The Ecumenical Review

The Ecumenical Review is a quarterly theological journal focusing the ecumenical movement. The Ecumenical Review includes theological and ethical analyses on a wide range of issues, from religious freedom to the Roman Church.

Articles from Vol. 50, No. 3, July

A Common Understanding and Vision ... but Precisely of What?
I have been asked to share in this debate on the CUV statement as someone who does so "from the perspective of the tradition of mission and evangelism", which is of course one of the essential currents of Christian obedience that led to the contemporary...
A Place at the Table? Reflections on the WCC's CUV Document
"Who is missing from this picture?" is the opening line of a book that details the journey of a group of Australian Christian women who planned, developed and executed the "Last Supper Project". The goal of this project was to paint a modern version...
Beyond Membership
Members of one body The concept of membership has become far distanced from its theological origins. Its Latin antecedent meant a limb, or a part of a body. This is the usage found in 1 Corinthians 12 with its emphasis on the body metaphor,...
Christian World Communions and the CUV Process
Unity in diversity is not only our ecumenical goal, but also an important aspect of our ecumenical means. No one organization, nor even one type of organization, can be the sole focus or agent of ecumenical work. Instead, we need a multiplicity of...
Common Understanding and Vision: An Analysis of the Responses to the Process
The central committee of the World Council of Churches adopted at its meeting in September 1997 a policy statement entitled Towards a Common Understanding and Vision of the World Council of Churches (CUV). The text as adopted represents the fruits...
Ecumenism Defined?
In recent years, I have found myself searching for terms other than "ecumenical" to communicate the meaning of that word. I have used "Christian unity", "reconciliation" and "wholeness". I say that the ecumenical mandate is a quest for healing among...
From Insults to Inclusion
Serving in decision-making bodies of the World Council of Churches brings many privileges and blessings, one of them the chance to be a witness to the tales told of people and events in the ecumenical movement. A friend once passed on an apocryphal...
Journeying Together: The WCC's Common Understanding and Vision, the Local Church and Local Ecumenism
As a staff member of a regional ecumenical organization, I have studied the document Towards a Common Understanding and Vision of the World Council of Churches (CUV) with great interest; and I deeply appreciate the depth and the richness of this document....
Making "Common" More Common: Extending the Boundaries of the Ecumenical Movement
Towards a Common Understanding and Vision of the World Council of Churches (CUV), the Council's new statement on purpose and mission, has been written to serve the WCC as an "ecumenical charter for the 21st century" (preface). On the positive side,...
Mutual Accountability and the Quest for Unity
The notion of mutual accountability lies at the heart of Christian revelation. Mutual accountability is one way of expressing the interdependence of all human persons with one another. From a deeper theological perspective one could draw on the concept...
Our Common Calling
In 1961 the WCC assembly in New Delhi added to the World Council's Basis the words "and therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling, to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit".(1) The full significance of this addition is,...
Preserving Charisma in Institutional Reform: A Sociological Approach
It is generally agreed that human beings are gregarious animals, tending naturally to form groups with their fellow beings. But it is important to note that this type of spontaneous group cannot be considered as an association. Before a human group...
The Soul of the Ecumenical Movement: The History and Significance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
In January of this year, besides the usual anniversaries, another ecumenical jubilee took place almost unnoticed. From 18 to 25 January the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was celebrated for the 90th time and for the 30th time it used liturgical...
The Unity of Humankind: Problems and Promises of an Indispensable Ecumenical Theme
The ecumenical movement began as a renaissance of Western Christianity under the impact of modern visions of unity. Modernity meant that humankind as a whole had come into view, that one could conceive of cultural development, economic progress, interreligious...
The WCC as a Fellowship of Worship and Prayer
As the World Council of Churches (WCC) approaches its fiftieth anniversary and its eighth assembly, its member churches are encouraged to articulate anew their common calling as a fellowship of pilgrims and to recommit themselves to the ecumenical...
The World Council of Churches in Quest of Its Identity
Anyone who attended the last two assemblies of the World Council of Churches, in Vancouver (1983) and Canberra (1991), will be aware that over the years the Council had worked its way into an impasse from which it urgently needed rescuing. The...
Towards a Common Understanding and Vision: A Faith and Order Perspective
Every organization needs periodically to review its purposes and function in the light of both its past experience and its expectations for the future. The "end of the ecumenical century", the eve of a new millennium, and the fiftieth anniversary...
Wider Ecumenism: A Threat or a Promise?
Several years ago I attended a seminar at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey. The late W.A. Visser `t Hooft, first general secretary of the World Council of Churches, came to address us on the topic "Current Trends in the Ecumenical Movement". Then...