United Not Absorbed

 — Aug. 13, 201313 aoüt 2013

Darren Dahl, the director of the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism has posted a reflection entitled “United not Absorbed” on the PCE‘s new website. The PCE intends to post further reflections in the coming months. Here is an excerpt.

“We have come a long way since the 1920s! There was no World Council of Churches back then and the important ecumenical energy of the Second Vatican Council was still forty years to come. And yet the groundbreaking initiatives of the Malines Conversations continue to give us much to reflect upon. As I have moved about in ecumenical circles over the past year, talking to laypeople and church leaders from all denominations, I have heard not a few of them worry that ecumenism really means absorption. There is an anxiety that traditions will be lost and identities erased in a ‘melting pot’ style of Christianity. This fear and the assumptions which fuel it are likely behind a noticeable movement away from the ecumenical project in favour of focusing on denominational identities. After all, it is said, in this Christian world of shrinking churches and diminishing returns it is necessary to focus on one’s own tradition and save what one can!

“In light of this fear and this kind of thinking it is important to be clear: the energy of the ecumenical project seeks unity, not absorption. When the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples at Pentecost and gave them the tongues to preach in the languages of many nations, it gave birth to the Church precisely in the giving of many voices. As a result, the work of ecumenism is the work for a Christian unity that rejoices in difference. Our unity is based not only on respect and toleration—which are really quite minimal conditions—but on the joy of being with each other, learning from each other, and seeing God’s love for the world through the eyes of other traditions. In this joy, we listen to each other, of course. But listening takes place in a conversation and, thus, we ourselves must at some point speak. When we do we must have something to say. In other words, to participate in this joyful gift exchange each of us must be good stewards of our individual traditions. Robust ecumenical relations depend not only on prayer and goodwill but on a theological attentiveness and curiosity that animates all who participate.”

Posted: Aug. 13, 2013 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=6767
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Darren Dahl, ecumenism
Transmis : 13 aoüt 2013 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=6767
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Darren Dahl, ecumenism

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