- 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
The chapter traces the history of bilateral dialogues and considers the experience and results of dialogue. It discusses the particular nature of bilateral dialogues in contrast with multilateral ecumenism, and the goals of such dialogue, which take different forms, e.g. identifying differences and achieving agreements, removing mistrust and beginning a mutual acquaintance, and the ‘reconciliation of memories’, depending on the partners involved. Attention is given to various problems of bilateral dialogues, for example, their correspondence with the actual reality of the churches involved, the coherence between multiple dialogues in which a given church may be involved, the reception of their results, and their effectiveness in changing perspectives. Reception is required not just at the level of church leadership, but also in the everyday lives of the churches, where bilateral dialogues are nowadays often perceived as being far removed from the life of local congregations.
Eva-Maria Faber is Professor of Dogmatic and Fundamental theology at the Theologische Hochschule Chur, Switzerland, where she also served as Rector from 2007-2015.
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