A book published this month by the World Council of Churches (WCC) offers reflections by Christians about what it means to be involved in efforts to contribute to peace and justice initiatives in their home context.
Walking Together: Theological Reflections on the Ecumenical Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, edited by Susan Durber and Fernando Enns, was developed by the Theological Study Group of WCC's Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP) as part of a decade-long initiative calling on WCC member churches to consider their efforts for justice and peace as a pilgrimage.
In this lively and inspiring book, 13 contributors take stock of the spiritual, social and theological meanings of this global ecumenical initiative and its relevance to different regional, confessional and generational contexts. The authors offer constructive ways in which Christians can renew their notion of what it means to be actively engaged in the church today.
“Since the WCC Assembly in Busan in 2013, the WCC has been driven by the new metaphor of a pilgrimage of justice and peace,” co-editor Enns explains. “Our intent with this book was to ask about the theological connotations of that metaphor. We wanted to use the theological lens to see unity, justice and peace in a new way.”
Durber notes it was time to reflect on the pilgrimage initiative five years after it was launched: “These are contextual reflections from fascinating people from all around the world – major pieces from the centre and from the margins. There are profound contributions from people who find the metaphor inspirational and from those who are inspired but have questions.”
“In all the contributions we see three dimensions: celebrating the gifts of creation, visiting the wounds, and transforming the injustices,” says Enns.
Durber adds, “I hope that people will find the book interesting and be convinced that this new paradigm of unity is transforming and exciting.“
Fernando Enns is an ordained minister from the Mennonite Church, Germany, and professor of Peace Theology and Ethics at the Free University of Amsterdam. He also directs the Institute for Peace Church Theology at Hamburg University, Germany, and serves on the WCC Central Committee. Among his related publications is Just Peace: Ecumenical, Intercultural, and Interdisciplinary Perspectives(Pickwick, 2013).
Susan Durber is a minister of the United Reformed Church in the UK and moderator of the WCC Commission on Faith and Order. Her publications include Preaching like a Woman(SPCK, 2007) and Surprised by Grace: Parables and Prayers(URC, 2013).
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