Ecumenism

ecumenicalinterdenominationalecumenical movementecumenistecumenicismChristian unityecumenical Christianecumenical dialogueecumenical theologyecumenically
The term "ecumenism" refers to efforts by Christians of different Church traditions to develop closer relationships and better understandings.wikipedia
1,781 Related Articles

Ecumene

oikoumeneknown worldoecumene
The terms ecumenism and ecumenical come from the Greek οἰκουμένη (oikoumene), which means "the whole inhabited world", and was historically used with specific reference to the Roman Empire.
In present usage, it is most often used in the context of "ecumenical" and describes the Christian Church as a unified whole, or the unified modern world civilization.

World Council of Churches

WCC World Council of Churches (WCC)Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches
Yet, at the same time, the World Council of Churches counts only 348 member churches, representing more than half a billion members.
The WCC arose out of the ecumenical movement and has as its basis the following statement:

Christian denomination

denominationdenominationsdenominational
The term is also often used to refer to efforts towards the visible and organic unity of different Christian denominations in some form. The world's 2.2 billion Christians are visibly divided into different communions or denominations, groupings of Christians and their churches that are in full communion with one another, but to some degree exclusive of other Christians.
Generally, members of the various denominations acknowledge each other as Christians, at least to the extent that they have mutually recognized baptisms and acknowledge historically orthodox views including the Divinity of Jesus and doctrines of sin and salvation, even though doctrinal and ecclesiological obstacles hinder full communion between churches.

Presbyterianism

PresbyterianPresbyteriansPresbyterian Church
Protestantism, for example, includes such diverse groups as Adventists, Anabaptists, Baptists, Congregationalists, Evangelicals, Holiness churches, Lutherans, Methodists, Moravians, Presbyterians, and Reformed churches.
In the twentieth century, some Presbyterians played an important role in the ecumenical movement, including the World Council of Churches.

Mainline Protestant

mainlinemainline Protestantismliberal Protestant
Mainline Protestant, Old Catholic, and Anglican Communion churches;
Because of their involvement with the ecumenical movement, mainline churches are sometimes (especially outside the United States) given the alternative label of ecumenical Protestantism.

Schism

schismaticschismssplinter group
Most current divisions are the result of historical schisms—a break in the full communion between previously united Churches, bishops, or communities.
However, this view has been challenged in the recent Ecumenical discussion between these two groups, bringing the matter of Chalcedon as a matter of schism, not of heresy.

Ecumenical council

ecumenical councilsgeneral councilecumenical
In Christianity the qualification ecumenical is originally (and still) used in terms such as "ecumenical council" and "Ecumenical Patriarch" in the meaning of pertaining to the totality of the larger Church (such as the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church) rather than being restricted to one of its constituent local churches or dioceses.
An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice in which those entitled to vote are convoked from the whole world (oikoumene) and which secures the approbation of the whole Church.

Ecclesiology

ecclesiasticalecclesiasticecclesiological
Christianity is the largest religion in the world (making up approximately one-third of the population) and the various divisions have commonalities and differences in tradition, theology, church government, doctrine, and language.
This is the sense of the word in such phrases as Catholic ecclesiology, Protestant ecclesiology, and ecumenical ecclesiology.

Pope

papacypapalbishop of Rome
For example, the Catholic Church is a single church, or communion, comprising 24 distinct self-governing particular churches in full communion with the bishop of Rome (the largest being the Latin Church, commonly called "Roman Catholic"). Examples of acts belonging to the former include the mutual revocation in 1965 of the anathemas of 1054 (see below Contemporary developments), returning the relics of Sabbas the Sanctified (a common saint) to Mar Saba in the same year, and the first visit of a Pope to an Orthodox country in a millennium (Pope John Paul II accepting the invitation of the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Teoctist, in 1999), among others.
Currently, in addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and doctrine, the popes are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, charitable work, and the defense of human rights.

Ignatius Zakka I Iwas

H H Ignatius Zakka I IwasIgnatius ZakkaIgnatius Zakka I
In modern times, there have also been moves towards healing this division, with common Christological statements being made between Pope John Paul II and Syriac patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, as well as between representatives of both Oriental Orthodoxy and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Zakka was known for his involvement in ecumenical dialogue.

Syriac Orthodox Church

Syriac OrthodoxSyriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the EastJacobite
As part of the ongoing Christological controversy, following the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the next large split came with the Syriac and Coptic churches dividing themselves.
The Syriac Orthodox Church participates in ecumenical discussions, being a member of the World Council of Churches since 1960, and of the Middle East Council of Churches since 1974.

Archbishop of Canterbury

CanterburyArchbishopArchbishops of Canterbury
Thomas Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury introduced the English Reformation in a form compromising between the Calvinists and Lutherans.
In the last two of these functions, he has an important ecumenical and interfaith role, speaking on behalf of Anglicans in England and worldwide.

George Bell (bishop)

George BellBishop George BellBishop of Chichester
He was a close friend of the English ecumenist George Bell.
George Kennedy Allen Bell (4 February 1883 – 3 October 1958) was an Anglican theologian, Dean of Canterbury, Bishop of Chichester, member of the House of Lords and a pioneer of the ecumenical movement.

Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople

Patriarch of ConstantinoplePatriarchEcumenical Patriarch
In Christianity the qualification ecumenical is originally (and still) used in terms such as "ecumenical council" and "Ecumenical Patriarch" in the meaning of pertaining to the totality of the larger Church (such as the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church) rather than being restricted to one of its constituent local churches or dioceses.
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is first among equals, or first in honor among all Eastern Orthodox bishops, who presides in person—or through a delegate—over any council of Orthodox primates or bishops in which he takes part and serves as primary spokesman for the Orthodox communion especially in ecumenical contacts with other Christian denominations.

World Student Christian Federation

Student Christian MovementSCMWSCF
The Eastern Orthodox have participated in the ecumenical movement, with students active in the World Student Christian Federation since the late 19th century.
The World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) is a federation of autonomous national Student Christian Movements (SCM) forming the youth and student arm of the global ecumenical movement.

Teoctist Arăpașu

TeoctistPatriarch Teoctist of RomaniaTeoctist I
Examples of acts belonging to the former include the mutual revocation in 1965 of the anathemas of 1054 (see below Contemporary developments), returning the relics of Sabbas the Sanctified (a common saint) to Mar Saba in the same year, and the first visit of a Pope to an Orthodox country in a millennium (Pope John Paul II accepting the invitation of the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Teoctist, in 1999), among others.
A promoter of ecumenical dialogue, Patriarch Teoctist invited Pope John Paul II to visit Romania in 1999.

Second Vatican Council

Vatican IIconciliarVatican Council
Before the Second Vatican Council, the main stress was laid on this second aspect, as exemplified in canon 1258 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law:
Several changes resulted from the council, including the renewal of consecrated life with a revised charism, ecumenical efforts towards dialogue with other religions, and the universal call to holiness, which according to Pope Paul VI was "the most characteristic and ultimate purpose of the teachings of the Council".

Baptists

BaptistBaptist ChurchBaptist churches
Protestantism, for example, includes such diverse groups as Adventists, Anabaptists, Baptists, Congregationalists, Evangelicals, Holiness churches, Lutherans, Methodists, Moravians, Presbyterians, and Reformed churches.
Attitudes to, and involvement in the ecumenical movement.

Church of Sweden

pastoratLutheranSwedish church
Nathan Söderblom, Archbishop of Uppsala, the head of the Lutheran church in Sweden, is known as the architect of the ecumenical movement of the twentieth century.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, a variety of teachings were officially approved, mostly directed towards ecumenism:

Council of Florence

Council of BaselCouncil of Basel-Ferrara-FlorenceFlorence
The canonical separation was sealed by the Latin sacking of Constantinople (1204) during the Fourth Crusade and through the poor reception of the Council of Florence (1449) among the Orthodox Eastern Churches.
Pope Eugene IV, Martin V's successor, lost hope that the council could be useful owing to the progress of heresy, the reported troubles in Germany, the war that had lately broken out between the dukes of Austria and Burgundy, and finally, the small number of fathers who had responded to the summons of Martin V. That opinion and his desire to preside over the council in person, induced him to recall the fathers from Germany, as his poor health made it difficult for him to go. He commanded the council to disperse, and appointed Bologna as their meeting place in eighteen months' time, with the intention of making the session of the council coincide with some conferences with representatives of the Orthodox Church of the Greek East, scheduled to be held there with a view to ecumenical union (18 December 1431).

Full communion

communionintercommunionfull
Most current divisions are the result of historical schisms—a break in the full communion between previously united Churches, bishops, or communities. For example, the Catholic Church is a single church, or communion, comprising 24 distinct self-governing particular churches in full communion with the bishop of Rome (the largest being the Latin Church, commonly called "Roman Catholic"). The world's 2.2 billion Christians are visibly divided into different communions or denominations, groupings of Christians and their churches that are in full communion with one another, but to some degree exclusive of other Christians.
In the view of the World Council of Churches, an inter-church organization that includes "most of the world's Orthodox churches, scores of Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed churches, as well as many United and Independent churches", "the goal of the search for full communion is realized when all the churches are able to recognize in one another the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church in its fullness", a communion "given and expressed in the common confession of the apostolic faith; a common sacramental life entered by the one baptism and celebrated together in one eucharistic fellowship; a common life in which members and ministries are mutually recognized and reconciled; and a common mission witnessing to all people to the gospel of God's grace and serving the whole of creation".

Christian Church

ChurchchurchesChristian
The adjective ecumenical can also be applied to any interdenominational initiative that encourages greater cooperation among Christians and their churches, whether or not the specific aim of that effort is full, visible unity.
Christian ecumenism

Mainstream

mainstream audiencemainstream sciencepopular
Christianity has not been a monolithic faith since the first century or Apostolic Age, if ever, and today there exist a large variety of groups that share a common history and tradition within and without mainstream Christianity.
Mainstream Protestant churches share a common approach that often leads to collaboration in organizations such as the National Council of Churches, and because of their involvement with the ecumenical movement, they are sometimes given the alternative label of "ecumenical Protestantism" (especially outside the United States).

Mar Thoma Syrian Church

Mar ThomaMalankara Mar Thoma Syrian ChurchMMTSC
Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar
The church defines itself as "Apostolic in origin, Universal in nature, Biblical in faith, Evangelical in principle, Ecumenical in outlook, Oriental in worship, Democratic in function, and Episcopal in character".

John Calvin

CalvinJean CalvinCalvinist
Luther's writings, combined with the work of Swiss theologian Huldrych Zwingli and French theologian and politician John Calvin, sought to reform existing problems in doctrine and practice.
He reached out to England when Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer called for an ecumenical synod of all the evangelical churches.