New Books of Note in Ecumenism in 2011
Au, Connie Ho Yan. Grassroots Unity in the Charismatic Renewal. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2011.
In this published doctoral dissertation, the Director of the Pentecostal Research Center of the Synergy Institute of Leadership in Hong Kong traces the history of the charismatic movement in Britain 1964-1980, particularly the five international conferences of the Fountain Trust, and makes a constructive theological proposal regarding the role of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts in ecumenical theology, with particular focus on contributions from Roman Catholic theology and applications to local church worship experiences.
Beilby, James K. and Paul Rhodes Eddy, eds. Justification: Five Views. Spectrum Multiview Books. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2011.
This work of comparative systematic theology on the doctrine of justification presents five perspectives: Michael S. Horton on the traditional Reformed view, Michael F. Bird on the progressive Reformed view, James D.G. Dunn on the “new perspective” view, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen on the deification view, and Gerald O’Collins, S.J. and Oliver P. Rafferty, S.J. on the Roman Catholic view. The work becomes a written theological dialogue and debate as responses from each of the other authors are presented for every view. These authors are mostly engaged in the justification debate arising out of contemporary biblical scholarship and refer to the ecumenical literature on justification only occasionally. The “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,” for example, is lauded as a “remarkable achievement” (p. 287), but is addressed in only a few pages. The lack of inclusion of a Lutheran view is noted by the editors, who claim that Horton’s traditional Reformed view is “functionally identical” (p. 10) to a traditional Lutheran view and that Kärkkäinen’s deification view is a less traditional Lutheran view.
Collins, Paul M. and Barry Ensign-George, eds. Denomination: Assessing an Ecclesiological Category. London: T & T Clark, 2011.
A lively debate on the concept of denomination (and how it relates to the ecumenical task), in response to a paper presented by Barry Ensign-George at the Ecclesiological Investigations group of the American Academy of Religion. Ensign-George’s paper describing “denomination” as contingent, intermediary, interdependent, partial and permeable leads the collection, followed by various denominational responses: Anglican (Paul Avis), Baptist (Steven R. Harmon), Lutheran (Gesa Elsbeth Thiessen), United Methodist (Russell E. Richey), Orthodox (Elena Vishnevskaya), Pentecostal (Wolfgang Vondey), Society of Friends (Ann Riggs), Presbyterian (Amy Plantinga Paul), Roman Catholic (Peter De Mey), and a global perspective (Kirsteen Kim).
DeVille, Adam A.J. Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint and the Prospects of East-West Unity. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2011.
An historical review of Catholic and Orthodox perspectives of ten Orthodox patriarchates and a bold proposal for the creation of “a permanent ecumenical synod” consisting of six continental patriarchates within the Latin church under papal presidency, for “a reunited Church where East and West are again in full communion” (p. 8).
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Speaking the Truth in Love: Theological and Spiritual Exhortations of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. New York: Fordham University Press, 2011.
This, the second volume of the collected works of the current Patriarch of Constantinople, anthologizes his encyclicals, exhortations, ecumenical presentations and addresses, academic lectures, and joint ecumenical declarations with other church leaders, revealing the deep theological foundations and steadfast ecumenical commitments of the leader who isprimus inter pares among the patriarchs of worldwide Orthodoxy.
Flanagan, Brian P. Communion, Diversity, and Salvation: The Contribution of Jean-Marie Tillard to Systematic Ecclesiology. Ecclesiological Investigations. Vol. 12. London; New York: T & T Clark, 2011.
This revised Boston College dissertation summarizes Roman Catholic approaches to ecclesiology, analyzes and critiques communion/koinonia as an ecclesiological concept, particularly Roman Catholic ecumenist Jean-Marie Tillard’s use of it, and seeks to bring Tillard’s thought into conversation with social science for contemporary application, with particular concern for the local church.
García, Alberto L. and Susan K. Wood, eds. Critical Issues in Ecclesiology: Essays in Honor of Carl E. Braaten. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2011.
In this festschrift for Lutheran theologian Carl Braaten, eleven authors address the ecumenical renewal of the church: Robert Jenson on the church as bride of Christ; Gabriel Fackre on atonement; Frank Senn on schism and reunion; Timothy George on an evangelical perspective of ecumenism; Joseph Mangina on koinonia ecclesiology; Michael Root on authority and the laity; Susan Wood on Eucharist; Alberto Garc í a on local church and catholicity; Cheryl Peterson on Lutheran ecclesiological principles; James Childs on the imperative for unity; Leopoldo Sanchez M. on pneumatological Christology.
