This book represents a stock-taking of 'the unity we have' at the end of 'the century of ecumenism', and a reassessment of 'the unity we seek'. Over the past century, many steps have been taken towards visible unity: the emergence of the Faith and Order movement and the World Council of Churches; United Churches in North India, South India and Pakistan; the lifting of mutual anathamas between Rome and the Orthodox; bilateral and multilateral dialogues such as BEM; the Meissen and Porvoo agreements; the 'Concordat' between PECUSA and ECLA; the Lutheran-Roman Catholic agreement on Justification.
However, we now live in a radically changed context: new cultures of secularization, globalization and pluralism; decline in the churches in Europe; the new importance of the churches of Africa and Asia; the rise of Pentecostalism in Latin America; the new ministries of women in the churches; deepening disagreements over moral teaching, especially on homosexuality. How should we now think of the goal of visible unity?
This volume offers a well-documented overview of the field, a redefining of the ecumenical task and a rekindling of ecumenical hope at the beginning of the third millennium. It provides a thorough and accessible introduction for anyone interested in ecumenism and an invaluable resource for those involved in ecumenism at any level.
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