Are we Receiving ‘Receptive Ecumenism’?

In: Ecclesiology
Paul Avis , Lea Hill, Membury, Axminster, Devon EX13 7AQ, UK

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‘Receptive Ecumenism’, though initially a movement of ecclesiological renewal within the Roman Catholic Church, holds considerable potential for all churches that are engaged in the ecumenical movement and for their closer unity. This article asks why Receptive Ecumenism is needed, given that the process of reception is inherent in ecumenism. It then examines the tension between rhetoric and reality in much ecumenical and ecclesiological discourse, and goes on to ask whether Receptive Ecumenism is a threat to the time-honoured agenda of the Faith and Order tradition in seeking visible unity through theological dialogue. The article touches on the therapeutic dimension of greater mutual receptivity between churches and ends by arguing that Receptive Ecumenism and traditional theological dialogue are mutually dependent.

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