The latest issue of The Ecumenical Review, the quarterly journal of the World Council of Churches (WCC), contains a selection of articles received in response to a call for contributions by younger theologians and researchers to mark the WCC’s 70th anniversary.
Contributors were invited to submit articles illustrating the relevance of an aspect of the WCC’s history or work for the future path of the WCC and the wider ecumenical movement in the 21st century.
“While the anniversary offers an opportunity to take stock of the ecumenical legacy of the past 70 years, it is also a moment to develop visions for carrying it forward,” writes journal editor Stephen G. Brown in the introduction to the issue, titled “The World Council of Churches at 70.”
Coming from different regional and confessional backgrounds, the authors cover areas including:
the role of liberation theologies in developing a relationship of friendship that overcomes power and competition;
insights from the WCC for reform of the United Nations; the topics of church, society, and earth in two WCC documents –The Church: Towards a Common Vision and Together towards Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes;
advancing the WCC’s commitment to justice and peace in Africa;
the concept of koinonia in the search for visible communion;
“Partnership in Mission” in WCC history and the meaning of ecumenical partnership in the era of World Christianity; and
grappling with issues of faith in relation to HIV on the basis of insights from the Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (EHAIA).
The issue also includes documentation from the events organized in 2018 to mark the WCC’s 70th anniversary, including the address by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the 70th anniversary service at Geneva’s St Pierre cathedral, and the visit of Pope Francis to the WCC.
The 70th anniversary of the WCC also marks the 70th anniversary of The Ecumenical Review, whose first issue was published in August 1948 to coincide with the Amsterdam assembly, and an article in this issue identifies how the need for an “authoritative, Christian, ecumenical review” was linked to the efforts in the 1930s to create the international ecumenical organization that took shape as the WCC.
“Seventy years on, though now in a digital age, The Ecumenical Review continues its task of articulating the ecumenical vision and visions,” writes Brown.
The Ecumenical Review is published by Wiley on behalf of the WCC.