Ecumenical Reception: Its Challenge and Opportunity
Author: William G Rusch
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In 1988 William Rusch wrote a book tracing the development of the idea of reception up to that time. During the intervening years, both reflection on reception and the experience of attempting to engage in it have progressed considerably.
Rusch begins with a bird's-eye view of the term reception across several disciplines---law, philosophy, literary criticism---before homing in on its theological import. He traces its use as a term and as a practice from the New Testament up to the twentieth century, painting a picture of a dynamic process that fosters unity and diversity among churches and spiritual communities. Finally, he examines the new chapter in the history of reception due to the establishment of the ecumenical movement, and considers what will be necessary for it to continue to move the church forward.
William G. Rusch has been executive director of the Foundation for a Conference on Faith and Order in North America, director of the NCC Commission on Faith and Order, and director of other ecumenical organizations. The author or editor of several books, including Ecumenism: A Movement toward Church Unity, he now teaches at Yale Divinity School, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and New York Theological Seminary.
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