Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Learning to be Church Together

I suppose this is not news but it is a helpful though limited resource, for those who are interested in recent thinking about ecumenism.

During January 2009, over two years ago, I attended a conference, held by the Centre for Catholic Studies at Ushaw College in Durham, Receptive Ecumenism and Ecclesial Learning: Learning to Be Church Together.

Receptive Ecumenism, not be confused with Ecumenical Reception, an entirely different thing, is an idea that has been developed by CCS since a first conference held in 2006.  Details of this conference and the resulting, very expensive, publication can be found at the link at the start of this paragraph.  They define Receptive Ecumenism, as follows:
The essential principle behind Receptive Ecumenism is that the primary ecumenical responsibility is to ask not “What do the other traditions first need to learn from us?” but “What do we need to learn from them?” The assumption is that if all were asking this question seriously and acting upon it then all would be moving in ways that would both deepen our authentic respective identities and draw us into more intimate relationship.
The  helpful resource is some recordings and transcripts from the 2009 conference are online.  Much of this material is specialist and so the inclination seems to be to lock it up in expensive books.  Putting this material online opens up the debate to many more readers and so I would encourage CCS to put more transcripts online.  I can't imagine they make a fortune out of selling the books and it is a pity so few people are able to find out about, let alone have access to, the material they need to get to grips with the subject.
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