- 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 the World Council of Churches (WCC) from different angles, beginning with the description of it as ‘a fellowship of churches’ in its Basis, its purpose being to help the churches to call one other to visible unity, as formulated in its Constitution. Secondly, the chapter discusses the structural organization of the WCC, with its governing bodies and the working areas covering a variety of issues. That scope necessitates the use of a number of different methodologies, ranging from theological study of church-dividing issues and mission work to networking and advocacy with regard to environmental issues or questions of human rights. An outline of its history and main achievements leads to an evaluation of the significance of the WCC, highlighting its coordinating role for multilateral dialogue, and promotion of common action by the churches as of lasting importance.
Dagmar Heller is Professor of Ecumenical Theology and Academic Dean at the Ecumenical Institute, Bossey, and Executive Secretary of the Faith and Order Commission, Geneva.
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