Journal Articles of Note in Ecumenism as of December 15, 2016
Arner, Neil. “Ecumenical Ethics: Challenges to and Sources for a Common Moral Witness.” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 36:2 (Fall/Winter 2016): 101-120.
“I document the historically unprecedented challenges and opportunities attending the prospect of devising ecumenical ethics endorsed by both Catholics and Protestants. First, I offer several reasons for attending to the connection between ecumenism and ethics…Second, I review previous comparisons of Catholic and Protestant approaches in ethics…Third, I show how one of the key methodological differentiators softens in recent decades as there emerges an increasing consensus on the moral sources of scripture, natural law, and history. I conclude by emphasizing the humility required for progress in the pursuit of any ecumenical ethics.” (Abstract)
Borelli, John. “Creating a Culture of Encounter: The Next Steps for a World in Need of Dialogue.” Ecumenical Trends 45:9 (October 2016): 129-137.
This published text of the 2016 Paul Wattson Lecture discusses the present context and offers an overview of the accomplishments of the 20th century ecumenical and interreligious movements, then elucidates how the church might move into the “culture of encounter” promoted by Pope Francis in his address to the U.S. bishops in September 2015, particularly in light of new religious identities, “multiple modernities,” and “new ecumenism” today.
The Church: Towards a Common Vision Response Articles:
- North American Academy of Ecumenists. “Responses to The Church: Towards a Common Vision from a September 2015 Gathering of the North American Academy of Ecumenists.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies (Summer 2016): 320-336.
- McPartlan, Paul. “The Church: Towards a Common Vision: A Roman Catholic Response.” Ecclesiology 12:3 (2016): 298-315.
- Creemers, Jelle. “An Evangelical Response to The Church: Towards a Common Vision.” Ecclesiology 12:3 (2016): 316-330.
Conroy, Julie M. “Back to the Basics with Ecumenical Speech.” Ecumenical Trends 45:8 (September 2016): 119-122.
Illustrated with personal stories and undergirded with Scripture, an appeal for charitable speech and respect regarding other denominations, for presenting other churches in a positive light, for deliberately looking for the good in one another’s traditions, for seeking mutual forgiveness, and for growth in holiness together.
Ford, John T., C.S.C. “Ecumenical Ecology and Ecological Ecumenism: Reflections on the Encyclicals of Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis.” Ecumenical Trends 45:8 (September 2016): 113-118, 127.
In this published presentation from the June 2016 Orientale Lumen Conference, Fr. Ford characterizes the call of ecumenical stewardship of creation as “see” (the goodness and beauty of creation, humans as the image of God, humanity as responsible for creation), “judge” (ecology grounded in the spirituality of conversion), and “act” (celebration of the protection of creation). He calls for September 1 to “become an ecumenical and interreligious Day of Prayer that unites Christians and people of other faith traditions in praising the Creator for the blessings of creation and in renewing the earth in sustainable ways” (p. 118).
Granberg-Michaelson, Wesley. “Stealing Jesus: A Protestant Takes Communion at Mass.” The Christian Century 133:15 (July 20, 2016): 26-31.
The Reformed Church leader and ecumenist traces the history of ecumenical dialogue on Eucharistic sharing with the Roman Catholic Church and calls for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation to be a catalyst for progress beyond a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach, building upon mutual recognition of baptism and the achievements of dialogue.
Intercommunion between the Catholic and Reformed Churches, a series of viewpoints from a January 27, 2016 conference convened by Thomas O’Loughlin. One in Christ 50:1 (2016):
- Rumsey, Patricia, OSC. “‘Though Many, We are One Bread, One Body; For We All Partake of the One Bread and One Chalice.’ Who are You Kidding?”: 2-6.
- Nichols, Bridget. “Intercommunion: A Church of England Perspective”: 7-21.
- O’Loughlin, Thomas. “Fictive Families – Real Churches: Commensality and Pneumatology”: 22-37.
- Cassidy, James M., CRIC. “Intercommunion: The Pope and Canon Law”: 38-44.
- Ball, John, MHM. “A Reflection on Catholic Concerns Regarding Eucharistic Intercommunion among Christians”: 45-47.
MacPherson, Damian, SA. “Unity in God’s Time: 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.” Ecumenical Trends 45:9 (October 2016): 142-143.
