter, ed. One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church: Some Lutheran and Ecumenical Perspectives. LWF Studies, 2009. Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2009.
The published proceedings of a June 2008 conference at Bossey Ecumenical Institute includes ecumenical (Lutheran, Reformed, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Baptist) and global (Europe, Myanmar , Ethiopia , Malaysia and Southeast Asia , Brazil , North America ) perspectives on the ecclesiology of the marks of the church for today.
Herbert, T.D. Kenosis and Priesthood: Towards a Protestant Re-Evaluation of the Ordained Ministry. Milton Keynes: Paternoster Press, 2008.
This British Anglican dissertation from Manchester University seeks a way forward in the ecumenical impasse on ministry by reinterpreting priesthood as a missionary endeavor focused on God’s salvific act and an exercise in story, gift and response.
Imbler, John M., ed. A Passion for Christian Unity: Essays in Honor of William Tabbernee. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2009. This festschrift, a collection of essays written by the faculty of Phillips Theological Seminary ( Enid , OK ) in honor of the eighteen-year presidency of William Tabbernee, provides a Campbell-Stone perspective on ecumenical and interreligious relations.
Johnson, Todd M. and Kenneth R. Ross, eds. Atlas of Global Christianity 1910-2010. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009.
Inspired by the centenary of the 1910 International Missionary Conference, this atlas seeks to map Christianity around the globe in a comprehensive way. Drawing data from the World Christian Database (David Barrett, editor), it maps the world by religious demographics, analyzes the historical growth of Christianity through the twentieth century, analyses the relative strength of Christianity by continent and region, analyzes languages and ethnicities of Christianity, and examines missionary trends. All of the maps, charts, tables and graphics of the printed atlas are also made available for presentations in an accompanying CD.
Jones, Sarah Rowland, ed. The Vision Before Us: The Kyoto Report of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations 2000-2008. London: The Anglican Communion Office, 2009.
The international Anglican Communion body responsible for ecumenical relations sets forth four principles for ecumenical engagement (addressing the goal, task, and processes of the ecumenical movement and the nature of Christian unity), explores key themes (communion, sacraments, orders, and reception), analyzes the state of the Communion’s various bilateral dialogues, schemes of union, and multilateral relations, describes inter-Anglican issues before the Communion, and identifies challenges to be addressed in the future.
Kasper, Walter. Harvesting the Fruits:Basic Aspects of Christian Faith in Ecumenical Dialogue. New York: Continuum, 2009.
This study of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity examines the dialogue results of the first four bilateral dialogues in which the Catholic Church has engaged since Vatican II: with the Lutheran World Federation, the World Methodist Council, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the Anglican Communion. For the areas of Christ and the Trinity; salvation, justification, sanctification; the church (authority, ministry, episcope); baptism and Eucharist, Cardinal Kasper identifies areas in which agreement has been reached, where convergence is happening, and areas where further dialogue is needed.
Kelly, Joseph F. The Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church: A History. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2009. “This book deals with the 21 councils considered ecumenical by the Roman Catholic Church…The first 8 councils were held before the eleventh-century schism between the Western, Latin Christians and the Eastern, Greek Christians…The next 10 councils, all Western Latin-speaking councils, occurred before the Protestant Reformation. To be sure, Protestants do not consider these councils to be in any way authoritative, but they do form part of the common history of Western Christians in the pre-Reformation period…This book is meant to be ecumenical, but not like a council.” (Introduction, p. 1)
Kerr, David A. and Kenneth R. Ross, eds. Edinburgh 2010: Mission Then and Now. Regnum Studies in Mission Series. Oxford: Regnum Books International, 2009.
This resource for the centenary observance of Edinburgh 1910 is organized around the eight commission reports of the Edinburgh conference, arising from eight years of conferences focused on those commission reports. In each chapter, the book’s editors summarize one of the 1910 reports and then various mission scholars present essays of response and evaluation from an Edinburgh 2010 perspective.
Lubich, Chiara. Living Dialogue: Steps on the Way to Communion among Christians. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2009.
An inspiring collection of essays and meditations on an ecumenism focused on love, renewal, self-emptying, and prayer, from the founder of the Focolare Movement.
Radano, John A. Lutheran & Catholic Reconciliation on Justification. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009.
“A chronology of the Holy See’s contributions, 1961-1999, to a new relationship between Lutherans and Catholics and to steps leading to the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.”
