- 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
Ethics has rarely in the past been a cause of church-dividing dispute, but recently it has developed into a source of contention. The early ecumenical movement sought to give an agreed moral witness. Conferences at Stockholm (1925), Oxford (1937), and Geneva (1967) developed a tradition of ecumenical moral reflection within the World Council of Churches. Profound changes came to this tradition as emphasis shifted after 1967 towards a ‘contextual liberation ecumenism’, focusing on solidarity with liberation movements of the oppressed. More recently, ethics has been taken up in ecumenical dialogues. Dialogues have discussed specific moral issues (e.g. divorce, war, homosexuality) as well as more general questions of the relation of ethics to the unity of the church. While some dialogues have reported a fundamental agreement of ethical outlook, some recent dialogues have found significant differences, extending from questions related to sexuality to broader issues of the sources of ethical teaching.
Michael Root is Ordinary Professor of Systematic Theology at The Catholic University of America, Washington DC, USA.
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