The Director for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto summarizes Lutheran-Roman Catholic ecumenical progress on justification, describes preparations for joint observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and suggests that “unity between Lutherans and Roman Catholics may be more than half way there” (p. 143). He concludes with a call: “every ecumenist and indeed all Christians should hope and pray that he [Pope Francis] will break new and important ecumenical ground” (p. 143), such as more openness in Canon 844 (administration of sacraments to other Christians).
Reardon, Ruth. “Amoris Laetitia: Comments from an Interchurch Family Perspective.” One in Christ 50:1 (2016): 66-86.
A long-term leader in the interchurch families association analyzes the parts of Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of Love” (2016), that relate to interchurch marriages (identifying themes of ecumenical domestic church, marriage as a vocation, pastoral accompaniment through the journey of life, and pastoral discernment around the circumstances of divorce and remarriage and Eucharist) and reflects on the pope’s comments in November 2015 to a Lutheran married to a Roman Catholic about partaking Catholic Eucharist.
Riggs, Ann K. “Building on the Legacy of Ecumenical Trail Blazers: Ecumenical Ecclesiological Possibilities of Mutual Recognition of the Personal Witness and Good Works of the Redeemed.” Ecumenical Trends 45:8 (September 2016): 123-127.
Inspired by the ecumenical legacy of Br. Jeffery Gros, Ralph Del Colle, and Margaret O’Gara and informed by the dialogues addressing holiness of life, Riggs calls for a new ecumenical approach that would “consider together the beliefs, practices and communities and their interrelations,” (p. 126) seeking to identify where the Holy Spirit is guiding believers in their lives of faith.
Schmidt, Markus, SJ. “Reflections on the Joint Declaration of Francis and Kirill at Havana 2016.” One in Christ 50:1 (2016): 87-99.
A Jesuit reflects on hopeful themes from the Havana Pope-Russian Orthodox Patriarch Joint Declaration around unity in martyrdom, marriage and family, progress on reconciliation between Greek Catholics and Orthodox, and the “miracle” that the pope and patriarch embraced as brothers.
Tveit, Olav Fykse. “Service and Advocacy: Matters of Faith?” The Ecumenical Review 68:1 (March 2016): 14-26.
In this speech given at the Nordic Conference on Systematic Theology in January 2016, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches asserts that joint action on climate justice and the Syrian refugee crisis can bridge the divisions of the churches with a common hope for prophetic advocacy as a united expression of faith and Christian love.
Journal Articles of Note in Ecumenism as of June 30, 2016
Carter, David. “A Hope-Filled Anthropology.” Ecumenical Trends 45:4 (April 2016): 49-55.
A British Methodist theologian summarizes the fourth report of the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox dialogue (In the Image and Likeness of God: A Hope-Filled Anthropology or The Buffalo Report, 2016), compares it to the Wesley brothers’ theology of growth in Christian perfection, and concludes: “This report is to be welcomed as giving us the doctrine of the divine image in humanity as a lens through which to survey the duties and privileges inherent in Christian discipleship, experience and ecclesial belonging in Christ” (p. 54).
Grazer, Walter E. “The Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor: Context and Significance of Pope Francis’ Encyclical, ‘On Care of our Common Home’ Laudato Si.” Ecumenical Trends 45:6 (June 2016): 85-90, 93.
This paper, presented at the National Workshop on Christian Unity in April 2016, reflects upon the context and continuity of this encyclical with Catholic teaching, identifies the distinctiveness of the present pope’s teachings on ecology, and analyzes this encyclical’s “prospects for impacting, influencing and meeting future environmental challenges” (p. 85).
Lehmann, Hartmut. “2017: The Quincentennial Celebration of the Reformation in an Age of Secularization and Religious Pluralism.” Dialog: A Journal of Theology 55:1 (Spring 2016): 79-87.
The Professor of Modern History at the University of Kiel reflects upon the Luther decade leading up to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by asking what is the relevance of Luther’s legacy today, particularly facing the “vexing issues” of Luther’s negative attitudes towards the papacy, Turks, and Jews. He reviews previous centenary observances of the anniversary and proposes three ways to give the 2017 commemoration “a completely different character”: proclaiming Lutheranism as a world religion, building upon the work of reconciliation begun between Lutherans and Mennonites, and reconciling the schisms of the sixteenth century.
