From System Into Networking: The Social Shape of Ecumenism in the 21st Century

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Abstract

On the threshold of post-modernism, the shape of ecumenism is in a process of change. It passes from a system to a form of networking. This article reflects on this process against the background of the question of the French sociologist of religion Jean-Paul Willaime whether ecumenism is out-of-date. According to Willaime, ecumenism has become a disordered pluralism. He only draws attention to the nihilistic and pluralistic character of post-modernism, but does not look at its aesthetic-mystic dimension. The history of western ontology shows three consecutive ways of experiencing reality: substance, system, and structure (Heinrich Rombach). Ecumenism has been developed as a system, in which unity predominates, but post-modern culture, with its priority to pluralism, challenges it to shape itself as networking and to think about unity in more sacramental and in more juridical terms.

From System Into Networking: The Social Shape of Ecumenism in the 21st Century

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