Twenty years after the signing of the landmark “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Roman Catholic Church in 1999, the latest issue of The Ecumenical Review, the quarterly journal of the World Council of Churches (WCC), focuses on the achievements and challenges of contemporary ecumenical dialogue.
The issue opens with an article by the LWF general secretary, Martin Junge, in which he reflects on how the Joint Declaration helped lead to the first global Catholic–Lutheran joint commemoration of the Reformation at Lund and Malmö in Sweden in 2016, and sets out directions for the future.
For French Roman Catholic theologian Hervé Legrand, the method of “differentiated consensus” at the heart of the Joint Declaration has led to more ecumenical progress in the past 40 years than in the previous five centuries. Orthodox theologian Julija Vidovic offers an Orthodox perspective on the Joint Declaration and on the doctrine of justification. Looking at multilateral ecumenical dialogue, former WCC staff member Dagmar Heller, and Odair Pedroso Mateus, the current director of the WCC's Faith and Order Commission, review the work undertaken by Faith and Order since the WCC’s 2013 assembly in Busan, and challenges for the future, while Lutheran theologian Elisabeth Parmentier discusses the ministry of women in theological dialogue.
This issue of The Ecumenical Review also picks up themes from recent issues including the challenge of climate justice, and migration and the ethics of hospitality in a climate of political radicalization.
Meanwhile, as the WCC prepares for its 11th Assembly in Germany in 2021, the final article in this issue provides an overview of the peace work and witness of the churches in the German Democratic Republic in the years leading up to the dramatic changes of 1989, and the significance of such witness to peace against the background of the “world disorder” of the 21st century.
The Ecumenical Review is published by Wiley on behalf of the WCC.
Sample article from the issue for free download:
Martin Junge: “Our Journey Ahead: Reflections on the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.”