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  • 2017 Articles

    Journal Articles of Note in Ecumenism as of June 2017

    Abuom, Agnes. “On a Pilgrimage toward a Just Peace Church in Ecumenical Diversity.” The Ecumenical Review 69:1 (March 2017): 80-89.

    This address by the moderator of the World Council of Church’s Central Committee offers two case studies for the search for just peace, based on the churches’ work in South Sudan and in Colombia, and suggests a broadening of the classic ten principles of peace-making, calling for a broader vision that includes a more holistic vision of just peace and the healing of memories.

    Braüer, Martin. “Pope Francis and Ecumenism.” The Ecumenical Review 69:1 (March 2017): 4-14.

    This article assesses the Pope’s “spectacular ecumenical gestures”: his meeting with Patriarch Kirill, his visit to the Waldensians in Turin, and his outreach to the Evangelical and Pentecostal Communities. It then characterizes the features of his ecumenical vision as reconciled diversity, synodality, the ecumenism of blood (martyrdom), and personal encounter.

    Crossin, John W., OSFS. “Occasional Reflections on the Declaration on the Way.” Ecumenical Trends 46:6 (June 2017): 81-83.

    The former Executive Director for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops shares his perspectives on the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic harvesting document, Declaration on the Way: summarizing the text, describing the process of affirmation, raising questions around acceptable diversity and communal discernment, and asserting that the document lays the groundwork for the next stages of Catholic-Lutheran dialogue.

    Kedjierski, Walter F. “Dialogue in Christ: Bringing Roman Catholics and Lutherans Closer Together.” Ecumenical Trends 46:5 (May 2017): 72-77, 79.

    In the context of the Reformation 500th anniversary, the Director for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre (NY) shares what the Roman Catholic church has learned from 50 years of ecumenical dialogue, particularly in the Second Vatican Council, the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, and From Conflict to Communion on the Reformation observance. He expresses his “hope that dialogue, guided by the Holy Spirit, will be able to heal the deep wounds felt by many between our two Christian communities for these past five hundred years” (p. 73).

    Leppin, Volker. “The Paul Wattson Lecture, San Francisco: The Reformation Jubilee: A Challenge for Ecumenism.” Ecumenical Trends 46:4 (April 2017): 49-55, 62.

    In the context of the 2017 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation, the Professor of Church History at Tübingen University traces the history of prior centennial observances of the anniversary, explores the medieval context of Martin Luther’s desire to renew the church spiritually, and calls for a renewal of spiritual ecumenism and “the ecumenism of conceptual clarification” as ways forward for the future.

    Moltmann, Jürgen. “The Unfinished Reformation.” Theology Today 74:1 (2017): 10-21.

    “In this article, Jürgen Moltmann offers a clarion call to the whole church at the eve of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation to be semper reformanda. Moltmann discusses five major points: the theological implications of the contemporary move from a culture of dispute to a culture of dialogue; the unity of the Christian church under what he terms ‘the papacy of all believers’; the only true ‘reformation by faith alone’ initiated by the Anabaptists; the ecumenical importance of celebrating the Lord’s Supper together; and, finally, the idea that a reformation of hope needs to follow a reformation of faith” (p. 10, Abstract).

    Rausch, Thomas P., SJ. “The Present State of Ecumenism: How Can We Move Forward?” Ecumenical Trends 46:4 (April 2017): 56-59, 63.

    In this presentation to the Graymoor Community, Jesuit theologian Thomas Rausch identifies ecumenical obstacles and offers suggestions for moving forward: exploring ecumenical gift exchange, affirming the goal of visible unity, mentoring ecumenists for the next generation, encouraging occasional Eucharistic hospitality, fostering ecumenical journeys of friendship, and walking together as fellow pilgrims.

