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  • 2008 Articles

    Journal Articles of Note on Ecumenism as of December 2008

    Benedict XVI, Pope. “Ecumenical Service.” Origins 37 (May 1, 2008): 751-753. The text of the pope’s remarks at the ecumenical prayer service held in New York City on April 18 with 250 Christian leaders, including “May the word of God we have heard this evening inflame our hearts with hope on the path to unity.”

    Blezard, Robert C. “Toward Christian Unity: Study Guide.” The Lutheran 21 (December 2008): 20.
    A brief 5-part congregational study guide on ecumenism from a Lutheran perspective. Each session includes an ecumenical topic, a reading assignment and a set of discussion questions.

    Bolognesi, Pietro. “A History of the Relationship of the Evangelical Alliance with the Roman Catholic Church.” Evangelical Review of Theology 32:3 (2008): 210-223.
    Reviews and analyzes the history of the dialogue between the Evangelical Alliance and Roman Catholics since Vatican II and challenges the EA to develop a theological approach in order to have a common methodology for dialogue with Rome .

    Bouwen, Frans. “The Official Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church: 1973-1992.” One in Christ 42 (Summer 2008): 75-98.

    Carter, David. “Catholic-Methodist Dialogue: Promise, Hope and Caution.” One in Christ 42 (Summer 2008): 148-170.
    A British Methodist summarizes Methodist reception and caution around the ministry issues of the 2006 Catholic-Methodist document, The Grace Given You in Christ and posits that the Methodist Church might be ready to accept a differentiated consensus around episcopacy.

    Cadge, Wendy, Laura R. Olson, and Christopher Wildeman. “How Denominational Resources Influence Debate about Homosexuality in Mainline Protestant Congregations.” Sociology of Religion 69 (Summer 2008): 187-207. The authors conducted telephone interviews with the clergy of 30 congregations ( Evangelical Lutheran Church in America , Presbyterian Church USA and United Methodist) in one northeastern U.S. city to assess how the congregations addressed the issue of homosexuality and what resources were provided by the denominations for congregational study of the issue. Findings indicated that the parishes responses to the issue were influenced by the denomination’s materials and recommended process.

    Craddock, Fred. “Othering.” Restoration Quarterly 50 (Second Quarter 2008): 121-125.
    An ecumenical sermon on the Christian call to be in relationship with people different from ourselves, preached by Craddock at Hazelip School of Theology, Lipscomb University. “Is kindness to be done because we are children of God who are gracious people in circumstances complex amidst people with whom we don’t agree, whom we abhor in all kinds of conditions? Relationships at best are hard and difficult but never so much as to give us any excuse for being other than gracious.”

    Daniels, Harold M. “Lutherans and Reformed Living Together in Full Communion: Ten Years.” Call to Worship 42:1 (2008-2009): 1-8. Describes the history of the American Lutheran-Reformed relationship and concrete ways in which the first decade of full communion has been lived out at the national level, mid-level judicatories, seminaries, and congregations.

    Davey, Colin. “Orthodox-Roman Catholic Dialogue: The Ravenna Agreed Statement,” Sobornost 30:2 (2008): 7-36.
    A close reading and analysis of the 2007 Orthodox-Roman Catholic Ravenna Agreed Statement from the Anglican secretary to the first Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission and the Anglican/Orthodox Joint Doctrinal Discussions, who compares Ravenna’s theological assertions to the statements from those ecumenical dialogues.

    Davies, Susan E. “Christian Unity in the Face of God.” Ecumenical Trends 37:3 (2008): 33-36.
    The author, co-chair of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Faith and Order Commission, reflects on the connections between ecumenism and work for justice.

    DelMonico, Marc J. “Their Message Goes Forth to All the Earth: Towards a Franciscan-Ecumenical Approach to the Ecological Crisis.” Ecumenical Trends 37:10 (November 2008): 147-153, 159.
    The author, a Ph.D. student at Catholic University , explains how a Franciscan approach can inform an ecumenical approach to the current ecological crisis and suggests how this perspective can provide a useful response at the “personal-local” and “social-national-global” levels.

    DeVille, Adam A.J. “Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Primacy: A Plea for a New Common Approach.”Ecumenical Trends 37 (April 2008): 5-7.
    A review of the recent difficulties encountered in Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, particularly the inter-Orthodox disagreement over the role and authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and a proposal for establishing a common method and a collaborative bilateral effort to address the issue of the primacy of Constantinople .

