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“Churches and Moral Discernment: Facilitating Dialogue to Build Koinonia” Cover

Churches and Moral Discernment (III)

Volume 3: Facilitating Dialogue to Build Koinonia

Faith and Order Paper No. 235

The study document “Churches and Moral Discernment: Facilitating Dialogue to Build Koinonia,” harvests the fruits of the study process on moral discernment which began in 2015. In its analysis, the document describes patterns in the complex negotiations between continuity and change as churches respond to moral challenges. At its core, the study document invites the churches to more deeply understand the significance of “the conscience of the church” in moral discernment processes and points to its ecumenical potential. The document offers a tool to analyse core elements in the conscience of the church that shape moral discernment.

Specs: 110 pages; 6x9”; paper; perfect; 4-colour 
Price: 15 CHF, $15.00, £9.00, €11.25
ISBN: 978-2-8254-1762-1
Shelving/Topics: ECUMENISM / ETHICS
Rights: World, all languages

Orders from orders@wcc-coe.org

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From Tension to Koinonia

Current tensions within and between churches are often the result of disagreements over moral issues. Seeing the urgency of the matter, the World Council of Churches’ Faith and Order Commission took up the task to assist the churches in finding a way to deepen mutual understanding. Learning from the moral discernment processes of different church traditions and a range of historical examples, this study document proposes a tool to deepen knowledge about the processes, recognize how and why differences might emerge, affirm shared commitments, and in so doing, to build koinonia.

Instead of just focusing on the outcomes of a discernment process, understanding the process can lead to a new pathway for dialogue. The study document proposes the concept of the conscience of the church. Acknowledging that churches seek to pursue God’s will as they want to remain faithful to the gospel implies that a dialogue can begin with a presumption that the partner is sincere without necessarily accepting the outcome of their discernment process.