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  • 2009 Articles

    Journal Articles of Note on Ecumenism as of December 2009

    Aguado, Maria Aránzazu. “Transformative Spirituality and Mission: An Ecumenical Project.” International Review of Mission 98:2 (November 2009): 218-231.
    This is an overview of the work to date of a 2008-2010 World Council of Churches’ study on spirituality, positioning it as the central new vision of the ecumenical movement and exploring issues and methodologies. “As the Edinburgh World Missionary Conference in 1910 inspired the birth of the modern ecumenical movement, we aim to envision a new ecumenism by bringing transformative spirituality and mission to the heart of the ecumenical movement in the new century” (p. 219).

    strong>Alfeyev, Hilarion. “The Orthodox Understanding of Primacy and Catholicity.” Sobornost 31:1 (2009): 6-17.
    This is the Orthodox paper on primacy presented at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary’s Fellowship Conference by the Head of the Department of External Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church and Archbishop of Volokolamsk. It analyzes the Orthodox history and theology of the primacy of the bishop, contrasts it to Roman Catholic usage, challenges the concept of infallibility, and proposes a framework for acknowledgement of a “primacy of honour” of the Bishop of Rome by Orthodoxy. This acknowledgement would necessarily be predicated upon resolution of intra-Orthodox disagreements on primacy and upon the “restoration of the unity of faith, the unity of the dogmatic tradition of the ancient undivided Church.”

    Benedict XVI. “Anglicanorum Coetibus: Apostolic Constitution on new Structures for Welcoming Former Anglicans into Catholic Church.” Origins 39:24 (November 19, 2009): 387-390; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    “A Bibliography of Interchurch and Interconfessional Theological Dialogues, Twenty-Fourth Supplement, 2009.” Bulletin, Centro Pro Unione No. 75 (Spring 2009): 25-41.
    This is the 24 th 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.

    “Bilateral Dialogues – Yesterday and Today,” theme issue of Ecumenical Review 61:3 (October 2009).Updates on the state of the search for full visible unity as of 2009 in various denominational traditions through their various bilateral dialogues.

    • Henn, William. “The Vision of Unity Today: A Catholic Perspective,” 260-278.
    • Birmele, Andre. “The Reformation Churches and their Ecumenical Task Today,” 279-288.
    • Jones, Sarah Rowland. “Anglicans and Ecumenism,” 289-303.
    • Callam, Neville. “Baptists and Church Unity,” 304-314.
    • Alemezian, Nareg. “The Oriental Orthodox Family of Churches in Ecumenical Dialogue,” 315-327.
    • Mateus, Odair Pedroso. “Not without the World Council of Churches: A Contribution to the History of Catholic-Reformed International Bilateral Dialogue,” 328-342.

    Bordeianu, Radu. “Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue: Retrieving Eucharistic Ecclesiology.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 44:2 (Spring 2009): 239-265.
    The author, a Greek Orthodox theologian from Duquesne University , analyzes the various ecclesiological and ecumenical perspectives of Nicolas Afanassieff, John Zizioulas, and Dumitru Staniloae, seeks to retrieve eucharistic ecclesiology and incorporate it with aspects of communion ecclesiology, and proposes four elements for an integrated communion ecclesiology: “doctrinal unity, episcopal communion, love, and eucharistic/sacramental communion.”

    Borschel, Audrey. “An Ecumenical Comparison of Niemoller’s Maundy Thursday Sermon, 1945, and Rahner’s Holy Thursday Homily, 1976.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 44:4 (Fall 2009): 541-562.
    A Disciples of Christ minister compares and contrasts the Eucharistic themes of Maundy Thursday sermons of two prominent theologian/ecumenists. Despite the fact that the sermons were authored thirty years apart and in quite different circumstances, she finds commonality in theological themes that transcend denominationalism: the one-time sacrifice of Christ proffering forgiveness and redemption for believers and Christ’s presence in both the elements of the Eucharist and in the gathered community.

    “Celebrating the Memory, Fr. Alexander Schmemann 1921-1983,” theme issue of St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 53, nos. 2-3 (2009). From two international conferences on the legacy of the great Orthodox liturgical theologian, four of the papers have a particularly ecumenical perspective:

    • Taft, Robert F. “The Liturgical Enterprise Twenty-Five Years After Alexander Schmemann (1921-1983): The Man and His Heritage,” pp. 139-178.
    • Fagerberg, David W. “The Cost of Understanding Schmemann in the West,” pp. 179-208.
    • Aune, Michael B. “The Current State of Liturgical Theology: A Plurality of Particularities,” pp. 209-230.
    • Spinks, Bryan D. “From Liturgical Theology to Liturgical Theologies: Schmemann’s Legacy in Western Churches,” pp. 231-250.

