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date: 01 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter gives an account of the roots of the modern ecumenical movement, of the latter’s social and ecclesial context, and of its first organizational manifestations leading up to the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh 1910. This predominantly Protestant movement developed in a setting marked by the climax of modernity and increasing secularization in northern societies, colonization and missionary enterprises in the south, polarization in theology, and denominationalism in church life. It drew from diverse sources, such as the YMCA/YWCA, the WSCF, the Evangelical Alliance and the missionary movement, and from the commitment of individuals such as John R. Mott. Its key aim was to promote cooperation in mission, to prevent the export of denominational divisions to the south, and to call the churches to unity. The movement facilitated a growing shift from confessionalism to ecumenicity.

Keywords: Mission, unity, modernity, imperialism, colonialism, denominationalism, ecumenism, John R. Mott, Edinburgh Conference 1910

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