- 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
Method can mean either the steps taken to achieve church unity or the principles appropriate to the study of ecumenism. Most ecumenists have sought organic unity; they have hoped that agreement on the issue of authority would further this end. This turned out to be impossible, and recently there has been a shift from epistemology to pneumatology. This shift allows for a third option beyond the claims of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, on the one hand, and Magisterial Protestantism, on the other, as regards ecclesial continuity. We can think of the creation of the church as the reinstantiation of primitive Christianity in the wake of Pentecost. Messianic Judaism provides telling warrant for pursuing this option. This shift also provides fresh hope for ecumenism by moving beyond conciliar conversations about doctrine, and calling instead for gift-sharing—that is, the realistic sharing of what we actually think are gifts for the common good.
William J. Abraham is the Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies and an Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.