The Society, both as a body and through its many members taking part, was delighted to sponsor this conference. Dr Paul Murray, our member who is the Director of the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham, it was a remarkable feat, bringing together scholars and Church leaders from a number of different disciplines where ecumenical living is already a reality, as well as broadening out the original focus (which started out with Cardinal Kasper’s question as to what the Catholic Church might gain from a ‘receptive’ approach to its partners, going beyond ‘spiritual ecumenism’ and the exchange of gifts, friendships, theology, spirituality and culture which we nowadays expect and take for granted to a degree), to enable other traditions to reflect on how the receptive outlook could catalyse their ecumenism once more. So there was a stronger presence of Reformed, Orthodox and Pentecostal scholars and Church leaders this time, alongside Anglicans, Catholics and Methodists. The Centre is to be congratulated on a successful and inspiring conference, enabling us to focus on what the Christians in different traditions can receive and embrace from the other, with integrity, rather than what we can give or impose - which gives us a dynamic tool for future ecumenical working and assures there is a richly productive (indeed feasible) way forward for us to be true to Christ’s will that we be one.
Since the 2006 conference, CCC has been co-ordinating a pilot project on how receptive ecumenism might work on the ground among local congregations in different traditions and at the same time in the regional/local Church structures for operation, pastoral service and mission, to which they belong. This has been taking place among the Anglican, Catholic, Methodist and URC dioceses and regions in the North East. The presentation on this in January told a stirring story – challenges of course, but many matters easier to unite in practically than realised. We are hoping this can be written up for dissemination and replication during the course of the year.
Visit the Centre for Catholic Studies website to attend the Virtual Conference and read some of the papers already posted there. Paul Murray edited a major book of the 2006 Conference, Receptive Ecumenism and the Call to Catholic Learning, which was published in 2008 by Oxford University Press.
The Society held its own Receptive Ecumenism Day Conference in 2007. Visit our page on Receptive Ecumenism for reports and papers, and more details.
Dr Martin Conway, former President of the Selly Oak Colleges and currently President of the Society, examined the mission of Christianity in a changed world and what the visible communion of the Churches might mean and serve..
Papers to be posted here in October 2009.
An event to mark 500 years since the birth of John Calvin. The speakers include
For more details, click here to see the flyer for the Colloquium.