Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

The Unity We Have and the Unity We Seek: Ecumenical Prospects for the Third Millennium

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

The Unity We Have and the Unity We Seek: Ecumenical Prospects for the Third Millennium

Article excerpt

The Unity We Have and the Unity We Seek: Ecumenical Prospects for the Third Millennium. Edited by Jeremy Morris and Nicholas Sagovsky. London and New York: T & T Clark, 2003. xix + 244 pp. £50.00/$99.95 (cloth); £16.99/$33.95 (paper).

This is an important collection of essays based upon lectures inaugurating the Centre for Ecumenical Studies at Westcott House in the University of Cambridge. They offer a profound and disturbing evaluation of the ecumenical movement-particularly that stream committed to the full visible unity of the church-at the end of the so-called "ecumenical century."

It is significant that these essays are dedicated to the memory of Franco-Canadian Dominican Jean-Marie Tillard, whose penultimate thoughts are included in the volume. Tillard claimed authorship of parts of "Lumen Gentium," "Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry," and the work of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission. His passing coincides with the development of new sources of division among the churches. His reflections hint darkly of what the churches are perceiving even more alarmingly five years after this lecture series-new divisive forces, some of which are cultural, ethical, and anthropological, and some of which are dogmatic or doctrinal (I would add that it is even divisive to try to decide which is which).

For an Anglican ecumenist reading them now, some of these essays seem almost nostalgic. They recall and celebrate the very great strides that have been taken in overcoming historical divisions and in making it possible for estranged churches to work together in mission and service, to pray together, and even to draw up agreements of communion. There is affirmation that even in this postmodern age it is possible to envisage a model of full visible unity in which all Christian families can find an honored place. …

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