    Dieter, Theodor. “Luther Research and Ecumenism.” Dialog 47 (Summer 2008): 157-166.
    A German Lutheran theologian analyzes the differing methodologies of Luther research and ecumenical dialogue.

    Djomhoue, Priscille. “Manifestations of Ecumenism in Africa Today: A Study of the Mainline and Pentecostal Churches in Cameroon.” International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 8 (November 2008): 355-368.
    A description of the Christian church in Cameroon as two types: mainline denominations established by missionary societies (Reformed, Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian) and Pentecostal churches, and an exploration of ways in which they might deepen their ecumenical efforts in that African context.

    Ecumenism 170 (Summer 2008): 8-27.
    This issue includes a series of papers on the Eucharistic theology of various denominations from an ecumenical perspective:

    • Emery, Gerald. “Holy Cène (Lord’s Supper): Practice and Significance in the Pentecostal Tradition”
    • Fines, David. “Communion in the United Church”
    • Gros, Jeffrey. “The Sacrament of Unity: The Eucharist in Catholic Piety”
    • Harder, Helmut. “The Lord’s Supper as Understood by Mennonite Churches”
    • Jones, William. “Baptists and the Lord’s Supper”
    • Smart, Tim. “Called to Full Communion”

    Eight Catholic and Protestant Bishops. “Ecumenical Statement on Immigration to the People of Kansas.”Origins 37 (April 10, 2008): 685-686.
    Bishops from the Kansas judicatories of the Roman Catholic, United Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America , and Episcopal traditions call the people to work for “a humane resolution of the problem of illegal immigration.”

    Epting, Christopher. “The Nature of the Unity we Seek.” Ecumenical Trends 37 (July/August 2008): 108-109.
    The Episcopal Church’s Deputy for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations brings the lessons of the church’s 1979 Declaration on Unity to bear on current tensions within the Anglican Communion.

    Fahey, Michael A. “Shifts in Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant Ecclesiology from 1965 to 2006.” Ecclesiology 4 (2008): 134-147.
    A Roman Catholic theologian attempts to present a “confessionally comprehensive survey” of shifts in ecclesiology over the past forty years. While a 13-page journal article cannot provide comprehensive coverage, the author offers a helpful summary of areas of consensus (e.g. the doctrine of the Trinity as starting point and the impact of the liturgical renewal movement) and identifies the “unfinished agendas” for ecclesiology (most importantly, integrating the results of ecumenical agreements into denominational ecclesiology).

    Fosarelli, Patricia. “That All May Be One: A Tale of Three Churches.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 43:4 (Fall 2008): 537-544.
    This practical article describes specific local ecumenical educational initiatives, joint worship services and cooperative events held between three local parishes (Episcopal, Roman Catholic, and Presbyterian) in downtown Baltimore , Maryland in recent years.

    Francis, Leslie J. and Mandy Robbins. “The Relationship Between Denominational Affiliation and Spiritual Health Among Weekly Churchgoing 13- to 15-year-old Adolescents in England and Wales.” Journal of Education and Christian Belief 12:1 (2008): 21-39.
    This study of 34,000 Anglican, Roman Catholic, Free Church, Pentecostal, and Jehovah’s Witness teenagers finds differences in spiritual health correlated to denominational identity, in ways congruent with denominational theological stance. Charts analyze the responses by denomination within four categories: personal domain, communal domain, environmental domain, and transcendental domain.

    Gros, Jeffrey. “Fifty Years and Running: Oberlin 57, Back and Beyond.” One in Christ 42 (Summer 2008): 171-186.
    One of the premier ecumenists of the century summarizes the 50-year history of the National Council of Churches Faith and Order movement in the U.S.A.

    Gros, Jeffrey. “A People on Pilgrimage – In Christ’s Prayer.” Ecumenical Trends 37:11 (December 2008): 161-164, 175.
    Brother Gros addresses “three dimensions of ecumenical prayer: 1) spiritual disposition, 2) types of ecumenical prayer, and 3) spiritual exercises serving ecumenical prayer.” This is a very important new contribution to the literature of spiritual ecumenism.

    Gros, Jeffrey. “Struggle and Reconciliation: Some Reflections on Ecumenism in Chile.” International Review of Mission 97 (January/April 2008): 50-64.
    An excellent overview of twentieth-century Christianity in Chile and 40 years of Catholic-Protestant (usually Pentecostal) ecumenical relations in that country.

