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  • 2009 Books

    New Books of Note in Ecumenism in 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.”