Rusch, William G., ed. The Pontificate of Benedict XVI: Its Premises and Promises. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009.
On the fourth anniversary of Benedict XVI’s elevation to pope, ecumenists from the Baptist, Pentecostal, Greek Orthodox, Lutheran, Episcopal, Methodist and Roman Catholic traditions address the question “How will the life experiences and theological reflections of Joseph Ratzinger influence the pontificate of Benedict XVI?”
Stanley, Brian. The World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh 1910. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009.
On the eve of the centenary of the World Missionary Conference, this volume provides both an historical account of the conference and the movement that precipitated it and also an analysis of its ongoing legacy for the twenty-first century in culture and mission and in ecumenism.
Whitehead, Kenneth D. The New Ecumenism: How the Catholic Church after Vatican II Took Over the Leadership of the World Ecumenical Movement. Staten Island, NY: St. Paul’s, 2009.
An overview of the Catholic Church’s contributions to the ecumenical movement, from Vatican II to the 21 st century.
Wiley, Charles A. et al, eds. Theology in Service of the Church: Essays in Honor of Joseph D. Small 3 rd.Louisville: Geneva Press, 2009.
This festschrift for the Director of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Office of Theology, Worship, and Education provides a series of Reformed essays focused on theology, liturgy, and ecumenical/interfaith engagement.
Wood, Susan K. One Baptism: Ecumenical Dimensions of the Doctrine of Baptism. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2009.
A Roman Catholic ecumenist and scholar explores the history, theology and ecclesiology of the sacrament of baptism ecumenically and proposes that “concepts of incorporation and communion, rather than membership, are more fruitful concepts with which to think about affiliation with the church through baptism, [because] communion allows for various degrees and intensities of affiliation” (p. 207). Wood sees the continuum approach as more ecumenically fruitful than the in/out concept of membership and believes that approach to provide grounds for “a partial ecumenical resolution of the membership in the visible/invisible church problem.”
Books of Note on Ecumenism: Year 2008
Braaten, Carl E. That All May Believe: A Theology of the Gospel and the Mission of the Church. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.
A prominent Lutheran theologian seeks to advance and invigorate an ecumenism that offers a comprehensive vision of the church that is evangelical, catholic, and orthodox. Addresses authority, dogmatics, resurrection, apocalyptic, missions, and pluralism.
Faith and Witness Commission of the Canadian Council of Churches, ed. Liturgies for Christian Unity: The First Hundred Years, 1908-2008. Toronto: Novalis, 2008.
A rich anthology containing a century’s worth of materials for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, organized chronologically by decade, from the Canadian Council of Churches, representing 21 denominations of the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches. Includes prayers, liturgies, confessions, suggested hymns, artwork, children’s activities and a helpful subject index.
Fuchs, Lorelei F. Koinonia and the Quest for an Ecumenical Ecclesiology: From Foundations through Dialogue to Symbolic Competence for Communionality. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.
This published doctoral dissertation is an excellent 400+ page comprehensive treatment of how the term koinonia has been used in ecumenical dialogues, both bilateral and multilateral. Sr. Fuchs writes: “Come what may, the future direction of the ecumenical movement must indicate that interchurch relations make a difference to intrachurch lived reality. This requires both the capacity to ecumenate and the will to ecume. Communionality calls forth dialogue and doxology which elicit within individual Christians and the particular churches their foundational ecumenical identity and mission. Christians and churches can do this because their unity, their koinonia, finds its source in the triune God” (p. 443).
Hunsinger, George. The Eucharist and Ecumenism: Let Us Keep the Feast. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
A Reformed theologian proposes that ecumenical convergence on the Eucharist can be achieved for the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Reformed, Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist traditions through a principle of ongoing reformation (ecclesia reformata et simper reformanda secundum verbum dei). He bases the proposal on a theology of real presence, reappropriation of the concept of eucharistic sacrifice, and Protestant acceptance of episcopal ordination and the primacy of the bishop of Rome.
Husbands, Mark and Jeffrey P. Greenman, eds. Ancient Faith for the Church’s Future. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008.
A collection of essays from the 2007 Wheaton Theology Conference in which evangelical and Roman Catholic authors explore “the viability and promise of an evangelical engagement” with patristic theology and 20th century Roman Catholic ressourcement theology.
