New Books of Note in Ecumenism in 2007
Bliss, Frederick M. Catholic and Ecumenical: History and Hope. 2 nd edition. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007.
A new edition of the 1999 Roman Catholic text on the history of the ecumenical movement, updated to include developments in dialogues through 2005.
Denaux, Adelbert and Nicholas Sagovsky, eds. Studying Mary: The Virgin Mary in Anglican and Roman Catholic Theology and Devotion: The ARCIC Working Papers. London: T & T Clark, 2007.
A significant collection of documents on Mariology between Catholics and Anglicans.
Enns, Fernando. The PeaceChurch and the Ecumenical Community: Ecclesiology and the Ethics of Nonviolence. Kitchener, Ontario: Pandora Press; Geneva: World Council of Churches Publications, 2007.
The author, the German Mennonite theologian who authored the World Council of Churches’ proposal to observe 2001-2010 as the Decade to Overcome Violence, hereby presents his tradition’s place in comparative ecclesiology, summarizes the state of the various dialogues in which Mennonites are involved, and engages the ethical questions around peace-making and non-violence that the Historic Peace Churches have brought to the ecumenical dialogue. He concludes with a proposal for deepening the dialogue through a koinonia ecclesiology that is grounded in Trinitarian theology.
Gros, Jeffrey; Thomas F Best; Lorelei F Fuchs, eds. Growth in Agreement III: International Dialogue Texts and Agreed Statements, 1998-2005. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Williams Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2007.
The anthology of agreed statements from many different churches’ bilateral ecumenical dialogues continues with this latest contribution, covering 1998-2005. An invaluable addition to Growth in Agreement and Growth in Agreement II. This is an indispensable resource for all ecumenists.
Holifield, E. Brooks. God’s Ambassadors: A History of the Christian Clergy in America. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007.
The author, professor of American church history at Candler School of Theology, thoroughly investigates the history of ordained ministry in Catholicism and multiple Protestant traditions throughout United States history.
Ingle-Gillis, William C. The Trinity and Ecumenical Church Thought: The Church-Event. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007.
The author, an American now serving as an Anglican priest in Wales , argues for renewed ecumenical vigor in seeking visible unity by seeking a multilateral consensus on ecclesiology, and proposes a definition of Church as “event-in-process, an event of persons-in-reconciliation,” grounded in the triune life of God.
Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. “Ecclesial Communion, Conciliarity and Authority.” Origins 37 ( November 22, 2007): 382-387.
Called the “Ravenna Document,” this working paper from the international Catholic-Orthodox dialogue was released on November 15, 2007 . Much news coverage has focused on the Russian Orthodox delegation’s decision to leave the plenary assembly over disagreement with the Greek Orthodox delegation. The paper reaches accord on the point that in the era when the church was undivided, there was a primate and that at that level conciliarity, synodality and authority all existed, although the dialogue did not achieve consensus on how primacy and synodality related.
Kitchener: Pandora Press; Geneva: World Council of Churches Publications, 2007.
The theological foundation of the World Council of Churches’ Decade to Overcome Violence (2001-2010) explicated in terms of ecclesiology and ethics. A summary of the historic peace churches’ involvement in the World Council of Churches and bilateral dialogue with Baptists, Reformed, Lutherans, and Roman Catholicism is also provided.
Moleck, Fred, ed. A Primer for the Visiting Organist. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2007.
This is a practical manual intended to orient musicians to liturgical practices in eight traditions: African American Protestant, Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Reform Jewish, Roman Catholic and United Methodist. Though written for musicians, much of this information would be useful to those planning to attend a worship service in a tradition with which they are not familiar.
Perry, Tim, ed. The Legacy of John Paul II: An Evangelical Assessment. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2007.
A collection of fourteen essays from various evangelical theologians reflecting upon the teachings and ecumenical significance of various encyclicals from John Paul II’s papacy.
Reath, Mary. Rome and Canterbury: The Elusive Search for Unity. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007.
A governor of the Anglican Centre in Rome addresses historical ecumenical relations between Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism, its current difficulties, and future possibilities. The eight appendices provide a useful compilation of ARCIC documents, agreed statements on morals, timeline, and comparative charts.
Robbins, Anna M., ed. Ecumenical and Eclectic: The Unity of the Church in the Contemporary World: Essays in Honour of Alan P.F. Sell. Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2007.
A broad collection of fifteen essays from an array of leading ecumenical scholars on ecumenism past and future in Europe and the U.S. , presented as a festschrift for a leading Reformed ecumenist. The essays “explore the foundations of unity, its historical context and some of the challenges of ecumenism today.”
Rusch, William G. Ecumenical Reception: Its Challenge and Opportunity . Philadelphia : Fortress, 2007.
A key work on how to integrate ecumenical agreements into the life of the church.
Turner, Paul. When Other Christians Become Catholic. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2007.
A Roman Catholic pastor studies the history and liturgical rites for reception of baptized Christians from other traditions, arguing that the church should recognize and uphold baptismal unity and make a careful distinction between reception of baptized Christians and conversion of the unbaptized.
Wright, David F. Infant Baptism in Historical Perspective: Collected Studies. Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2007.
This collection of 27 essays analyzes the history of infant baptism, infant dedication, and second baptisms through the history of the church, including early church councils, the medieval period, Reformation debates, and modern disputes, and addresses the present and future in the context of ecumenical conversations, such as Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry.