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Timothy T.N. Lim

Ecclesial Recognition proffers a framework for churches to accept the legitimacy and authenticity of each other as the Church in the dialogical process towards fuller communion. Typically, ‘recognition’ and its reception investigate theologically the sufficiency of creeds as ecumenical statements of unity, the agreeability of essential sacramentality of the church, and the recognition of its ministries as the churches’ witness of the gospel. This monograph conceives ecclesial recognition as an intersubjective dynamics of inclusion and exclusion amid identity formation and consensus development, with insights from Hegelian philosophy, group social psychology, and the Frankfurt School Axel Honneth’s political theory. The viability of this interdisciplinary approach is demonstrated from the French Dominican Yves Congar’s oeuvre, with implications for intra-Communion and inter-Church relations.

"Dr Lim examines philosophical recognition theory, group social psychology and political recognition theory to analyse the non-theological impasses confronting the whole ecumenical movement." - Rev Dr Trevor Hoggard, Director English-speaking Ministries, Methodist Church of New Zealand.

"Lim masterfully argues for the viability of an interdisciplinary approach to ecumenical recognition within communities, among churches, and in their common pastoral mission.” - Fr. and Professor Radu Bordeianu, Duquesne University, and Orthodox theologian, Representative of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh, and Assistant Priest of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Pittsburgh.

“This book makes an important contribution to ecumenical ecclesiology.” - Rev. Dr and Professor Sandra Beardsall, St Andrew’s College, Canada and United Church of Canada Ordained Minister.

“I find Dr. Lim's work a solid and necessary contribution to ecumenical work around the world.” - Rev. Dr. and Professor Dominick D. Hanckle, Regent University, and priest of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches.

“With penetrating analysis and creative suggestions, this monograph takes the talk about ecumenical recognition in a new level.” - Professor Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, University of Helsinki.


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‘What if We Could?’

An Essay on Productive Ecumenism

Timothy Lim T. N.

Ecumenists believe that the recent convergence text The Church: Toward a Common Vision (tcv) rides on the success of Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry (bem) and offers churches a way forward in the quest for Christian unity. This article productively imagines the future of a reconciled unity on the basis of tcv. I will use the notion of ‘productive recognition’ as a springboard to launch this image of ‘productive ecumenism’. Churches need to reframe what they have historically understood as fundamental challenges to unity. Only then can they envision ‘what if we could?’ and replace ‘but we can’t!’. This invitation expresses ecumenism in terms of confessions, sacramentalities, and the witness of the gospel.

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Recognition and Reception

Towards a Joint Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017

Timothy Lim T. N.

Recognition and reception are integral conditions for moving churches towards a fuller realization of shared unity. This article brings the 2013 Joint Working Group text Reception and the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity’s 2013 report From Conflict To Communion into dialogue with the 2017 commemoration of the Reformation with Reformed Christianity, Anabaptists, Brethren, Evangelicals, and Pentecostals. This investigation takes as its backdrop the mutual recognition and reception of churches. The paper reviews recent documents with a view to applying the reception of the quincentenary vision among these churches.