    Clayton, Paul B., Jr. “Sacramentum Caritatis: On the Eucharist as the Source and Summit of the Church’s Life and Mission : An Anglican Review.” Ecumenical Trends 38:4 (April 2009): 49-56.
    An Anglican ecumenist summarizes Pope Benedict XVI’s statement on the Eucharist and offers an Anglican perspective on it, heartily endorsing its central assertion that Christians are transformed by participation in the sacrament, yet also critiquing the tone which he characterizes as a “conservative, almost longing looking back to pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism” (p. 56).

    Clements, Keith. “Barmen and the Ecumenical Movement.” The Ecumenical Review 61:1 (March 2009): 6-16.
    The first article in a theme issue on the significance of Barmen for today, in the 75 th anniversary year of the declaration, analyses the differing responses of Life and Work, Faith and Order, and the World Student Movement to the Confessing Church and its declaration in its time.

    “Complementary Norms for the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.Origins 39:24 (November 19, 2009): 390-392; Father Ghirlanda,

    Creemers, Jelle. “Time will Teach us…Reflections on Thirty-Five Years of Pentecostal-Roman Catholic Dialogue.” Ecclesiology 5 (2009): 322-344.
    Summarizes the history of the five phases of the dialogue to date, with a focus on the choices made in each phase, and asserts that progress can and will be made when the path of theological ecumenical dialogue follows spiritual ecumenism.

    Gros, Jeffrey. “Ecumenical Challenge in the African American Pentecostal Community.” Ecumenical Trends38:11 (December 2009): 161-165.
    A prominent Roman Catholic professor of ecumenism “summarizes Pentecostal ecumenical involvement, provides some background on the Church of God in Christ, and lays out challenges for those serving Christ’s reconciliation among his followers including African American Pentecostals.” He proposes that the road of spiritual ecumenism and healing of memories will be important approaches for ecumenical advancement together.

    Jillions, John A. “Three Orthodox Models of Christian Unity: Traditionalist, Mainstream, Prophetic.”International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 9:4 (November 2009): 295-311.
    The author argues that the Orthodox tradition does not have a single unified approach to ecumenism as its Guidelinesdocument would indicate, but rather three distinct and differing approaches. He describes the “mainstream” approach, derived from Georges Florovsky’s theology, as “respectful dialogue and collaboration” yet still seeking unity by means of “restoration of Christian unity through incorporation of the heterodox into the fullness of the Orthodox Church.” The “traditionalist” approach is characterizes as a return or restoration attitude with the Orthodox tradition believed to be the one true church and the ecumenical movement rejected. The ecumenical contributions of twentieth-century Orthodox theologians Sergius Bulgakov, Nicholas Afanasiev, Anton Kartashev, and Nicholas Zernov are described as providing an alternate, more open basis for a “prophetic” approach to ecumenism for today.

    Evangelicals and Catholics Together. “Do Whatever He Tells You: The Blessed Virgin Mary in Christian Faith and Life: A Statement of Evangelicals and Catholics Together.” First Things 197 (November 2009): 49-58. The seventh joint statement of this unofficial dialogue group affirms Mary as the virgin mother of Jesus and theotokos, calls evangelicals to re-claim “a biblically precise, theologically robust love and honor of Mary,” addresses ongoing differences on the Marian doctrines of perpetual virginity, immaculate conception, the bodily assumption, and invocation of Mary, and calls for joint “rediscovery of the Mary of the Bible.”

    Gregory, Wilton D. “10 th Anniversary of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.” Origins39:19 (October 15, 2009): 310-312. This is the homily that Archbishop Gregory preached for the U.S. Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation’s 10 th anniversary commemoration of the Joint Declaration in Chicago on October 1, 2009, in which he recommended that future work together include joint “study of the foundations of moral discernment in our respective traditions,” joint ecumenical projects, and “prayer and more prayer and more prayer.”

    Gros, Jeffrey. “Rereading Paul Together.” Ecumenical Trends 38:9 (October 2009): 129-133. The veteran Roman Catholic ecumenist proposes that a renewal of biblical devotion, a enriched understanding of Paul’s teachings on salvation through the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, and a common faith in biblical teachings on eternal life are ecumenical accomplishments that can lead divided Christians to deeper biblical literacy and mutual respect and advance the ecumenical agenda.

