Academic journal article Journal of Ecumenical Studies

The North American Academy of Ecumenists

Academic journal article Journal of Ecumenical Studies

The North American Academy of Ecumenists

Article excerpt

The North American Academy of Ecumenists was founded approaching forty years ago, in 1967, just three years after the Journal of Ecumenical Studies was launched, in 1964. This was in the wake of Vatican Council II, which brought the Catholic Church into intra-Christian ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue with great energy. The Academy consisted of seminary, and a few university, professors who were committed to those two dialogues. It was also at that founding gathering that J.E.S. became the major instrument of the N.A.A.E.'s scholarly expression.

Whether to open the Academy to non-Christian scholars was hotly discussed, and it was finally decided to do so. (See the thorough report by Elwyn Smith, then Co-Editor of J.E.S., on "The North American Academy of Ecumenists," J.E.S. 4 [Summer, 1967]: 485-489.) At the time, the only de facto potential dialogue partners for Christians were Jews. (See the scholarly plea for Jewish participation by Rabbi Arthur Gilbert, the first non-Christian Associate Editor of J.E.S., "The Academy of Ecumenists Opens the Door: A Jewish Statement," in the same issue on pp. …

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