New Books of Note in Ecumenism in 2010
Balia, Daryl M. and Kirsteen Kim. Edinburgh 2010: Witnessing to Christ Today. Regnum Edinburgh 2010 Series. Vol. 2. Eugene, Or.: Wipf & Stock, 2010.
This is the published collection of the nine pre-conference theme papers prepared as background papers for the Edinburgh 2010 conference held in Scotland in June 2010: 1) Foundations for Mission, 2) Christian Mission among other Faiths, 3) Mission and Postmodernities, 4) Mission and Power, 5) Forms of Missionary Engagement, 6) Theological Education and Formation, 7) Christian Communities in Contemporary Contexts, 8) Mission and Unity – Ecclesiology and Mission, and 9) Mission Spirituality and Authentic Discipleship, plus shorter papers on Women and Mission and Bible and Mission.
Borght, Eduardus Van der. The Unity of the Church: A Theological State of the Art and Beyond. Studies in Reformed Theology. Leiden: Brill, 2010.
This volume collects twenty-four papers from the Seventh Biannual Conference of the International Reformed Theological Institute (2007) exploring various aspects of a theological basis for ecumenism in the Reformed tradition. Contributors include the General Secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, Setri Nyomi, prominent Reformed ecumenists such as Alan P.F. Sell and Lukas Vischer (to whose memory the volume is dedicated), and Brother Jeffrey Gros providing the perspective of a Roman Catholic who teaches at a Cumberland Presbyterian seminary.
Clifford, Catherine E., ed. For the Communion of the Churches: The Contribution of the Groupe des Dombes. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2010.
An anthology of the six documents of the Groupe des Dombes, 1971-1991, in English translation: on eucharist (1971), on reconciliation of ministries (1972), on episcope (1976), on sacraments (1979), on papal primacy (1985), and on dialogue and reception (1991).
Congar, Yves. Essential Writings. Selected by Paul Lakeland. Modern Spiritual Masters Series. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2010.
A Congar anthology of excerpts from his essays and theological writings, organized into five categories: Congar the Ecumenist, Congar the Ecclesiologist, Congar and the Laity, Congar and the Spiritual Life, and Congar and the Holy Spirit.
Echeverria, Eduardo J. Dialogue of Love: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic Ecumenist. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2010.
The author’s faith journey through neo-Calvinism and Roman Catholicism informed his commitment to ecumenism, reflected in this ecumenical gift exchange on truth, anthropology and ecclesiology, drawing upon the theologies of Catholic Romano Guardini and Calvinist Herman Dooyeweerd.
Ellis, Ian M. A Century of Mission and Unity: A Centenary Perspective on the 1910 Edinburgh World Missionary Conference. Dublin: The Columba Press, 2010.
An accessible summary of the Edinburgh 1910 conference, its purposes and accomplishments, and its reverberations in ecumenism through the ensuing century, written by the editor of The Church of Ireland Gazette.
Geffert, Bryn. Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans: Diplomacy, Theology, and the Politics of Interwar Ecumenism. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2010.
An in-depth look at the nineteenth-century precursors and the beginnings of twentieth-century ecumenical relations between Orthodoxy and Anglicanism, focusing on 1920-1950.
Gooren, Henri. Religious Conversion and Disaffiliation: Tracing Patterns of Change in Faith Practices. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
An anthropology professor proposes that religious conversion is not a static one-time event in a person’s life but rather a dynamic process that he characterizes as a person’s “conversion career” through analysis of individuals’ engagement with religious organizations and social contexts, as described in oral histories and life stories, on a scale of “preaffiliation, affiliation, conversion, confession, and disaffiliation.”
Groeschel, Benedict. I Am with You Always: A Study of the History and Meaning of Personal Devotion to Jesus Christ for Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010.
In this 600-page history of ecumenical spirituality, a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal describes and demonstrates how Christians from various traditions have expressed devotion to Jesus through the history of the Church.
Hietamäki, Minna. Agreeable Agreement: An Examination of the Quest for Consensus in Ecumenical Dialogue. Ecclesiological Investigations Series. London: T & T Clark, 2010.
This dissertation from the University of Helsinki analyses “the methodological or fundamental questions of theology and …the forms, methods and goals of ecumenical dialogue” in agreements from selected international, European and U.S. bilateral dialogues: Lutheran-Roman Catholic, Anglican-Roman Catholic, Anglican-Lutheran. Drawing upon George Lindbeck’s insights into the cultural-linguistic aspects of doctrine, the author proposes that effective ecumenical consensus should combine “both cognitive-intellectual and socio-communal aspects.”
Johnson, Maxwell E. ed. Issues in Eucharistic Praying in East and West: Essays in Liturgical and Theological Analysis. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2010.
A collection of fourteen essays on a variety of liturgical and theological questions around Eucharistic prayers, from the question of whether Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper, to various anaphoras (Addai and Mari, St. Athanasius, Basilian Anaphoras), to connections with martyrdom and Mariology.
Laudate Omnes Gentes: Was Uns Eint: Gemeinsam Beten und Singen in der Ökumene=Praying Together: Resources and Songs for Ecumenical Celebrations. Kösel: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2010.
