The Ecumenical Movement beyond Busan

By Gill, Theodore A., Jr. | The Ecumenical Review, July 2013 | Go to article overview

The Ecumenical Movement beyond Busan


Gill, Theodore A., Jr., The Ecumenical Review


"God of Life, God of Mission" is the title of the current issue of our sister journal International Review of Mission (April 2013), and in its first article Metropolitan Geevarghese Mor Coorilos, moderator of the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, leads an excellent collection of essays with his reflections on the missiological import of the theme for the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC), which will convene in late October 2013 in Busan, Republic of Korea.

Regular readers of IRM and the The Ecumenical Review know the theme (and prayer) under which the Busan Assembly is organized: "God of life, lead us to justice and peace." The past three issues of ER have been devoted to aspects of the theme as examined from particular perspectives.

In October 2012, the cover of The Ecumenical Review (64.4) announced a series of "Gendered Perspectives" on the assembly theme, introduced by guest editors Fulata Lusungu Moyo and Sarojini Nadar. They called readers "to embrace vulnerability as a relational resource with our brothers and sisters who are struggling," to explore adopting "an option for the marginalized" and to admit "our total dependence on our self-emptying, relational God."

In December 2012, guest editor Deenabandu Manchala continued the exploration of "Justice, Peace and Marginalized Communities" with an editorial suggesting a possible sub-theme, also in the form of a prayer: "God of life and peace, grant us the courage to struggle for justice." Other authors shared their own prayers in response to marginalization in the world, societies and the churches. One such prayer formed the title of Sathianathan Clarke's article: "God of life, God in life, and God for life: lead all of us through the wisdom of the crushed ones to justice and peace."

And in March 2013, guest editor Ernst Conradie provided us with a set of eleven "Ecumenical and Ecological Perspectives on the 'God of Life.'" This spring issue lifted up the first three words of the theme and asked, in Conradie's words, "how the phrase [God of life] is used in contemporary eco-theology. This invites theological reflection on two related aspects of the provocative Christian confession, namely that all of life may be understood as belonging to the triune God and that the triune God may be understood as the God of life."

This summary of recent topics in ER and IRM comes by way of an invitation to consider these resources, whether found in "hard copy" volumes or unscrambled electronic pulses on the Internet. …

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