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date: 25 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys commonalities and divergences with regard to the theology and practice of baptism that are reflected in the World Council of Churches convergence document on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, and considers in particular the Anabaptist, Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Orthodox, Quaker, and Reformed traditions. Major topics treated include: the role of faith with regard to baptism, interconnections between baptism, faith, and justification; the relationship between baptism and patterns of initiation in various traditions; and elements of the ancient catechumenate in contemporary rites. The chapter argues that in the expansive theology of baptism in the catechumenal tradition baptism is understood to be transformative and regenerative, eucharistic in orientation and meaning, eschatological in orientation, and ecclesial in context. The chapter finally summarizes the achievements of ecumenical dialogue and identifies remaining issues.

Keywords: baptism, Catholic, catechumenate, faith, initiation, justification, Lutheran, Methodist, Orthodox, Reformed

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