An ecumenical prayerbook and hymnbook from the Third European Ecumenical Assembly that provides key texts of Christian unity from across the ages in order to facilitate prayer for Christian unity. Each text is given in German, English, French, Spanish, and Italian, in parallel columns. An accompanying CD provides translations of selected texts into twenty additional languages.
Nichols, Bridget, ed. The Collect in the Churches of the Reformation. SCM Studies in Worship and Liturgy. London: SCM Press, 2010.
This collection of essays by noted international liturgical scholars provides a comparative ecumenical view of how the historic prayer form, the collect, has evolved and adapted to contemporary liturgical usage in various Protestant traditions and in Roman Catholicism. A helpful contribution to the study of ecumenical convergence in the liturgical renewal movement.
Nugent, John C., ed. Radical Ecumenicity: Pursuing Unity and Continuity after John Howard Yoder. Abilene, TX: Abilene Christian University Press, 2010.
Two essays by John Howard Yoder and eight other scholarly essays present and assess the Mennonite theologian’s ecumenical contributions, mostly from the Stone-Campbell tradition’s perspective.
Puglisi, James F., ed. How Can the Petrine Ministry Be a Service to the Unity of the Universal Church?Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2010.
Twenty theological papers contributed by international ecumenical scholars from various faith traditions for Farfa Centre conferences in 2003 and 2004 as background papers for the ongoing ecumenical dialogue on the papal office invited by Pope John Paul II in Ut Unum Sint.
Putnam, Robert D. and David E. Campbell. American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010.
A massive (673 page) sociological analysis of religious change, polarization, and fluidity in American society since the 1960s, based on extensive “Faith Matters” surveys of the state of contemporary religion in America. Professors Putnam (Harvard) and Campbell (Univ. of Notre Dame) argue that even as American society has become more religiously diverse and religious institutions more polarized, individuals have become more tolerant of that diversity and fluid in their personal religious identities. That toleration is what the authors term “American grace.”
Schreiner, Peter, Esther Banev, Simon Oxley, eds. Holistic Education Resource Book: Learning and Teaching in an Ecumenical Context. New York: Waxmann Munster, 2010.
This book, a product of the Holistic Education Study Process of the World Council of Churches, combines theology, educational theory, and case studies from around the world to elucidate the study group’s eight principles of holistic education (HE). “1) Holistic education in an ecumenical perspective is centred in the belief that it is God who is the creator and sustainer of life. Therefore holistic education contributes to the ongoing search for the restoration of the given unity of creation; 2) HE is education for transformation; 3) HE deals with the development of the whole person in community; 4) HE honours the uniqueness and creativity of persons and communities based on their interconnectedness; 5) HE enables active participation in a world community; 6) HE affirms spirituality as being the core of life and hence central to education; 7) HE promotes a new praxis (reflection and action) of knowing, of teaching, and of learning; 8) HE relates to and interacts with differing perspectives and approaches” (20-22).
Siecienski, A. Edward. The Filioque: History of a Doctrinal Controversy. Oxford Studies in Historical Theology Series. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
This work of historical theology traces the filioque concept chronologically from the New Testament to the twenty-first century, with a focus on examining the theology underlying various theological works on the doctrine, as well as the political, cultural and ecumenical aspects of the controversy.
Smolarski, Dennis C. Eucharist and American Culture: Liturgy, Unity, and Individualism. New York: Paulist Press, 2010.
A Jesuit priest on the faculty of Santa Clara University utilizes recent scholarly sociological studies of American individualism to encourage the church to develop effective means for fostering unity in liturgical celebrations, particularly the Eucharist, both within Catholicism and through ecumenical engagement with Orthodoxy and social outreach.
Thomas, Norman E. Missions and Unity: Lessons from History 1792-2010. American Society of Missiology. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2010.
“This study is an interpretive essay on the contribution of the missionary movement to understandings of Christian unity and work for common Christian witness” (p. xxiii), authored by Professor Emeritus of World Christianity, United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH. After reviewing the history since 1800 (part I), the author assesses ten models of unity (part II) and how ecumenism and Christian mission relate to the secular world and interreligious dialogue (part III).
Vischer, Lukas, Ulrich Luz, and Christian Link. Unity of the Church in the New Testament and Today. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2010.
“Looking first at the various conflicts that hinder unity, the book offers a Bible-centered discussion on various ‘flash points of unity’ – the authority of Scripture, the various church confessions, the Lord’s Supper and the ministerial office – reflecting on early Christian struggles for unity and drawing biblical conclusions for the life of the church today ” (cover). Translated from German, the study comes out of a Protestant-Old Catholic-Roman Catholic dialogue from the theological faculties of the University of Berne and Fribourg.
Vondey, Wolfgang, ed. Pentecostalism and Christian Unity: Ecumenical Documents and Critical Assessments. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2010.
This collection includes six authors’ perspectives on the ecumenical heritage of Pentecostalism (Douglas Jacobsen, Harold D. Hunter, Carmelo E. Álvarez, Paul van der Laan, Raymond R. Flister, Cecil M. Robeck Jr.), four international ecumenical reports reflecting Pentecostal involvement, and three Pentecostal views on the WCC document The Nature and Mission of the Church (Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, Frank D. Macchia, Wolfgang Vondey).