Lim, Timothy T.N. “Recognition and Reception: Towards a Joint Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017.” Ecclesiology 12:2 (2016): 197-224.
“This article brings the 2013 Joint Working Group text Reception and the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity’s 2013 report From Conflict to Communion into dialogue with the 2017 commemoration of the Reformation with Reformed Christianity, Anabaptists, Brethren, Evangelicals, and Pentecostals. This investigation takes as its backdrop the mutual recognition and reception of churches. The paper reviews recent documents with a view to applying the reception of the quincentenary vision among these churches” (Abstract).
Rusch, William G. “Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry and Eucharist: Quo Vadis?” Ecumenical Trends 45:5 (May 2016): 65-69, 78-79.
The retired Lutheran ecumenist explains the new type of ecumenical document that a declaration in via ought to be and critiques the recently released Lutheran-Roman Catholic Declaration’s recommendations and its sponsoring bodies’ reception process, and concludes by calling for a “course correction” (p. 69).
Trice, Michael Reid. “Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry and Eucharist: A Commentary.” Ecumenical Trends 45:6 (June 2016): 81-84, 95.
The Lutheran Assistant Dean for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue at the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University (Jesuit), argues that “the Declaration may just prove that Lutherans and Catholics are further along in core theological agreements than anyone imagined” (p. 65), identifying what the document has to offer to each of three audiences (Lutherans and Catholics; all ecumenical partners; and the world), concluding: “At a moment of axial change in the world…the models for encountering and transforming, which also inform this Declaration, have immeasurably more to say to the world than we may know” (p. 95).
“The 2014 Agreed Statement on Christology of the Churches of the Anglican Communion and the Oriental Orthodox Churches”: International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 16:1 (March 2016):
- O’Collins, Gerald, SJ. “The 2014 Agreed Statement on Christology of the Churches of the Anglican Communion and the Oriental Orthodox Churches: A Catholic Review”: 66-74.
- Wickham, Lionel R. “Εὐφραινέσθωσαν οἱ οὐρανοί, ‘Let the Heavens Rejoice’: An Anglican Reflection on the 2014 Agreed Statement on Christology of the Churches of the Anglican Communion and the Oriental Orthodox Churches”: 75-85.
Vogelaar, Huub. “‘We Intend to Move Together in Moving the World’: An Evaluation of the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches from 30 October to 8 November 2013 in Busan.” Exchange: Journal of Missiological and Ecumenical Research 45:1 (2016): 38-65.
The 10th WCC assembly is characterized in terms of its South Korean/Asian context, its theme of justice and peace, and its statements of unity, particularly The Church: Towards a Common Vision. The particular voices of Orthodox, Catholics, and Evangelicals in Busan are described, the divisive factor of homosexuality is discussed, along with political issues such as tensions in the Korean Peninsula and Christian presence in the Middle East, and ten concluding personal observations are presented.
Journal Articles of Note in Ecumenism as of March 31, 2016
Adam, Will. “Squaring the Circle: Anglicans and the Recognition of Holy Orders.” One in Christ 49:2 (2015): 254-269.
The author analyzes various ways that Anglicans have found to reconcile Anglican ministries with “non- or differently episcopal systems” of other denominations, recognizing others’ forms of ministry while maintaining their own commitment to episcopal ordination.
The Church: Towards a Common Vision Theme Issue. One in Christ 49:2 (2015):
- Tanner, Mary. “The Church: Towards a Common Vision. A Faith and Order Perspective”: 171-181.
- Storrar, William. “Towards the Common Good. A Church and Society Perspective on The Church: Towards a Common Vision”: 182-191.
- Clifford, Catherine E. “Catholic Perspectives on The Church: Towards a Common Vision”: 192-203.
- Colberg, Kristin. “Questions of Unity, Diversity and Authority in The Church: Towards a Common Vision. Advances and Tools for Ecumenical Dialogue”: 204-218.
- Flanagan, Brian P. “Catholic Appropriation and Critique of The Church: Towards a Common Vision”: 218-234.
Crossin, John W. “Ecumenical Reflections on Moral Discernment.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 50:4 (Fall 2015): 561-582.