    “Reform, Revival, or Reversal: The Reformation at Five Hundred Years,” theme issue: Pro Ecclesia: A Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theology 26:1 (Winter 2017):

    • Radner, Ephraim. “The Naked Christian: Baptism and the Broken Body of Christ”: 25-42.
    • Rempel, John, “In Search of a Congruent Ecclesiology”: 43-44.
    • Vissers, John. “Continuing Conversion: The Reform of the Church as Ecumenical Task”: 45-48.
    • Goulding, Gill. “Reformation and Recusants: Christian Unity and the Communion of Saints”: 49-55.
    • Stahl, Michael. “Not Only Luther: The German Debate over the Reformationsjubiläum”: 56-58.

    Rodriguez, Rosanna. “An Ecclesiology of Rapprochement: Catholic and Oriental Orthodox Churches as Sister Churches.” Ecumenical Trends 46:5 (May 2017): 65-71, 78.

    The article examines the ecclesiology of communion in the Catholic and Oriental Orthodox dialogue, suggests three ways in which the ecclesiology of sister Churches provides a basis for Catholic-Oriental Orthodox rapprochement, and challenges both churches to “offer a better witness to their relationship as sister Churches” in two ways: Roman Catholic move toward subsidiarity and autonomy to bishops and Oriental Orthodox recognition of baptism.

    USCCB Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the ELCA Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations. “Statement on 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.” Origins 46:41 (March 16, 2017): 646-647.

    Washburn, Christian D. “Doctrine, Ecumenical Progress, and Problems with Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry, and Eucharist.” Pro Ecclesia: A Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theology 26:1 (Winter 2017): 59-80.

    “This article will begin with a brief examination of the history of the text of the Declaration on the Way. The article will then examine the sacramentality of ordination, the ordination of women, and the sacrifice of the mass from a doctrinal and ecumenical perspective” (p. 59). The author then concludes by identifying three problems with the text of the Declaration, arguing that its conclusions go beyond the dialogues’ achievements and are not warranted.

    Journal Articles of Note in Ecumenism as of April 2017

    Bevans, Stephen, SVD. “The Church: Towards a Common Vision: A Missiological Reading.” One in Christ 50:2 (2016): 250-256.

    The author, a Roman Catholic member of the WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, notes the missiology he sees in The Church: Towards a Common Vision (TCTCV) and puts that Faith and Order document into conversation with the 2013 WCC document Together Towards Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes. He then identifies the places in which the themes of missiology could be strengthened in TCTCV, particularly in the marks of the church, the structure of the church, and the ordering of the document.

    Carter, David. “The Call to Holiness: From Glory to Glory, the Tenth Report of the Methodist-Roman Catholic International Dialogue.” Ecumenical Trends 45:10 (Nov. 2016): 145-153,159.

    A member of the Roman Catholic-World Methodist Council international dialogue offers a summary of the 2016 tenth report, emphasizing its contribution to other ecumenical dialogues as the first bilateral report on the call of holiness. The report’s particular perspective on holiness is “relational, dynamic, and holistic”, and it sets forth an agreed Christian anthropology. Drawing upon the Methodist agreement with the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, the report finds common ground on God’s grace. It addresses the life of discipleship in this world and the “final destiny of Christians beyond this life.” Dr. Carter concludes with a call for this theological dialogue to be followed with dialogue on practical spirituality and discipleship.

    Durber, Susan. “What Does Unity Mean in a World that is Falling Apart?” One in Christ 50:2 (2016): 213-222.

    The Moderator of the WCC Faith and Order Commission reflects on the brokenness of the world in terms of creation, power, economics, a networked world, and sameness and difference, and calls upon the church to be a sign and servant of the koinonia/communion described in The Church: Towards a Common Vision.

    Fahey, Michael A., SJ. “The Search for Christian Unity: Past, Present, and Beyond.” Toronto Journal of Theology 32:2 (2016): 315-328.

    As part of a journal issue devoted to Vatican II, Fr. Fahey offers a bibliographic overview of ecumenical work since Vatican II, covering collaborative studies, the work of individual scholars, “the Francis factor”, and both the “dark clouds” and  “brighter skies” of a future of reconciled diversity.

    Lim, Timothy T. N. “The Reformation Quincentenary: Relearning the Past, Building the Future.” One in Christ 50:2 (2016): 257-269.

