- The Early Stages: Pre-1910
- Laying the Foundations: 1910–1948
- Pivotal Years: 1948–1965
- Intense Activity: 1965–1990
- Consolidation and Challenge: 1990—Present
- Pentecostal and Charismatic
- Mission and Evangelism
- Faith and Order
- World Council of Churches
- Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
- Bilateral Dialogues
- Chevetogne, Taizé, and the Groupe des Dombes
- United and Uniting Churches
- Regional and National Councils of Churches
- Interchurch Families
- Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
- Global Christian Forum
- Britain and Ireland
- United States of America
- Latin America
- The Middle East
- The Unity We Seek
- In Search of a Way
- Method in Ecumenism
- Kenotic Ecumenism
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter describes how Lutheranism has viewed, responded to, and contributed to the ecumenical movement. It defines the nature of Lutheranism and the ecumenical movement. It traces the history of the relationship of Lutheranism to other Christians and their churches from the sixteenth until the twenty-first century. Thus it shows how Lutherans developed their views of the unity of the Church and of its importance. The initial response of Lutheranism to the rise of the ecumenical movement in 1910 was one of caution and fear of doctrinal compromise. During the twentieth century, Lutheran reflection about and involvement in all aspects of the ecumenical movement increased dramatically. One result is that global Lutheranism as represented by the Lutheran World Federation is now a major partner on the ecumenical scene.
William G. Rusch is a Lutheran pastor, Professor of Lutheran Studies (adj.) at the Divinity School of Yale University and Professor of Church History (adj.) at New York Theological Seminary.
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