“After reviewing the recent ARCUSA statement and two other recent ecumenical documents, the essay turns to Catholic moral teaching with emphasis on the 1993 encyclical, Veritatus splendor. The author notes a lacuna in the recent literature in the failure to examine systems of moral thinking. His agenda for the future would include a deeper exploration in Catholic moral theology of (a) the biblical witness, (b) the role of intention in moral decision-making, and (c) the guidance of the Holy Spirit in moral discernment” (Abstract).
Daly, Robert J., S.J., Gary Macy and Jill Raitt. “The Ecumenical Significance of Eucharistic Conversion.” Theological Studies 77:1 (March 2016): 7-31.
“We find that the conversation of the Eucharistic elements has indeed been understood by unimpeachably sincere Christians in a broad variety of ways. In contrast, there has been a remarkably constant convergence regarding the all-importance of the conversion of the participants. Were this taken as the starting point, we might discover that we have much more ecumenical unity regarding the Eucharist than is usually thought to be the case” (Abstract).
“Evangelii Gaudium and Ecumenism” theme issue. International Review of Mission 104:2 (November 2015), selected articles listed:
- Pernia, Antonio M. “A Missionary Church: Introduction and Chapter One of Evangelii Gaudium.”: 155-160.
- Kudiyiruppil, Mary John, SSpS. “The Joy of the Gospel amid the Crisis of Communal Commitment”: 161-173.
- Magesa, Laurenti. “Making Disciples: Pope Francis’ Paradigm for Mission”: 174-180.
- Himes, Kenneth. “Chapter Four of Evangelii Gaudium: The Social Dimension of Evangelization”: 181-186.
- Cruz, Gemma Tulud. “Chapter Five of Evangelii Gaudium: Spirit-Filled Evangelizers”: 187-192.
- Bevans, Stephen. “Life, Joy, and Love: Together towards Life in Dialogue with Evangelii Gaudium and The Cape Town Commitment”: 183-202.
- Lim, Timothy T.N. “The Holy Spirit in EG, TTL, and CTC: The Pneumatological Impulse for Christian Mission”: 203-216.
- Bacon, Nathanael. “Working Together in a Community Garden: Justice in CTC, EG, TTL”: 217-231.
- Armstrong, John H. “The Church in the Contemporary Ecumenical-Missional Moment: Together towards Life in Dialogue with Evangelii Gaudium and The Cape Town Commitment”: 232-254.
- Währisch-Oblau, Claudia. “Evangelism in Evangelii Gaudium, The Cape Town Commitment and Together towards Life”: 255-267.
- Kee-Fook Chia, Edmund. “Inter-Religious Dialogue in EG, TTL, and CTC”: 268-277.
- Kim, Kirsteen. Evangelii Gaudium and the Prospects for Ecumenical Mission”: 336-344.
- Kang, Ahram. “Ecumenical Hermeneutics through a Study of Missiological Typologies”: 345-360.
Ford, John T., C.S.C. “Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism at Age Fifty: An Exhausted Inheritance or a Living Legacy?” Ecumenical Trends 45:3 (March 2016): 34-39, 47.
This is the published version of the Washington Theological Consortium Figel Lecture presented by Fr. Ford, Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Catholic University of America, as recipient of the WTC Ecumenism Award February 10, 2015, in which he analyzes the Decree on Ecumenism through the “metrics” of faith, order, life, work, and mission and then raises future issues from that legacy: implementation, nature of ordained ministry, church-dividing “life-issues”, spiritual ecumenism, and persistence in the ecumenical pilgrimage.
Goosen, Gideon. “Ecumenism: Why the Slow Progress?” One in Christ 49:2 (2015): 270-284.
The Australian ecumenist and theologian addresses various feelings and attitudes that continue to impede ecumenical progress, specifically: lack of commitment, ecumenism as an “optional extra,” ecumenism as a burden, councils as an alibi, a desire to restore things to an idealized past, ecumenism as “too idealistic,” lack of “transformational action,” communication, and funding.
Kinn, James W. “Imagine This! Unity Among the Christian Churches in this Century.” Ecumenical Trends 45:3 (March 2016): 40-45.
