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date: 25 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

United and uniting churches have made a very significant contribution to the ecumenical movement. In seeking to assess that contribution, the chapter first defines what these churches are, considers the different types of union that have been created, examines the characteristics of these churches, and looks at the theological rationale for them. It goes on to trace the history of their formation from the beginning of the nineteenth century, and particularly during the years leading up to and following the Third Assembly of the World Council of Churches at New Delhi in 1961, under the influence of Lesslie Newbigin. Giving a theological assessment, it emphasizes that the existence of these churches, despite difficulties, provides places where the final unity of Christ’s one body is most clearly foreshadowed. They will always present proleptic visions of that goal.

Keywords: united churches, uniting churches, types of union, characteristics, rationale, New Delhi, Lesslie Newbigin, proleptic vision

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