    Harmon, Steven R. “Ecumenical Theology and/as Systematic Theology.” Ecumenical Trends 38:9 (October 2009): 134-137. A Baptist professor at Beeson Divinity School regards ecumenical dialogue results as a form of constructive theology and proposes a deeper integration of ecumenical accords into theological education through systematic theology courses.

    Harmon, Steven R. “Scripture in the Life of the Baptist Churches: Openings for a Differentiated Catholic-Baptist Consensus on Sacred Scripture.” Pro Ecclesia 18:2 (Spring 2009): 187-215.
    Describes the function of Scripture in worship, catechesis, and confessions of Baptist churches and engages Vatican documents to identify eight areas of differentiated consensus that reflect convergence in Roman Catholic and Baptist understandings of Scripture.

    Johnstone, Carlton . “Understanding the Practice of ‘Church Two-Timing.’” International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 9 (February 2009): 17-31.
    The article explores why some people choose regularly to attend churches of two different denominations. Through a series of interviews with 50 young adults, the author concludes that these folk are generally integrated into the community life and more emotionally engaged with the “primary” church and generally limit their involvement with a “secondary” church to worship attendance. He offers encouragement to churches to provide space for the “two-timer” and to welcome them as long-term guests.

    Kinnamon, Michael. “Celebrating Our History as a Movement for Unity: 25 th Peter Ainslie Lecture on Christian Unity.” Call to Unity 10 (October 2009): 1-4. The Executive Director of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA reflects on the centrality of a passion for unity both in the NCCC and in the Disciples of Christ as a “community of distinctive purpose within the church catholic” (p. 3).

    Kinnamon, Michael. “On Being Hopeful Realists.” Ecumenical Trends 38:7 (July/August 2009): 107-108, 111.
    This address of the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches discusses the balance of decision and risk, dialogue and outreach needed in order to accomplish effective ecumenical advocacy work.

    Lincoln, Andrew T. “Communion: Some Pauline Foundations.” Ecclesiology 5:2 (2009): 135-160.
    Lincoln analyzes the biblical foundation of the ecumenical language of communion/koinonia, especially in the Pauline epistles. Paul Avis’ editorial calls this article “a challenge to communion ecclesiology.”

    North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation. “Response to the Ravenna Document.”Origins 39:23 (November 12, 2009): 379-382. The North American dialogue group’s response to the 2007 international Orthodox-Catholic statement on conciliarity, identifying key ecclesiological questions still unanswered in regard to the ecclesiology of the local parish, episcopal conferences, and universal primacy.

    “One Church of Christ for the Sake of the World,” papers from the 2008 North American Academy of Ecumenists meeting. Journal of Ecumenical Studies 44, no. 3 (Summer 2009): 333-382.

    • Fuchs, Lorelei F. “ One Church of Christ for the Sake of the World: Introduction,” pp. 333-337.
    • Kinnamon, Michael. “Ecumenical Ecclesiology: One Church of Christ for the Sake of the World,” pp. 341-351.
    • Bouteneff, Peter C. “Ecumenical Ecclesiology and the Language of Unity,” pp. 352-360.
    • Peterson, Cheryl. “Response to Michael Kinnamon and Peter Bouteneff,” pp. 361-366.
    • Gros, Jeffrey. “The Ecumenical Calling of the Academic Theologian to Spiritual Pilgrimage in Service of Gospel Unity,” pp. 367-382.

    Radano, John A. “Ecumenical Dialogue in the 21 st Century, Some Steps Forward, and Some Continuing Concerns: A Catholic Perspective.” Ecumenical Trends 38:10 (November, 2009): 145-153.
    A rich overview of the accomplishments of the ecumenical movement, highlighting ten achievements since 2000 (such as JDDJ, BEM, the Ravenna text, and the Global Christian Forum). Particularly interesting is his report on the Harvest Project, a forthcoming publication of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity analyzing all the dialogue reports between Roman Catholics and Lutheran World Federation, World Methodist Council, World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Anglican Communion on the topics of fundamentals of faith, salvation, the Church, and sacraments, in order to discover common ground and determine future directions.

    Reath, Mary. “Toward a Reformed Ecumenical Movement.” The Living Church 238:21 (May 24, 2009): 12-13.
    A member of the U.S. Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue team encourages the search for unity in diversity, challenges the churches to learn from one another and study agreed statements, and calls for a focus on educational ecumenism and ecclesial learning. She calls for the establishment of an “Ecumenical Hall of Fame” and an emphasis on building ecumenical friendships at the local level.

