‘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.
Paul AvisEcumenical Theology and the Elusiveness of Doctrine (London: SPCK; Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications1986). Cf. Anglican – Roman Catholic International Commission The Final Report (London: SPCK/CTS 1982).
See further Paul D. Murray‘Receptive Ecumenism and Ecclesial Learning: Receiving Gifts for Our Needs’Louvain Studies33 (2008) pp. 30-45. Id. ‘Expanding Catholicity through Ecumenicity in the Work of Yves Congar: Ressourcement Receptive Ecumenism and Catholic Reform’ International Journal of Systematic Theology 13.3 (2011) pp. 272-302. Also Gabriel Flynn and Paul D Murray (eds) Ressourcement: A Movement for Renewal in Twentieth Century Catholic Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2012).