Robert W. Jenson recently retired as senior scholar at the Center for Theological Inquiry in Princeton. He and longtime colleague Carl Braaten founded the journals Dialog and Pro Ecclesia and the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology. He has taught at Luther College, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Oxford University and St. Olaf College.
George Lindbeck’s thoughtful reflections in this issue on the state of ecumenism set me to ruminating on my own ecumenical experience. It also reminded me that this journal has been ecumenically minded from its inception. For a time it even described itself as an “ecumenical weekly” (and before that as an “undenominational weekly”).
The launching of a new group that aims to bring Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christians in the U.S. together for the first time has been postponed because the effort has received little interest from black churches, leaders said.
United Methodists have taken the first step toward full communion with Episcopalians and most Lutherans after their bishops approved an agreement to share the Eucharist, with members of the two other denominations.
When Pope Benedict XVI announced in his first sermon that he has a “primary commitment to work without sparing energies for the reconstitution of the full and visible unity of all the followers of Christ,” many expressed surprise.
The church council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has recommended that its churchwide assembly in August approve interim sharing of the Eucharist between the ELCA and the United Methodist Church. The ELCA bishops earlier endorsed the step, which follows years of Lutheran–United Methodist dialogues.
The fledgling Christian Churches Together—a painstakingly crafted amalgam of U.S. mainline Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, racial/ethnic and evangelical/Pentecostal churches—will organize formally behind closed doors early in June and publicly celebrate the milestone in September.