    Roberson, Ronald G. “The Papacy in Ecumenical Discussion Today.” Origins 39:10 (July 30, 2009): 171-175.
    The National Workshop on Christian Unity ( Phoenix , April 2009) paper presented by the Associate Director of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

    Schreck, Paul A. “New Maps for the Journey: Metaphoric Process in Ecumenical Theology.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 44:2 (Spring 2009): 159-179.
    A Lutheran theologian describes the traditional bilateral dialogue process as an oppositional model and, using Luther and Rahner as examples, proposes in its place a metaphorical process model based on principles of speech-act theory.

    “The Significance of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.Origins 39:24 (November 19, 2009): 392-395. The official text, implementation guidelines, and commentary on the papal invitation to disaffected Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church through the establishment of “personal ordinariates,” provision for Anglican liturgies, and the possibility of married Anglican clergy to be ordained as Catholic priests. Married bishops are explicitly excluded.

    Smit, Peter-Ben. “Traditions in Dialogue: A Comparison of the Concept of Tradition in Old Catholic-Anglican, Orthodox-Anglican and Orthodox-Old Catholic Dialogue.” Ecclesiology 5:2 (2009): 212-236.
    In this paper the example of a long-standing ecumenical triangle, Anglican-Orthodox-Old Catholic, will be used to illustrate the benefits of this ‘comparative ecumenical theology’ by studying the concept of Tradition as it has been treated in the Anglican-Orthodox and Old Catholic-Orthodox dialogues” (p. 212).

    “Theological Education in Mission ” theme issue. International Review of Mission 98 (April 2009). Relevant articles include:

    • Ortega, Ofelia. “Contextuality and Community: Challenges for Theological Education and Ecumenical Formation”
    • Vassiliades, Petros. “Contextuality and Catholicity: The Task of Orthodox Theology in Ecumenical Theological Education”
    • Raiser, Konrad. “The Future of Theological Education in Central and Eastern Europe : Challenges for Ecumenical Learning in the 21 st Century”
    • Longchar, Wati. “Beyond Four-Walled Campuses: Models of Ecumenical Theological Education in Interfaith Issues in India ”
    • Wilson, Henry S. “Theological Reconstruction in China : Ecumenical Accompaniment in the Self-Theologizing Effort in Theological Education”
    • Werner, Dietrich. “Magna Charta on Ecumenical Formation in Theological Education in the 21 st Century – 10 Key Convictions”

    Snell, Patricia, Christian Smith, Carlos Taveres, and Kari Christoffersen. “Denominational Differences in Congregation Youth Ministry Programs and Evidence of Systematic Non-Response Biases.” Review of Religious Research 51 no. 1 (September 2009): 21-38.
    Four Notre Dame researchers investigated the youth ministry programs of all congregations in a particular urban area in Indiana by surveying 272 parishes and interviewing 42 youth ministers to identify differences in how youth groups are conducted. How and whether Bible study was provided was the most significant denominational difference found.

    Thomas, John H. “Polar Star or Shooting Star: Ecumenism’s Challenge Today: Tenth Joe A. and Nancy Vaughn Stalcup Lecture on Christian Unity.” Call to Unity 10 (October 2009): 19-24.
    The General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ warns compellingly of the dangers of an ecumenism based on shared friendship, which he compares to a shooting star, and reminds us that the polar star of unity is Christ’s designation of all Christians as friends in Christ, friends not chosen, but given.

    Williams, Rowan. “The Ecumenical Glass is Genuinely Half-Full.” Origins 39:27 (December 10, 2009): 444-449. The Archbishop of Canterbury gave this address on November 19 in Rome at the Gregorian University in which he reviews the agreements reached in Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue and raises questions about “the character of the unfinished business between us,” particularly on the topics of authority in the church, papal primacy, and levels of decision-making in the church on issues such as the ordination of women.

    Wood, Susan. “What Makes the Church One?: A Roman Catholic Perspective. Ecumenical Trends 38:5 (May 2009): 73-79.
    “The unity of the church consists in this mutual interpenetration of ecclesial structures which is soteriological, sacramental, and ministerial…A shared profession of faith, celebration of sacraments, and apostolic ministry remain as essential for ecclesial unity now as they did in Bellarmine’s time…” (p. 78).

    Young, Norman. “The Scope of Salvation: A Wesleyan Reflection Prompted by the Joint Declaration on Justification.” One in Christ 43 no. 1 (Summer 2009): 122-133.
    The author, a twenty-year veteran of the Roman Catholic-Methodist dialogue team, analyses the Methodist rejection of predestination in light of the JDDJ and proposes a reworded theological formula that he believes might be acceptable to all: “without the church there is no salvation.”