    Hein, David. “Radical Ecumenism: A Teaching Moment for Anglicanism.” Sewanee Theological Review 51 (Pentecost 2008): 314-328.
    An Anglican author promotes an ecumenism of receptivity to the other, instead of an ecumenism that seeks formal agreements drawing upon Cardinal Avery Dulles’ recent work on alternative forms of ecumenism, the witness of modern-day Old Order Amish in forgiveness, and the historical example of Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf.

    “His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Visits Pope Benedict XVI and the Church of Rome.” SEIA Newsletter on the Eastern Churches and Ecumenism 152 (May 31, 2008): 1-4.
    This article describes the visit of His Holiness Karekin II to Rome on May 6-9 and gives the texts of Pope Benedict’s welcoming remarks, the response from His Holiness Karekin II, Pope Benedict’s speech in the private audience with the Catholicos, and the speech of His Holiness Karekin II in response, all on the theme of spiritual ecumenism and prayer for unity, seeking together the particular guidance of the Holy Spirit for unity as each tradition celebrates the festival of Pentecost.

    Holeton, David R. “Ecumenical Liturgical Consensus: A Bumpy Road to Christian Unity.” Studia Liturgica38 (2008): 1-16.
    The Presidential Address for the 40 th anniversary conference of the Societas Liturgica surveys the twentieth-century developments toward a common lectionary, a common catechumenate, a common Eucharistic ordo, and common liturgical texts, and the challenges to that consensus posed now by the recent Church of England revision of the Lord’s Prayer text and the Roman Catholic changes to liturgical texts proposed by Liturgiam authenticam.

    Kasper, Walter. “The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Origin and Continuing Inspiration of the Ecumenical Movement.” Centro Pro Unione Semi-Annual Bulletin 73 (Spring 2008): 15-20.
    The President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity reflects on the history and legacy of the Week of Prayer and spiritual ecumenism for the 21st century. “The unity of the church is like an icon of the Trinity.”

    Kinnamon, Michael. “Pray Without Ceasing.” Ecumenical Trends 37 (July/August 2008) 97-100.
    The new General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA ’s keynote address from the 2008 National Workshop on Christian Unity in which he seeks to bring together Faith and Order and Life and Work concerns into a unified ecumenism grounded in prayer for unity.

    Knieps-Port le Roi, Thomas. “Being One at Home: Interchurch Families as Domestic Church.” One in Christ42:2 (Winter 2008): 341-359.
    This paper, originally presented at the British Association of Interchurch Families 40 th anniversary conference in August 2008, explores the history and theology of the “domestic church” concept and then analyzes the theological and sociological potentialities of considering interchurch families an expression of this concept.

    Lancaster, Sarah Heaner. “Baptism and Justification: A Methodist Understanding.” Ecclesiology 4 (2008): 289-307.
    In response to the World Methodist Council’s vote to sign on to the Roman Catholic-Lutheran Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, a Methodist theologian explains John Wesley’s teachings on justification and baptism and what those teachings can contribute to ecumenical dialogue: “we honor the meaning of baptism when we seek to express the dynamic work of God for our salvation in all its manifestations” (p. 307).

    “Local and Universal Ecumenical Dialogue.” Theme issue of Exchange: Journal of Missiological and Ecumenical Research 37:4 (2008).
    Most of this issue is devoted to analysis of and response to the 2003 Reformation-Catholic dialogue report from the Netherlands , “Local and Universal Ecumenical Dialogue.” The dialogue involved two Catholic groups (Roman Catholic and Old Catholic) and three Protestant groups (Netherlands Reformed Church, the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) which merged into the Protestant Church in the Netherlands while the dialogue was in progress. The English translation of the text is published here, along with responses from two Roman Catholic theologians, Jeffrey Gros and Peter de Meij, an Old Catholic theologian, Peter-Ben Smit, and two Reformed theologians, Allan Jansen and Henry Wilson.

    “Making a Difference Together: Visions of the Ecumenical Future.” Theme issue of The Ecumenical Review60:3 (July 2008).
    Although dated July, this issue of the journal of the World Council of Churches just arrived in December. It is a rich issue with four articles devoted to the question of the future of the ecumenical movement:

    • Huliselan, Beril. “The Ecumenical Movement of the 21 st Century: Bringing Unity Down to Earth,” 213-221. A perspective from the Indonesian Christian Church.
    • Waweru, Lucy Wambui. “Prospects for Ecumenism in the 21 st Century: Preparing for Tomorrow,” 222-238. The author is a Kenyan minister in the Presbyterian Church of East Africa.
    • Rajkumar, Peniel Jesudason Rufus. “Making a Difference Together: Prospects for Ecumenism in the 21 st Century,” 239-353. The author writes from a Church of England perspective.
    • Rimmer, Chad . “Prospects for Ecumenism in the 21 st Century: Towards an Ecumenical Theology of the Wilderness,” 254-270. An Evangelical Lutheran Church in America global mission staffer who lives and works in Copenhagen presents his perspective.

