- 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
- 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 details the evolution of the constituent bodies of the World Council of Churches in the period between 1910 and the Council’s formal organization in 1948. It shows how these constitutive components (the International Missionary Council, the Faith and Order movement, and the Life and Work movement) grew originally from Protestant postmillennial optimism at the start of the twentieth century and evolved in the wake of the First World War, the rise of the Soviet state, the global economic depression of the 1930s, the rise of German National Socialism, the Second World War, and the destruction that the war brought about. All of these factors made ecumenical engagement utterly urgent in the eyes of the leaders of the ecumenical movement. The chapter also shows how Eastern Orthodox churches and representatives of the Catholic Church, even prior to the Second Vatican Council, became engaged at varying levels with ecumenical work.
Ted A. Campbell is Professor of Church History at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, USA.
Gary B. MacDonald is Senior Director of Special Projects in the Office of the Dean, Duke Divinity School, Duke University, USA.
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