Koskela, Douglas M. Ecclesiality and Ecumenism: Yves Congar and the Road to Unity. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2008.
A Wesleyan finds fresh ecumenical promise in aspects of Congar’s ecclesiology, especially 1) the essential oneness of the church of Christ, 2) the active ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit that leads the church to indefectibility, and 3) “the fundamental identity of the church as a communion of persons sharing in the life of the triune God” (p. 164).
Mannion, Gerard, ed. Comparative Ecclesiology: Critical Investigations. Ecclesiological Investigations 3. London; New York: T & T Clark, 2008.
This collection of constructive essays from the 2007 American Academy of Religion Ecclesiological Investigations section engages the thought of Roger Haight on comparative, constructive and ecumenical ecclesiology.
Murphy, Francesca Aran and Christopher Asprey, eds. Ecumenism Today: The UniversalChurch in the 21 st Century. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Pub., 2008.
A collection of essays covering both “theological ecumenism” (Part I) and “ecumenical theology” (Part III), taking the confessional commitments of the churches seriously while seeking to forward the search for visible unity. The essayists represent the Reformed Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican traditions and address topics such as schism, authority, papal primacy, Eucharist, and persecution of Christians.
Murray, Paul D., ed. Receptive Ecumenism and the Call to Catholic Learning: Exploring a Way for Contemporary Ecumenism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
This 534-page tome is a rich and impressive collection of essays from the 2006 international “Receptive Ecumenism and Catholic Learning” conference, held in Durham , England in honor of Cardinal Walter Kasper. “Receptive ecumenism” is a fresh approach to ecumenism in which each tradition seeks to address the question: “What can we learn, or receive, with integrity from our various others in order to facilitate our own growth together into deepened communion in Christ and the Spirit?” (p. ix-x). This collection addresses that question from a Roman Catholic perspective, in five parts: I: “Vision and Principles;” II: “Receptive Ecumenical Learning through Catholic Dialogue;” III: “Receptive Ecumenism and Catholic Church Order;” IV: The Pragmatics of Receptive Ecumenical Learning;” and V: “Retrospect and Prospect.” It should be noted that WTC professor, the Rev. Dr . Paul McPartlan from Catholic University , has contributed an excellent essay entitled “Catholic Learning and Orthodoxy – The Promise and Challenge of Eucharistic Ecclesiology.” This book makes a tremendous contribution to the field; it is arguably the most important book published on ecumenism in recent years.
O’Grady, John and Peter Scherle, eds. Ecumenics from the Rim: Explorations in Honour of John D’Arcy May. Theology, Ethics and Interreligious Relations: Studies in Ecumenics Series, vol. 1. New Brunswick: Transactions Publishers, 2008.
This 500-page festschrift for the director of the Irish School of Ecumenics includes 57 essays. Its three main sections – Christian theology, interreligious relations and peace studies – reflect the honoree’s commitment to the interplay of church, culture, and society and their relationship to and relevance for the ecumenical endeavor.
Books of Note on Ecumenism: Year 2007
Bliss, Frederick M. Catholic and Ecumenical: History and Hope. 2 nd edition. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007.
A new edition of the 1999 Roman Catholic text on the history of the ecumenical movement, updated to include developments in dialogues through 2005.
Denaux, Adelbert and Nicholas Sagovsky, eds. Studying Mary: The Virgin Mary in Anglican and Roman Catholic Theology and Devotion: The ARCIC Working Papers. London: T & T Clark, 2007.
A significant collection of documents on Mariology between Catholics and Anglicans.
Enns, Fernando. The PeaceChurch and the Ecumenical Community: Ecclesiology and the Ethics of Nonviolence. Kitchener, Ontario: Pandora Press; Geneva: World Council of Churches Publications, 2007.
The author, the German Mennonite theologian who authored the World Council of Churches’ proposal to observe 2001-2010 as the Decade to Overcome Violence, hereby presents his tradition’s place in comparative ecclesiology, summarizes the state of the various dialogues in which Mennonites are involved, and engages the ethical questions around peace-making and non-violence that the Historic Peace Churches have brought to the ecumenical dialogue. He concludes with a proposal for deepening the dialogue through a koinonia ecclesiology that is grounded in Trinitarian theology.
Gros, Jeffrey; Thomas F Best; Lorelei F Fuchs, eds. Growth in Agreement III: International Dialogue Texts and Agreed Statements, 1998-2005. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Williams Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2007.