The Catholic author describes five elements that he believes will lead to Christian unity: “I) the hierarchy of truths that are essential for Christian faith; II) the existing common creeds and formal agreements; III) the distinction between the dogmas of faith and the language used to express them; IV) the fact of pluralism of theologies and their increasing acceptance; and V) the growing understanding that many of the diverse structures and forms of ministry of the Christian Churches are not established by jus divinum, that is, they were not founded on the direct will of God” (p. 40).
Lim T.N., Timothy. “Towards a Pneumatological-Ecclesiology: Outside the ‘Two Lungs of the Church.’” Review of Ecumenical Studies 7:2 (August 2015): 211-229.
“This paper critiques the framing of the pneumatological underpinning of ecclesiology as an Orthodox-Catholic conversation. The context for the Joint Commission for Orthodox-Catholic dialogue warrants the use of the metaphor “two lungs of the church” by official church leaders, ecclesiologists and theologians to speak of the Spirit’s work in and between both communions. However, I want to call attention to the pneumatological and ecclesiological problems in the use of the image “two lungs of the church.” If the Holy Spirit breathes upon and through the Body of Christ, reading the Spirit’s operation in the church (pneumatological-ecclesiology) cannot ignore, and much less dismiss or absorb (either explicitly or implicitly), the charisms outside of the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy. Protestant denominations, such as Baptists, Brethren, Evangelicals, Presbyterians, Pentecostals and Charismatics are also contexts for studying the Spirit’s work in the churches. The paper concludes by proffering a mapping of recent pneumatological contributions of other Christian denominations and churches to invite theologians to assist in reframing or reconceptualizing a more appropriate anatomic metaphor for the Spirit’s work in and among the churches together” (Abstract).
Meyer, Harding. “‘Unity in Reconciled Diversity’: A Concept of an Ecumenical Goal, its Purpose, Origin, and Importance.” Ecumenical Trends 45:2 (February 2016): 17-28, 31.
This article, from the originator of the concept of “unity in reconciled diversity,” argues, despite critiques to the contrary, that the concept “is a complete, ecclesial unity, a unity in faith, in sacrament and in ecclesial office (ministry)” [italics in original].
Pillay, Jerry. “A Mission of Unity and a Unity of Mission: A Look at the Work of the Church Unity Commission” International Review of Mission 104:2 (November 2015): 403-415.
The President of the World Communion of Reformed Churches “explores the notion and meaning of mission in United and Uniting churches, asks whether union fosters mission and, more specifically, whether United churches practice mission reflecting a commitment to unity; and finally considers some of the challenges facing the Church Unity Commission (CUC) in moving forward…Church unity should begin at the local level if it is to be more effective. Hence, international, national, and regional structures and organizations should mobilize, empower, and enable local church communities for more effective mission and church unity” (Abstract).
Smit, Peter-Ben. “Ecumenical Dialogue as Intercultural Encounter: The Dialogue between the Mar Thoma Syrian Church and the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht as an Example of Intercultural Theological Dialogue.” Exchange: Journal of Missiological and Ecumenical Research 44:4 (2015): 317-352.
“This paper provides an overview of a recent ecumenical dialogue, the one between the Mar Thoma Syrian Church and the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht (2011-2014) and analyses the dialogue through the lens of intercultural theology, arguing that the fields of ecumenical dialogue and intercultural theology can be brought into conversation with each other fruitfully, even if this is not currently being done in appertaining scholarship” (Abstract).
“The 2014 Agreed Statement on Christology of the Churches of the Anglican Communion and the Oriental Orthodox Churches” Theme Issue. International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 15:3 (September, 2015):
- Rowell, Geoffrey. “The Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Agreed Statement on Christology, 2014: A Note on Background and Context”: 159-160.
- “Christology: Agreed Statement of the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission, 2014”: 160-162.
- Trostyanskiy, Sergey. “Healing the Post-Chalcedonian Schism: Theological Reflections on the 2014 ‘Agreed Statement on Christology’ of the Churches of the Anglican Communion and the Oriental Orthodox Churches”: 163-185.
Winter, Harry. “Momentum Builds for Eucharistic Sharing from the 2015 Synod on the Family to the 500th Anniversary of Luther’s Theses, 2017.” Ecumenical Trends 45:1 (January 2016): 10-12.