    Murphy, Gannon. “Reformed Theosis?” Theology Today 65 (2008): 191-212.
    In this article, a Reformed theologian finds common ground between the classical Reformed doctrine of “Christ in us” and the Orthodox theological concept of theosis. Drawing upon Reformed theologians Calvin, Kuyper, Watson, Strong, and Berkhof, patristic authors, and Orthodox theologian Timothy Ware, the author proposes a “reformed theosis” grounded in a biblical theology of the word.

    National Association of Pastoral Musicians. “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism…One Song.” Pastoral Music 33:2 (December 2008): 64.
    A succinct summary of the ecumenical diversity and richness of worship music used in Christian churches today, presented in a one-page format for reproduction as a bulletin insert.

    Nepi, Loredana, comp. “A Bibliography of Interchurch and Interconfessional Theological Dialogues: Twenty-third Supplement – 2008.” Centro Pro Unione Semi-Annual Bulletin 73 (Spring 2008): 21-45.
    This is the 23 rd installment of a comprehensive bibliography of international and national bilateral and multilateral dialogues, coded by confessional families, churches and councils. Each section includes information about the dialogues, texts and papers of the dialogues, and reflections and reactions.

    Neuhaus, Richard John. “Reconciling East and West.” First Things 188 (December 2008): 23-28.
    One could consider this article a kind of a “state of the union” overview of the work towards Roman Catholic-Orthodox ecumenical accord, especially the dialogue around papal primacy. Neuhaus’ view is that “the only thing lacking for full communion with the Orthodox is full communion” (p. 27-28).

    O’Gara, Margaret. “Ecumenical Dialogue: The Next Generation.” Origins 38 (July 31, 2008): 154-163.
    A Canadian Roman Catholic theologian’s perspective on the future challenges for ecumenical relations, including the papacy, infallibility, The church’s authority, women’s ordination, ethics, and relations with non-Christian religions.

    “Pentecostal Catholic Dialogue with a Methodist Twist!” Ecumenical Trends 37 (2008): 4-11. Three articles in this issue address the accomplishments, challenges and potential of these ecumenical relations:

    • Campbell, Ted A. “Ecumenical Relations Between Catholic, Pentecostal, and Methodist Churches ”
    • Coulter, Dale M. “Are We Kin? Reflections on the Dialogues Between Catholics, Methodists, and Pentecostals”
    • Del Colle, Ralph. “Catholic-Methodist-Pentecostal: A Trialogue?”

    Radano, John A. “The Catholic Church, Faith and Order, and BEM.” Centro Pro Unione Semi-Annual Bulletin 73 (Spring 2008): 3-14.
    This paper summarizes the Catholic Church’s relationship with the World Council of Churches and the Faith and Order movement, addresses the Catholic Church’s official response to the Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry document of 1982, and summarizes how the convergence achieved in the BEM document will impact future ecumenical relations.

    Radano, John A. “The Future of Our Journey: Issues Facing Ecumenism.” Ecumenical Trends 37 (May 2008): 4-10.
    This is the published text of the paper on the future of ecumenism that Monsignor Radano presented at the 50 th anniversary NCCC Faith and Order Conference in Oberlin in summer 2007.

    Ryan, Thomas. “The Evolving Face of Ecumenism.” One in Christ 42 (Summer 2008): 139-147.
    A description of monasticism as “ecumenical terrain” as experienced in Focolare, Taize, Syndesmos, L’Arche, and Bose.

    Schlabach, Gerald W. “Catholic and Mennonite: A Journey of Healing.” One in Christ 42:2 (Winter 2008): 318-340.
    A self-described “Mennonite Catholic” and director of BridgeFolk describes the vocation of those who live and work in ecumenical ministries using metaphors of bridging, healing, scarring, vision, and dialogue. A must-read for those contemplating long-term service in another tradition.

    Schreck, Paul A. “Under One Christ: Implications of a Roman Catholic Recognition of the Confessio Augustana in C.E. 2017.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 43 (Winter 2008): 90-110.
    A Lutheran proposes that the next step for Lutheran-Roman Catholic rapprochement after the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification ought to be a mutual acceptance of the Augsburg Confession as an authentic confession of the catholic faith.