The anthology of agreed statements from many different churches’ bilateral ecumenical dialogues continues with this latest contribution, covering 1998-2005. An invaluable addition to Growth in Agreement and Growth in Agreement II. This is an indispensable resource for all ecumenists.
Holifield, E. Brooks. God’s Ambassadors: A History of the Christian Clergy in America. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007.
The author, professor of American church history at Candler School of Theology, thoroughly investigates the history of ordained ministry in Catholicism and multiple Protestant traditions throughout United States history.
Ingle-Gillis, William C. The Trinity and Ecumenical Church Thought: The Church-Event. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007.
The author, an American now serving as an Anglican priest in Wales , argues for renewed ecumenical vigor in seeking visible unity by seeking a multilateral consensus on ecclesiology, and proposes a definition of Church as “event-in-process, an event of persons-in-reconciliation,” grounded in the triune life of God.
Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. “Ecclesial Communion, Conciliarity and Authority.” Origins 37 ( November 22, 2007): 382-387.
Called the “Ravenna Document,” this working paper from the international Catholic-Orthodox dialogue was released on November 15, 2007 . Much news coverage has focused on the Russian Orthodox delegation’s decision to leave the plenary assembly over disagreement with the Greek Orthodox delegation. The paper reaches accord on the point that in the era when the church was undivided, there was a primate and that at that level conciliarity, synodality and authority all existed, although the dialogue did not achieve consensus on how primacy and synodality related.
Kitchener: Pandora Press; Geneva: World Council of Churches Publications, 2007.
The theological foundation of the World Council of Churches’ Decade to Overcome Violence (2001-2010) explicated in terms of ecclesiology and ethics. A summary of the historic peace churches’ involvement in the World Council of Churches and bilateral dialogue with Baptists, Reformed, Lutherans, and Roman Catholicism is also provided.
Moleck, Fred, ed. A Primer for the Visiting Organist. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2007.
This is a practical manual intended to orient musicians to liturgical practices in eight traditions: African American Protestant, Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Reform Jewish, Roman Catholic and United Methodist. Though written for musicians, much of this information would be useful to those planning to attend a worship service in a tradition with which they are not familiar.
Perry, Tim, ed. The Legacy of John Paul II: An Evangelical Assessment. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2007.
A collection of fourteen essays from various evangelical theologians reflecting upon the teachings and ecumenical significance of various encyclicals from John Paul II’s papacy.
Reath, Mary. Rome and Canterbury: The Elusive Search for Unity. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007.
A governor of the Anglican Centre in Rome addresses historical ecumenical relations between Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism, its current difficulties, and future possibilities. The eight appendices provide a useful compilation of ARCIC documents, agreed statements on morals, timeline, and comparative charts.
Robbins, Anna M., ed. Ecumenical and Eclectic: The Unity of the Church in the Contemporary World: Essays in Honour of Alan P.F. Sell. Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2007.
A broad collection of fifteen essays from an array of leading ecumenical scholars on ecumenism past and future in Europe and the U.S. , presented as a festschrift for a leading Reformed ecumenist. The essays “explore the foundations of unity, its historical context and some of the challenges of ecumenism today.”
Rusch, William G. Ecumenical Reception: Its Challenge and Opportunity . Philadelphia : Fortress, 2007.
A key work on how to integrate ecumenical agreements into the life of the church.
Turner, Paul. When Other Christians Become Catholic. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2007.
A Roman Catholic pastor studies the history and liturgical rites for reception of baptized Christians from other traditions, arguing that the church should recognize and uphold baptismal unity and make a careful distinction between reception of baptized Christians and conversion of the unbaptized.
Wright, David F. Infant Baptism in Historical Perspective: Collected Studies. Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2007.
This collection of 27 essays analyzes the history of infant baptism, infant dedication, and second baptisms through the history of the church, including early church councils, the medieval period, Reformation debates, and modern disputes, and addresses the present and future in the context of ecumenical conversations, such as Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry.
Books of Note on Ecumenism: Earlier years
Morris, Jeremy and Nicholas Sagovsky, ed. The Unity We Have and the Unity We Seek: Ecumenical Prospects for the Third Millennium. New York : T & T Clark, 2003.
Sawyer, Mary R. Black Ecumenism: Implementing the Demands of Justice. Valley Forge : Trinity Press International, 1994.