Gill, Jill K. Embattled Ecumenism: The National Council of Churches, The Vietnam War, and the Trials of the Protestant Left. DeKalb, IL: NIU Press, 2011.
This 550-page tome addresses “the ecumenical vision, anti-Vietnam War efforts, and consequent legacy of the NCCC, serving as a window into mainline Protestants’ manner of engaging political issues at a unique time of national crisis and religious transformation” (p. 3): 1964-1973.
Granberg-Michaelson, Wesley. Unexpected Destinations: An Evangelical Pilgrimage to World Christianity. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2011.
The personal, spiritual and theological memoir of the recently retired general secretary of the Reformed Church in America, who also served on the World Council of Churches staff and helped to establish Christian Churches Together and the Christian Forum.
Kim, Kirsteen and Andrew Anderson. Edinburgh 2010: Mission Today and Tomorrow. Regnum Edinburgh 2010 Series. Oxford: Regnum, 2011.
This is the published official record of the proceedings of the Edinburgh 2010 conference, the centenary observance of the World Missionary Conference of 1910, held in Scotland, June 2-6, 2010.
Kosmidis, Nikos, ed. Echos of Peace: Young Christian Voices from around the World. Geneva: World Council of Churches Publications, 2011.
Eight essay-winners on the theme “Glory to God and Peace on Earth” provide perspectives on young people’s global commitments to overcome violence and seek peace and justice. This work sponsored by the Commission on Youth in the Ecumenical Movement is preparatory material for the 2013 World Council of Churches’ Tenth Assembly.
Leahy, Brendan. Ecclesial Movements and Communities: Origins, Significance, and Issues. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2011.
“This is by far the strongest introductory book I have found describing the lay ecclesial movements at work in the international Roman Catholic Church today (2011)” – Gerald Stover.
Long, Michael G., ed. Christian Peace and Nonviolence: A Documentary History. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2011.
An ecumenical anthology of writings on pacificism, justice, peace, nonviolence, and reconciliation, with 116 entries arranged chronologically from Scripture to twenty-first century. Two-thirds of the entries are from the North American context and more than half of the writings date from 1900 or afterward. Contextual comments and source citations are provided for every entry. Stanley Hauerwas contributed the book’s forward.
Manion, Gerard and Ed A. J. G. van der Borght, eds. John Calvin’s Ecclesiology: Ecumenical Perspectives. London; New York: T & T Clark, 2011.
This collection of twelve scholarly essays representing a variety of denominational perspectives, geographies, and schools of thought celebrates the legacy of John Calvin to the church catholic by way of “an especially ecumenical type of comparative ecclesiology” (p. 17).
Masters, Thomas and Amy Uelmen. Focolare: Living a Spirituality of Unity in the United States. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2011.
Two long-term members of the Focolare movement introduce its history and practice in the North America context and explore through personal stories how the movement’s spirituality engages American values: the pursuit of happiness, the quest for freedom, the search for community, the commitment to the common good.
Norgren, William A. Faith and Order in the U.S.A.: A Brief History of Studies and Relationships. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2011.
The first director of Faith and Order for the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA summarizes its highlights from 1957 to 1999 in 85 pages, with the emphasis on his years of tenure, 1957-1971.
Stone, Bryan P. ed. A Reader in Ecclesiology. Ashgate Contemporary Ecclesiology Series. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2011.
“This reader presents a diverse and ecumenical cross-section of ecclesiological statements from across the twenty centuries of the church’s existence. It builds on the foundations of early Christian writings, illustrates significant medieval, reformation, and modern developments, and provides a representative look at the robust attention to ecclesiology that characterizes the contemporary period” (Preface).
World Council of Churches. One Baptism: Toward Mutual Recognition of Baptism: A Study Text. Faith and Order Paper #210. Geneva: World Council of Churches Publications, 2011.
This new WCC text is not a convergence document (as Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry was), but rather it is a study text intended as a resource to further the churches’ dialogues on this issue. The text “is offered in the hope that fresh perspectives will help the churches (a) to clarify the meaning of the mutual recognition of baptism, (b) to put the consequences of mutual recognition fully into practice, and (c) to clarify issues which still prevent such recognition.” ( ¶1).