    Sheldrake, Philip. “A Spirituality of Reconciliation: Encouragement for Anglicans from a Roman Catholic Perspective.” Journal of Anglican Studies 6 (June 2008): 107-26.
    A Roman Catholic professor of theology from the University of Durham, England offers insights on reconciliation and discernment from the Rule of St. Benedict and the Eucharist for the current conflicts in the Anglican Communion. “The Eucharist is the laboratory of reconciliation,” he writes.

    Sisto, Walter Nunzio. “The Economic-Immanent Method: Implications of Karl Rahner’s Trinitarian Theology for the Contemporary North American Catholic-Orthodox Ecumenical Movement.” Ecumenical Trends 37 (July/August 2008): 104-107.
    A Ph.D. student examines the impasse over the filioque clause between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism and proposes Rahner’s theology of the immanent Trinity as a “bridge theology” that would allow for resolution of this issue.

    Small, Joseph D. “Local Church – Universal Church.” Ecumenical Trends 37 (September 2008): 124-126.
    This paper from the 2008 National Workshop on Christian Unity presents a Reformed perspective, in dialogue with Roman Catholic theology, on the ecumenical debates over definitions of church as local-universal and visible-invisible.

    Small, Joseph D. “Praying for the Unity of the Church.” Ecumenical Trends 37 (June 2008): 1-5.
    The Director of Theology, Worship and Education Ministries of the Presbyterians Church USA exegetes Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17 and asserts that “the basic form of prayer for the unity of the church is prayer of confession…we are all complicit in our disunity.”

    Smit, Peter-Ben. “The Developing Understanding of Authority and Primacy in Anglican-Roman Catholic-Old Catholic dialogue after the Second Vatican Council.” International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 8 (August 2008): 11-231.
    The author, an Old Catholic priest who teaches at General Seminary (Episcopal), argues that Anglican, Roman Catholic and Old Catholic dialogue has made positive progress to the point of implementing a universal primacy acceptable to all three traditions.

    Swarat, Uwe. “The Dialogues Between the European Baptist Federation and the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 43 (Summer 2008): 333-350.
    A review of the history of dialogue between the churches of the Leuenberg Agreement (1973) with the European Baptist Federation and the developing convergence toward table and pulpit fellowship despite ongoing divergence over baptismal theology.

    Tabbernee, William and Beverly Roberts Gaventa. “Interpreting the Scriptures Together: Seeking the Visible Unity of the Church.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 43 (Summer 2008): 295-308.
    A proposal for developing a common ecumenical biblical hermeneutic as a foundation for ecumenical dialogue.

    Tanner, Mary. “Growing Together in Unity and Mission: An Agreed Statement of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission 2007.” One in Christ 42:2 (Winter 2008): 371-381.
    This article was originally a presentation made to the Anglican bishops of Lambeth 2008 to summarize, study and receive the 2007 IARCUM agreed statement.

    Temmerman, Ray. “Interchurch Families as Domestic Church: More Real than Imperfect? Ecumenism 171 (Fall 2008): 4-13.
    The leader of the online Interchurch Families movement explores interchurch marriage as an expression of “domestic church” (ecclesia domestica), drawing upon the classic marks of the Church.

    Tjorhom, Ola. “An ‘Ecumenical Winter’? Challenges in Contemporary Catholic Ecumenism.” The Heythrop Journal 49 (September 2008): 841-859.
    A Roman Catholic ecumenist draws upon Vatican II’s Unitatis redintegratio to identify steps the Roman church might take to “rescue” the ecumenical movement: a sustainable spiritual ecumenism, intermediate steps towards Eucharistic fellowship, and appreciation for ecclesial diversity, leading to opportunities for a new ecumenical strategy of differentiated consensus and the quest for ecumenical reception.

    Toussaint, Loren L. and David R. Williams. “National Survey Results for Protestant, Catholic, and Nonreligious Experiences of Seeking Forgiveness and of Forgiveness of Self, of Others, and by God.”Journal of Psychology & Christianity 27 (Summer 2008): 120-130.
    This study of 1,087 Americans correlates attitudes towards forgiveness of others with religious commitment: moderate Protestants and Catholics ranked similarly, and higher in forgiveness, than those with no religious affiliation. Conservative Protestants ranked highest in seeking forgiveness of others. No difference was found between religious Christians and non-religious people in levels of forgiveness of self. Protestants and Catholics reported congruent levels of feeling forgiven by God, and at a higher level than those with no religious affiliation.