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Christian World Communions

(626 words)

Author(s): Meyer, Harding
Toward the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, worldwide denominational communions began to be founded. The first was the Anglican Communion (1867, the first Lambeth Conference), followed by the Reformed Alliance (1877). The original term “worldwide alliances” was found to be unsuitable, and since 1979 the usual term has been “Christian World Communions” (CWCs). A self-definition from 1962 reads: “These bodies have this in common: (1) that their member churches share together…

Ecumenical Dialogue

(1,847 words)

Author(s): Meyer, Harding
1. Term In a broad sense “ecumenical dialogue” may denote any conversation between different churches and Christians that promotes fellowship with each other or common understanding of Christian responsibility to the world. In the customary narrower sense the phrase refers to discussions held primarily by official representatives of two or more churches on controversial theological issues with the goal of stating and clarifying these issues so as to eliminate their divisive character. The adjectiv…

Transdenominational Movements

(615 words)

Author(s): Meyer, Harding | Hjelm, Norman A.
When persons of differing denominations or traditions follow a specific form of Christian faith and life and develop that form in such a way that, irrespective of their church allegiance, they are at one, a transdenominational movement has come into being. It is to be noted that the modern ecumenical movement is by definition a movement of churches, not of individual persons, and hence does not qualify as a transdenominational movement (Ecumenism, Ecumenical Movement). The reason for the growth …

Reception, Ecumenical

(1,767 words)

Author(s): Meyer, Harding | Rusch, William G.
1. Term and Usage The English word “reception” traces its meaning back to Lat. recipio, which can be translated “receive, accept, allow.” With these several meanings it can include the notion of receiving or accepting externally from something or someone other. “Reception” has become a technical term in several different areas. In legal history it denotes the process by which Roman law was adopted in the German lands during the 13th through 15th centuries. In literary criticism of the late 20th century, “reception” has been employed t…