Webinar in Week of Prayer for Christian Unity to launch new history of ecumenism

Photo: WCC

Registrations are open for a World Council of Churches webinar on 19 January that will launch the first volume of a major new history of ecumenism produced by a team of academics and scholars coordinated by the Italian-based Foundation for Religious Studies (FSCIRE).

To be held in English and French, the webinar will present the book, titled Dawn of Ecumenism, the first volume of the three-volume work, A History of the Desire for Christian Unity.

Details and a registration link are available at: Webinar – Book Presentation: “A History of the Desire for Christian Unity: Vol 1: Dawn of Ecumenism”. Interpretation into English and French is provided.

This first volume deals mainly with the period from the 19th century up to the Second World War, and includes 32 separate articles by Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic scholars, organized around three main themes.

The project has been directed by Prof. Dr Alberto Melloni, secretary of FSCIRE, which is based in Bologna, and who is also professor at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The editor of the three-volume work is Dr Luca Ferracci, an affiliated researcher at FSCIRE.

In an introduction to the first volume, Melloni writes that the project is intended to trace the history of the Christian desire for unity through “the passage between the generations that experienced two world wars, a Cold War, the clash of civilizations, colonizations, true and fictitious decolonizations, the globalization of markets, and the spirituality market in the whirlwinds of demographic change.”

At the webinar, Melloni and Ferracci will present the project as a whole, offer an introduction to the first volume, and introduce the plans for the next two volumes.

Responses to the volume will be presented by three panellists coming from Roman Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox backgrounds: Prof. Dr Michael Quisinsky of the Catholic University of Freiburg; Prof. Dr Elisabeth Parmentier of the University of Geneva; and Archbishop Job of Telmessos, representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the WCC.

The webinar takes place during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, 18-25 January, and at the beginning of the year in which the WCC will hold its 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Dr Stephen Brown, editor of the WCC journal The Ecumenical Review, who is moderating the webinar, said: “At a time when we are marking the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, this new publication offers an insight into the profound desire for unity between Christians, and will be an invaluable resource as the WCC looks toward its assembly later this year.”

The book may be ordered from the publisher, Brill.

Register now to attend the webinar

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