    The evangelical Presbyterian ecumenist reviews the church situation in the Reformation era as the best of times and the worst of times and challenges the churches of all traditions to meet the challenge of history by commemorating the Reformation 500th anniversary together. He writes: “The commemoration is an opportunity for educating the churches on their respective distinctive histories, beliefs, and practices and the state of ecumenical dialogues and relations with one another, so as to remove the layered stereotypes and prejudices at the ground level. The commemoration also provides platforms for healing past memories and for creating conciliatory opportunities” (267).

    Theme issue: “Theology between Wittenberg and Azusa [Lutheran-Pentecostal Dialogue].” Dialog: A Journal of Theology 55:4 (Winter 2016):

    • Peterson, Cheryl M. “Theology between Wittenberg and Azusa”: 295-296.
    • Zaprometova, Olga. “Theology of the Heart and Cognitio Dei Experimentalis (Experiential Knowledge of God)”: 299-307.
    • Ortiz, Leila M. “A Latina Luthercostal Invitation into an Ecclesial Estuary”: 308-315.
    • Peterson, Cheryl M. “Theology of the Cross and the Experience of God’s Presence: A Lutheran Response to Pentecostal Wonderings”: 316-323.
    • Vondey, Wolfgang. “Pure Gospel or Full Gospel: On the Principles of Lutheran and Pentecostal Theology”: 324-333.
    • Bitrus, Ibrahim. “The Means of Prosperity: The Neo-Pentecostal Interpretation of the Lord’s Supper in Nigeria”: 334-342.
    • Chan, Michael J. and Joshua C. Miller. “Apocalyptic Eschatology: Lutheran-Pentecostal Reflections on the End”: 343-354.
    • Brunner, Daniel L. and Leah Payne. “Exploring Pietism as an Intermediary for Lutheran-Pentecostal Dialogue”: 355-363.
    • Hegertun, Terje. “When a Theological Institution Becomes Ecumenical: A Focus on the Process and the Experience”: 364-371.

    Theme issue: “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017.” Ecumenical Trends 46:3 (March 2017):

    • Borelli, John. “The Significance of Father Paul Wattson for Ecumenism Today”: 35-38.
    • Saffoury, Agnes Campbell, OSL. “What We are Given and What we Give: A Ministry of Reconciliation”: 39, 45.
    • Davidson, Gregory. “Reformation and Reconciliation”: 40-41, 46.
    • Milulanis, Dennis. “The Love of Christ Compels Us”: 42, 47.
    • Martyn, William J., SA. “Everything Old Has Passed Away (2 Corinthians 5:17)”: 43-45.

    Wilson, Sarah Hinlicky. “Still Reckoning with Luther: Why the Reformation Is and Isn’t Over.” Christian Century 134:6 (March 15, 2017): 22-27.

    Reflecting upon the upcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Sarah Hinlicky Wilson muses: “If anything still deters reconciliation, it is neither the theology nor the person of Luther but the investment each party has in its own history and structure. Not Luther, but the 500 years that followed him – and the 1,500 that preceded him – are far more problematic. In a certain sense, the commemoration of a single anniversary, even of something that rocked history as much as the 95 Theses, is easier than the task of sifting through all the rubble that cascaded in their wake” (25-26).

    Wood, Susan K. “The Correlation between Ecclesial Communion and Recognition of Ministry.” One in Christ 50:2 (2016): 238-249.

    The Roman Catholic ecumenical theologian critiques The Church: Towards a Common Vision for lacking a correlation between the church as a communion of local churches and its theology of ministry: “one looks in vain for a statement that says that ministers, especially the ministry of oversight, must have solicitude for other local churches and the relations among them” (242). She discusses how church and ministry are addressed in Roman Catholic documents (Lumen Gentium, Unitatis Redintegratio, Dominus Iesus) and in the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic document Declaration on the Way. She details the ecumenical challenges associated with her proposal for a correlation between the communion of churches and the mutual recognition of ministry and calls for this ecumenical work to be undertaken.