- 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
The chapter considers the development of ecumenism in the United States, noting particular historical, cultural, and religious factors that have influenced relations there between Christians from many different backgrounds. Religious freedom, associated with the separation of Church and state, has given rise to a rich diversity of religious communities, but tolerance has also in some ways blurred confessional boundaries and complicated theological dialogue and the effort for visible Christian unity. The origin and role of the National Association of Evangelicals, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, and Christian Churches Together in the USA are described, together with initiatives which have given rise to the United Church of Christ and to the Church Uniting in Christ. Bilateral dialogues and some of their fruits are considered, as well as many ways in which Christian bodies collaborate more broadly. Continuing issues in the American context are identified and discussed.
Brother Jeffrey Gros, F. S. C. (+2013), was Executive Secretary of the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches (NCC) in the USA (1981-1991), then Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (1991-2005). He served as Distinguished Professor of Ecumenical and Historical Theology at Memphis Theological Seminary (2005-2009).
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