The latest issue of The Ecumenical Review, the quarterly journal of the World Council of Churches, opens with an article by WCC general secretary the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, “Freedom, Love and Justice,” reflecting on the theme for the WCC's 11th Assembly in 2021, “Christ's love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.”
This theme, Tveit writes in the article, “opens up another dimension of the ecumenical movement as an alternative to the many other approaches to the world, also in the name of religion and our own Christian traditions: an open and inclusive, radical expression of love in our time.”
This double issue contains a range of articles dealing with issues such as freedom, love and justice from different perspectives, with themes including diakonia and transformational development, human rights, and the theology of friendship.
Archbishop Antje Jackelén, primate of the Church of Sweden, argues for a theology of “Resilience, Coexistence, and Hope,” to counter what she describes as a dangerous cocktail of poisonous ingredients, all starting with the letter P: polarization, populism, protectionism, post‐truth, and patriarchy. Drinking from this cocktail, she writes, brings out a behaviour that manifests itself as being against refugees and migrants, against climate action, and against equality and gender justice.
In the face of such polarization and populism, an article by researchers from the Blanquerna Observatory on Media, Religion and Culture, “Letting Diasporic Voices Be Heard“ underlines the need for the voices of refugees and migrants themselves to be heard in the media.
This issue of The Ecumenical Review also documents the global consultation held in Jamaica in October 2018 to mark the 20th anniversary of the culmination of the Ecumenical Decade of the Churches in Solidarity with Women, launched in 1988 to empower women to challenge oppressive structures in the global community, their churches and their communities, and to encourage the churches to take actions in solidarity with women. Former WCC president Ofelia Ortega offers reflections on gender inclusion in theological education in Latin America.
The issue also includes the address by His All‐Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the World Children’s Day Event in Geneva, November 2018, as well as the message from the conference on “Xenophobia, Racism and Populist Nationalism in the Context of Global Migration” organised in Rome in September 2018 by the WCC and the Vatican.
Meanwhile, Fr Antonio Spadaro SJ, director of La Civiltà Cattolica, looks back to the visit of Pope Francis to Geneva in 2017 to mark the WCC’s 70th anniversary. The visit had a clear objective, writes Spadaro, “to appeal to the common commitment of Christians to proclaim the gospel and its saving grace in a world of . . . challenges, torment, suffering, fractures, tragedy, and exclusion.”
In a divided world, writes Spadaro, “ecumenism is a prophetic sign that not only Christians, but also nations and peoples must seek greater unity.”
The Ecumenical Review is published four times a year by Wiley on behalf of the WCC.
Full table of contents of this issue of The Ecumenical Review
(all articles may be freely downloaded)